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20+ Motivational Quotes from Top Athletes


20 Motivational Quotes From Top Athletes

Sometimes all we need in order to feel better are a few inspiring quotes from the people we idolize -- it can be that simple! Words are more powerful than we tend to expect and can be influential. Quotes are a great way to maintain a positive mindset and to stay motivated on a daily basis. It’s comforting to have access to uplifting sayings that have the power to shift our perspective. Continue reading to be inspired by motivational quotes from some of our favorite professional athletes!


1. Babe Ruth

“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”


2. Michael Jordan

“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”

“I’ve failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”

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


3. Derek Jeter

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


4. Muhammad Ali

“I don’t count my situps; I only start once it starts hurting.”

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

“It isn’t the pebbles ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebbles in your shoe.”


5. Shaquille O’Neal

“I never worry about the problem; I worry about the solution.”

“I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me; and the one guy who didn’t vote for me, thank you, too.”


6. Wayne Gretzky

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”


7. Ernie Banks

“The only way to prove you are a good sport is to lose.”


8. Arnold Schwarzenegger

“Strength does not come from winning; your struggles develop your strengths.”


9. Michael Phelps

“You can’t put a limit on anything; the more you dream, the farther you get.”


10. Arnold Palmer

“Always make a total effort even when the odds are against you.”


11. Vince Lombardi

“Winners never quit and quitters never win.”

“Winning is not a sometime thing, it’s an all time thing. You don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time.”

“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.”


12. Mia Hamm

“It is more difficult to stay on top than to get there.”

“If a team wants to intimidate you physically and you let them, they’ve won.”


13. Jack Dempsey

“A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.”


14. Satchel Paige

“You win a few, you lose a few. Some get rained out; but you got to dress for all of them.”

“Never let your head hang down--never give up and sit down and grieve; find another way.”


15. Mary Lou Retton

“A trophy carries dust; memories last forever.”


16. Sandy Koufax

“I became a good pitcher when I stopped trying to make them miss the ball and started trying to make them hit it.”


17. Tom Landry

“I’ve learned that something constructive comes from every defeat.”


18. Vin Scully

“Good is not good when better is expected.”


19. Andre Agassi

“What makes something special is not just what you have to gain but what you feel there is to lose.”


20. Jim Valvano

“Never give up; failure and rejection are only the first steps to succeeding.”


Reminder to Stay Motivated!

If you ever need that extra push to keep you going, remind yourself that you’re not the only one. If you identify with a certain athlete’s quote more, print that quote out in big letters -- hang it up, put it on your ceiling, write your favorite quote(s) down… whatever you need to do to help YOU stay inspired throughout your journey. You will experience days where you’ll feel like you didn’t perform to your fullest potential, but that’s a normal part of being an athlete. Every single athlete has good and bad days, so it’s important to remind yourself that you’re never alone and that while you should always strive to improve, beating yourself up is pointless and unhelpful (let’s not confuse that with constructive criticism and healthy motivation--there’s absolutely nothing wrong with pushing yourself to perform to your full potential). So, next time you’re feeling down or insecure, take a look at these motivational quotes -- words are powerful and hold more weight than we anticipate. Practice positive affirmations and self talk whenever you feel you are being too hard on yourself or lacking motivation!

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