What does the above ability quote by American basketball player and coach, John Wooden mean?
The word “character” means your personality, temperament, or mentality.
So this quotation by John Wooden aka the “Wizard of Westwood”, “Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there” means just having a skill or talent is not enough to stay successful.
Good character includes integrity, moral strength, rectitude, fortitude, or grit.
We all have read or heard the popular saying “talent is never enough”.
As mentioned in John Maxwell’s book, “TALENT IS NEVER ENOUGH: Discover the Choices That Will Take You Beyond Your Talent“, he said there are thirteen choices you need to make in order to maximize your own personal talents.
This John Wooden’s quote is found in: They Call Me Coach By John Wooden, Jack Tobin, World Books, 1972, 23; p.153.
Here are two more quotes found in this book:
“…it couldn’t make the man, unless the latent talent were present.” – John Wooden
“…no coach can have an outstanding winning percentage without outstanding players…” – John Wooden