Also like Lambert, Wooden made sure his players took care of their feet. He taught them how to rub their feet with powder and wear two pairs of socks, and he had them wearing shoes that were one size too small. “I noticed that most players wear shoes that are too large,” Wooden said. “Basketball is a game of quick movement-stop, start, turn, change of direction, change of pace. If there’s that much sliding to the end of the toe, you’re gong to get some blisters. So I decided what size shoe you’re going to wear. I want your toe right at the end of the shoe so that when you stop, there’s not going to be any sliding back and forth. I think that’s important.”
There are so many things that go in to preparing for a basketball game but John Wooden focused on one of the smallest details that a coach could, the athlete’s feet. He wanted to get the most out of his players and he knew that a small blister could limit their potential at the end of the game. So he eliminated the chance of something hindering his player’s focus and allowed them to play the game without any interruption.
It’s no surprise to me that someone who went on to be named the greatest college
coach of all-time would focus on his players smallest needs and put them in a
position to play without deterrence. He was a master at planning out the smallest
details because he knew that they would add up to something big over time. That’s
something I take from Coach Wooden and try to work into my own life. It’s not always the big leap that makes things happen but it’s focusing on the small details, that if done correctly can have a large impact over time.