Inspirational Athletes Quotes

  • Annette Kellerman
  • Arthur Ashe
  • Babe Ruth
  • Carl Lewis
  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Derek Jeter
  • Jesse Owens
  • Johan Cruyff
  • Lewis Hamilton
  • Lionel Messi
  • Mario Andretti
  • Martina Navratilova
  • Michael Jordan
  • Michael Phelps
  • Michael Schumacher
  • Muhammad Ali
  • Pelé
  • Roger Bannister
  • Roger Federer
  • Sachin Tendulkar
  • Tiger Woods

Annette Kellerman

“I come from a nation of swimmers but no one remembers me now, yet I was once one of the most famous women in all the world. They called me the ‘Diving Venus’, the perfect woman, a daughter of the gods.”

“I had the endurance but not the brute strength that must be coupled with it. No woman has this combination. That’s why I say none of my sex will ever accomplish that particular stunt.”

“There are two kinds of bathing suits, those that are adapted for use in the water, and those that are unfit for use except on dry land. If you are going to swim, wear a water bathing suit. But if you are merely going to play on the beach and pose for your camera friends, you may safely wear the dry land variety.”

Arthur Ashe

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.”

“We must reach out our hand in friendship both to those who would befriend us and those who would be our enemy. We must believe in the power of education.”

Babe Ruth

“I always swing at the ball with all my might. I hit or miss big.”

“ I swing big, with everything I’ve got. I hit big or I miss big. I like to live as big as I can.”

“A man who works for another is not going to be paid any more than he is worth; you can bet on that. A man ought to get what he can earn. Don’t make any difference whether it’s running a farm, running a bank or running a show; a man who knows he’s making money for other people ought to get some of the profits he brings in. It’s business, I tell you. There ain’t no sentiment to it. Forget that stuff.”

“For ball players know that it isn’t individuals who count. It’s the way a team plays as a whole that determines its offensive power or its defensive strength.”

“Baseball always has been and always will be a game demanding team play. You can have the nine greatest individual ball players in the world, but if they don’t play together the club won’t be worth a dime.”

“I decided to pick out the greatest hitter to watch and study, and Jackson was good enough for me.”

“You can bother me to autograph anything you want. When you quit bothering me to sign autographs, then I’ll know I’m through. Slip me the old apple and a pen. And tell ’em to keep on bothering me.”

“My biggest home run thrill? The day I called that one on Root in the Yankee-Cub series. The whole crowd was riding me. I was riding ’em back with even rougher language. The Chicago bench was yelling “Onya—onya—onya—you big yellow bum.” Root had thrown me two bad balls I didn’t like. I protested both, then I pointed to the flag police in center field. I knew Root would feed me another just like the first two, so I moved up about eight inches closer and gave it the works. They tell me when they found that ball it was lopsided, shaped like an egg. I just got to thinking later what a terrible heel I’d have been that day if Root had struck me out, but I never thought of that till later. It’s a good thing I didn’t. What a mug I’d have been.”

“In pitching, control is the main thing—one thing you’ve got to have. Few pitchers have it. In batting, it is timing—waiting on the ball, not hurrying the swing—just as it is in golf. Most hitters in baseball swing too quickly. They can’t wait on the pitch. Old Joe Jackson could wait. So could Speaker and Cobb.”

“You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.”

“I was a bad kid. I say this without pride but with a feeling that it is better to say it. I live with one great hope: to help kids who now stand where I stood as a boy. If what I have to say here helps even one of them avoid some of my own mistakes, or take heart from such triumphs as I have had, this book will serve its purpose.”

“I only have one superstition: I make sure to touch all the bases when I hit a home run.”

“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”

Carl Lewis

“Your body is your temple. If you nourish it properly, it will be good to you and you will increase its longevity.”

Cristiano Ronaldo

“In my mind, I’m always the best. I don’t care what people think, what they say. In my mind, not just this year but always, I’m always the best.”

Derek Jeter

“You’re playing a game, whether it’s Little League or Game 7 of the World Series. It’s impossible to do well unless you’re having a good time. People talk about pressure. Yeah, there’s pressure. But I just look at it as fun.”

“I only wanted to play baseball. I only wanted to play shortstop. I only wanted to play for the Yankees. My whole life. It wasn’t like I wanted to play for another team and ended up in New York. It wasn’t like I wanted to play another position and ended up at short. This has always been the dream of mine: to play shortstop for the New York Yankees. And I get a chance to do it.”

Jesse Owens

“The road to the Olympics, leads to no city, no country. It goes far beyond New York or Moscow, ancient Greece or Nazi Germany. The road to the Olympics leads — in the end — to the best within us.”

“It took a lot of courage for him to befriend me in front of Hitler… You can melt down all the medals and cups I have and they wouldn’t be a plating on the 24-karat friendship I felt for Lutz Long at that moment. “

“The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself — the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us — that’s where it’s at.”

“It all goes so fast, and character makes the difference when it’s close.”

