+ 599 Inspirational Sports Quotes For Athletes Who Want To Level Up

Sports are about those incredible moments where sheer human will and desire overcomes the odds. These are the moments we remember. Given the nature of sports, it’s not surprising that athletes have had some inspiring and motivational things to say about hard work, perseverance, leadership, winning, and much more. Here are the most Inspirational Sports Quotes for athletes and fans.

Inspirational sports quotes

1. “Only he who can see the invisible can do the impossible.” – Frank L. Gaines

2. “The man who has no imagination has no wings.” – Muhammad Ali

3. “Today, you have 100% of your life left.” – Tom Landry

4. “A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.” – Mary Lou Retton

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

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

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

8. “There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.” – Derek Jeter

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

10. “Champions keep playing until they get it right.” – Billie Jean King

Inspirational sports quotes

11. “It is not the size of a man but the size of his heart that matters.” – Evander Holyfield

12. “Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.” – Arnold Palmer

13. “The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.” – Pele

14. “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.” – Fred Devito

15. “Victory is in having done your best. If you’ve done your best, you’ve won.” – Billy Bowerman

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

17. “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” – Michael Jordan

18. “There are only two options regarding commitment. You’re either IN or you’re OUT. There is no such thing as life in-between.” – Pat Riley

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

20. “The key is not the will to win. Everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.” – Bobby Knight

Inspirational sports quotes for athletes looking for beast mode

1. “I don’t plan on being disappointed. We plan on being really good, and obviously, we plan on winning.” – Gregg Troy

2. “A champion is afraid of losing. Everyone else is afraid of winning.” – Billie Jean King

3. “If you are afraid of failure you don’t deserve to be successful!” – Charles Barkley

4. “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.” – Jerry Rice

5. “You might not be able to outthink, out market or outspend your competition, but you can outwork them.” – Lou Holtz

6. “You have to do something in your life that is honorable and not cowardly if you are to live in peace with yourself.” – Larry Brown

7. “What do you do with a mistake: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.” – Dean Smith

8. “I’ve failed over & over & over again in my life & that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

9. “You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.” – Jerry West

10. “I’ve got a theory that if you give 100% all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.” – Larry Bird

Inspirational sports quotes for athletes looking for beast mode

11. “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.” – Babe Ruth

12. “Do not let what you can not do interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden

13. “If you have everything under control, you’re not moving fast enough.” – Mario Andretti

14. “You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.”– Michael Phelps

15. “Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.” – Wayne Gretzky

16. Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit. – Vince Lombardi

17. “Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” – John Wooden

18. “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

19. “What keeps me going is not winning, but the quest for reaching potential in myself as a coach and my kids as divers. It’s the pursuit of excellence.” – Ron O’Brien

20. “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.” – Ross Perot

Inspirational sports quotes for athletes from legends

1. “I think sports gave me the first place where this awkward girl could feel comfortable in my own skin. I think that’s true for a lot of women—sports gives you a part of your life where you can work at something and you look in the mirror and you like that person.” – Teri McKeever

2. “Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.”– Dan Gable

3. “The highest compliment that you can pay me is to say that I work hard every day, that I never dog it.”– Wayne Gretzky

4. “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

5. “Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.” – William A. Ward

6. “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” – Muhammad Ali

7. “Some people say I have attitude – maybe I do…but I think you have to. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does – that makes you a winner right there. ” – Venus Williams

8. “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.” – Lance Armstrong

9. “A champion needs a motivation above and beyond winning.” – Pat Riley

Inspirational sports quotes for athletes from legends

10. “Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” – Vince Lombardi

11. “If you think it’s hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball.” – Jack Lemmon

12. “Finding good players is easy. Getting them to play as a team is another story.” – Casey Stengel

13. “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.”— Vince Lombardi

14. “When you’re riding, only the race in which you’re riding is important.” – Bill Shoemaker

15. “Never say never because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” – Michael Jordan

16. “In the end, the game comes down to one thing: man against man. May the best man win.” ― Sam Huff

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

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

Inspirational sports quotes to give you motivation
19. “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.” – Vince Lombardi

20. “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.” – Tommy Lasorda
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of determination quotes to help you keep moving forward.

Inspirational sports quotes to give you motivation

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

2. “There are certain basic qualities and characteristics you’ve got to have. Number one: you’ve got to have a will to win.” – Bob Richards

3. “A champion is someone who does not settle for that day’s practice, that day’s competition, that day’s performance. They are always striving to be better. They don’t live in the past.” – Briana Scurry

4. “Show me a gracious loser and I’ll show you a failure.” – Knute Rockne

5. “Winning isn’t everything, but it beats anything that comes in second.” – Paul Bryant

6. “Just be patient. Let the game come to you. Don’t rush. Be quick, but don’t hurry.” – Earl Monroe

7. “Nothing is black-and-white, except for winning and losing, and maybe that’s why people gravitate to that so much.” – Steve Nash

8. “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”– Wayne Gretzky

9. “I tell the kids, somebody’s gotta win, somebody’s gotta lose. Just don’t fight about it. Just try to get better.” – Yogi Berra

10. “It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.” – Muhammad Ali

Inspirational sports quotes to give you motivation

11. “Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.” – John Wooden

12. “Competitive sports are played mainly on a five-and-a-half inch court, the space between your ears.” – Bobby Jones

13. “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.” – Pele

14. “You can’t win unless you learn how to lose.” – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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

16. “At a young age winning is not the most important thing… the important thing is to develop creative and skilled players with good confidence.” – Arsene Wenger

17. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” – Tim Notke

18. “Passion first and everything will fall into place.” – Holly Holm
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of passion quotes expressing the love of things you’re interested in.

