If you’re like me, sports movie quotes live inside your head all day long — whether you’re quoting a serious movie like We Are Marshall, a motivational movie like Miracle, a documentary like Hoop Dreams, an iconic movie like Rocky, or a comedy like The Waterboy, they’re everywhere.
Let’s be honest, sports movie quotes can bring tears to your eyes, they can make you laugh uncontrollably, motivate you, evoke nostalgia, and educate you. They can bring together a room full of people in a matter of seconds and bring out the best in people that need it the most.
While there are plenty of sports movie quotes that fly right over your head as you watch the movie, there are others that hit home and become a part of your memory bank forever. Today, we’re going to highlight and display some of those sports movie quotes that are unforgettable.
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What Are the Best Sports Movie Quotes of All-Time?
Of all the amazing sports movies that have been created over the past 100+ years, it’s hard to boil them down into 30 of the best sports movie quotes of all-time. Some of those movies contain several, if not a handful of memorable quotes that could easily land on this list.
No matter how difficult it is, the deed has to be done — after all, you guys have asked for it. There will definitely be some quotes that are left off this list, but that’s not to say I don’t appreciate them. For the sake of this article, we must limit the list to a total of 30 quotes.
Without further ado, let’s begin our countdown of the 30 best sports movie quotes of all-time!
30. Money Won – The Color of Money (1986)
“You remind me that money won is twice as sweet as money earned.”
The Color of Money is a 1986 sports movie that continues the story of Edward ‘Fast Eddie’ Felson, one of the greatest nine-ball hustlers ever. It’s a sequel to the 1959 film The Hustler and based on a 1984 novel by Walter Tevis. It was directed by a legend himself, Martin Scorsese.
The quote above was spoken by Paul Newman, who played Fast Eddie in the film. He was speaking to Tom Cruise, who played Vincent Lauria — the young and talented nine-ball player.
29. Will You Remember Me? – Hoop Dreams (1994)
“People always say to me, “when you get to the NBA, don’t forget about me.” Well, I should’ve said back, “if I don’t make it to the NBA, don’t you forget about me.””
Hoop Dreams was originally supposed to be a 30-minute short film, but it ended up becoming a documentary after 250 hours of footage across a five-year span. The documentary followed two students, William Gates and Arthur Agee, with dreams of playing professional basketball.
The quote above was spoken by William Gates. It reminds us that loyalty goes both ways. I’ll remember you if I make it, but only if you’ll remember me if I don’t — it’s a two-way street.
28. Pick Me a Winner – The Natural (1984)
“Pick me out a winner, Bobby.”
The Natural is a 1984 sports movie directed by Barry Levinson and based on a novel by the same name — written by Bernard Malamud. It follows a man named Roy Hobbs as he comes out of nowhere to embark on a legendary baseball career — one you wouldn’t believe.
The quote above was spoken by Robert Redford, who played Roy Hobbs in the film. He was asking his bat boy to swap his bat for a winner, which he would eventually hit a home run with.
27. Ducks Fly Together – D2: The Mighty Ducks
“Because we are ducks, and ducks fly together.”
D2: The Mighty Ducks is the sequel of what became known as an iconic trilogy. It was directed by Sam Weisman in 1994 and featured Emilio Estevez, who was the head coach of a hockey team in the Junior Goodwill Games. He reunited most of his players from the first movie.
The quote above was spoken by Michael Tucker, who played Don Tibbles in the film. He appeared at the end of Gordon Bombay’s speech, which brought the team together.
26. Cheating On My Wife – The Longest Yard (2005)
“Jesus Christ, my saviour, if you help me out with this one, I promise to stop cheating on my wife with black guys. Amen.”
The Longest Yard is a 2005 sports movie directed by Peter Segal and written by Sheldon Turner. In the film, Adam Sandler plays a former NFL quarterback that is sent to prison. While locked up, he forms a prisoner-led football team that goes on to play the guards in an epic showdown.
The quote above was spoken by Nicholas Turturro, who played Brucie in the film. He’s the worst player on the team and is asking his ‘lord and saviour’ for help as he prepares to kickoff.
25. Dead Clown – Happy Gilmore (1996)
“You’re gonna die, clown!”
Speaking of Adam Sandler, we can’t forget one of his best movies to date — Happy Gilmore. Directed by Dennis Dugan and produced by Robert Simonds, this 1996 sports movie followed Adam Sandler (who wrote the screenplay) as a former hockey player turned golf phenomenon.
