Looking for inspirational sports quotes that will inspire a team for a big contest? Or, motivational words to get a team ready for a big game? Or, maybe some funny quotations for your season-ending team banquet?
These notable words can be used for locker room encouragement, coach-to-player communication, and sometimes just for entertainment purposes. We hope you enjoy this collection.
- Best Sports Quotes
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Best Sports Quotes
The quotes below are grouped together by sport.
- 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.
- The only way to prove you are a good sport is to lose.
- I became a good pitcher when I stopped trying to make them miss the ball and started trying to make them hit it.
- The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.
- Every hitter likes fastballs, just like everybody likes ice cream. But you don’t like it when someone’s stuffing it into you by the gallon. That’s what it feels like when Nolan Ryan’s thrown balls by you.
- There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.
- I’ve come to the conclusion that the two most important things in life are good friends and a good bullpen.
- 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.
America’s Pastime Sayings
- Baseball is a game where a curve is an optical illusion, a screwball can be a pitch or a person, stealing is legal and you can spit anywhere you like except in the umpire’s eye or on the ball.
- 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.
- Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona.
George F. Will
- 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.
More of the Best Baseball
Basketball – Famous Quotes
- Some say you have to use your five best players, but I found out you win with the five that fit together best as a team.
- Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.
- You can’t be afraid to fail. It’s the only way you succeed…you’re not gonna succeed all the time, and I know that.
- One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.
- I’ve missed over 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.
- You need to play with supreme confidence, or else you’ll lose again, and then losing becomes a habit.
- Successful programs consist of people working hard, working together, while never worrying about who gets the credit.
- When I went to a Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team.
- If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you’re going to have problems. For one thing, you’ll be dead a lot.
- My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.
- Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, and others make it happen.
More of the Best Basketball Quotes
- Cricket is a most precarious profession; it is called a team game, but, in fact, no one is so lonely as a batsman facing a bowler supported by ten fieldsmen and observed by two umpires to ensure that his error does not go unpunished.
John Arlott, An Eye for Cricket
- Cricket is not just about talent, it’s about the attitude, dedication, and sacrifices you make to pursue your passion.
- No cricket team in the world depends on one or two players. The team always plays to win.
- My approach to cricket has been reasonably simple: it was about giving everything to the team, it was about playing with dignity, and it was about upholding the spirit of the game. I hope I have done some of that. I have failed at times, but I have never stopped trying. It is why I leave with sadness but also with pride.
- In the game of cricket, it has always been customary to accord more adulation to batsmen than to bowlers.
I.A.R. Peebles, Talking of Cricket
- Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties.
Sir Don Bradman
- In cricket, as in life, you need to have a vision, set goals, and work tirelessly to achieve them.
More of the Best Cricket
- The only exercise some people get is jumping to conclusions, running down their friends, side-stepping responsibility, and pushing their luck!
- The word aerobics comes from two Greek words: aero, meaning ‘ability to,’ and bics, meaning ‘withstand tremendous boredom.’
- It is exercise alone that supports the spirits and keeps the mind in vigor.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
- I still need more healthy rest in order to work at my best. My health is the main capital I have and I want to administer it intelligently.
- Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
- A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
- Processed foods not only extend the shelf life, but they extend the waistline as well.
More of the Best Fitness Sayings
- I may win and I may lose, but I will never be defeated.
- One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than 50 preaching it.
- Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.
- You have to play this game like somebody just hit your mother with a two-by-four.
- If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- The principle is competing against yourself. It’s about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before.
- Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.
- The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.
- When it comes to football, God is prejudiced – toward big, fast kids.
- To succeed, you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.
- I never left the field saying I could have done more to get ready and that gives me peace of mind.
- A good football coach needs a patient wife, a loyal dog, and a great quarterback – but not necessarily in that order.
Bud Grant – Learn more about Bud’s team – The Minnesota Vikings Fan Guide
More of the Best Football
Check out these takes from golfers, writers, and sports analysts.
- A “gimme” can best be defined as an agreement between two golfers, neither of whom can putt very well.
- Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.
- I had a wonderful experience on the golf course today. I had a hole in nothing. Missed the ball and sank the divot.
- The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.
- When your shot has to carry over a water hazard, you can either hit one more club or two more balls.
- One of the advantages bowling has over golf is that you seldom lose a bowling ball.
- Golf is a game in which you yell “fore,” shoot six and write down five.
- Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots – but you have to play the ball where it lies.
- I play in the low 80s. If it’s any hotter than that, I won’t play.
Joe E. Lewis
More of the Best Golf Quotes
- I don’t run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run towards it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your foot.
