Quotes

Attention | Attitude | Challenges | Communication | Confidence | Control | Deliberate-practice | Discipline | Enjoyment | Effort | Excellence | Fear | Flow | Goal-setting | Gratitude | Kindness | Leadership | Limits | Loosing | Mindfulness | Mistakes | Motivation | Optimism | Playing-against-oneself | Process-vs-outcome | Progress | Resilience | Self-acceptance | Success | Teamwork | Visualisation | Wellbeing | Winning | Worries

Attention

‘Concentration is the ROOT of all the higher abilities in man.’ – Bruce Lee

‘Attention without intention is wasted energy.’ – Chris Bailey

‘I learned early in sports that to be effective – for a player to play the best he can play – is a matter of concentration and being unaware of distractions, positive or negative.’ – Tom Landry

‘Our sport is dangerous. We risk the life out there, so we need to stay calm and focused and leave all the rest out.’ – Valentino Rossi

Attitude

‘If you only ever give 90% in training, then you will only ever give 90% when it matters.’ –  Michael Owen

‘The secret is not on the legs, but in the courage of going running when it rains, is windy or snows.’ – Kilian Jornet

‘The good ones do not always win, those who fight win.’ – Diego Pablo Simeone 

‘Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.’ – Mike Singletary

‘You can’t always control circumstances. However, you can always control your attitude, approach, and response. Your options are to complain or to look ahead and figure out how to make the situation better.’ – Tony Dungy

‘Not always the tallest reach the highest, not always the fastest arrive earlier, not always the strongest are those who win the battle. But those who train the most, strive and believe in the team are the ones who will win the most times.’ – Pau Gasol

‘Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.’ – John Wooden

‘You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.’ – Wayne Gretzky

‘The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.’ – John Bingham

‘There are many people who strive every day and are not lucky enough to reach the top. The important thing is the path, to think on day to day, to think that things are going to come.‘ – Rafael Nadal

‘We all have a choice, try, or give up and get depressed, I chose to try.’ – Pablo Cimadevila

‘Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.’ – William James

‘Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.’ – Mark Twain

‘Everything can be taken from a man, except one thing: the last of human liberties: choosing one’s attitude in any set of circumstances, choosing their own path.’ – Viktor Frankl

‘What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.’ – Jane Goodall

‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is courage that counts.’ – Alicia Coutts

‘Nothing makes me more determined to succeed than someone telling me something’s impossible.’ – Jackie Chan

‘Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude.’ – Viktor Frankl

‘Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.’ – Kobe Bryant

‘Nothing makes me more determined to succeed than someone telling me something’s impossible.’ – Jackie Chan

Challenges

‘Life is meant to be a challenge, because challenges are what make you grow.’ – Manny Pacquiao 

‘Adversity isn’t an obstacle that we need to get around in order to resume living our life. It’s part of our life.’ – Aimee Mullins

‘It does not matter how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get up.’ – Vince Lombardi

‘Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.’ – T.S. Eliot

‘You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety.’ – Abraham Maslow

‘The important thing about a problem is not its solution, but the strength we gain in finding the solution.’ – Seneca

‘I always believe if you’re stuck in a hole and maybe things aren’t going well you will come out stronger. Everything in life is this way.’ – Roger Federer

‘You always recognize a great champion … [by] how they come back from a loss.’ – Georges St-Pierre

‘Adversity is the fertilizer to growth.’ – Ken Ravizza

‘The great fights with your strongest rivals are always the biggest motivation. When you win easily it’s not the same.’ – Valentino Rossi

‘Make an obstacle and opportunity, make a negative a positive.’ – Lance Armstrong

‘There is no such thing as an easy stage.’ – Vincenzo Nibali

‘Tough times don’t last, tough people do.’ – Julian Edelman

‘The more you seek the uncomfortable, the more you will be comfortable.’ – Conor McGregor

‘Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.’ – Alan Cohen

‘It is what you do with the rough patches that will define the athlete you’ll become.’ – Dana Vollmer

