Athlete quotes can both inspire and motivate. Learning from someone who has been there and done that means something.
Sports are a great way to grow as a person through hard work and self-discipline. This collection of quotes from some of the sport’s great athletes will motivate and inspire athletes of all ages to work hard to achieve their goals.
Best Athlete Quotes
1.) The only way to prove you are a good sport is to lose.
2.) If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail.
3.) Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.
4.) Never let your head hang down. Never give up and never sit down and grieve. Find another way.
5.) I don’t count my situps. I only start counting once it starts to hurt.
6.) It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.
7.) With self-discipline, success is impossible. Period.
Good Athlete Goals
8.) A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.
9.) The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.
10.) Never give up! Failure and rejection are only the first steps to succeeding.
11.) Sportsmanship, for me, is when a guy walks off the court, and you really can’t tell whether he won or lost when he carries himself with pride either way.
12.) I can’t play being mad. I go out there and have fun. It’s a game, and that’s how I am going to treat it.
Ken Griffey Jr.
13.) Sports create a bond between contemporaries that lasts a lifetime. It also gives your life structure, discipline, and a genuine, sincere, pure fulfillment that few other areas of endeavor provide.
14.) Competitive sports are played mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch court, the space between your ears.
15.) 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.
16.) You need to play with supreme confidence, or else you’ll lose again, and then losing becomes a habit.
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Short Athlete Quotations
17.) Don’t let anyone work harder than you do.
18.) If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.
19.) The expert in everything was once a beginner.
20.) The more I practice, the luckier I get.
21.) You play to win the game!
Basketball Athlete Quotes
22.) I’ve missed more than 9000 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.
23.) You always have to take the good with the bad.
24.) If you’re afraid to fail, you’re probably going to fail.
25.) Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates.
26.) Nothing is black-and-white, except for winning and losing, and maybe that’s why people gravitate to that so much.
27.) Winning takes precedence over all. There’s no gray area. No almosts.
28.) Practice like you’ve never won. Play like you’ve never lost.
Motivational Quotes For Athletes
29.) I learned that if you want to make it bad enough, no matter how bad it is, you can make it.
30.) You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.
31.) To succeed…You need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.
32.) If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win.
33.) Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.
34.) My coach said I run like a girl. And I said if he ran a little faster, he could too.
35.) A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.
36.) I feel like, even if something goes wrong, I have confidence in myself and my team that we’ll fix it.
37.) I have had a lot of luck in my career, but there has also been a lot of hard work.
Inspirational Quotes For Athletes
38.) I love to compete. That’s the essence of who I am.
39.) Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.
40.) There may be people who have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.
41.) Forget about style, but worry about results.
42.) When you win, nothing hurts.
43.) Drinking water is essential to a healthy lifestyle.
44.) If you have a chance to accomplish something that will make things better for people coming behind you, and you don’t do that, you are wasting your time on this earth.
45.) I still look at myself and want to improve.
Motivating Athlete Quotes
46.) You’ve got to love what you’re doing. If you love it, you can overcome any handicap or soreness or all the aches and pains and continue to play for a long, long time.
47.) Remember these two things: play hard and have fun.
48.) Figure out what it is you love and do it. Dream really big. Write down what you want and make it happen.
49.) Passion first, and everything else will fall into place.
50.) No matter the circumstances you may be going through, just push through it.
Famous Athlete Quotes
51.) I figure practice puts your brains in your muscles.
52.) If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it.
53.) When you don’t give up, you cannot fail.
54.) If you can’t outplay them, outwork them.
55.) I think sometimes in life, the biggest challenges end up being the best things that happen in your life.
Great Athlete Quotes
56.) Train hard, turn up, run your best, and the rest will take care of itself.
57.) No matter how good you get, you can always get better, and that’s the exciting part.
58.) You have to believe in yourself when no one else does; that makes you a winner right there.
59.) One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than 50 preaching it.
60.) You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here. This moment is yours.
Athlete Captions for Instagram
61.) Always make a total effort, even when all the odds are against you.
62.) At one point in your life, you either have the thing you want or the reasons why you don’t.
63.) Winners never quit, and quitters never win. Sports do not build character. They reveal it.
64.) If you only ever give 90% in training, then you will only ever give 90% when it matters.
65.) Endure, put up with whatever comes your way, learn to overcome weakness and pain, and push yourself to breaking point but never cave in. If you don’t learn that lesson, you’ll never succeed as an elite athlete.
66.) When you’re an elite athlete, it’s a very special moment in time, and you don’t want it to end.
Inspirational Sports Quotes
66.) To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
67.) I learned during my career to enjoy suffering.
68.) Leisure time is that five or six hours when you sleep at night.
69.) I know what to do, and I go and execute.
70.) Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.
71.) A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.
Mary Lou Retton
Good Sports Quotes and Captions
72.) It is more difficult to stay on top than get there.
