This week at Matt Paul Sports Camp, we’re focused on the teachings of the legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden.

Here is one of our favorite quotes of his:
“Talent is God-Given. Be Humble. Fame is man-given. Be Grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be Careful. Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.”

Today’s focus is preparing for each day by setting goals. We began today with a discussion about goals- contemplating questions such as “what IS a goal?” and “what makes a good goal?” We discussed both short term and long term goals. Campers and coaches broke into groups to discuss and now, all campers and coaches have an index card with a life goal on one side and a TODAY goal on the other. Two of our coaches, Coaches Grace and Max, led the discussion and taught the kids about SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

Six year old Will shared with the camp that his life goal was to become a black belt in karate. When asked when he would complete this goal, Will said that he wanted to achieve this goal by July 4. While the camp enjoyed a smile, Will taught us a lesson. While becoming a black belt is an excellent goal, achieving this before July 4 is not actually realistic for him as he is just getting started in his karate lessons.

Will’s sharing opened the door for others to share. Four year old Richie said he wanted to do three flips in the pool later today. He got the lesson about setting a SMART goal for the day. Sharing goals can be fun and a great way to work together. It’s easy too, all you need is a piece of paper and a pen. It also makes sports more fun and a great way to stay focused throughout a busy camp day.

While we have the choice to make our goals big or small, Coach John Wooden reminds us to be humble, grateful and careful about how we handle our successes along the way.