‘There is no way around the hard work. Embrace it.’
– Roger Federer

‘If you win without sacrifice you enjoy it but it’s more satisfying when you have struggled.’
– Andrés Iniesta

‘You have to go through rough patches to achieve great things.’ – Victoria Azarenka

Communication

‘Listen, you will be wise. The beginning of wisdom is silence.’ – Pythagoras

Confidence

‘The more you believe in yourself, the faster you’re going to get.’ – Adam Peaty

‘If you don’t have confidence, you will always find a way not to win.’ – Carl Lewis

‘The more matches I play, the more confident I get.’ – Maria Sharapova

‘You just have to prove to yourself that you can go out there and be the best that you can be and not prove anything to anyone.’ – Serena Williams

Control

‘You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.’ – Marcus Aurelius

‘He is most powerful who governs himself.’ – Seneca

‘Nothing is ours except time.’ – Seneca

‘When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.’ – Viktor Frankl

‘The best fighter is never angry.’ – Lao Tzu

‘There are things we can’t control – like the wins and losses.’
– Jim Courier

‘You can’t always control the circumstances – only how you react to those circumstances; you can always control your attitude and your effort.’ – Jennie Finch

Deliberate-practice

‘It’s not necessarily the amount of time you spend at practice that counts; it’s what you put into the practice.’ – Eric Lindros

‘You can work really hard, but if you’re not training in the right way you’re not going to improve and get to the level that you want to.’ – Michael Chang

Discipline

‘Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period.’ – Lou Holtz

‘You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good.’ – Jerry West

‘Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.’ – Mother Theresa

‘Joy is strength.’ – Mother Theresa

‘If there is one magic word that stands out above all the rest, it is discipline.’ – Jim Rohn

‘If you quit once, it’s so much easier to quit the second, third, fourth time.’ – Michael Chang

‘All the good stuff is on the other side of tired.’ – Andre Agassi

‘You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.’ – Carl Gustav Jung

Enjoyment

‘Just play, have fun, enjoy the game.’  – Michael Jordan

‘Sport in the end is for that: for people to enjoy.’ – Miguel Indurain

‘Everything I have achieved in football is due to playing football in the streets with my friends.’
– Zinedine Zidane

Effort

‘Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.’ – Tim Notke

‘It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.’ – Babe Ruth

‘The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.’ – Pelé

‘Make each day your masterpiece.’ – John Wooden

‘There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.’ – Derek Jeter

‘Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.’ – Arnold Palmer

‘Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.’ – Matt Biondi

‘In the dust of defeat as well as in the laurels of victory there is a glory to be found if one has done his best.’ – Eric Liddell

‘If you train badly, you play badly. If you work like a beast in training, you play the same way.’ – Pep Guardiola

‘I will forgive players if they don’t grasp it at first – but I will not forgive them for not trying.’ – Pep Guardiola

‘You have to fight to reach your dream. You have to sacrifice and work hard for it.’
– Lionel Messi

‘Hard work does not guarantee success, but no work guarantees failure.’
– Cesc Fabregas

‘I have a need to play intensely every day, to fight every match hard.’ – Zinedine Zidane

‘I think my secret is that there’s no shortcuts for hardwork, determination and having that don’t give up attitude.’ – Jerry Rice

‘Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.’ – Jerry Rice

‘Everyone sees the glory moments, but they don’t see what happens behind the scenes.’ – Allyson Felix

‘Goals never come easy. No one gives you goals.’ – Frank Lampard

‘Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work.’
– Andre Agassi

‘Fortune helps the bold.’ – Horatio

Excellence

‘If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.’ – Abraham Maslow

‘The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.’
 – Jimmy Johnson

‘Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit. You are what you repeatedly do.’ – Shaquille O’Neal

‘In racing there are always things you can learn, every single day. There is always space for improvement, and I think that applies to everything in life.’ – Lewis Hamilton

‘When it comes down to it, determination has a greater impact than giftedness.’ – Kristin Armstrong

