SCORE Teaches the Pyramid of Success

    Coach Peter Smith speaks to children at Global Education Academy.

    April 3, 2014

    On Wednesday, the Harper for Kids Youth Character Development Program visited 32nd Street School and Global Education Academy Middle School for a day of presentations centered around Coach John Wooden's children's book, Inch and Miles: The Journey to Success.

    The assemblies opened with words from program co-founder, Tim Harper, where he prefaced the event with a little background on the book's legendary author, John Wooden. He described Wooden's philosophy, explaining that "winning wasn't the most important thing to him, it was the journey: the hard work, the determination, the enthusiasm, the friendship that it took for all his players to be the best they can be."

    Special guests Mike Godbe, senior swimmer, and Peter Smith, Head Men's Tennis Coach, provided an interactive reading of the book alongside co-author Peanut Harper. In the book, the characters, Inch and Miles, meet friends along their journey to success who enable them to add another building block to reach their personal best. Among these building blocks to success were hard work, friendship, enthusiasm, self-control, determination, poise and confidence.

    "We call this a pyramid because each of these blocks combined builds something bigger and better than any single block on its own," said Godbe, who graduates this May and plans to attend law school at either Columbia or Stanford.

    At the end of the session, Godbe shared parting advice. "If you really want to get where you're going then you have to make all the little sacrifices, put in the hard work and show the dedication."

    Later in the afternoon, Smith spoke to middle school children, encouraging them to focus on hard work and good character. "We never talk about winning in my program. We talk about doing the right things every single day."

    Smith also promoted teamwork and warned against bullying. "When the spotlight shines on you, try to shine it on someone else."

    The Harper for Kids character development program, founded by Tim and Peanut Harper in 2008, seeks to empower youth using the important life skills found in Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success. The program typically features a student-athlete or college coach who shares their definition of success and offers advice for achieving personal best.