76 Motivational Sports Quotes for Success On and Off the Field

If you love the game, you know it takes true dedication. These sports quotes will give you the push you need on the days when it doesn't feel easy to compete.

Watching an athlete push themselves to conquer a seemingly inhumane feat is inspiring in itself—even when you’re the athlete in this scenario. But even the best of the best suffer from feeling as if they are not good enough. Sometimes you just need a little motivation, and these sports quotes serve as that little push to give it your all. From leadership quotes and teamwork quotes, to confidence quotes and workout quotes, these words by some of the most notable athletes will give you that inspo you need to keep moving forward. We’ll be cheering you on from the stands!

Inspirational sports quotes

1. “The only one who can tell you ‘you can’t win’ is you and you don’t have to listen.”—Jessica Ennis-Hill 

2. “I’d rather regret the risks that didn’t work out than the chances I didn’t take at all.” —Simone Biles

3. “The only way to prove that you’re a good sport is to lose.”Ernie Banks

4. “One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than 50 preaching it.” —Knute Rockne

5. I just knew if it could be done, it had to be done, and I did it.” —Gertrude Ederle 

6. “Overpower. Overtake. Overcome.” —Serena Williams

7. “The five S’s of sports training are: stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit; but the greatest of these is spirit.” —Ken Doherty

8. “An athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head.” —Emil Zatopek

9. “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.” —Ann Meyers

10. “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

11. “Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.” —Laird Hamilton

Laird Hamilton Motivational Sports Quoterd.com, Getty Images

12. “What makes something special is not just what you have to gain, but what you feel there is to lose.” —Andre Agassi

13. “You win some, you lose some, and some get rained out, but you gotta suit up for them all.” —J. Askenberg

14. “Always work hard, never give up, and fight until the end because it’s never really over until the whistle blows.” —Alex Morgan

15. “I believe in the impossible because no one else does.” —Florence Griffith Joyner

16. “Many times, I had to dig deep and perform. All of that adversity helped me and drove me to want to be the best.” —Hayley Wickenheiser

It’s all about perseverance, and these strength quotes will remind you why it’s important to just keep going.

Motivational quotes for athletes

17. “Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That’s what little girls are made of; the heck with sugar and spice.” —Bethany Hamilton

18. “Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.” —Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Jackie Joyner Kersee Athlete Quoterd.com, Getty Images

19. “A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.” —Mary Lou Retton

20. “No matter the circumstances that you may be going through, just push through it.” —Ray Lewis

21. “You’ve got to be confident when you’re competing. You’ve got to be a beast.” —Gabby Douglas

22. “It’s going to be a journey. It’s not a sprint to get in shape.” —Kerri Walsh Jennings

23. “Passion first and everything will fall into place.” —Holly Holm

24. “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 Hamm

25. “You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here. This moment is yours.” —Herb Brooks

26. “The past doesn’t matter. Take today.” —Becky Sauerbrunn

27. “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

Homer Rice Athlete Quoterd.com, Getty Images

28. “Once you give them the power to tell you you’re great, you’ve also given them the power to tell you you’re unworthy. Once you start caring about people’s opinions of you, you give up control.” —Ronda Rousey

29. “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

30. “The ability to conquer one’s self is no doubt the most precious of all things that sports bestows.” —Olga Korbut

31. “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.” —Shannon Miller

32. “You can’t always be the best. You have to remember that everyone makes mistakes sometimes.” —Aly Raisman

33.“You control your own wins and losses.” —Maria Sharapova

Check out these Monday motivation quotes that will help you kick off the week strong.

Famous sport quotes

34. “I don’t want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant.” —Kobe Bryant

35. “You must not only have competitiveness but ability, regardless of the circumstance you face, to never quit.” —Abby Wambach

36. “Just believe in yourself. Even if you don’t pretend that you do and, and some point, you will.” —Venus Williams

Venus Williams Motivational Sports Quoterd.com, Getty Images

37. “I always felt that my greatest asset was not my physical ability, it was my mental ability.”Bruce Jenner

38. “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six 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

39. “Don’t be afraid of failure. This is the way to succeed.” —LeBron James

40. “You dream. You plan. You reach. There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you, there are no limits.” —Michael Phelps

41. “If something stands between you and your success, move it. Never be denied.” —Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

42. “You’re playing a game, whether it’s Little League or Game 7 of the World Series. It’s impossible to do well unless you’re having a good time. People talk about pressure. Yeah, there’s pressure. But I just look at it as fun.” —Derek Jeter

43. “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” —Vince Lombardi

44. Believe me, the reward is not so great without the struggle.” —Wilma Rudolph

Wilma Rudolph Athlete Quotesrd.com, Getty Images

45. “Sports serve society by providing vivid examples of excellence.” —George F. Will

46. “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

Don’t miss these uplifting quotes that will lift your spirits.

Coaching quotes

47. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” —Neale Donald Walsh

48. “If you can’t outplay them, outwork them.” —Ben Hogan

49. “Even while they teach, men learn.” —Seneca the Younger

50. “It is action that creates motivation.” —Steve Backley

51. “Leadership, like coaching, is fighting for the hearts and souls of men and getting them to believe in you.” —Eddie Robinson

52. “Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential.” —Liane Cardes

Liane Cardes Famous Sport Quotesrd.com, Getty Images

53. “In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, oh, I’m going to reveal my weaknesses, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow.” —Carol Dweck

54. “If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.” —Andrew Carnegie

55. “I’ve learned that something constructive comes from every defeat.” —Tom Landry

56. “Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential.” —Liane Cardes

57. “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

58. “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.” —Tommy Lasorda

59. “Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.” —Mike Singletary

60. “Being nervous is not something you should be ashamed of. Nervous means you care, you really want to do well.” —Paula Creamer

61. “Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.” —Matt Biondi

62. “One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.”Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Coaches are teachers too, and these teaching quotes truly capture the priceless value of education.

Training quotes

63. “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

64. “They say discipline and dedication and respect are the key factors, but patience is a virtue that is absolutely essential!” —Ria Ramnarine

65. You should never stay at the same level. Always push yourself to the next.” —Marnelli Dimzon

66. “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

67. “Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.” —Marv Levy

Marv Levy Coaching Quotesrd.com, Getty Images

68. “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

69. “Champions keep playing until they get it right.” —Billie Jean King

70. “If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail.” —Mark Spitz

71. “The principle is competing against yourself. It’s about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before.”Steve Young

72. “I never left the field saying I could have done more to get ready and that gives me peace of mind.”Peyton Manning

73. “When you fall, get right back up. Just keep going, keep pushing it.” —Lindsey Vonn

74. “If you think you’re done, you always have at least 40 percent more.” —Lauren Crandall

75. “I always try to start out with some type of goal. Then I work backward and think of what I need to do to get there and give myself smaller goals that are more immediate.” —Kristi Yamaguchi

76. “You have to remember that the hard days are what make you stronger. The bad days make you realize what a good day is. If you never had any bad days, you would never have that sense of accomplishment!” —Aly Raisman

Now that you’re eager to run on the field after reading these sports quotes, check out these patience quotes that will remind you to be patient with yourself.

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