‘What makes the difference between a great player and just a normal player is dedication, work, commitment.’ – Thierry Henry

Fear

‘You cannot be afraid to fail, it is the only way to succeed. You are not going to succeed all the time, and I know that.’ – Lebron James

‘Don’t fear failure. Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.’ – Bruce Lee

‘We are generally afraid to become that which we can glimpse in our most perfect moments.’ – Abraham Maslow

‘It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.’ – Seneca

‘We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more in imagination than in reality.’ – Seneca

‘Your will to win must be stronger than your fear of losing.’ – Mike Horn 

‘Doubt is only removed by action. If you’re not working then that’s where doubt comes in.’ – Conor McGregor

‘Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.’ – Roy T. Bennett

‘We fear the future because we are wasting today.’ – Mother Theresa

‘If you’re afraid to fail, then you’re probably going to fail.’ – Kobe Bryant

‘I am lucky that whatever fear I have inside me, my desire to win is always stronger.’ – Serena Williams

‘Never be afraid to fail. Failure is only a stepping stone to improvement. Never be overconfident because that will block your improvement.’ – Tatchakorn Yeerum

Flow

‘Flow in the living moment. — We are always in a process of becoming and NOTHING is fixed.’ – Bruce Lee

Goal-setting

‘Without goals you are like a ship without a rudder – heading in no particular direction.’ – Roy Williams

‘Set your goals high, and don’t stop until you get there.’ – Bo Jackson

‘The beginning is half of every action.’ – David Allen

‘There’s only one way to start building your dream: stop talking and start doing.’ – Walt Disney

‘The possibility of realizing a dream is what makes life interesting.’ – Paulo Coelho

‘The secret of getting ahead is getting started.’ – Mark Twain

 ‘Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.’ –  Mark Twain

‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’ ― Lao Tzu

‘Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.’ – Tony Robbins

‘How lovely it is to dream while you are awake.’ 
– Andre Agassi

‘It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.’
 – Séneca

Gratitude

‘You have to fight for your dream, but you also have to feel fortunate for what you have.’ – Cesc Fábregas

Kindness

‘Treat everyone you meet as if they were you.’ – Doug Dillon

‘You don’t need a reason to be nice to someone.’ – Jackie Chan

Leadership

‘What characterizes a good coach? What players will say about him when everything is over.’ – Pep Guardiola

‘You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals.’
– Marie Curie 

‘The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great at whatever they want to do.’ – Kobe Bryant

Limits

‘Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.’ –  Michael Jordan

‘If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.’ –  Bruce Lee

‘You push the limits and you find out where the limits are.’ – Taylor Phinney

‘There are moments when the human body can overcome things you would never expect.’ – Andrés Iniesta

Loosing

‘I’ve learned that something constructive comes from every defeat.’ –  Tom Landry

‘Sometimes you have to accept you can’t win all the time.’ – Lionel Messi

‘It’s always tough when you lose – you’ve worked so hard for that moment and it hasn’t gone the way you wanted. But you have to realise there’s always a bright side, you have to pick yourself up and get ready for the next game.’
 – Maria Sharapova

‘When you lose, you get up, you make it better, you TRY AGAIN.’ – Serena Williams

Mindfulness

‘Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.’ – Lao Tzu

‘Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.’ – Mother Teresa

‘Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.’– Thich Nhat Hanh

‘Smile, breathe and go slowly.’ – Thich Nhat Hanh

‘Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is the only moment.’ – Thich Nhat Hanh

‘Life is available only in the present moment.’ – Thich Nhat Hanh

‘The feeling that any task is a nuisance will soon disappear if it is done in mindfulness.’ – Thich Nhat Hanh

‘The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.’ – Jon Kabat-Zinn

‘Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.’ – Jon Kabat-Zinn

‘The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness.’ – Jon Kabat-Zinn

‘Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.’ – Jon Kabat-Zinn

‘You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.’ – Jon Kabat-Zinn

‘You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.’ – Pema Chödrön

‘Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are just that – thoughts.’ – Allan Lokos

