Next Chapter Book Reviews

Discover Your Next Favorite Book!

Wooden

• •

Wooden: A Coach's Life


Wooden:  A Coach’s Life
By Seth Davis
Times Books
Retail Price $35.00
Amazon Price: $26.07

Book Description: 

A provocative and revelatory new biography of the legendary UCLA coach John Wooden, by one of America’s top college basketball writersNo college basketball coach has ever dominated the sport like John Wooden. His UCLA teams reached unprecedented heights in the 1960s and ’70s capped by a run of ten NCAA championships in twelve seasons and an eighty-eight-game winning streak, records that stand to this day. Wooden also became a renowned motivational speaker and writer, revered for his “Pyramid of Success.”Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports has written the definitive biography of Wooden, an unflinching portrait that draws on archival research and more than two hundred interviews with players, opponents, coaches, and even Wooden himself. Davis shows how hard Wooden strove for success, from his All-American playing days at Purdue through his early years as a high school and college coach to the glory days at UCLA, only to discover that reaching new heights brought new burdens and frustrations. Davis also reveals how at the pinnacle of his career Wooden found himself on questionable ground with alumni, referees, assistants, and even some of his players. His was a life not only of lessons taught, but also of lessons learned.Woven into the story as well are the players who powered Wooden’s championship teams – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Walt Hazzard, and others – many of whom speak frankly about their coach. The portrait that emerges from Davis’s remarkable biography is of a man in full, whose life story still resonates today.

Review

Having coached varsity high school basketball for 25 years and having heard Coach Wooden speak at numerous clinics, I can personally attest to the authenticity of this book’s contents. Author Seth Davis gives the reader a real world picture of this amazing man. Wooden’s positive traits and his shortcomings are both covered in detail.  While Coach Wooden set very high standards for his players, he also set them for himself as well. He prepared for each practice and each game with meticulous care. He hated losing for lack of a maximum effort but accepted defeat (after a maximum effort) with exceptional style and grace. Anyone who coaches at any level should read this book. And may I add, anyone who feels adrift in her or his life should also read this book. The author shares many life lessons we can apply from Wooden’s life.

~Reviewed by Coach B.

Please Share!

    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.