Motivational quotes for athletes have long been a way to provide that little extra inspiration for top performance.
They say its 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration – but that 1% can go a long way. You cannot achieve anything big as an athlete if you are not motivated 100%. Ask any successful athlete and they will tell you that it’s all in the head. Preparation and hard work are critical, but it all starts with motivation. It is the fuel that drives a performer to achieve great things and the same principles apply to life too.
So whether you are a young athlete, an old vet, or an accomplished performer in any other pursuit, being motivated is critical. Here are some of the best motivation quotes for athletes and everyone else to boost their confidence and to inspire them to achieve greater heights in their career and life.
Inspirational Quotes for Athletes
It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.
It is not the size of a man but the size of his heart that matters.
A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.
Mary Lou Retton
Talent is never enough. With few exceptions the best players are the hardest workers.
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.
Motivational quotes for athletes
Only he who can see the invisible can do the impossible.
Frank L. Gaines
Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.
I always felt that my greatest asset was not my physical ability, it was my mental ability.
When you’re riding, only the race in which you’re riding is important.
Football doesn’t build character, it reveals character.
There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.
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.
Champions keep playing until they get it right.
Billie Jean King
You have to do something in your life that is honorable and not cowardly if you are to live in peace with yourself.
Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.
The five S’s of sports training are: stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit; but the greatest of these is spirit.
Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.
What makes something special is not just what you have to gain, but what you feel there is to lose.
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.
Tip: Motivational quotes for athletes can be used in team emails, texts, Instagram captions, Facebook posts, programs, award certificates and more.
For Kid Athletes
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.
Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.
Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.
I believe in myself.
If you want to find the real competition, just look in the mirror. After awhile you’ll see your rivals scrambling for second place.
Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Adversity causes some to break; others to break records.
Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.
To be prepared is half the victory.
I will keep smiling, be positive and never give up! I will give 100 percent each time I play. These are always my goals and my attitude.
If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, you’ll be hard to beat.
I am the greatest. I said that before I knew I was.
Shoot for the Stars
You will face your greatest opposition when you are closest to your biggest miracle.
Shannon L. Alder
If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you’ll never change the outcome.
A year from now you may wish you had started today.
Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time.
If plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters – 204 if you’re in Japan.
Great Athlete Quotes
If you push me towards a weakness, I will turn that weakness into a strength.
It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.
When you’ve got something to prove, there’s nothing greater than a challenge.
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
Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.
I have failed many times, but I have never gone into a game expecting myself to fail.
The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory.
Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.
The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.
If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.
Push yourself again and again. Don’t give an inch until the final buzzer sounds.
Never say never because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.
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.
If you can’t outplay them, outwork them.
If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail.
Victory is in having done your best. If you’ve done your best, you’ve won.
I’ve got a theory that if you give 100% all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.
Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.
An athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head.
I don’t think being an athlete is unfeminine. I think of it as a kind of grace.
Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.
The wishbone will never replace the backbone.
Do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done the best way it can be done, and do it that way every time.
You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here. This moment is yours. – Herb Brooks
Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.
I became a good pitcher when I stopped trying to make them miss the ball and started trying to make them hit it.
If one can stick to the training throughout the many long years, then willpower is no longer a problem. It’s raining? That doesn’t matter. I am tired? That’s beside the point. It’s simply that I just have to.
If at first you don’t succeed, you are running about average.
The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.
I am building a fire, and every day I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match.
I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I cannot accept not trying.
I don’t plan on being disappointed. We plan on being really good, and obviously we plan on winning.
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
In the end, it’s extra effort that separates a winner from second place. It takes desire, determination, discipline, and self-sacrifice. Put all these together, and even if you don’t win, how can you lose?
Continuous effort — not strength or intelligence — is the key to unlocking our potential.
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.
Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.
If you are afraid of failure you don’t deserve to be successful!
You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.
Learning from Mistakes
Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.
George Halas – Learn more about the Chicago Bears.
If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?
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.
Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.
What to do with a mistake: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.
If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it.
Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.
Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period.
There are only two options regarding commitment. You’re either IN or you’re OUT. There is no such thing as life in-between.
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