"I had mistakes, plenty, but I had no failures. We may not have won a championship every year. We may have lost games. But we had no failures. You never fail if you know in your heart that you did the best of which you are capable. I did my best. That is all I could do.
Are you going to make mistakes? Of course. But it is not failure if you make the full effort.
I told my players many times, ‘Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.’ if you prepare properly, you may be outscored, but you will never lose. I wanted our players to believe that to their very souls because I know it is the truth. You always win when you make the full effort to do the best of which you’re capable.
I also know that one one person on earth knows if you made your best effort: not your coach, not your employer, not your husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, brother or sister. The only person who knows is you. You can fool everyone else.”
Kanazawa famously competed in 1957 with a broken hand. He did not let his injury be an obstacle to giving his best performance.
Read more about Coach Joh Wooden and his impact on sport, sport psychology, and leadership.