While working on his putting skills with Chubbs Peterson, Happy Gilmore couldn’t get past one of the putt-putt holes that featured a laughing clown — resulting in the famous line above.
24. Quality H2O – The Waterboy (1998)
“Now that’s what I call high quality H2O.”
Two years after starring in Happy Gilmore, Adam Sandler starred in yet another world-famous sports movie titled The Waterboy. Directed by Frank Coraci in 1998, Adam Sandler played a socially-inept, home-schooled waterboy — who eventually became the star of the football team.
The quote above was spoken by Adam Sandler, who played Bobby Boucher. He loved his water and wasn’t a big fan of Gatorade, which everyone else seemed to drink plenty of.
23. If You’re Not First – Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
“If you’re not first, you’re last.”
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is one of the most-quoted movies of all-time. It’s filled with hilarious one-liners, including the one listed above. It was directed by Adam McKay and starred Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly — best friends and professional racecar drivers.
The quote above was spoken by Gary Cole, who played Reese Bobby (Ricky Bobby’s father). He uttered those words as motivation to his son at a young age, despite it not making sense.
22. A Mouth Like That – Caddyshack (1980)
“The last time I saw a mouth like that, it had a hook in it.”
Caddyshack is a classic sports movie that was directed by Harold Ramis in 1980. It features some big names, such as Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield, and more. It’s one of the greatest golf movies of all-time and is packed with unforgettable sports movie quotes.
The quote above was spoken by Rodney Dangerfield, who plays Al Czervik in the film. He’s known for his funny one-liners throughout the film and it was hard to pick just one for this list.
21. Prove It to Yourself – Rudy (1993)
“In this lifetime, you don’t have to prove nothin’ to nobody but yourself. And after what you’ve gone through, if you haven’t done that by now, it ain’t gonna never happen.”
Any fan of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish has seen the movie Rudy, a biographical film directed by David Anspaugh in 1993. It follows the story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, who dreams of one day playing football for Notre Dame. His dream eventually comes true after plenty of tribulations.
The quote above was spoken by Charles S. Dutton, who played Fortune in the film. After Rudy tells Fortune he’s quitting the team, Fortune tells him how ridiculous of a decision that is.
20. You Can Do It – The Longest Yard, The Waterboy
“You can do it!”
We’ve already listed quotes from both The Waterboy and The Longest Yard, but this one was too good to pass up. This quote quickly became a running gag in a variety of Adam Sandler’s movies, not just the two listed above — 50 First Dates, Little Nicky, and Bedtime Stories.
The quote above was spoken by Rob Schneider. It’s a quote that always appears at the right time. I’d love to meet someone who has never uttered those famous words — we all have!
19. We All Triumph – Coach Carter (2005)
“You said we’re a team. One person struggles, we all struggle. One person triumphs, we all triumph.”
Coach Carter was a star-studded, biographical basketball movie directed by Thomas Carter in 2005. It features the likes of Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Ri’chard, Channing Tatum, and Ashanti. It follows the story of Ken Carter, who becomes the coach of Richmond Oilers’ basketball team.
The quote above was spoken by Channing Tatum, who played Jason Lyle in the film. Timo Cruz wanted to rejoin the team, but failed to complete the tasks given by Coach Carter. That’s when Lyle and the rest of the team offered to help Timo earn his spot back — as a team.
18. A Bit Outside – Major League (1989)
“Juuuuuust a bit outside.”
Major League is a sports comedy directed by David S. Ward in 1989. It featured Charlie Sheen, Wesley Snipes, Tom Berenger, and more. After a former showgirl inherits the Cleveland Indians from her dead husband, she tries running the team into the ground and relocating it to Miami.
The quote above was spoken by Bob Uecker, who played Harry Doyle — the often drunk sportscaster. When Ricky Vaughn’s pitch is nowhere near the strike zone, Doyle sarcastically utters those famous words, which are frequently used in the MLB today.
17. Killin’ Me Smalls – The Sandlot (1998)
“You’re killin’ me, Smalls.”
Another baseball movie, The Sandlot was an instant classic directed, written, and narrated by David Mickey Evans in 1993. The movie followed a group of boys who love to play baseball, but find themselves in a tough situation when forced to retrieve an autographed ball from ‘the Beast.’
The quote above was spoken by Patrick Renna, who played Hamilton “Ham” Porter in the film. He uttered the phrase several times throughout the movie and I’m sure we’ve all used it before!
