Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success: Building Blocks For a Better Life (John Wooden and Jay Carty)

2.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
This is half mini-Coach Wooden life lessons, combined with spiritual guidance from a pastor… with space for you, the reader, to journal in between about how you’re going to follow a particular piece of advice: how you’re going to apply the concept of industriousness, what the Bible teaches us about hard work, etc. I found both sections (from both Coach Wooden and Pastor Carty) to just be too brief; nothing really delves beyond the surface, and so it wasn’t really the book for me. (Also, if you’re looking for a more Wooden-centric book, this isn’t really it — it’s more spiritual/Biblical than about Wooden’s system.)


Greater Detail:
We start with the idea that there is a pyramid of success, and that there are basic building blocks — Wooden talks about his beliefs in terms of how he builds teams, and what he believes are the underlying foundations that are important to building a team, shaping your own life, etc, and Carty brings in biblical references as they apply — explaining particular biblical figures who embody a particular characteristics, or lessons that we can learn about enthusiasm, friendship, etc. There are often quotes from the Bible, and then there is always some questions meant to guide your reflection, as well as a a little space for you to write about the particular topic and/or plan and/or answer the questions.

The book serves as a combination journal/goal-setting guide and Bible study companion… but again, I felt that it was a little lacking in each of the regards — the goal setting parts aren’t quite as directed as I like, the Coach Wooden parts didn’t delve as deeply as I would’ve wanted, and the Bible didn’t always seem to fit in as naturally as I would have liked (and sometimes did seem like stretches in terms of how they were supposed to connect to Wooden’s lessons)…

I will say it’s organized well (around Wooden’s belief system that involves building blocks as well as mortar qualities); if you really followed along, you could theoretically read one a day and be done in a month and perhaps really be able to feel as though you’ve made some changes (I think self-help books are always a little better when they come with a specific/concretized set of instructions and timelines).

Comparisons to Other Books:
So I don’t have much experience with this particular mash-up of genres, but I have read and enjoyed many other books either about or by John Wooden. I think my favorite was probably They Call me Coach.

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