By Swen Nater
Swen Nater played for Coach John Wooden at UCLA, was part of two NCAA national championship teams and then played 12 years of professional basketball.
I work at Costco, in the corporate office. I’ve been here 17 years. I also played sports. I truly believe a sports coach can do much to help young people prepare to function successfully in a corporate office-type environment. By “successfully” I mean, be productive, be an asset, be likeable, help the company reach its goals, get promoted, and generally be happy.
I wrote down 12 things I thought were necessary to be successful here. Then, one by one, I determined if sports could prepare a person in that area. In each case, it could.
- Discipline to get the job done right and on time
- Working hard
- Loving what you do
- Discovering how to improve and move up
- Being an effective member of a team that is working on something together
- Being at work and being on time
- Being creative
- Being subordinate
- Helping improve or change things
- Being responsible and dependable
- Knowing how to be led
- Knowing how to lead
After I wrote them down, it hit me – John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success covers many of these. So, I went back and entered the Pyramid traits (in parentheses).
- Discipline to get the job done right and on time (DEPENDABILITY)
- Working hard (INDUSTRIOUSNESS)
- Loving what you do (ENTHUSIASM)
- Discovering how to improve and move up (AMBITION)
- Being an effective member of a team that is working on something together (TEAM SPIRIT, COOPERATION, FRIENDSHIP)
- Being at work and being on time (INTEGRITY)
- Being creative (RESOURCEFULNESS)
- Being subordinate (LOYALTY)
- Helping improve or change things (LOYALTY, COOPERATION, ALERTNESS)
- Being responsible and dependable (RELIABILITY)
- Knowing how to be led (LOYALTY, FAITH)
- Knowing how to lead (POISE, CONFIDENCE)
I was so excited. Yeah! Through youth sports, The Pyramid can prepare someone to be a great worker and a great asset to any company. So tell your child, “Sign up for a team. Here’s a Pyramid of Success. Take it with you and make sure you get all of these things out of it.”
That sounds silly, right? A child can’t use the Pyramid of Success to prepare for the workplace; that’s the coach’s job. And I hear, some coaches have. If you know of someone who was trained in youth sports through the Pyramid, please call me.
Reprinted from Proactive Coaching LLC