Wednesday, June 11, 2014


"The key to winning is poise under stress." ~Paul Brown

Coach Wooden put Poise and Confidence near the top because they are the natural result of having the first 12 qualities in place.

You've heard of old saying like, "she makes it look so easy," the reason some people make things LOOK easy, is not because they are easy, but because those people have poise.

1 : a stably balanced state : EQUILIBRIUM poise between widely divergent impulses --
2 a : easy self-possessed assurance of manner : gracious tact in coping or handling; also : the pleasantly tranquil interaction between persons of poise poise of the meeting
b : a particular way of carrying oneself : BEARING, CARRIAGE
synonym see TACT

Fashion magazines will tell you that runway models need to be poised, so you might think that poise is all an act, but really it's about being comfortable, unflappable even. It's about being stable.

Coach Wooden says that his definition of poise is simply being yourself. Not acting. Not pretending to be something you're not, you are who you are and you're comfortable with that. You'll function at your own level of competence. Granted, as a cheerleader you may sometimes have to pretend to be happy and you have to work at being positive- but if you have enthusiasm (love/spirit) then you'll be able to smile and act excited and still be genuine even when life is hard or you're having a bad day.

Poise means that your goal is not to satisfy anyone else's expectations but your own. You give your total effort to becoming the best you are capable of being.

Here's a famous poem about poise:


By Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;

If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

(or may I rephrase, you'll be a woman my cheerleader!
or how about, you'll be a leader, not just a cheerleader)
"You understand that the goal is to satisfy not everyone else's expectations but your own. You give your total effort to becoming the best you are capable of being. It takes poise to accomplish this." ~John Wooden

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