16. Dodging Wrenches – Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
“If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.”
Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story was directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber in 2004. To avoid losing his gym (Average Joe’s Gymnasium) to Globo Gym, Peter LaFleur leads an untalented dodgeball team to victory in a tournament and becomes a multi-millionaire in the process.
The quote above was spoken by Rip Torn, who plays Patches O’Houlihan in the film. Patches, a legendary dodgeball player, helped the team train for the tournament in peculiar ways.
15. Help Me, Help You – Jerry Maguire (1996)
“Help me, help you.”
Jerry Maguire is one of the most well-known and well-liked sports movies of all-time. It was written, produced, and directed by Cameron Crowe in 1996. It’s inspired by Leigh Steinberg (sports agent) and Tim McDonald (football player) during the 1993 NFL free agency period.
The quote above was spoken by Tom Cruise, who played Jerry Maguire (sports agent). He was trying to convince Rodney Tidwell to start preseason without a contract, in order to advance contract talks.
14. Billy Didn’t Listen – White Men Can’t Jump (1992)
“Billy, listen to me. White men can’t jump.”
One of the best sports movies in the early 1990s, White Men Can’t Jump was written and directed by Ron Shelton in 1992. It was a story about two streetball hustlers, played by Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson, that came together as hustling partners, despite early feuds.
The quote above was spoken by Wesley Snipes, who played Sidney Deane in the film. Billy Hoyle, played by Woody Harrelson, insisted he could dunk — but Sid didn’t believe him.
13. I’ll Make It – Hoosiers (1986)
“I’ll make it.”
Hoosiers is a classic basketball movie that tells the story of a small high school basketball team in Indiana that makes their way to the state championship. It was directed by David Anspaugh (also directed Rudy) in 1986 and was inspired by the 1954 Milan High School basketball team.
The quote above was spoken by Maris Valainis, who played Jimmy Chitwood. Despite the coach wanting to give the final shot to another player, Jimmy insisted that he would make it for the win — which he did.
12. Chicks Dig Scars – The Replacements (2000)
“I wish I could say something classy and inspirational, but that just wouldn’t be our style. Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory lasts forever.”
Directed by Howard Deutch in 2000, The Replacements was a sports film inspired by the NFL strike in 1987. The film features Keanu Reeves, Gene Hackman, Jack Warden, and more. It follows a group of replacement players that go on to find enormous success that season.
The quote above was spoken by Keanu Reeves, who played quarterback Shane Falco in the film. Falco was trying to mount a comeback in the second half to win the game, which they did.
11. He Will Come – Field of Dreams (1982)
“If you build it, he will come.”
Field of Dreams is a sports fantasy film written and directed by Phil Alden Robinson. It was inspired by the 1982 novel Shoeless Joe. A farmer, played by Kevin Kostner, decides to plow under part of his corn field to build a baseball stadium where the ghosts of legends come to play.
The quote above was spoken by a hidden voice that only a few characters can hear. It’s the voice that initially encourages Ray Kinsella, played by Kevin Kostner, to build the stadium.
10. Cannot Be Defeated – We Are Marshall (2006)
“From the souls of your feet, with every ounce of blood you’ve got in your body, lay it on the line until the final whistle blows. And if you do that, if you do that, we cannot lose. We may be behind on the scoreboard at the end of the game but if you play like that we cannot be defeated.”
We Are Marshall is a 2006 sports film directed by McG. It’s based on the 1970 plane crash that killed 37 members of the Marshall Thundering Herd football team. Despite facing an indefinite suspension due to lack of players, the team is rebuilt and is back on the field the following year.
The quote above is spoken by Matthew McConaughey, who played head coach Jack Lengyel in the film. He gives a motivational speech at the burial grounds of six former members of the team that were killed in the crash, yet weren’t able to be identified.
9. Got That Goin’ for Me – Caddyshack (1980)
“So, I tell them I’m a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald… striking.
So, I’m on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one — big hitter, the Lama — long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier.
Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga… gunga, gunga-lagunga.
So we finish the eighteenth and he’s gonna stiff me. And I say, “Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.” And he says, “Oh, uh, there won’t be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.”
So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.”
We already had one Caddyshack quote on here, but this one was just too good to resist. It’s a true testament to the character Bill Murray played — a mentally unstable greenskeeper named Carl Spackler that’s full of funny one-liners and stories, much like the one in the quote above.
