Inspirational Quotes for Athletes

Yogi Berra said that baseball is 90 percent mental and the other half is physical. One could also say the same about coaching the game. Coaches have the responsibility of teaching the skills of the game, but often it seems like they spend much more time dealing with the mental aspects of the players’ minds.

Every athlete is different with some players very confident and resilient while others are opposite of that. Coaches have to treat players based on their baseball personality needs. With some players, coaches have to build confidence but with others, they have to keep their egos in check. Similarly, some players handle adversity well and others do not. Whatever the case, the following are some funny, poignant quotes that coaches can use to help all athletes.

Coaches can relate this line when athletes have a sense of entitlement, have egos too big for their own good or think professional athletes are the best role models.  

  1. “These are my new shoes. They’re good shoes. They won’t make you rich like me, they won’t make you rebound like me, they definitely won’t make you handsome like me. They’ll only make you have shoes like me. That’s it.”
    Charles Barkley

 

The following statement is a good way to keep teams on an even keel through the ups and downs of the season.

  1. “You’re never as good as everyone tells you when you win, and you’re never as bad as they say when you lose.”
    Lou Holtz

The following funny statement is a good reminder to players to remain humble and to remember the people who made their success possible.

  1. “I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father” –Greg Norman

The following one was not exactly about sports, but it could easily have been by substituting the word sports for the word life. It attests to how hard it is to have sustained athletic success and is a good message to help players deal with adversity.

  1. “As a general rule, Nelson, Life is hard. But every now and then we get to see the beauty of God’s creations. And for just a moment life is beautiful… and then, life is hard again.” Pickles cartoon strip

The next quote is true and funny. The most talented team does not always win, which is the good news. However, more often than not, it takes talent to win more often. The first part is a great message to an underdog team.

  1. “The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.”
    – Damon Runyon

This next quote is not just for professional athletes, but for players who need that extra incentive to give their all when a game may not mean much in the standings or time of the season.

  1. “Being a professional is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don’t feel like doing them.” Julius Erving

This next of the sports quotes for athletes is a good one when teams feel more pressure than normal and it appears to be getting to them. A funny quip at those times can help players relax. 

7. “I don’t mind people thinking I’m stupid, but I don’t want to give them any proof.”
– Bum Phillips, Houston Oilers coach

Once again, a line that was not intended for sports, but so appropriate for them. Failure is the name of the game and having a positive view of it helps players get over their slumps.

  1. “Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.”
    Henry Ford

The following is a great line for teams that have hit their lowest point.

  1. “Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.”
    General George Patton

These next words are lines every coach should use the first day of the season to begin the team chemistry molding process.

  1. “One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.”
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

This next hilarious line is necessary for the same reason as the above point – the “We win as a team and lose as a team” philosophy.

  1. “There is nobody to blame, except everyone” – David Ortiz

This next line from the incomparable Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Vin Scully is a great way to tell players that everyone gets nervous and that is OK.

  1. “There’s 29.000 people in the ballpark, and a million butterflies.” Vin Scully

This next statement is one that coaches may need when teams have to play others who are older and stronger than they are.

13.  “Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.” Satchel Paige
                     The following statement is great for players who seemed overwhelmed with the commitment it takes to succeed.14.  “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” Lou Holtz                   Of course, one cannot have an inspirational sports quote list without more than one line from the infamous Yogi Berra. This Yogi-ism  is a great way of telling players that their careers come and go fast, so they should enjoy the journey as much as possible.  
  1. “It gets late early out there.”Yogi Berra

 

Finally, my favorite of all sports quotes for athletes comes from Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon – “Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure.” Kids need to get that message all the time, as they often forget what playing is all about. Of course, their parents need the message even more.

@sportsquotes @inspirationalsportsquotes

Jack Perconte has dedicated his post-major league baseball career to helping youth. He has taught baseball and softball for the past 27 years. His playing, coaching and parenting stories create better experiences for athletes and parents. Jack has written over a thousand articles on coaching baseball and youth sports. Jack is the author of “The Making of a Hitter” and “Raising an Athlete.” His third book “Creating a Season to Remember” is in the works. Jack is a featured writer for Baseball the Magazine. You can also find Jack Perconte at YouTube with over 80 fun and innovative baseball instructional videos. 

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