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Greatest Coach

 

Get The Greatest Coach Ever: Timeless Wisdom and Insights of John Wooden (The Heart of a Coach Series) over at Amazon

This is a book on John Wooden, the legendary coach for UCLA’s basketball team. The book centers on Wooden’s Christian faith and character.  It is written by various people who knew him and/or were influenced by him over the years.  The contributors vary from basket ball players, coaches, pastors, businessmen and athletes from other sports.  The book is set up with a devotional format in which writers share a lesson from their reflection on coach Wooden’s life followed by some questions to stir the readers to examine their own life and walk with God.  I am typically cautious of any discussion about faith and sports since at times it can seem quite cheesy and amount to nothing more than a social religion to provide a motivational positive-thinking speech in the locker room before a game.  Ironically sometimes such “sports religion” can be more man-centered in its outlook rather than being truly God-centered or biblical.  While there were times while I was reading the book that I felt some of the contributors’ points were forced or cheesy or even a bit prideful (“I did this, I did that”), nevertheless I thought this book manage to impart wisdom to the readers concerning character and leadership beyond the realm of sports.  I was happy to see the Gospel even shared in various moments in the book!  There were also good spiritual reflections too especially with Coach Wooden’s priorities of putting God first, then family and then his work.  I was to find the constant theme throughout the book that it’s not about winning—rather it is doing your best—which leads to the spiritual lesson that our life is about spiritual faithfulness to the Lord and not outward success.  Knowing people who personally knew coach Wooden’s life and faith kept me going with the book.  I’m not much of a sports guy myself and I managed to finish this—I imagine those who love sports and Christianity would appreciate this work more than I could have.  I deeply appreciated this book from Wooden’s life as an example of what faith looks like in the workplace.

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