35 Sports Quotes to Live By

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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