Please join me for a fun series. My mission, and I’ve chosen to accept it, is to write a post based on each letter of the alphabet. The English major inside of me is very excited about this project…and my inner nerd is even more fired up! Keep checking back as I tackle the intangibles of sport…from A to Z.
John Wooden created the Pyramid of Success, which is a series of blocks shaped like a pyramid. The blocks hold Wooden’s keys to his many successful teams. Wooden (or J-Dub as my team called him) recognized that success isn’t only in the X’s and O’s. Read on to find out why I use the Pyramid with my team and why I think you should too.
5 reasons the Pyramid of Success is an amazing team builder
Old school. One of the coaches I work with dismisses the Pyramid as “that old thing you like by that old coach.” Yes, John Wooden coached basketball a looong time ago…from 1948 – 1975. But what he did was pretty remarkable. He won ten national championships in a twelve year span…that’s pretty amazing. I’d say that record qualifies Wooden as an authority on successful teams!
Ownership. By going through the Pyramid with my team, I give them ownership of our team building process. I’ve gone through the Pyramid with many teams and no team does it the same as another. Every team has its own personality and therefore, they’ll put their own unique spin on the blocks that Wooden has deemed essential to a team’s success.
Overcome. I believe that the Pyramid helps our teams to overcome fear of how they’ll achieve the success they so desire. All of our teams sit down at the beginning of the season and tell us and their teammates that they want to win conference/regionals/finals. That’s awesome! The Pyramid will give them instructions, step by step, to access competitive greatness that will be necessary to reach their goals.
Observant. The Pyramid helps us coaches too! Over the course of our season, we’re always on the lookout for potential landmines growing within our teams. Whether that’s apathy, gossiping, “girl drama”, in-fighting, laziness…none of it is good and all of it will keep success at an arm’s length. As these situations arise, we can refocus our players on the Pyramid and the skills they need to have in order to achieve success.
Opportunity. Finally, the Pyramid is a wonderful opportunity for our student-athletes to have a voice in forming the team’s goals and to talk about what being on a team means to them. Hopefully, going through the Pyramid raises up some great leaders for us and gives our team a visual of the hard work it will take for them to have an opportunity at success.
As Wooden says, “success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.” I’m sure all of us, players and coaches, want to feel that kind of peace of mind.