Success Building Blocks: Confidence

Confidence-Pyramid of Success-John Wooden

We count ourselves among the many people who believe that John Wooden was the best coach in the history of college basketball. But his contributions go far beyond the court. He developed an incredible tool called the Pyramid of Success that will help you succeed in any endeavor you choose.

We’ve completed our discussion of three rows of his Pyramid. Industriousness, Friendship, Loyalty, Cooperation, and Enthusiasm form the foundation. The second row consists of Self-control, Alertness, Initiative, and Intentness. The third row, which sits right in the middle of the Pyramid, includes Condition, Skill and Team Spirit.

We’ve also looked at one of the two blocks that form that fourth row – Poise. This fourth row is also the second row from the top, right below the apex of the Pyramid. This week, we’ll look at the block that makes up the other half of this row.


Wooden points out that, if you don’t have all three blocks in the middle row of the Pyramid – Condition, Skill and Team Spirit – in place, you’ll never have Confidence. Confidence and Poise are closely related, but Wooden felt the need to include both in his Pyramid.

When we’re confident, we respect the task at hand but we don’t fear it. We know we’re prepared. That’s why the three blocks in the middle row – Condition, Skill, and Team Spirit – are so vital. We know the fundamentals of our craft. Even beyond that, we know that we know them. That’s not a subtle difference!

There’s a fine line between confidence and cockiness. Peak performers get right up to the line, but they don’t cross over it. We don’t strive to be cocky, but it can happen over time. We have to guard against it by keeping all of the other success building blocks in mind.

With that in mind, we won’t succeed BIGG if we aren’t confident. We have to win mentally to win physically. We must think we can win or we won’t. We must believe we can succeed or we won’t. When we have this mindset, we’re ready to take action. We’re ready to succeed BIGG! And we can’t wait to get going!

Explore all of the success building blocks

Team Spirit
Competitive Greatness