Coaches love to use quotes to motivate players. Some work and some don’t. However for many the succinct words of a winner who has succeeded through hard work count for plenty.
Here are 11 of some of the best quotes to adopt in order to be a winner:
10. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” – Tim Notke
USA high school basketball coach to his players encouraging them to work harder to be the best regardless of natural talent. People with talent are in abundance, but talent is simply not enough. Some of the athletes with the most potential never make it. What separates the good from the great is determination and work ethic.
9. First bat was shaped from a coconut branch…and from that day , all I wanted to do was to be a cricketer.” – Brian Lara
We have heard the phrase “all the gear but no idea” when referencing someone who has all the advantages but can’t make good with them. Perhaps it has been made too easy. Lara, like many from humble beginnings, became one of the greats of all time despite a disadvantaged start to his career.
8. “If you can’t outplay them, outwork them.” – Ben Hogan
The same theme is repeated from every champion: Work hard. That is because hard work can outdo all talent. Whether you have natural, raw talent, or just enough to get by, the only way to utilize that ability is through gruelling work.
7. “Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.” – William James
Distance runners always talk about that second wind. The hard part is pushing yourself hard enough to realize that you can break through that wall. Sadly enough, there are great athletes and people who never push themselves.
6. “Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.” – Mike Singletary
Covid-19 has really brought the truth of this home. The reality is that making it to the level of professional sports is incredibly rare. To be as great as Mike Singletary is once or twice in a generation. The reality is that being grateful for the opportunity is the first step. The next step is being hungry.
5. “Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.” – George Halas
When you are in the throughs of competition, you must give everything you have. Every professional athlete talks about leaving it all on the field. If you keep that extra effort in your back pocket, you can never be sure that the loss you just endured should have been a loss.
4. “Make each day your masterpiece.” – John Wooden
One of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time was known for inspiring his athletes. There is nothing better than adopting this mentality. When you wake in the morning, today should be your new masterpiece. How can you put your signature on today?
3. “A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.” – Jack Dempsey
Again, the thing that sets champions apart from everyone else is the work ethic and the mental fortitude to succeed. When you take a hit whether it’s literal or figurative, it takes a lot of mental strength to get back up. Your body can do whatever your mind tells it to.
2. “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” – Muhammad Ali
When you are pursuing personal perfection, it is easy to get lost in the mountain that is ahead of you. What you must be wary of is getting distracted by the small problems that can defeat you mentally. Those mountains can be conquered.
1. “What makes something special is not just what you have to gain, but what you feel there is to lose.” – Andre Agassi
When you are consistently one of the best, you have a lot to lose. Agassi and Sampras battled for the top spot throughout their careers. Every serve, every game, every set mattered because they had everything to lose.
1. “When I race my mind is full of doubts – who will finish second, who will finish third?” – Noureddine Morceli
When you are competing with yourself, you only have winning to think about. You can’t worry about the competitor because in every competition, you are mentally competing against yourself and your own limitations. When you are prepared, you only worry about who will finish behind you because no one will finish in front of you.
Which quotes motivate you?