We cannot force the development of mindfulness.’ – Allen Lokos 

‘If you take care of the minutes, the years will take care of themselves.’ – Tibetan proverb

‘I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.’ – Gandhi

Mistakes

‘Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.’ –  Morihei Ueshiba

‘What do you do with a mistake: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.’ – Dean Smith

‘I failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeeded.’ – Michael Jordan

‘It’s not really that much big of a deal – you brush it off and you come back. Defeat is the secret ingredient to success.’ – Conor McGregor

‘There’s no failure in pouring your heart, soul, and energy into something that doesn’t work. Rather, failure is not trying at all.’ – Jim Rohn

‘It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all.’ – J.K. Rowling

‘I hit a lot of bad shots. You need to laugh about them and keep moving.’ – Lorena Ochoa

‘A failure isn’t a failure if it prepares you for success tomorrow.’ – Lolo Jones

‘I think about all my successes and failures and sometimes the failures stick in your head as much as the wins. But you do move on.’ – Frank Lampard

‘You’re going to make mistakes in life. It’s what you do after the mistakes that counts.’ 
– Brandi Chastain

Motivation

‘Motivation is key. More than training, more than experience or age, motivation counts. You have to ask yourself: Why am I racing? I race because I like it, because I’m really enjoying it.’ – Valentino Rossi

‘I have a need to play intensely every day, to fight every match hard.’ – Zinedine Zidane

Optimism

‘You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.’ – Michael Jordan

‘I am a very positive thinker, and I think that is what helps me the most in difficult moments.’ – Roger Federer

‘Choose the positive. You have choice. You are master of your attitude, choose the POSITIVE, the CONSTRUCTIVE. Optimism is a faith that leads to success.’ – Bruce Lee

‘Cease negative mental chattering. If you think a thing is impossible, you’ll make it impossible. Pessimism blunts the tools you need to succeed.’ – Bruce Lee

‘I keep having vivid dreams of success. Then it’s time to sleep.’ – Conor McGregor

‘Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.’ – William James

‘Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.’ – Helen Keller

‘The spirit of the individual is determined by his dominating thought habits.’ – Bruce Lee

‘Make an obstacle and opportunity, make a negative a positive.’ – Lance Armstrong

‘The secret is to believe in your dreams; in your potential that you can be like your star, keep searching, keep believing and don’t lose faith in yourself.’ – Neymar

‘I’ve had to learn to fight all my life – got to learn to keep smiling. If you smile things will work out.’ – Serena Williams

Playing-against-oneself

‘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

Process-vs-outcome

‘You cannot control the results, only your actions.’ – Allan Lokos

‘Concentrate on what will produce the results rather than on the results, the process rather than the prize.’ – Bill Walsh

‘I think so many times we focus so much on just the end result; when we finally reach the point we realize that was never the true goal. That was never really what it was all about.’ – Apolo Ohno

‘The result is an impostor in football. You can do things really, really well but not win. There’s something greater than the result, more lasting: the legacy.’ – Xavi

‘It’s all about the journey, not the outcome.’ – Carl Lewis

‘You have to focus on the process. You cannot be glued to the results.’ – Ivan Lendl

‘What people tend to forget is the journey that I had getting to Formula One. There were plenty of years where I had to learn about losing and having bad races.’ – Lewis Hamilton

‘I judge my team by the intentions, not by the result.’ – Pep Guardiola

Progress

‘Always look to learn. Learning something new is a great feeling. The feeling of progress.’ – Conor McGregor

‘No matter how good you get you can always get better, and that’s the exciting part.’ – Tiger Woods

‘Everything is practice.’ – Pelé

‘Don’t measure yourself for what you have accomplished, but for what you should have achieved with your ability.’ – John Wooden

Resilience

‘I really think a champion is defined not by their wins but by how they can recover when they fall.’ – Serena Williams