73.) With confidence, you have won before you have started.
74.) You just have to be yourself and go full with confidence and be courageous.
75.) A winner never stops trying.
76.) An athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head.
77.) Sports serve society by providing vivid examples of excellence.
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78.) I never left the field saying I could have done more to get ready, and that gives me peace of mind.
79.) There are only two options regarding commitment. You’re either IN, or you’re OUT. There is no such thing as life in-between.
80.) The five S’s of sports training are stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit, but the greatest of these is spirit.
81.) 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.
82.) You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits. That is a real joy.
83.) Keep working, even when no one is watching.
84.) Champions keep playing until they get it right.
Billie Jean King
85.) If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?
86.) Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.
87.) Cardinal rule for all hitters with two strikes on them: Never trust the umpire.
88.) The most fun I ever had in my life was hittin’ a baseball. And the best sound I ever heard in my life was a ball hit with a bat.
89.) The best thing about baseball is there’s no homework.
90.) The last words to the Star-Spangled Banner? Play ball!
91.) I was born to play baseball.
92.) Back in my day, we didn’t think about money as much. We enjoyed playing the game. We loved baseball. I didn’t think about anybody else but the Cardinals.
93.) You win a few; you lose a few. Some get rained out. But you got to dress for all of them.
94.) Be humble enough to be coachable.
95.) I’d walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball.
96.) Baseball is not a sport you can achieve individually.
Good Baseball Quotes
97.) You hit .350. You’re a leader. You hit .250, and you’re not.
98.) He was our symbol of baseball at a time when the game meant something to us that perhaps it no longer does.
Bob Costas on Mickey Mantle
99.) Poets are like baseball pitchers. Both have their moments. The intervals are the tough things.
100.) You can’t steal second base and keep one foot on first.
101.) Baseball is a man-maker.
102.) My job is to give my team a chance to win.
103.) In the great department store of life, baseball is in the toy department.
104.) Willie Mays’ glove is where triples go to die.
Motivating Quotes for Athletes
105.) To uncover your true potential, you must first find your own limits, and then you have to have the courage to blow past them.
106.) Wisdom is always an overmatch for strength.
107.) The ballplayer who loses his head, who can’t keep his cool, is worse than no ballplayer at all.
108.) Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.
109.) 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.
110.) Show me a gracious loser, and I’ll show you a failure.
111.) Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.
112.) Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow, I can accomplish what others can’t.
Uplifting Athlete Quotes
113.) It is not the size of a man but the size of his heart that matters.
114.) Cancer can take away all my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever.
115.) One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.
116.) I’ve got a theory that if you give 100% all of the time, somehow, things will work out in the end.
117.) 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.
118.) Success isn’t measured by money or power, or social rank. Success is measured by your discipline and inner peace.
119.) Every kid around the world who plays soccer wants to be Pele. I have a great responsibility to show them not just how to be like a soccer player but how to be like a man.
Determined Athlete Quotes
120.) Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.
121.) I hated every minute of training, but I said, don’t quit; suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.
122.) The principle is competing against yourself. It’s about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before.
123.) I always felt that my greatest asset was not my physical ability; it was my mental ability.
124.) Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
125.) Push yourself again and again. Don’t give an inch until the final buzzer sounds.
126.) 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.
127.) The ability to conquer one’s self is no doubt the most precious of all things that sports bestow.
128.) There is always going to be a reason why you can’t do something; your job is to constantly look for the reasons why you can achieve your dreams.
129.) The more I practice, the luckier I get.
130.) Take your victories, whatever they may be, cherish them, use them, but don’t settle for them.
131.) It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size in the fight of the dog.
132.) I became a good pitcher when I stopped trying to make them miss the ball and started trying to make them hit it.
133.) If the point seems lost, I still believe I have a chance to get the ball to keep the point alive.
134.) To uncover your true potential, you must first find your own limits, and then you have to have the courage to blow past them.
135.) I can’t stand a ballplayer who plays in fear. Any fellow who has a good shot has got to take it and keep taking it. So he misses — so what?
136.) Kill them with success and bury them with a smile.
137.) If I fail, at least I am left with the feeling that I went for it.
The Importance of Sports and Athlete Quotes
Let’s face it, not many of us have the skills, genetic makeup, and dedication to be professional athletes. But watching athletes compete, listening to interviews, and reading sports quotes give us a glimpse into their lives and how they think. What is it that makes an elite athlete different?
In this manner, sports quotes can both inspire and motivate everyday people to achieve greater things. You might not be in a position to run against Usain Bolt, but if one of his quotes motivates you, it might inspire you to start running again or take on the challenge of a 10k.
These sports quotes also provide great captions for photos, something to post on social media, and a means to inspire a team. By getting that much closer to a sports icon by reading some of their quotes, we feel more connected to those players and their achievements.
By Tom McGowan
Tom is a sportswriter living in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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