“I wanted no part of politics. And I wasn’t in Berlin to compete against any one athlete. The purpose of the Olympics, anyway, was to do your best. As I’d learned long ago… the only victory that counts is the one over yourself.”

“To a sprinter, the hundred-yard dash is over in three seconds, not nine or ten.”

“It dawned on me with blinding brightness. I realized: I had jumped into another rare kind of stratosphere — one that only a handful of people in every generation are lucky enough to know.”

Johan Cruyff

“Every trainer talks about movement, about running a lot. I say don’t run so much. Football is a game you play with your brain. You have to be in the right place at the right moment, not too early, not too late.”

“There is no medal better than being acclaimed for your style. As a coach, my teams might have won more games if we’d played in a less adventurous way. Maybe I’d have earned a little more and the bonuses would have been bigger, but if people say that Barcelona were playing the nicest football in the world with me as coach, what more can I ask for? If you’re appearing in the World Cup final it may be the biggest occasion of your life, so why be sad and fearful? Be happy, express yourself and play. Make it special for you and for everyone watching. For the good of football, we need a team of invention, attacking ideas and style to emerge. Even if it doesn’t win, it will inspire footballers of all ages everywhere. That is the greatest reward.”

“We showed the world you could enjoy being a footballer; you could laugh and have a fantastic time. I represent the era which proved that attractive football was enjoyable and successful, and good fun to play too.”

“Quality without results is pointless. Results without quality is boring.”

“In my teams, the goalie is the first attacker, and the striker the first defender.”

“Winning is an important thing, but to have your own style, to have people copy you, to admire you, that is the greatest gift.”

Lewis Hamilton

“Sure every driver has his value and you want to be respected but again money is not something that drives me.”

Lionel Messi

“I start early and I stay late, day after day, year after year, it took me 17 years and 114 days to become an overnight success.”

“[Becoming a father] has changed everything. He [Thiago] comes first then everything else. It has also changed the way I see a match. Before if I lost or did something wrong I didn’t talk to anyone for three or four days, until it passed. Now, I come home after a game, I see my son and everything is alright.”

Mario Andretti

“The first time I fired up a car, felt the engine shudder and the wheel come to life in my hands, I was hooked. It was a feeling I can’t describe. I still get it every time I get into a race car.”

“When you are losing it can seem like there is a black cloud following you around, but like they say there is a silver lining in every cloud.”

Martina Navratilova

“People who are rich want to be richer, but what’s the difference? You can’t take it with you. The toys get different, that’s all. The rich guys buy a football team, the poor guys buy a football. It’s all relative.”

“I advocate eating nutritious food (I’m a vegetarian), working out, being in top form mentally and physically.”

Michael Jordan

“I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying [no hard work]. Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”

“I’ve missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 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.”

“Enjoy every minute of life. Never second-guess life.”

“I set another goal … a reasonable, manageable goal that I could realistically achieve if I worked hard enough. I approached everything step by step.”

“I can remember a game, we were down with about 5 to 10 points, I go off about 25 points, we come back and win the game, we’re walking off the floor. Tex (Winter) looks at me and says “There’s no “I” in team!” I looked at Tex and say, “There’s not, but there’s an ‘I’ in win!””

“Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.”

“If we all work together, we can foster greater understanding, positive change and create a more peaceful world for ourselves, our children, our families and our communities.”

Michael Phelps

“Dream as big as you can dream, and anything is possible.”

“Records are always made to be broken no matter what they are. Anybody can do anything that they set their mind to.”

“It’s not how you start, but it’s how you finish.”

Michael Schumacher

“First, you have to finish.”

“Just being a mediocre driver has never been my ambition. That’s not my style.”

“I’ve always believed that you should never, ever give up and you should always keep fighting even when there’s only a slightest chance.”

Muhammad Ali

“The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

“I never thought of losing, but now that it’s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.”

“Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.”

“Religions all have different names, but they all contain the same truths. … I think the people of our religion should be tolerant and understand people believe different things.”

“It’s a lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believe in myself.”

“Friendship is a priceless gift that cannot be bought nor sold, but its value is far greater than a mountain made of gold; for gold is cold & lifeless – it can neither see nor hear, in time of trouble its powerless to cheer — it has no ears to listen, no heart to understand, it cannot bring you comfort or reach out a helping hand. So when you ask God for a gift, be thankful if sends not diamonds, pearls or riches but the love of real true friends.”

“I’d like for them to say he took a few cups of love, he took one tablespoon of patience, teaspoon of generosity, one pint of kindness. He took one quart of laughter, one pinch of concern, and then, he mix willlingness with happiness, he added lots of faith, and he stired it up well, then he spreads it over his span of a lifetime, and he served it to each and every deserving person he met.”

“Over the years my religion has changed and my spirituality has evolved. Religion and spirituality are very different, but people often confuse the two. Some things cannot be taught, but they can be awakened in the heart. Spirituality is recognizing the divine light that is within us all. It doesn’t belong to any particular religion; it belongs to everyone.”

