Coach John Wooden and the Importance of Preparation

Coach John Wooden pic

Coach John Wooden

A divisional sales manager with T. Rowe Price in Maryland, Barrett Wragg has worked for the firm for 15 years. Recreationally, Barrett Wragg enjoys reading and considers Be Quick, But Don’t Hurry his favorite book. Written by Andy Hill and John Wooden, the book explores the secrets of the famed coach’s success.

Largely considered one of the best coaches in history, Wooden carried the UCLA basketball team to success in 10 national championships, including an unprecedented streak of seven wins in a row. Much of the strategy that Wooden used for success on the court translates well into the business world.

One of the key lessons Wooden taught focuses on preparation. Once an opportunity has arrived, it is too late to prepare. Players need to put in the time perfecting their skills during practice if they hope to perform under the pressure of a game. Similarly, people who want to get ahead in business must make themselves ready for the opportunities they desire before those opportunities are even a possibility. That way, when the chance to prove oneself arises, individuals have the skills and knowledge they need to succeed and show that they are able to handle more responsibility. Preparation is one of the keys to moving up the corporate ladder.


Two Anxiety-Driven Habits That Increase Fear of Public Speaking

Public Speaking pic

Public Speaking

Barrett Wragg has worked at T. Rowe Price in Maryland for approximately 15 years. Outside of work, Barrett Wragg maintains an interest in public speaking and has volunteered with the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education. Many people have anxiety about the thought of speaking publicly, and this issue can lead to behaviors that actually increase their level of fear.

The first problematic behavior is rushing through the speech. People often begin to speak quickly because they simply want the experience to be over as quickly as possible. This behavior, however, interferes with proper breathing. Short, shallow breaths can increase feelings of panic. Speaking quickly also creates a barrier between the speaker and the audience, which could struggle to understand. This issue relates directly to the second bad habit.

Anxious speakers sometimes ignore the audience because they think that this will make them feel less at ease. Ignoring the audience compels speakers to concentrate on their own thoughts, which tend to be much more negative than any reaction that the audience would have. Speakers then become even less receptive and wind up feeling worse than if they had welcomed audience interaction.