19. “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

20. “I don’t have to wait for nobody, I move when I wanna move.” – Floyd Mayweather

Inspirational sports quotes from winners

1. “Most talented players don’t always succeed. Some don’t even make the team. It’s more what’s inside.”– Brett Favre

2. “Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time.”– Lou Brock

3. “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

4. “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

5. “To uncover your true potential you must first find your own limits and then you have to have the courage to blow past them.”– Picabo Street

6. “If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, you’ll be hard to beat.”– Herschel Walker

7. “If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it.”– Ronnie Lott

8. “If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win.”– Carl Lewis

9. “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”– Michael Jordan

10. “Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period.”– Lou Holtz

Inspirational sports quotes from winners

11. “Just keep going. Everybody gets better if they keep at it.”– Ted Williams

12. “Push yourself again and again. Don’t give an inch until the final buzzer sounds.”– Larry Bird

13. “The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.”– Joe Paterno

14. “Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way.”– Satchel Paige

15. “You’re never a loser until you quit trying.”– Mike Ditka

16. “I’ve never lost a game. I just ran out of time.” — Michael Jordan

17. “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” – Jim Valvano

18. “Winning solves everything.” — Tiger Woods

19. “Life is gonna throw you curve balls and it’s how you deal with them and your attitude and your work ethic.” – Kerri Strug

20. “For me, winning isn’t something that happens suddenly on the field when the whistle blows and the crowds roar. Winning is something that builds physically and mentally every day that you train and every night that you dream.” — Emmitt Smith

Inspirational sports quotes from Hall of Fame athletes

1. “So many people along the way, whatever it is you aspire to do, will tell you it can’t be done. But all it takes is imagination. You dream. You plan. You reach.” – Michael Phelps

2. “Losing feels worse than winning feels good.” — Vin Scully

3. “You’ll score a lot of goals in your career but not one of them will happen without the help of a teammate.” – Abby Wambach

4. “It ain’t over till it’s over.” – Yogi Berra

5. “The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.” – Arnold Palmer

6. “Victory is fleeting. Losing is forever.” — Billie Jean King

7. “Some may have more talent than you, but there is no excuse for anyone working harder than you do.” – John Tavares

8. “No matter how much you’ve won, no matter how many games, no matter how many championships, no matter how many Super Bowls, you’re not winning now, so you stink.” — Bill Parcells

9. “To me the beauty of teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one. You become selfless.” – Coach Mike Krzyzewski

Inspirational sports quotes from Hall of Fame athletes

10. “Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next.”— George Steinbrenner

11. “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” – Wayne Gretzky

12. “When you win, say nothing. When you lose, say less.” — Paul Brown

13. “Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character.” – Vince Lombardi

14. “If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?” – Joe Namath

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

16. “Pressure is a word that is misused in our vocabulary. When you start thinking of pressure, it’s because you’ve started to think of failure.” – Tommy Lasorda

17. “Believe me, the reward is not so great without the struggle.” – Wilma Rudolph

18. “I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.” – Mia Hamm

19. “I am no genius; I just worked hard like my other teammates, and I believe all my teammates can win the title as they work hard, too.” – Lin Dan

20. “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.” – Yogi Berra

Sports quotes for athletes about perseverance

1. “Kill them with success and bury them with a smile.” – Usain Bolt

2. “I mean, it’s not important what kind of pants you were; it’s how you wear them.” – Ronnie Lott

3. “I’ve had to learn to fight all my life – got to learn to keep smiling. If you smile things will work out.” – Serena Williams

4. “From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.” – Arthur Ashe

5. “I wouldn’t let the boys down, no way. If my arm came off I’d still play.” — Jack Bird

6. “I would have thought that the knowledge that you are going to be leapt upon by half-a-dozen congratulatory, but sweaty team-mates would be inducement not to score a goal.” – Arthur Marshall

7. “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.” – Tommy Lasorda

8. “Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.” – Matt Biondi

9. “You are the handicap you must face. You are the one who must choose your place.” – James Lane Allen

10. “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” – Muhammad Ali

Sports quotes for athletes about perseverance

11. “Goals prepare Olympic athletes physically and mentally. Did you know that goals are used by sports psychologists in order to help athletes improve their performance?” – Paul Bailey

12. “Bodybuilding is much like any other sport. To be successful, you must dedicate yourself 100% to your training, diet and mental approach.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

13. “In sports, players need to be reminded of their competition to become motivated to practice. The same can be applied in business.” – Gavin McGinnis

14. “Everybody’s got plans… until they get hit.” – Mike Tyson

15. “I’ve always made a total effort, even when the odds seemed entirely against me. I never quit trying; I never felt that I didn’t have a chance to win.” – Arnold Palmer

16. “Winning means you’re willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else.” – Vince Lombardo

17. “Every champion was once a contender that refused to give up.” – Rocky Balboa
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of Rocky quotes from the iconic boxing character.

18. “At one point in your life you either have the thing you want or the reasons why you don’t.” – Andy Roddick

19. “It never gets easier. You just get better.” – Jordan Hoechlin

10. “Winners never quit and quitters never win. Sports do not build character. They reveal it.” – Heywood Broun

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