70+ Sports Motivational Quotes To Inspire Victory In Your Young Athlete

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Group of kids playing soccer — sports motivational quotes.
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Do you have a young athlete at home? If so, you know the benefits of playing youth sports: social and motor skill development, physical fitness, sportsmanship, teamwork, discipline, and self-confidence. It doesn’t matter what the sport is; the positive effects are the same, nonetheless. If you’re on the fence and wondering whether you should enroll your child in a class or sign them up for a sports team, motivational quotes may give you (and your little athlete) the help you need to guide your decision. Extracurricular activities look a little different in 2021 for everyone, but playing sports is still a possible — and worthwhile — pursuit. And did we mention super fun, too?

If you like these words of wisdom from famous athletes and other motivational speakers, check out our running quotes while you’re at it. Looking for something a bit more lighthearted? See our sports jokes page for a side-splitting laugh. Want a mixture of wise words and wisecracks? Then our Ted Lasso quote collection is a must-read!

Ready for the quotes? Get fired up with the following sports motivational quotes.

Sports Motivational Quotes to Give You a Competitive Push

  1. “Never say never because limits, like fears, are often just illusions.” — Michael Jordan
  2. “The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory.” — Les Brown
  3. “Passion first, and everything else will fall into place.” — Holly Holm
  4. “Winning means you’re willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else.” — Vince Lombardi
  5. “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” — Wayne Gretzky
  6. “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” — Lou Holtz
  7. “Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must. Just never give up.” — Dean Karnazes
  8. “The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.” — Wayne Gretzky
  9. “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
  10. “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
  11. “If you are afraid of failure, you don’t deserve to be successful.” — Charles Barkley
  12. “Without self-discipline, success is impossible. Period.” — Lou Holtz
  13. “Everything negative — pressure, challenges — is all an opportunity for me to rise.” — Kobe Bryant
  14. “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.” — Vince Lombardi
  15. “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.” — Vince Lombardi
  16. “Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.” — Mike Singletary
  17. “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.” — Michael Jordan
  18. “Only he who can see the invisible can do the impossible.” — Frank L. Gaines
  19. “If you can’t outplay them, outwork them.” — Ben Hogan
  20. “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.” — Tommy Lasorda
  21. “I’d rather regret the risk that didn’t work out than the chances I didn’t take at all.” — Simone Biles
  22. “I really think a champion is defined not by their wins, but how they recover when they fall.” — Serena Williams
  23. “Today I will do what others won’t so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.” — Jerry Rice
  24. “Success isn’t owned; it’s leased. And rent is due every day.” — J.J. Watt
  25. “You have to enjoy what you’re doing in order to be successful.” — Misty May-Treanor
  26. “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” — Babe Ruth
  27. “An athlete gains so much knowledge by just participating in a sport. Focus, discipline, hard work, goal setting, and of course, the thrill of finally achieving your goals. These are all lessons in life.” — Kristi Yamaguchi
  28. “Well, the first quality of being a good leader is you have to be able to follow. See, a good leader can’t just be the leader all the time; I have to be able to follow.” — Lisa Leslie
  29. “You can’t win unless you learn how to lose.” — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  30. “I really get motivated when I have doubters.” — Shaquille O’Neal
  31. “Have faith in yourself and go take that first step. If I could, so can you.” — Heena Sidhu
  32. “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” — Michael Jordan
  33. “A champion is simply someone who did not give up when they wanted to.” — Tom Landry
  34. “The critics are always right. The only way to shut them up is by winning.” — Chuck Noll
  35. “Dancers are the athletes of God.” — Albert Einstein
  36. “Every time I step on the field, I’m going to give my whole heart, regardless of the score.” — Tim Tebow
  37. “Dance is the hidden language of the soul.” — Martha Graham
  38. “Keep working even when no one is watching.” — Alex Morgan
  39. “You’ll never know what you’re capable of until you take that first step and just go for it.” — Natasha Hastings
  40. “We don’t want to tell our dreams. We want to show them.” — Cristiano Ronaldo
  41. “Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.” — George Halas
  42. “Set your goals high and don’t stop till you get there.” — Bo Jackson
  43. “One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than 50 preaching it.” — Knute Rockne
  44. “An athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head.” — Emil Zatopek
  45. “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
  46. “Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.” — Laird Hamilton
  47. “Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.” — William James
  48. “Champions keep playing until they get it right.” — Billie Jean King
  49. “What you lack in talent can be made up with desire, hustle, and giving 110 percent all the time.” — Don Zimmer
  50. “If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail.” — Mark Spitz
  51. “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
  52. “The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.” — Pele
  53. “Most talented players don’t always succeed. Some don’t even make the team. It’s more what’s inside.” — Brett Favre
  54. “You’ve got to take the initiative and play your game. In a decisive set, confidence is the difference.” — Chris Evert
  55. “When you win, say nothing. When you lose, say less.” — Paul Brown
  56. “You win some, you lose some, and some get rained out, but you gotta suit up for them all.” — J. Askenberg
  57. “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
  58. “Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time.” — Lou Brock
  59. “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
  60. “Your biggest opponent isn’t the other guy; it’s human nature.” — Bobby Knight
  61. “Just keep going. Everybody gets better if they keep at it.” — Ted Williams
  62. “Push yourself again and again. Don’t give an inch until the final buzzer sounds.” — Larry Bird
  63. “You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.” — Michael Phelps
  64. “Wisdom is always an overmatch for strength.” — Phil Jackson
  65. “Some people say I have attitude. Maybe I do, but I think I have to. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does — that makes you a winner right there.” — Venus Williams
  66. “Today, you have 100% of your life left.” — Tom Landry
  67. “A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.” — Mary Lou Retton
  68. “It is not the size of a man but the size of his heart that matters.” — Evander Holyfield
  69. “Victory is in having done your best. If you’ve done your best, you’ve won.” — Billy Bowerman
  70. “When you’re riding, only the race in which you’re riding is important.” — Bill Shoemaker
  71. “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
  72. “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.” — Doug Williams
  73. “The only yardstick for success our society has is being a champion. No one remembers anything else.” — John Madden
  74. “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
  75. “The key is not the will to win. Everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.” — Bobby Knight

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