‘It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.’– Muhammad Ali

Self-acceptance

‘If you’re lucky enough to be different don’t ever change.’ – Khoudia Diop

‘To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are.’ – Sven Goran Eriksson

‘If you do not believe in yourself no one will do it for you.’ – Kobe Bryant

‘I don’t aspire to be like other drivers – I aspire to be unique in my own way.’ – Lewis Hamilton

‘You have to believe in yourself when no one else does.’ – Serena Williams

‘Am I the greatest? I don’t know. I’m the greatest that I can be.’ – Serena Williams

‘Try not to get lost in comparing yourself to others. Discover your gifts and let them shine!’ – Jennie Finch

‘I make my weaknesses my strengths and my strengths stronger.’ – Lisa Fernández

‘Never assume greatness is for someone else. Imagine every day that you too can do great things. Have the courage to take the challenge, make the mistakes, and move forward.’ – Brandi Chastain

‘When I look around, I always learn something: to be always yourself, and to express yourself, to have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.’ – Bruce Lee

‘I am just trying to be myself. I’m not trying to be anyone else.’ – Conor McGregor

‘We are all of us, unique – each a unique pattern of creativity and if we do not fulfil it, it is lost for all time.’ – Martha Graham

Success

‘Failure is success in progress.’ – Albert Einstein

‘Success doesn’t lie in “results” but in “efforts”, being the best is not important. “Doing” the best is all that matters.’ – Albert Einstein

‘It is more difficult to stay on top than to get there.’ – Mia Hamm

‘The only way to do great work is to love what you do.’ – Steve Jobs

‘To be part of the 1% you must do what 99% does not do.’ – Bruce Lee

‘The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.’ – Pierre de Coubertin

‘You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.’ – Oprah Winfrey

‘You might not make it to the top, but if you are doing what you love, there is much more happiness there than being rich or famous.’ – Tony Hawk

‘If you want to experience all of the success and pleasure in life, you have to be willing to accept the pain and failure that comes with it.’ – Mat Hoffman

‘The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble.’ – Serena Williams

‘Luck has nothing to do with it, because I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come.’ – Serena Williams

‘Success isn’t how far you got, but the distance you travelled from where you started.’
 – Steve Prefontaine

‘Don’t dream of winning, train for it.’ – Mohamed Farah

‘Success doesn’t always come in the form of a trophy. Keep striving for success.’
– Andre Agassi

‘Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.’ – Séneca

Teamwork


‘Not even a golden ball is worth as much as the esteem of your own teammates.’ – Vicente del Bosque

‘When I retire, the only thing that concerns me is that no one can say that I was a bad team-mate or disrespectful or self-important.’ – Fernando Torres

‘Talent wins games; teamwork and intelligence wins championships.’ – Michael Jordan 

‘Don’t ask what your colleagues can do for you. Ask what you can do for them.’ – Magic Johnson

‘The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.’ – Phil Jackson

Visualisation

‘I am a big believer in visualization. I run through my races mentally so that I feel even more prepared.’ – Allyson Felix

Wellbeing

‘My main goal is to stay healthy because when you’re injured you realise how lucky you are to have your health.’ – Maria Sharapova

Winning

‘You’re not always going to win because life isn’t about that.’ – Bobby Orr

Worries

‘Nothing good ever comes from worrying or sitting there feeling sorry for yourself… keep positive and keep pushing on and things will turn good.’ – Conor McGregor

‘Worrying gets you nowhere. If you turn up worrying about how you’re going to perform, you’ve already lost. Train hard, turn up, run your best and the rest will take care of itself.’ – Usain Bolt

‘I never worry about the problem. I worry about the solution.’ – Shaquille O’Neal

‘I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.’ – Mark Twain

‘Instead of worrying, concentrate on doing the best job you’ve ever done in your life.’ – Jim Rohn

These quotes have been compiled from various sources and time periods. In compiling the quotes the author has made every reasonable effort to correctly attribute each citation to the original author. Despite all attempts made to verify the information provided, the author assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions or contradictory interpretations.