John Wooden was a legendary basketball coach whose UCLA teams won 10 NCAA championships in 12 seasons in the 1960s and 1970s, including 7 consecutive titles. This unparalleled feat is even more remarkable when you consider that the make up of a college team changes annually.
According to the people who played for Wooden, the first practice of each season began with a lesson on putting on your socks and tying your sneakers.
Every member of the team complied, even the seniors, who had been through this before. They removed their socks and sneakers and followed along as Wooden instructed them in how to do something that most of us consider pretty basic by the time we’re 10 years old.
Wooden’s lesson on how to put on your socks and tie your sneakers was rooted in sound logic: if you get a blister or your sneaker laces come undone in the middle of a big game, you’re going to be in pain, trip, get injured, or otherwise distracted from the task at hand.
Proper shoelace tying technique could make the difference between winning and losing.
Even by the metrics of the time, this was not “sexy.” New recruits showed up for practice eager to learn the fancy plays. Instead they were schooled in how to put on socks and sneakers.
Socks and sneakers were at the foundation of Wooden’s “Pyramid of Success,” his philosophy of life on and off the court.
A solid foundation is fundamental to success.
According to reports, Wooden never focused on winning games. Wooden believed that winning games was a byproduct of focusing on the fundamentals.
His results speak for themselves.
In today’s world, it seems that everyone is looking for the Next. Big. Thing.
The focus on flashy moves and big results is magnified through social media and other online spaces. Every program and product is marketed with its big promise of Life-Changing Results.
We can easily get pulled into the hype that tells us we need a Big Vision and Big Bold Moves to scale bigger and create massive growth.
Any big result we want to achieve must be rooted in the fundamentals, especially if we want to sustain it.
Without a solid foundation of socks that stay in place and shoelaces that stay tied, our big bold moves are more likely to create blisters and bruises than big wins.
The secret to sustainable stratospheric success is to focus on the fundamentals. The little things may not be sexy, but they are the foundation for the big wins.
For lasting success
Focus on fundamentals
Little things are big