Fourth and Long

Published 5:47 pm Friday, February 18, 2011

While I love football, many of my favorite coaches are basketball coaches.

Maybe it’s the fact that they get more one on one time with their players, but many basketball coaches, particularly college coaches seem to teach as much about life as they do basketball. Here are a few such coaches and some words of wisdom that prove valuable beyond the basketball court.

“If you want to go fast – go alone; If you want to go far, you have to go with others.” — Dale Brown

“Leadership is difficult. It is a lonely responsibility. The best leaders are servants. It is always about others.” — Dale Brown

“Shout praise and whisper criticism.” — Don Meyer

“Great people talk about ideas. Average people talk about things. Small people talk about other people.” — Don Meyer

“Learning what not to do is sometimes more important than learning what to do.” — Rick Pitino

“Self-esteem is directly linked to deserving success. You must deserve victory to feel good about yourself.” — Rick Pitino

“Great effort springs naturally from great attitude.” — Pat Riley

“What to do with a mistake–recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.” — Dean Smith

“Good people are happy when something good happens to someone else.” — Dean Smith

“I learned early that if I wanted to achieve anything in life, I’d have to do it myself. I learned that I had to be accountable.” — Lenny Wilkens

“Morale and attitude are the fundamentals to success.” — Bud Wilkinson  “Nothing will work unless you do.” — John Wooden

“Remember this, the choices you make in life, make you.” — John Wooden

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation.” — John Wooden

“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” — John Wooden

“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change may be.” — John Wooden

“I always mean what I say, but I don’t always say what I’m thinking.” — Dean Smith

“Always keep an open mind and a compassionate heart. ” — Phil Jackson

“Wisdom is always an overmatch for strength.” — Phil Jackson

“Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” — Jim Valvano

“If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.” — Jim Valvano

“A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.” — Larry Bird

“All of us learn to write in the second grade. Most of us go on to greater things.” — Bobby Knight

“I don’t have to wait until the next morning to regret something I did that was kinda dumb. ” — Bobby Knight

David Friedman is a long-time contributor to Roanoke-Chowan Publications. A Bertie High School graduate, he and his wife currently reside in Wilmington. David can be reached via e-mail at