“We all have the same God, we just serve him differently. Rivers, lakes, ponds, streams, oceans all have different names, but they all contain water. So do religions have different names, and they all contain truth, expressed in different ways forms and times. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Muslim, a Christian, or a Jew. When you believe in God, you should believe that all people are part of one family. If you love God, you can’t love only some of his children.”

“My soul has grown over the years, and some of my views have changed. As long as I am alive, I will continue to try to understand more because the work of the heart is never done. All through my life I have been tested. My will has been tested, my courage has been tested, my strength has been tested. Now my patience and endurance are being tested. Every step of the way I believe that God has been with me. And, more than ever, I know that he is with me now. I have learned to live my life one step, one breath, and one moment at a time, but it was a long road. I set out on a journey of love, seeking truth, peace and understanding. l am still learning.”

“Wouldn’t it be a beautiful world if just 10 percent of the people who believe in the power of love would compete with one another to see who could do the most good for the most people? So many of us enjoy taking part in competitions, why not hold a competition of love instead of one that leads to jealousy and envy? If we continue to think and live as if we belong only to different cultures and different religions, with separate missions and goals, we will always be in self-defeating competition with each other.”

“Once we realize we are all members of humanity, we will want to compete in the spirit of love.”

“In a competition of love we’ll all share in the victory, no matter who comes first.”

Pelé

“I was born for soccer, just as Beethoven was born for music.”

“Every kid around the world who plays soccer wants to be Pelé. I have a great responsibility to show them not just how to be like a soccer player, but how to be like a man.”

“Bobby Moore — he defended like a lord. Let me tell you about this man. When I played, I would face up to a defender, I would beat him with my eyes, send him the wrong way; I would look one way and then go the other. Defenders would just kick me in frustration. They would foul me because they couldn’t stop me, or because I would confuse them with my movement. I would move my eyes, my legs or my body, but not always the ball. They would follow my move, but not Bobby, not ever. He would watch the ball, he would ignore my eyes and my movement and then, when he was ready and his balance was right, he would take the ball, always hard, always fair.He was a gentleman and an incredible footballer.”

Roger Bannister

“We run, not only because we think it is doing us good, but … because it helps us to do other things better.”

Roger Federer

“Today, I’m totally zen.”

“Previously I always thought it was just tactical and technique, but every match has become almost mental and physical—I try to push myself to move well. I try to push myself not to get upset and stay positive, and that’s what my biggest improvement is over all those years. Under pressure I can see things very clear.”

“Sometimes you’re just happy playing. Some people, some media, unfortunately, don’t understand that it’s okay just to play tennis and enjoy it. They always think you have to win everything, it always needs to be a success story, and if it’s not, obviously, what is the point? Maybe you have to go back and think, Why have I started playing tennis? Because I just like it. It’s actually sort of a dream hobby that became somewhat of a job. Some people just don’t get that, ever.”

“I think you need inspiration, motivation from different angles to keep you going, because it isn’t that simple just to wake up every morning and go for another travel around the world, another practice, all these other things; another fitness workout, another stretch. It’s always nice, but you need to have some success and you need to have the right reasons why you’re doing it. I think I’ve always been able to do that and I really enjoy myself out on the court.”

Sachin Tendulkar

“When people throw stones at you, you turn them into milestones.”

“Don’t stop chasing your dreams, because dreams comes true.”

“The only thing that was on my mind was, ‘I want to play for India one day,’ and I was pretty sure and confident that one day I will.”

“I get 0.5 seconds to react to a ball, sometimes even less than that. I can’t be thinking of what XYZ has said about me. I need to surrender myself to my natural instincts. My subconscious mind knows exactly what to do. It is trained to react. At home, my family doesn’t discuss media coverage.”

“I hate losing and cricket being my first love, once I enter the ground it’s a different zone altogether and that hunger for winning is always there.”

“I have never tried to compare myself to anyone else.”

“It’s about not accepting every little challenge thrown at you. Sometimes you hold back and when it’s needed you go for it.”

“When there is time to think about i think, but when there is time to be with family , i try to do justice to that aspect of my life as well.”

“Whatever level you reach, getting better, never stops.”

“I fail sometimes, I succeed sometimes, so that’s fair enough. It’s a package deal. It comes with that package: Failures and success/”

“In any profession, there are always ups and downs.”

Tiger Woods

“I love to compete. That’s the essence of who I am.”

“I don’t see myself as the Great Black Hope. I’m just a golfer who happens to be black and Asian. It doesn’t matter whether they’re white, black, brown or green.”

“My goal is to remain healthy my entire career, and a healthy diet seems like a good start.”

“I think the best thing is being able to play golf competitively for a living. Ever since I was a little boy, that’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and now I get a chance to live out my dreams.”

“I’ve done it before. It won’t be the last time. You’re going to go years where you just don’t win. That’s okay, as long as you keep trying to improve.”

“I don’t want to be the best black golfer, I want to be the best golfer, period.”

“You can always become better.”

“Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously, I lost track of what I was taught.”