- Gymnastics has made me strong. I feel like it broke me down to my lowest point, but at the same time, it has given me the greatest strength anyone could ask for.
- Life is gonna throw you curve balls and it’s how you deal with them and your attitude and your work ethic.
- A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.
Mary Lou Retton
- If there has not been such a thing as gymnastics, I would have had to invent it because I feel at one with the sport.
- 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.
- The ability to conquer one’s self is no doubt the most precious of all things that sports bestows.
- As much time as you put into it, that’s what your achievements are going to be when you come out of it.
Mary Lou Retton
- It’s important to push yourself further than you think you can go each and every day — as that is what separates the good from the great.
More of the Best Gymnastics
- You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.
- Hockey players wear numbers because you can’t always identify the body with dental records.
- Great moments are born from great opportunities.
- Half the game is mental; the other half is being mental.
- How would you like a job where, every time you make a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?
- Hockey belongs to the Cartoon Network, where a person can be pancaked by an ACME anvil, then expanded – accordion-style – back to full stature, without any lasting side effect.
- A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.
More of the Best Hockey Sayings.
- Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.
- I grew up with lacrosse in my life because my dad played lacrosse all throughout college, so I grew up with the gear in my house – like the sticks and the helmet.
- The goalie. Lacrosse’s unsung hero. Keeper of the net. Last line of defense. A player whose contribution never shows up on the scoreboard at the end of a game but whose efforts may have determined the outcome. They say there is a personality-a “type”- that tends to choose the same position on the field. Attackers like the limelight. Defenders crave physicality. Midfielders like a sampling of both. And goalies only function with the weight of the world on their shoulders. After all, goalies are people who voluntarily put themselves in the line of fire. And the good ones never flinch.
- I thought lacrosse was what you find in la church.
- You can play lacrosse all over the world provided you know where the goalposts are.
- In another 10 years, lacrosse will be what everybody’s kids are playing.
- Communication is the secret to success. Pass it on!
- You can’t make every save or score every shot. Have a short memory and get the next one.
- Courage is lacing up your cleats, strapping on your helmet, putting on your war paint, and knowing no one on the field has trained as hard as you.
More of the Best Lacrosse
- It’s rude to count people as you pass them. Out loud.
- A lot of people don’t realize that about 98 percent of the running I put in is anything but glamorous: 2 percent joyful participation, 98 percent dedication! It’s a tough formula. Getting out in the forest in the biting cold and the flattening heat, and putting in kilometer after kilometer.
Rob de Castella
- The nine inches right here; set it straight and you can beat anybody in the world.
Sebastian Coe, holding his fingers up to his head
- Good things come slow – especially in distance running.
- Believe me, the reward is not so great without the struggle.
- Marathoning is like cutting yourself unexpectedly. You dip into the pain so gradually that the damage is done before you are aware of it. Unfortunately, when awareness comes, it is excruciating.
More of the Best Running Quotations.
- Why is there only one ball for 22 players? If you gave a ball to each of them, they’d stop fighting for it.
- Always work hard, never give up, and fight until the end because it’s never really over until the whistle blows.
- 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.
- Some people tell me that we professional players are soccer slaves. Well, if this is slavery, give me a life sentence.
- You might like Lionel Messi Quotes.
- Soccer is not about justice. It’s a drama, and criminally wrong decisions against you are part and parcel of that.
- Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it.
- Whoever invented football should be worshipped as a God.
- If I walked on water, my accusers would say it is because I can’t swim.
More of the Best Soccer Quotations.
- We’re prepared, and we’ve done everything we can to prepare for this moment in time. That’s what confidence is all about.
- And my dad drilled it in my head, you know, “If you want it bad enough, and you’re willing to make the sacrifices, you can do it. But first, you have to believe in yourself.”
- If what you did yesterday still looks big to you today, then you must not have done anything today.
- Don’t think you’re too good to sit and root for your team, be a team player.
- Go hard every play. You don’t want to leave anything behind and regret it years down the road that you didn’t give it all when you could have.
- It’s a game of making great pitches at the right time, being opportunistic by getting a run at the right time, and playing good defense.
- I didn’t fall out of bed and become an Olympic champion. I worked hard, I was dedicated, and I really worked to perfect all aspects of my game.
More of the Best Softball Quotations
- If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail.
- I concentrate on preparing to swim my race and let the other swimmers think about me, not me about them.
- Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.
- I wouldn’t say anything is impossible. I think that everything is possible as long as you put your mind to it and put the work and time into it.
- I actually love swimming but I just hate jumping in the water.