The best part about the whole story was his demeanor, both cocky and amazed at the same time. Of course, he was also holding a pitchfork the entire time, which made it that much better.
8. Play Ball Like a Girl – The Sandlot (1993)
“You play ball like a girl!”
We have two Caddyshack quotes on this list, so it’s only right that we follow up with a second quote from The Sandlot, as well. Better yet, it’s another quote from the most quotable character in the film — Hamilton ‘Ham’ Porter. It was one of many funny lines in an intense standoff.
Ham and the rest of The Sandlot gang were approached by their rival Little League team. That’s when Ham fires off insult after insult, eventually challenging their rivals to a baseball game.
7. Being Perfect – Friday Night Lights (2004)
“Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down, because you told them the truth. And that truth is that you did everything that you could. There wasn’t one more thing that you could’ve done.
Can you live in that moment, as best you can, with clear eyes and love in your heart? With joy in your heart?
If you can do that gentlemen, then you’re perfect.”
Whether you’re a fan of the nonfiction book, the movie, or the TV series, there’s no hiding from the fact that Friday Night Lights hits home on several occasions. The movie was written and directed by Peter Berg in 2004 and tells the story of a high school football team in Texas.
The quote above is an excerpt from a speech given by Billy Bob Thornton, who played Coach Gary Gaines in the film. All season long, he preached being perfect, but this is where he finally defined what ‘being perfect’ means to him.
6. I Did It – Rocky II (1979)
“Yo, Adrian! I did it!”
Very rarely do we see a movie turn into a franchise, but that was the case with Rocky — which had a total of five sequels and two spin-offs. The second film in the franchise, Rocky II, was written and directed by Sylvester Stallone, who also starred as Rocky Balboa, the leading role.
Despite losing to Apollo Creed by split decision in the first film, Rocky Balboa comes out of retirement in Rocky II to accept a rematch. In a 15th-round knockout, Rocky wins and gives a speech as the new heavyweight champion — uttering those famous words at the end.
5. Don’t Play Defense – Space Jam (1996)
“Wooah, I don’t play defense.”
If you’re a basketball fan, then you’re a fan of Space Jam — a 1996 classic directed by Joe Pytka. The movie features Michael Jordan, Bill Murray, Wayne Knight, and several other basketball legends that collide with Looney Tune characters for the ultimate basketball game.
The quote above was spoken by Bill Murray, who played as himself in the film. In the huddle, after Bill finally arrives at the game, Jordan tells him they’re on defense — much to Bill’s dismay.
4. Show Me the Money – Jerry Maguire (1996)
“Show me the money!”
One of the most iconic scenes from Jerry Maguire, you know we couldn’t leave this one out — it was either this one or the ‘Who’s coming with me?’ scene. Rod Tidwell wants a new contract with the Arizona Cardinals and is trusting that Jerry Maguire can make it happen for him.
On the phone, Tidwell lets Maguire in on a secret family motto as motivation and that motto is, “Show me the money.” He not only makes Maguire repeat the motto, but he makes him scream it.
3. Wax On, Wax Off – The Karate Kid (1984)
“Wax on, right hand. Wax off, left hand. Wax on, wax off.”
Another sports film that turned into quite the franchise, The Karate Kid was such a successful hit that it saw three sequels, a remake, and a follow-up series. It follows a young boy who wants Mr. Miyagi to teach him karate after being bullied and eventually beaten by the Cobra Kai gang.
As part of the training, Mr. Miyagi has Daniel LaRusso complete a ton of chores in order to teach him muscle memory. Although Daniel doesn’t understand that and isn’t a fan of the chores, he eventually catches on to Mr. Miyagi’s intent.
2. They Played the Titans – Remember the Titans (2000)
“You make sure they remember, forever, the night they played the Titans!”
Remember the Titans is an iconic and classic biographical sports film directed by Boaz Yakin in 2000. It’s inspired by the true story of coach Herman Boone attempting to integrate a young football team at T.C. Williams High School into Alexandria, West Virginia in the early 1970s.
The quote above was spoken by Will Patton, who played Bill Yoast (defensive coordinator) in the film. It was part of a short motivational speech he gave the team before they took the field.
1. Great Opportunity – Miracle (2004)
“Great moments are born from great opportunity, and that’s what you have here tonight, boys. That’s what you’ve earned here tonight. One game; if we played them ten times, they might win nine. But not this game, not tonight. Tonight, we skate with them. Tonight we stay with them, and we shut them down because we can. Tonight, we are the greatest hockey team in the world.”
