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100 Most Inspirational Sports Quotes Of All Time
It's not whether you get knocked down; it's whether you get up.

— Vince Lombardi64


For sports fans, sports are the epitome of hard work work and dedication. To get to the pinnacle of their sport, even the most naturally gifted athletes have to give it their all.


Yes, we watch sports for the excitement, but even moreso, we watch it for the drama. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing a team come back to win that 4th series game after being down 0-3, or a fighter getting off the canvas to score a come from behind knock-out. Sports are about those incredible moments where sheer human will and desire overcomes the odds. These are the moments we remember.

Photo credit: Damon Green

Given the nature of sports, its not surprising that athletes have had some inspiring and motivational things to say about hard work, leadership, perseverance, winning, and much more. Here are the top 100 most motivational sports quotes in history:

100 Most Inspirational Sports Quotes Of All Time


“The only way to prove that you’re a good sport is to lose.” – Ernie Banks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

100. “The only way to prove that you’re a good sport is to lose.”
– Ernie Banks
99. “Only he who can see the invisible can do the impossible.”
– Frank L. Gaines
98. “When you’re riding, only the race in which you’re riding is important.”
– Bill Shoemaker
97. “Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.”15
– Jackie Joyner-Kersee
96. “I always felt that my greatest asset was not my physical ability, it was my mental ability.”
– Bruce Jenner
95. “A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.”
– Mary Lou Retton
94. “Number one is just to gain a passion for running. To love the morning, to love the trail, to love the pace on the track. And if some kid gets really good at it, that’s cool too.”
– Pat Tyson
93. “Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from a winning touchdown.”
– Ross Perot
92. “You have to do something in your life that is honorable and not cowardly if you are to live in peace with yourself.”
– Larry Brown

“There may be people that have more talent than you, but theres no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.” – Derek Jeter (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

91. “There may be people that have more talent than you, but theres no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.”52
– Derek Jeter
90. “Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer.”
– Ted Williams
89. “One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than 50 preaching it.”
– Knute Rockne
88. “The five S’s of sports training are: stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit; but the greatest of these is spirit.”
– Ken Doherty
87. “An athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head.”
– Emil Zatopek
86. “Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back… play for her.”
– Mia Hamm23
85. “When you’ve got something to prove, there’s nothing greater than a challenge.”
– Terry Bradshaw
84. “Never give up, never give in, and when the upper hand is ours, may we have the ability to handle the win with the dignity that we absorbed the loss.”
– Doug Williams
83. “It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”
– Paul “Bear” Bryant
82. “Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.”
– Marv Levy

“I’ve learned that something constructive comes from every defeat.” – Tom Landry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

81. “I’ve learned that something constructive comes from every defeat.”
– Tom Landry
80. “Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.”
– Laird Hamilton
79. “Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.”
– Bo Jackson
78. “I became a good pitcher when I stopped trying to make them miss the ball and started trying to make them hit it.”
– Sandy Koufax
77. “If you can’t outplay them, outwork them.”
– Ben Hogan
76. “People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”
– Rogers Hornsby
75. “Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.”
– William James
74. “Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.”
– Mike Singletary
73. “If at first you don’t succeed, you are running about average.”
– M.H. Alderson
72. “Continuous effort — not strength or intelligence — is the key to unlocking our potential.”
– Liane Cardes
71. “Good is not good when better is expected.”
– Vin Scully
70. “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.”
– Tommy Lasorda
69. “Champions keep playing until they get it right.”
– Billie Jean King

“You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here. This moment is yours.” – Herb Brooks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

68. “You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here. This moment is yours.”
– Herb Brooks
67. “What you lack in talent can be made up with desire, hustle, and giving 110 percent all the time.”
– Don Zimmer
66. “If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail.”
– Mark Spitz
65.“How you respond to the challenge in the second half will determine what you become after the game, whether you are a winner or a loser.”
– Lou Holtz
64. “Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.”
– Matt Biondi
63. “Sports serve society by providing vivid examples of excellence.”
– George F. Will
62. “The principle is competing against yourself. It’s about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before.”
– Steve Young

“The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.” – John Madden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

61. “The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.”
– John Madden
60. “You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy.”
– Arthur Ashe
59. “What makes something special is not just what you have to gain, but what you feel there is to lose.”
– Andre Agassi
58. “The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.”
– Pele
57. “One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team. ”
– Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
56. “Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.”
– George Halas

“Stubbornness usually is considered a negative; but I think that trait has been a positive for me.” – Cal Ripken Jr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