- When you are behind, don’t give up; when you are ahead, don’t let up.
- The swimmer who says, “It can’t be done” is passed by the swimmer who is doing it.
More of the Best Swimming
- When I leave this world, I don’t want to be remembered as just being good at tennis. I want to be remembered as a good person and a good advocate.
- You have to be focused all the time. Even in the tough moments, you have to be focused and positive.
- Champions keep playing until they get it right.
Billie Jean King
- Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work. I had to put in the time to get back. And it was a grind. It meant training and sweating every day. But I was completely committed to working out to prove to myself that I still could do it.
- True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.
- If you can react the same way to winning and losing, that’s a big accomplishment. That quality is important because it stays with you for the rest of your life, and there’s going to be a life after tennis that’s a lot longer than your tennis life.
- When I was 40, my doctor advised me that a man in his 40s shouldn’t play tennis. I heeded his advice carefully and could hardly wait until I reached 50 to start again.
Hugo L. Black
- Experience is a great advantage. The problem is that when you get the experience, you’re too damned old to do anything about it.
- I fear no one but respect everyone.
- 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.
More of the Best Tennis Sayings
- Breathe, believe, and battle. My former coach, Troy Tanner, told us that before each match. Breathe – be in the moment. Believe – have faith that you can rise above it. Battle – you gotta be prepared to go for as long as it takes.
- Volleyball is the sport through which I am able to express my God-given talents of being an athlete. It is a sport that involves relating, pushing, and encouraging your teammates. It has helped evolve me into the person I am today.
- Volleyball anchored me at a time in my life when I needed it. It gave me a reason for being this big, big girl.
- Most people put a hat and glasses on to go incognito. I take them off.
- It takes a lot of hard work and dedication just like any pro sport. Especially for beach volleyball, you don’t have to be tall or as fast as other sports. You just have to have the skills.
- If it’s worth it, then you do it.
- There is pressure on every play. You can’t make a mistake, but that also means your opponent can’t make a mistake. It makes the matches more exciting to watch.
More of the Best Volleyball
Wrestling – Sports Quotes
- The harder you work, the luckier you get.
- Wrestling is one of the last truly rebellious American things left.
- Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.
- I bring smiles to people’s faces. I also stand on people’s faces. Balance.
- Victory happens when ten thousand hours of training meets one moment of opportunity.
- The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.
- Wrestling needs to be about the art form again. It needs to be about painting a picture and having a really good match.
Terry Gene Bollea (Hulk Hogan)
- If Shakespeare was alive today, he would be writing wrestling shows.
More of the Best Wrestling Quotes.
- For me, yoga is not just a workout – it’s about working on yourself.
- The pose begins when you want to leave it.
- Yoga is the practice of quieting the mind.
- The most important pieces of equipment you need for doing yoga are your body and your mind.
- Don’t count the days, make the days count.
- Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.
- 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.
- I just knew if it could be done, it had to be done, and I did it.
- The five S’s of sports training are stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit; but the greatest of these is spirit.
- It is not the size of a man but the size of his heart that matters.
- An athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head.
- Somebody gives you an opportunity, say yes to it. So what if you fail? you won’t know if you fail or succeed unless you try.
- Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.
- I hated every minute of training, but I said, don’t quit, suffer now, and live the rest of your life as a champion.
Sports Quotes FAQ
What is the famous Grantland Rice quote on sports?
Grantland Rice wrote,
“For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name,
He writes—not that you won or lost—but how you played the Game.”
What is one of the most popular sports quotes of all time?
Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
How To Use Sports Quotes?
These quotations can be used for a variety of reasons. Place the quotes on signs for the locker room. Put your favorite lines on posters for hallways. Use these sports quotes in speeches and presentations.
Use them to motivate players and assistants. The power of words is amazing! There are thousands of sayings to choose from organized by each sport. In addition to these, we also feature pages devoted to sayings and slogans associated with a wide variety of sports, including baseball, basketball, golf, football, tennis, wrestling, cross-country, running, hockey, and more.
These fun-to-read sports quotes come from various speakers and sources, including athletes, coaches, writers, humorists, announcers, and more. What makes some worthy of inclusion on our list? Well, there’s not a quick answer to why we include some and leave others out.
A big part of it has to do with whether the quote is memorable or not. The source of the quote also plays a significant role in our inclusion decisions.
If you have suggestions for other favorites you’d like to see in our collection, please use the Contact Us page and let us know.
By Mike O’Halloran
Mike is the founder and editor of Sports Feel Good Stories.
You’re on our Sports Quotes page.
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