Some of you were probably starting to think a Miracle quote wasn’t going to be featured on this list, but here it is. Miracle is one of the most popular sports movies and follows the story of the United States men’s hockey team that won the gold medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics.
The quote above was spoken by Kurt Russell, who played the head coach (Herb Brooks) in the film. It’s an excerpt from the motivational speech Coach Brooks gave his team before playing the Soviets in the gold medal game. The United States went on to win in remarkable fashion.
Sports Movie Quotes Live On Forever
Listed above are 30 of the greatest sports movie quotes to ever make their way on film. While there may be some that are missing, you have to understand that there are simply too many to list in just one article. With that said, these 30 are certainly some of the most memorable.
Better yet, new sports movies are being made every year. And as history has shown us in the past, we’re sure to see plenty more sports movie quotes find their way into the hearts of many. That’s what makes movies so beautiful, they’re always being produced and they live on forever.
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This is a perfect opportunity to pay homage to all your favorite sports movie quotes over the years, but also an opportunity to look forward to all the sports movie quotes we have yet to enjoy. Now grab some popcorn, kick your feet up, and go watch yourself a sports movie!
35 Sports Quotes to Live By
There’s so much to love about sports and while it’s the highlights and big plays that receive most of the attention, the memorable sports quotes are often a close second. I mean, let’s be honest with each other, we can’t go a single day without thinking about or hearing sports quotes.
In fact, new sports quotes are spoken every single day. They might be spoken during pregame warmups, whie they’re mic’d up during the game, in the post-game press conference, on social media during the offseason, during practice – the point is, they can happen at any moment.
Not only that, but the best sports quotes to live by can be spoken by anyone – coaches, front office members, players, beat reporters, analysts, writers, and even fans. You never know when you’ll hear a good one, but when you do, it’s a quote that you likely won’t forget anytime soon.
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Memorable & Insightful Sports Quotes
There are hundreds, thousands, even millions of memorable and insightful sports quotes out there – like we mentioned above, new ones are spoken on the daily. You can honestly spend days reading and listening to sports quotes without getting bored, annoyed, or uninterested.
If you’re a sports fan like me, then you have a deep love for sports quotes. They’re not only extremely relatable to life, in general, but can help you see things from a different perspective — especially when that new perspective is much-needed. They make you think and make you feel.
They often say quotes are short enough to be remembered, but smart enough to be memorable. Sports quotes are no different. They’re easy to remember, but insightful enough that you won’t want to forget them. With that said, let’s take a look at some of our most favorite sports quotes.
35. “Champions keep playing until they get it right.” – Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King is a former tennis player that turned pro in 1959 and retired in 1990. During her playing career, she had a 695-155 singles record and 129 singles titles. She won the Australian Open once, French Open once, Wimbledon six times, and US Open four times in her career.
34. “It is action that creates motivation.” – Steve Backley
Steve Backley is a former Olympic track and field athlete that specialized in the javelin throw and represented Great Britain. He won two silver medals and one bronze medal at the 1992, 1996, and 2000 Olympics – as well as four gold medals at the European Championships.
33. “Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.” – Matt Biondi
Matt Biondi is a former Olympic swimmer that represented the United States at the 1984, 1988, and 1992 Olympics – where he won eight gold, two silver, and one bronze medal. He also won six gold, two silver, and three bronze at the World Championships between 1986 and 1991.
32. “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
Muhammad Ali is a former professional boxer that finished his career with a 56-5 record inside the ring – 37 of those wins coming by way of knockout. He’s one of the greatest boxers of all-time. He won the heavyweight title three times and defended the title a total of 19 times.
31. “If something stands between you and your success, move it. Never be denied.” – Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is a former professional wrestler and is widely regarded as one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time. Not only that, but he is one of the highest-grossing actors of all-time, proving that athletes are more than just their athletic background – at least sometimes.
30. “You should never stay at the same level. Always push yourself to the next.” – Marnelli Dimzon
Marnelli Dimzon is a former pro footballer and current assistant coach of the Philippines women’s national football team – the same team she represented between 1998 and 2008. She also coached for FEU Lady Booters (another team she played for) and coached youth players.
29. “Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.” – Mike Singletary
Mike Singletary is a former NFL player that was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the 1981 draft. He spent 12 seasons in the league, winning one Super Bowl and was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, a 10-time Pro Bowl player, and inducted into the HOF.
