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Inspirational Sports Quotes

Updated on October 3, 2014

At times sport can be inspirational, and sportsmen and women have provided some of the most memorable and meaningful quotes. Here is a collection of famous and inspirational sports quotes; some are motivational, or funny, others are displays of sportsmanship, and many of them convey messages that go beyond sport, and apply to life in general.

Muhammed Ali - "To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are."


"The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning." - Pele

"We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass." - Brian Clough

"Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it." - George Halas

"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

"You win some, you lose some, and some get rained out, but you gotta suit up for them all."
- J. Askenberg

"It's not whether you get knocked down; it's whether you get up" - Vince Lombardi

“A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are.” - Ara Parseghian

"Competitive sports are played mainly on a five-and-a-half inch court, the space between your ears.” - Bobby Jones

"Whoever said, 'It's not whether you win or lose that counts, probably lost." - Martina Navratilova

"Do not let what you can not do interfere with what you can do." - John Wooden

"Losers quit when they're tired. Winners quit when they've won."

"Rome wasn't built in a day but I wasn't on that particular job." - Brian Clough

"I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six 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

"If I walked on water, my accusers would say it is because I can't swim." - Berti Vogts

"Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates." - Magic Johnson

"You only ever grow as a human being if you're outside your comfort zone."
- Percy Cerutty


Gary Player - "The more I practice, the luckier I get."


"You're never a loser until you quit." - Mike Ditka

"One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than 50 preaching it" - Knute Rockne

"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

"Golf is a good walk spoiled" - Mark Twain

"Never give up! Failure and rejection are only the first step to succeeding." - Jim Valvano

"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

This is a shortlist of my personal favourites, please feel free to comment and post your favourites below.

Do you find sportsmen and women inspiring?

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    • mikgio profile image

      mikgio 5 years ago from Scotland

      Thanks for the comment! Yeah Clough's quotes are great, there are plenty more of his that I could have put on this, the quote you mentioned is definitely one to keep in mind for all things, as well as in sport :)

    • barry1001 profile image

      barry1001 5 years ago from North Wales

      I love Cloughs quotes! Voted up.

      My favourite quote, but I don't remember where I heard it: "Its not how you fall, its how you land."