Sport Quotes | Center for Sport Psychology and Athlete Mental Health

Sport Quotes

Quotes from famous athletes, coaches, professionals, and historical figures can serve as a source of inspiration. They can motivate you, help elevate performances, or illustrate an important point. Here we provide you with quotes that you may find useful and enjoyable.

"The best motivation always comes from within."
- Michael Johnson (Gold Medal Sprinter)

"Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them -- a desire, a dream, a vision."
-Muhammad Ali (World HeavyWeight Champion Boxer)

"True disputants are like true sportsmen: their whole delight is in the pursuit."
- Alexander Pope (English Poet)

"Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game."
- Donald Trump (Business Leader)

"To succeed…You need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you."
- Tony Dorsett (NFL Runningback)

"To begin, begin."
- Peter Nivio Zarlenga (Famous Author)

Overcoming Adversity
"It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe."
-Muhammad Ali (World Heavyweight Champion Boxer)

"Difficulties in life are intended to make us better, not bitter."
- Dan Reeves (Former NFL athlete and head coach)

"Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement."
- Charles F. Kettering (Famous American Inventor)

"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward."
- Vernon Law (Former Pirates pitcher)

"If you can't accept losing, you can't win."
- Vince Lombardi (Legendary Football Coach)

"Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records."
- William A. Ward (Inspirational Writer)

"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way."
-George Herman "Babe" Ruth (Baseball Legend)

"Relax? How can anybody relax and play golf? You have to grip the club, don't you?"
- Ben Hogan (Golf Great)

"A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety."
- Aesop (Fabulist)

"Concentration is a fine antidote to anxiety."
- Jack Nicklaus (Golf Great)

Team Work
"The secret of winning football games is working more as a team, less as individuals. I play not my 11 best, but my best 11."
- Knute Rockne (College Football Hall of Fame Coach)

"A team is where a boy can prove his courage on his own. A gang is where a coward goes to hide."
- Mickey Mantle (Famous Baseball Player)

"The difference between the old ballplayer and the new ballplayer is the jersey. The old ballplayer cared about the name on the front. The new ballplayer cares about the name on the back."
- Steve Garvey (Former MLB first baseman, Business Leader)

"You don't play against opponents, you play against the game of basketball."
- Bobby Knight (Winningist Div. I Basketball Coach)

Fun in Sports
"The rewards are going to come, but my happiness is just loving the sport and having fun performing."
- Jackie Joyner Kersee (Track and Field Legend)

"A life of frustration is inevitable for any coach whose main enjoyment is winning."
- Chuck Noll (Steelers Coach)

"As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round."
- Ben Hogan (Golf Great)

"Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play."
- Mike Singletary (49ers Head Coach)

"It's a round ball and a round bat, and you got to hit it square."
- Pete Rose (Baseball Great)

"Don't tell me how rocky the sea is, just bring the ship in."
- Lou Holtz (College Football Hall of Famer)

"God gets you to the plate, but once you're there you're on your own."
- Ted Williams (Baseball Great)

" In baseball and in business, there are three types of people. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happened."
- Tommy Lasorda (MLB Pitcher, Manager)

"Slump? I ain't in no slump. I just ain't hittin."
- Yogi Berra (Baseball Great)

"I was told over and over again that I would never be successful, that I was not going to be competitive and the technique was simply not going to work. All I could do was shrug and say "We'll just have to see."
-Dick Fosbury (Olympic Gold Medalist and inventor of the current high jump technique)

"What other people may find in poetry or art museums, I find in the flight of a good drive."
- Arnold Palmer (Golfer)

Playing Smart
"Wisdom is always an overmatch for strength."
-Phil Jackson (NBA Coach)

"A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be."
- Wayne Gretzky (Hockey Great)

"If we could have just screwed another head on his shoulders, he would have been the greatest golfer who ever lived."
- Ben Hogan (Golf Great)

"One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than a hundred teaching it."
- Knute Rockne (College Football Hall of Fame Coach)

"I never criticize a player until they are first convinced of my unconditional confidence in their abilities."
- John Robinson (Football Player)

"Know yourself and you will win all battles."
- Lao Tzu (Chinese Philosopher)

"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent."
- Eleanor Roosevelt (First Lady of the USA)

"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (American Philosopher)

Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.
- Peter T. McIntyre (Footballer)

"If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves."
- Thomas Alva Edison (Inventor, Scientist)

"You owe it to yourself to be the best you can possibly be - in baseball and in life."
- Pete Rose (Baseball Great)

"The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer."
- John Madden (Football Coach)

"Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there."
- Will Rogers (Actor)

"Nothing will work unless you do."
- John Wooden (Basketball Coach)

"Sweat is the cologne of accomplishment."
- Heywood Hale Broun (sportswriter)

"Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best."
- Tim Duncan (NBA MVP)

Mental Toughness
"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."
- Mahatma Gandhi (Political and Spiritual Leader)

"Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles."
- Alex Karras (Football Player)

"Tough times never last, but tough people do."
- Dr. Robert Schuller (Televangelist)

"I always felt that my greatest asset was not my physical ability, it was my mental ability."
- Bruce Jenner (Track and Field Athlete, Motivational Speaker)

"I figure practice puts your brains in your muscles."
- Sam Snead (Professional Golfer)

"When I step onto the court, I don't have to think about anything. If I have a problem off the court, I find that after I play, my mind is clearer and I can come up with a better solution. It's like therapy. It relaxes me and allows me to solve problems."
-Michael Jordan (Basketball Legend)

"The ideal attitude is to be physically loose and mentally tight."
- Arthur Ashe (Tennis Great)

"My thoughts before a big race are usually pretty simple. I tell myself: Get out of the blocks, run your race, stay relaxed. If you run your race, you'll win... channel your energy. Focus."
- Carl Lewis (Track and Field Gold Medalist)

"Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise, just like muscles of the body."
- Lynn Jennings (Long Distance Runner)

"Luck? Sure. But only after long practice and only with the ability to think under pressure."
- Babe Didrikson Zaharias (Golf, Basketball, and Track and Field Athlete)