28. “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
Michael Phelps is a former Olympic swimmer that represented the United States during the 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympics. He’s the most decorated Olympian of all-time with 23 gold medals, three silver medals, and two bronze medals to his name.
27. “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
Aly Raisman is a former Olympic gymnast that represented the United States during the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics – where she won three gold, two silver, and one bronze medals. She also won two gold, one silver, and one bronze medal at the World Championships.
26. “Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential.” – Liane Cardes
Being strong and intelligent are good qualities to have, but they aren’t going to unlock your truest and greatest potential. The only way to do that is with continuous, sustainable, consistent, and endless effort. The moment you stop trying is the moment you let the other side win.
25. “I don’t want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant.” – Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant is a Hall of Fame basketball player that spent 20 seasons in the NBA – all with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was a five-time champion, two-time scoring champ, one-time MVP, 18-time All-Star, 12-time All-Defensive, two-time Finals MVP, and a 15-time All-NBA player.
24. “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.” – Tommy Lasorda
Tommy Lasorda is a former baseball player and Hall of Fame baseball manager who spent 21 years with the Los Angeles Dodgers. During that time, the team went 1,599-1,439 in the regular season, winning two World Series titles and four NL Pennants. He was a two-time Manager of the Year.
23. “One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.” – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a Hall of Fame basketball player that spent 20 seasons in the NBA – six with the Milwaukee Bucks and 14 with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was a 19-time All-Star, six-time champion, six-time MVP, two-time scoring champ, and four-time rebounding champ.
22. “Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.” – Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Jackie Joyner-Kersee is a former Olympic track and field athlete that specialized in heptathlon and long jump. She represented the United States during the 1984, 1988, 1992, and 1996 Summer Olympics – where she won three gold, one silver, and two bronze medals.
21. “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
Shannon Miller is a former Olympic gymnast that represented the United States during the 1992 and 1996 Olympics – where she won two gold, two silver, and three bronze medals. She also won five gold, three silver, and one bronze medal at the World Championships.
20. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 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
Michael Jordan is a Hall of Fame basketball player that spent 15 years in the NBA. He’s widely regarded as the greatest player of all-time and was a 14-time All-Star, 10-time scoring champ, six-time champion, five-time MVP, one-time Defensive Player of the Year, and six-time Finals MVP.
19. “A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.” – Mary Lou Retton
Mary Lou Retton is a former Olympic gymnast that represented the United States during the 1984 Summer Olympics – where she won one gold, two silver, and two bronze medals. She was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1997 and was a member of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in 2004.
18. “The only way to prove that you’re a good sport is to lose.” – Ernie Banks
Ernie Banks is a Hall of Fame baseball player that spent 19 years in the major leagues – all of which with the Chicago Cubs. He won back-to-back MVP awards in 1958 and 1959. He was a 14-time All-Star and hit 512 home runs over his career – he led the league in that category twice.
17. “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
Emmitt Smith is a Hall of Fame football player that spent 15 seasons in the NFL. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest running backs of all-time. He was a three-time Super Bowl champion, one-time MVP, former Rookie of the Year, and has the most rushing yards all-time.
16. “I never left the field saying I could have done more to get ready and that gives me peace of mind.” – Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning is a Hall of Fame football player that spent 17 seasons in the NFL. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. He’s a five-time MVP (all-time record), two-time Super Bowl champion, two-time Offensive Player of the Year, and Comeback Player of the Year.
15. “Passion first and everything will fall into place.” – Holly Holm
Holly Holm is a professional mixed martial artist that’s currently signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Aside from her 14-6 MMA record, she has a 33-2-3 record in boxing and a 14-1-7 record in kickboxing. She has won world titles in both UFC and boxing.
14. “The only one who can tell you ‘you can’t win’ is you and you don’t have to listen.” – Jessica Ennis-Hill
Jessica Ennis-Hill is a former Olympic track and field athlete that specialized in the heptathlon, pentathlon, and 100m hurdles. She represented Great Britain in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, where she won a gold and silver medal. She also won five more gold medals between the World Championships and European Championships.
13. “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
Arthur Ashe is a Hall of Fame tennis player that turned pro in 1969 and retired in 1980. During his playing career, he had a 1,188-371 singles record (76 titles) and 323-176 doubles record (18 titles). He won three singles Grand Slam tournaments and two doubles Grand Slam tournaments.
