Athlete Motivational Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old athlete motivational quotes, athlete motivational sayings, and athlete motivational proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


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

Michael Jordan

Being an athlete, you know how to train and prepare your body for a performance and you’re able to do it under pressure.     

Kristi Yamaguchi

A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.     

Mary Lou Retton

Competing at the highest level is the greatest test of one’s character.     

Russell Mark

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

One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.     

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.     

Marilyn vos Savant

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

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

Arnold Palmer

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

Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.     

Dean Karnazes

To succeed, you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.     

Tony Dorsett

Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.     

Babe Ruth

The five S’s of sports training are: stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit; but the greatest of these is spirit.     

Ken Doherty

Your biggest opponent isn’t the other guy. It’s human nature.     

Bobby Knight

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

Set your goals high, and don't stop till you get there.     

Bo Jackson

If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it.     

Ronnie Lott

Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period.     

Lou Holtz

What you lack in talent can be made up with desire, hustle, and giving 110 percent all the time.     

Don Zimmer

Follow your dreams, work hard, practice and persevere. Make sure you eat a variety of foods, get plenty of exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle.     

Sasha Cohen

Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion. The potential for greatness lives within each of us.     

Wilma Rudolph

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths.     

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Success for an athlete follows many years of hard work and dedication.     

Michael Diamond

Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way.     

Satchel Paige

The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.     

Tommy Lasorda

Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.     

Orison Swett Marden

A winner is a loser who was willing to fail and get up, fail and get up, fail and get up, fail and get up and win.     

Peter Zafra

You have to believe in yourself when no one else does, that makes you a winner right there.     

Venus Williams

What do do with a mistake: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.     

Dean Smith