75+ Best Motivational Sports Quotes for Athletes

Being an athlete isn’t easy. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and discipline to reach the top of your game. To help you stay motivated, we’ve gathered the best motivational sports quotes from athletes who have achieved greatness in their respective fields. From Michael Jordan to LeBron James, these inspiring words will help you to stay focused on your goal and never give up. So read on to discover the 75+ most motivational sports quotes for athletes.

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Best Motivational Sports Quotes for Athletes

  • “The five S’s of sports training are: stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit; but the greatest of these is spirit.” —Ken Doherty
  • “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.” —Steve Young
  • “Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.” —Marv Levy
  • “I just knew if it could be done, it had to be done, and I did it.” —Gertrude Ederle
  • “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
  • “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
  • “Don’t be afraid of failure. This is the way to succeed.” —LeBron James
  • “You should never stay at the same level. Always push yourself to the next.” —Marnelli Dimzon
  • “I’ve learned that something constructive comes from every defeat.” —Tom Landry
  • “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.” —Tommy Lasorda
  • “Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential.” —Liane Cardes
  • “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
  • “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
  • “It’s going to be a journey. It’s not a sprint to get in shape.” —Kerri Walsh Jennings
  • “I’d rather regret the risks that didn’t work out than the chances I didn’t take at all.” —Simone Biles
  • “Even while they teach, men learn.” —Seneca the Younger
  • “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
  • “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
  • “Just believe in yourself. Even if you don’t pretend that you do and, and some point, you will.” —Venus Williams
  • “One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than 50 preaching it.” —Knute Rockne
  • “Believe me, the reward is not so great without the struggle.” —Wilma Rudolph
  • “Sports serve society by providing vivid examples of excellence.” —George F. Will
  • “Passion first and everything will fall into place.” —Holly Holm
  • “If something stands between you and your success, move it. Never be denied.” —Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
  • “Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.” —Laird Hamilton
  • “I always felt that my greatest asset was not my physical ability, it was my mental ability.” —Bruce Jenner
  • “It is action that creates motivation.” —Steve Backley

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Sports athlete quotes

  • “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
  • “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
  • “Being nervous is not something you should be ashamed of. Nervous means you care, you really want to do well.” —Paula Creamer
  • “Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.” —Mike Singletary
  • “They say discipline and dedication and respect are the key factors, but patience is a virtue that is absolutely essential!” —Ria Ramnarine
  • “Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential.” —Liane Cardes
  • “The ability to conquer one’s self is no doubt the most precious of all things that sports bestows.” —Olga Korbut
  • “If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.” —Andrew Carnegie
  • “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
  • “Overpower. Overtake. Overcome.” —Serena Williams
  • “The past doesn’t matter. Take today.” —Becky Sauerbrunn
  • “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
  • “You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here. This moment is yours.” —Herb Brooks
  • “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
  • “I don’t want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant.” —Kobe Bryant
  • “Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.” —Matt Biondi
  • “You must not only have competitiveness but ability, regardless of the circumstance you face, to never quit.” —Abby Wambach
  • “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
  • “I believe in the impossible because no one else does.” —Florence Griffith Joyner
  • “If you think you’re done, you always have at least 40 percent more.” —Lauren Crandall
  • “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
  • “One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.” —Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • “When you fall, get right back up. Just keep going, keep pushing it.” —Lindsey Vonn
  • “No matter the circumstances that you may be going through, just push through it.” —Ray Lewis

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Short sports quotes for Athletes

  • “The only one who can tell you ‘you can’t win’ is you and you don’t have to listen.”—Jessica Ennis-Hill
  • “What makes something special is not just what you have to gain, but what you feel there is to lose.” —Andre Agassi
  • “Leadership, like coaching, is fighting for the hearts and souls of men and getting them to believe in you.” —Eddie Robinson
  • “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
  • “An athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head.” —Emil Zatopek
  • “Always work hard, never give up, and fight until the end because it’s never really over until the whistle blows.” —Alex Morgan
  • “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
  • “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
  • “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
  • “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” —Vince Lombardi
  • “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
  • “You win some, you lose some, and some get rained out, but you gotta suit up for them all.” —J. Askenberg
  • “I never left the field saying I could have done more to get ready and that gives me peace of mind.” —Peyton Manning
  • “You can’t always be the best. You have to remember that everyone makes mistakes sometimes.” —Aly Raisman
  • You control your own wins and losses.” —Maria Sharapova
  • “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” —Neale Donald Walsh
  • “The only way to prove that you’re a good sport is to lose.” —Ernie Banks
  • “A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.” —Mary Lou Retton
  • “You’ve got to be confident when you’re competing. You’ve got to be a beast.” —Gabby Douglas
  • “If you can’t outplay them, outwork them.” —Ben Hogan
  • “Champions keep playing until they get it right.” —Billie Jean King
  • “If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail.” —Mark Spitz

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