55. “Stubbornness usually is considered a negative; but I think that trait has been a positive for me.”
– Cal Ripken Jr.
54. “You’ve got to take the initiative and play your game. In a decisive set, confidence is the difference.”
– Chris Evert
53. “When you win, say nothing, when you lose, say less.”
– Paul Brown
52. “The hardest skill to acquire in this sport is the one where you compete all out, give it all you have, and you are still getting beat no matter what you do. When you have the killer instinct to fight through that, it is very special.”
– Eddie Reese
51. “The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent.”
– Arnold Schwarzenegger

“When I go out there, I have no pity on my brother. I am out there to win.” – Joe Frazier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

50. “When I go out there, I have no pity on my brother. I am out there to win.”
– Joe Frazier
49. “During my 18 years I came to bat almost 10,000 times. I struck out about 1,700 times and walked maybe 1,800 times. You figure a ballplayer will average about 500 at bats a season. That means I played seven years without ever hitting the ball.”
– Mickey Mantle
48. “I never left the field saying I could have done more to get ready and that gives me piece of mind.”
– Peyton Manning
47. “Leadership, like coaching, is fighting for the hearts and souls of men and getting them to believe in you.”
– Eddie Robinson
46. “You win some, you lose some, and some get rained out, but you gotta suit up for them all.”
– J. Askenberg
45. “Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.”
– Arnold Palmer

“Most talented players don’t always succeed. Some don’t even make the team. It’s more what’s inside.” – Brett Favre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

44. “Most talented players don’t always succeed. Some don’t even make the team. It’s more what’s inside.”
– Brett Favre
43. “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”
– Michael Jordan
42. “To uncover your true potential you must first find your own limits and then you have to have the courage to blow past them.”
– Picabo Street
41. “Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time.”
– Lou Brock
40. “You can motivate by fear, and you can motivate by reward. But both those methods are only temporary. The only lasting thing is self motivation.”
– Homer Rice

“You find that you have peace of mind and can enjoy yourself, get more sleep, and rest when you know that it was a one hundred percent effort that you gave–win or lose.” – Gordie Howe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

39. “You find that you have peace of mind and can enjoy yourself, get more sleep, and rest when you know that it was a one hundred percent effort that you gave–win or lose.”
– Gordie Howe
38. “My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.”
– Hank Aaron
37. “I didn’t believe in team motivation. I believe in getting a team prepared so it knows it will have the necessary confidence when it steps on the field and be prepared to play a good game.”
– Tom Landry
36. “If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, you’ll be hard to beat.”
– Herschel Walker
35. “Your biggest opponent isn’t the other guy. It’s human nature.”
– Bobby Knight

“If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win.” – Carl Lewis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

34. “If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it.”
– Ronnie Lott
33. “Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period.”
– Lou Holtz
32. “If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win.”
– Carl Lewis
31. “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”
– Michael Jordan
30. “Make each day your masterpiece.”
– John Wooden

“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.” – Pat Riley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

29. “Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.”
– Pat Riley
28. “Win If You Can, Lose If You Must, But NEVER QUIT!”
– Cameron Trammell
27. “Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.”
– Mike Singletary
26. “If you have everything under control, you’re not moving fast enough.”
– Mario Andretti
25. “Just keep going. Everybody gets better if they keep at it.”
– Ted Williams
24. “What do do with a mistake: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.”
– Dean Smith

“Push yourself again and again. Don’t give an inch until the final buzzer sounds.” – Larry Bird (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

23. “Push yourself again and again. Don’t give an inch until the final buzzer sounds.”
– Larry Bird
22. “If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?”
– Joe Namath
21. “You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.”
– Michael Phelps
20. “Do not let what you can not do interfere with what you can do.”
– John Wooden
19. “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”
– Lance Armstrong
18. “Wisdom is always an overmatch for strength.”
– Phil Jackson
17. “The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.”
– Joe Paterno
16. “Adversity cause some men to break; others to break records.”
– William A. Ward
15. “Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way.”
– Satchel Paige
14. “Some people say I have attitude – maybe I do…but I think you have to. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does – that makes you a winner right there. ”
– Venus Williams
13. “Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”
– Babe Ruth
12. “It is not the size of a man but the size of his heart that matters.”
– Evander Holyfield

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’” – Muhammad Ali (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

11. “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”
– Muhammad Ali
10. “There are only two options regarding commitment. You’re either IN or you’re OUT. There is no such thing as life in-between.”
– Pat Riley
9. “A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.”
– Jack Dempsey
8. “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
– Yogi Berra
7. “You’re never a loser until you quit trying.”
– Mike Ditka
6. “Never give up! Failure and rejection are only the first step to succeeding.”
– Jim Valvano

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5. “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”
– Wayne Gretzky
4. “The highest compliment that you can pay me is to say that I work hard every day, that I never dog it.”
– Wayne Gretzky
3. “Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.”
– Dan Gable
2. “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
– Michael Jordan
1. “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.”
– Vince Lombardi
Hope you enjoyed these 100 inspirational quotes for athletes. Don’t forget to check out our list of inspirational quotes about staying strong and never giving up.