12. “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
Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant is a Hall of Fame college football head coach that is best known for his time with the University of Alabama. He finished his coaching career with a 323-85-17 record, six National Championship titles, 14 SEC Championship titles, and 12 SEC Coach of the Year awards.
11. “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 is a former football head coach for the University of Cincinnati, Rice University, and the Cincinnati Bengals. While he didn’t have much success as a coach, he made a big impact as Director of Athletics at Georgia Tech, where he developed the Total Person Program.
10. “Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.” – Laird Hamilton
Laird Hamilton is one of the most well-known big-wave surfers in the world. He’s perhaps most known for inventing tow-in surfing, which allows surfers to catch faster waves with artificial assistance. You’ve likely seen his videos or his pictures somewhere – they’re everywhere.
9. “You win a few, you lose a few. Some get rained out. But you got to dress for all of them.” – Satchel Paige
Satchel Paige is a Hall of Fame baseball player that spent 21 years in the MLB. He was an eight-time All-Star, won two World Series, won the Triple Crown, and led the league in ERA twice in his career. He finished with a 121-81 record, 2.70 ERA, 22 shutouts, and 1,480 strikeouts.
8. “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky is a Hall of Fame hockey player that spent 20 seasons in the NHL. He’s widely regarded as the greatest hockey player of all-time and holds numerous records that may never be broken. He had 894 goals and 1,963 assists (2,857 points) in 1,487 games played.
7. “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
Hank Aaron is a Hall of Fame baseball player that spent 23 years in the MLB. He’s one of the greatest hitters the game has ever seen, finishing his career with 755 home runs and an all-time record 2,297 runs batted in. He won the World Series once and won the MVP award in 1957.
6. “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
Sandy Koufax is a Hall of Fame baseball player that spent 12 years in the major leagues. Between 1961 and 1966, he was one of the best pitchers in the game. He finished his career with a 165-87 record, was a one-time MVP, three-time Cy Young winner, three-time World Series champion, and three-time Triple Crown winner.
5. “Everybody pulls for David, nobody roots for Goliath.” – Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt Chamberlain is a Hall of Fame basketball player that spent 14 years in the NBA. He’s one of the greatest scorers and rebounders of all-time, averaging 30.1 points and 22.9 rebounds per game. He led the league in scoring seven times and rebounding 11 times. He was also a two-time champion and four-time MVP.
4. “What makes something special is not just what you have to gain, but what you feel there is to lose.” – Andre Agassi
Andre Agassi is a former American tennis player that turned pro in 1986 and retired in 2006. He finished his career with a 870-724 singles record (60 titles) and 40-42 doubles record (one title). He won eight Grand Slam tournaments in his career, including the Australian Open four times.
3. “If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail.” – Mark Spitz
Mark Spitz is a former Olympic swimmer that represented the United States at the 1968 and 1972 Summer Olympics – where he won nine gold, one silver, and one bronze medal. His record of seven gold medals at the 1972 Olympics was broken by Michael Phelps in 2008.
2. “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” – Vince Lombardi
Vince Lombardi is a Hall of Fame professional football head coach that spent nine seasons with the Green Bay Packers. He led them to six conference titles, five NFL Championships, and two Super Bowl titles – the first two Super Bowls ever played. He had a 96-34-6 record as head coach.
1. “I’ve learned that something constructive comes from every defeat.” – Tom Landry
Tom Landry is a Hall of Fame professional football head coach that spent 29 years as the Dallas Cowboys’ head coach – he was their first ever head coach in 1960 and retired in 1988. He had a 250-162-6 record as head coach, leading the Cowboys to 20 straight winning seasons and two Super Bowl titles.
What Are Your Favorite Sports Quotes?
Sports quotes are a dime a dozen in the sports community today. Sometimes they’re spoken with purpose and sometimes they happen randomly. Either way, you can learn a lot from sports quotes, especially when it comes from a player or figure that you have a lot of respect for.
Which of the 35 sports quotes above were your favorite? Which ones have you already heard before? Which ones were you reading for the first time? Are there any sports quotes you think deserve to be featured on this list? What about sports quotes that shouldn’t be on this list?
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We want to know what you think! With so many sports quotes out there, even I haven’t been exposed to every single one and there are plenty that I have yet to discover. If you have a sports quote that’s not on our list, but you think it should be, then let us know – we might change it!
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