The first block in the second level of Coach Wooden's Success Pyramid is self-control, an essential quality for any leader and any team if they are to live up to their abilities. It is necessary for the leader to exercise self-control if they expect their team to have self-control.
Related: Why self-control is so important
Coach Wooden worked on maintaining his self-control on the bench during games. He explained why he thought it was important:
“I felt my players would be more in control if I seemed to be in control. If I get out of control, how can I tell them that if they lose their self-control, they're going to be outplayed, when I'm seemingly losing my self-control on the bench? I think your actions can largely determine the actions of those under your supervision.
People sometimes lose their self-control when startled. Before each season, the coach sent his players a letter in which he clearly stated his expectations and how they, as team members and individuals, could expect to be treated. This process eliminated surprises and created an environment where self-control by all was maximized.
Related: How to Build Self-Control
The following is an excerpt from the letter the coach sent to his 1972-73 team in August 1972:
You have to discipline yourself to do this what is expected of you for the well-being of the team. The coach has many decisions to make and you will not agree with all of them, but you must respect and accept them. Without supervision and leadership and disciplined effort by all, much of our united strength will be dissipated, pulling against ourselves. Let's not fall victim to a breakdown from the inside.
You may feel, at times, that I have double standards because I certainly won't treat you the same. However, I will try to give each player the treatment they earn and deserve in my judgment and in accordance with what I consider to be in the best interest of the team. I know I won't be right in all my decisions, but I will try to be both fair and just.
“I believe that for every man-made peak you create, you also create valleys.”
As a leader, Coach believed that maintaining self-control and therefore emotional balance was essential to maximizing performance, especially in the face of adversity. He summed it up like this:
“I believe that for every man-made peak you create, you also create valleys. When you get too high for anything, emotion takes over and consistency of performance is lost and you will be unduly affected when adversity arrives. I emphasized constant improvement and stable performance.
It is self-control in thought and action that creates consistency.
Finally, as Coach was fond of reminding us, "the more we care about the things we can't control, the less we will do with the things we can control. »
Related: 5 Ways Successful People Take Control of Life