Keys to Life


Coach John Wooden from the UCLA Bruins is known for living a life of faith and for his list of seven "Keys to Life."

Coach Wooden is known throughout the sports community as one of the very best college coaches that ever coached the game. During his tenure at UCLA, he guided the Bruins to 10 national championships, seven consecutive. More important than his on-court success, he is known for living a life of faith, character, humility, and thinking of others before himself.

Much of Coach Wooden’s success is directly related to what he learned from his father.

“When I graduated from our little three-room grade school in Centerton, Indiana, I got dressed up in clean overalls for the big event. My dad gave me something that day that would shape my entire life: my work, my marriage, my goals, my philosophy. It was a card on which he had written a few guidelines. I still carry it with me. On one side of the card, Dad had written out his creed. At the top of the paper, it said “Seven Things to Do.”

1. Be true to yourself.
2. Help others.
3. Make each day your masterpiece.
4. Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.
5. Make friendship a fine art.
6. Build a shelter against a rainy day.
7. Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.

From these seven points, Coach Wooden, Athletes in Action, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes developed the Coach Wooden “Keys to Life” Award, presented annually at the Legends of the Hardwood Breakfast, during the Final Four Weekend. These “Keys to Life” are a true compass to keep each of us pointed in the right direction in life.

Written by Coach John Wooden from the UCLA Bruins

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