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3 COMMENTS

Peter
AUGUST 8, 2013 AT 4:56 PM
I think you forgot people of the most important sport in the world…

Reply
manvi
JUNE 14, 2015 AT 6:41 PM
Quotes are truly inspiring

Reply
Kyle
OCTOBER 16, 2015 AT 12:28 AM
Here’s my favorite:

“If something stands between you and your success, move it. Never be denied.” – The Rock

Reply
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Cam Newton named NFL's Most Valuable Player
No surprise here. Cam Newton was the driving force behind the Carolina Panthers' outstanding 15-1 regular season en route to proving he is one of the game's elite quarterbacks.
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Is he welcome?
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Track and field star Carl Lewis won how many gold medals at the 1984 Olympic games? / Question & answer / Indexory
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2/6/16 Main St. Gloucester MA.
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https://plus.google.com/116080092444033136098 Richanna Mayers : #London Top Tactics For Improving Your Twitter Reach: “If you’re holding out for universal popularity...
#London Top Tactics For Improving Your Twitter Reach: “If you’re holding out for universal popularity, I’m afraid you will be in this cabin for a very long time. ” — J.K Rowling It's in our human nature to want people to like us.  We all get that smiling feeling when we see someone has retweeted us on Twitter or liked our Facebook status.  You will read hundreds of thousands articles on the internet about how to be a social media rockstar. You will also find hundreds of thousands of different answers.  Sadly there is no magic answer to suddenly give you the popularity of Justin Bieber or David Beckham. But would you want your school to be THAT popular? Unlikely. You want your parents to advocate your brand story and to shout about you (in a good way!). You have a small community that you want to engage with. And a wider one to become a voice in. However, there are ways to improve audience engagement on social media and to improve the content your school is publishing.  Your Audience  So many people to please 😧   You may have a hundred followers, you may have one hundred thousand. When you visualise everyone looking at your tweets it can be a little overwhelming. Remember these 5 key points for your schools social media strategy:  * Social media is for sharing your school stories. Showcase to the world the amazing things happening at your school on a daily basis.  * Parents are looking at your school. Think about what parents want to see.  * Stay focused. It's easy to strive from what your school is all about on social media. Striving from your core social media strategy can contribute to people unfollowing your accounts.  *  It's your brand. Remember your social media reflects your schools image. Be professional but fun. It's about finding the right balance.  * Embrace social. Social media is amazing for sharing authentic REAL stories. Just embrace all elements of social media and don't be afraid of trying new things.  Standing Out From the Crowd  Social media is a very popular market to be part of. Have you ever scrolled down your Twitter feed and found yourself yawning? There are actually some really easy steps to make your social media posts stand out from the crowd.  Twitter Tips * Photos average a 35% boost in Retweets * Videos get a 28% boost * Quotes get a 19% boost in Retweets * Including a number receives a 17% bump in Retweets * Hashtags receive a 16% boost Twitter to allow 10,000-character tweets abandoning it's famous limit 😮 #Twitter10k https://t.co/AMUU4ZsEXf pic.twitter.com/cBjmtgnCKu— Interactive Schools (@intSchools) January 6, 2016   Here is a recent tweet of ours let's look at it in more detail... * GIF Files:  The GIF file on Twitter is a really simple way to help you stand out from the crowd.  It incorporates the movement of video and is technically a photo.  Just search GIF's online or even create your own relevant to your school * The Hashtag: Join in a global conversation. Look at what's trending. If there is a hashtag which you can make relevant to your organisation then use it! It's a great way to boost engagement. E.g #SchoolMemories #TBT, #MondayMotivation are all great examples of hashtags schools can utilise.  * Article Link: With a 140 character limit (for the time being at least) linking to an article is a great way to say more. Make sure the rest of your tweet tells people what the link will be about though. Unrelated links can appear as spam to your followers.  These are really simple Twitter tips to easily boost your engagement and help you stand out from the crowd. Don't over think things but just make sure your tweets are standing out from the crowd using these simple features.  The Extra Mile  Everyone shares pictures and videos - right? It's true that adding pictures and video to your tweets isn't going to make you a real trendsetter. It is very common but still important to use media.  There are some very new features on Twitter which can make your school really stand out from the other schools and make you a real rockstar of social media.  Periscope broadcasts now come alive within Twitter https://t.co/R346R1lgZb— Periscope (@periscopeco) January 12, 2016 On the 12th of January 2016 Twitter finally created functionality to incorporate Periscope live stream videos into your twitter feed.  - like we predicted in our 2016 social media predictions blog  - not bragging.. ahem 😉 Periscope is one of the most underrated social media channels and certainly one of the most underused. Periscope has over 10 million users and over 40 years of video are streamed daily.  With Periscope being incorporated into Twitter it is only a matter of time until Periscope takes off and becomes a real social media force. It's going to be used for a LOT more than just watching a big puddle in Newcastle... #DrummondPuddleWatch So if you really want to be a trend setter on social start using Periscope and add a whole new dimension to your tweets.  What better way to engage your followers and in particular parents. Being able to watch your child live at school through Twitter is pretty amazing. Live streaming is only going to get more and more popular so start using it now!  For more information about Periscope and live streaming read our "Streaming your stories as they happen" blog.  Timing “Life is about timing. ” — Carl Lewis Timing plays a big part in social media and who engages with your content. As a school your optimum times will be different as multiple audiences will be more active at various times of the day.  Schools, more than anyone, understand the typical schedule of a parent. Parents are very busy people, of course, so it's important to understand what times they will be using social media. Although these times won't be 100% accurate to schools audiences specifically, this is a good guide to follow for what times you should be tweeting.   But timing it not only about the time which you tweet. Remember the school calendar... it's important to be tweeting around events in your school and your school calendar. If you know an event is going to happen at a particular time, then schedule tweets around it! -Remember you can schedule and plan your tweets to go out at specific times and dates. See our "Easy Scheduling" blog for more information on scheduling tweets. Your school will know the best times to tweet based on your inside knowledge of your parents and their schedules. Just always think about what you are tweeting and who it is for. Timing is everything.  Efficiency  Everyday in schools there are thousands of new stories being told. It can be overwhelming. Here are some top tips to maximise your storytelling potential.  Departmental Twitter Accounts If your school has only one main Twitter account for example it can be difficult to manage.  We are encouraging schools to use departmental Twitter accounts.  What this essentially means if that each subject will have it's own departmental twitter account managed by their departmental staff. Then the schools main account can easily retweet.   Storytelling  Storytelling began on cave walls and has travelled through time passing through rock art, hieroglyphics, painted artefacts, and has now entered the modern era with social media.  Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Vines have stories captured and shared every day. Storytelling hasn’t changed - but the channels we tell them via have evolved. Read our full "The Power of Storytelling" blog for more information on platforms to share your stories.  Remember social media is not as it seems. It's not a popularity contest. The important thing is that you are sharing stories and sharing them in the most engaging way possible for your social media audiences. Please comment below and let us know how you have used our Twitter tactics!  For more Social Media advice/training/audits please contact our social team: social@tiarc.co.uk Subscribe to SchoolBytes Sign up with your email to receive our weekly schoolbytes newsletter.  Email Address Sign Up Get social, stay connected.  Thank you! School Services #Academy Services
Top Tactics For Improving Your Twitter Reach
“If you’re holding out for universal popularity, I’m afraid you will be in this cabin for a very long time. ” — J.K Rowling It's in our human nature to want people to like us. We all get that smiling feeling when we see someone has retweeted us on Twitter or liked our Facebook status. You will read hundreds of thousands articles on the internet about how to be a social media rockstar. You will also find hundreds of th...
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https://plus.google.com/112527637179371637958 Rynette McGee :

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https://plus.google.com/113423732238568413574 Carl Lewis : Re- post
Re- post
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8 days ago - Via Community - View -
https://plus.google.com/118262476464726453841 Houari Benamar : Enjoy the moment "Life is about timing." Carl Lewis goo.gl/GIeFAe
Enjoy the moment

"Life is about timing."
Carl Lewis

goo.gl/GIeFAe
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8 days ago - Via Reshared Post - View -
https://plus.google.com/112527637179371637958 Rynette McGee :

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8 days ago - Via Community - View -
https://plus.google.com/112527637179371637958 Rynette McGee :

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https://plus.google.com/110220693564592396347 Carl Lewis : Hey, I'm playing this cool new game My Singing Monsters and I thought you might want to try it out. ...
Hey,
I'm playing this cool new game My Singing Monsters and I thought you might want to try it out.

Just click on this link:
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10 days ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/113350781252872277478 Carl Lewis :

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10 days ago - Via - View -
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