Sportsmanship Sayings and Quotes

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


True sportsmanship is excellence in motion!     

Lorii Myers

One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than a hundred teaching it.     

Knute Rockne

I think sportsmanship is knowing that it is a game, that we are only as a good as our opponents, and whether you win or lose, to always give 100 percent.     

Sue Wicks

It's good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling.     

Mark Twain

Sometimes I think sportsmanship is a little bit forgotten in place of the individual attention.     

Cal Ripken, Jr.

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

It's not so important who starts the game but who finishes it.     

John Wooden

Win or lose, do it fairly.     

Knute Rockne

Champions keep playing until they get it right.

Billie Jean King

It does not matter how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get up.     

Vince Lombardi

A winner never whines.

Paul Brown

I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying.

Michael Jordan

To play is in the mind. To win is in the heart.     

Jennifer McCombs

Victory is in the quality of the competition, not just the final score.     

Mike Marshall

Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation.Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.     

John Wooden

Sportsmanship for me is when a guy walks off the court and you really can't tell whether he won or lost, when he carries himself with pride either way.     

Jim Courier

It is your response to winning and losing that makes you a winner or a loser.

Harry Sheehy

I never thought about losing, but now that it's happened, the only thing is to do it right.

Muhammad Ali

Every game, you have so many people watching you. You can show good sportsmanship by helping other players up, and not talking back to coaches and referees.

Kelly Fry

Sportsmanship is not just about being nice. It is much more important than that. It's about realizing that you could not compete without an opponent and that she has the same goals as you.     

Stephanie Deibler

A lion never roars after a kill.     

Dean Smith

When you win, say nothing. When you lose, say less.

Paul Brown

Never let a win get to your head, or a loss to your heart.     

Chuck D

For when the One Great Scorer comes To mark against your name, He writes - not that you won or lost - But HOW you played the Game.

Grantland Rice

Win as if you were used to it, lose as if you enjoyed it for a change.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player.

John Wooden

The only way to prove that you're a good sport is to lose.     

Ernie Banks

If you win through bad sportsmanship that's no real victory.     

Babe Didrikson Zaharias

There is no such thing as sportsmanship.     

Terrell Davis

It is better to know defeat than to know nothing at all.

Liam D'Souza

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