39 Sports Quotes to Get Hyped and Boost Team Spirit

, Staff Writer
Updated August 31, 2021
sports quote vince lombardi
    sports quote vince lombardi
    David Madison / DigitalVision / Getty
    Used under Getty Images license

Whether you're trying to inspire your favorite player or you're a player yourself, there are a lot of great sports quotes to motivate individual players and teams alike. Any time you're looking for the right words to build some hype or inspire success, this selection of quotes is a great resource. Enjoy perusing these inspirational and motivational sports quotes, as well as a few that are just plain funny.

Sports Quotes About Success in Sports

Many of the best sports quotes focus on success and winning, topics that are certainly of interest to athletes of every age and level. Find out what some history-making athletes and coaches have to say on this topic.

  • "If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?" - Vince Lombardi (football)
  • "No matter how good you get you can always get better, and that's the exciting part.”- Tiger Woods (golf)
  • "I've missed more than 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." - Michael Jordan (basketball)
  • "Coaches have to watch for what they don't want to see and listen to what they don't want to hear." -John Madden (football)
  • "In the sports arena I would say there is nothing like training and preparation. You have to train your mind as much as your body." - Venus Williams (tennis)
  • “When you want to win a game, you have to teach. When you lose a game, you have to learn.” - Tom Landry (football)
  • "I never smile when I have a bat in my hands. That's when you've got to be serious. When I get out on the field, nothing's a joke to me. I don't feel like I should walk around with a smile on my face." - Henry "Hank" Aaron (baseball)
  • “If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else believe in you? We can be our own best friends or our own worst enemies. I have always vowed to be my own best friend by exhibiting a positive attitude.” - Derek Jeter (baseball)
  • "As a player and as a coach, I have to say that both professionalism and passion are equally important in both cases.” - Andrea Giani (volleyball)

Sports Quotes About Hard Work

Sports success does not just happen. It takes dedication, effort and sweat. The words of successful athletes and coaches can provide inspirational sports quotes to motivate players to keep trying and to work even harder.

  • "You are either getting better or getting worse, but you are never staying the same.” - Drew Brees (football)
  • "I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.” - Michael Phelps (swimming)
  • "You're never a loser until you quit trying." - Mike Ditka (football)
  • "The key is not the will to win ... everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important." - Bobby Knight (basketball)
  • "You learn you can do your best even when it's hard, even when you're tired and maybe hurting a little bit. It feels good to show some courage." - Joe Namath (football)
  • "If you can't outplay them, outwork them." - Ben Hogan (golf)
  • "If you train hard, you'll not only be hard, you'll be hard to beat." - Herschel Walker (football)
  • "I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’” - Muhammad Ali (boxing)
  • "Life is often compared to a marathon, but I think it is more like being a sprinter; long stretches of hard work punctuated by brief moments in which we are given the opportunity to perform at our best." - Michael Johnson (sprinter)

Team Sports Quotes

Individual achievement is critical to success, but for most sports, teamwork matters just as much (if not more). If you're part of a team, you have to be a team player. The quotes below can help remind players to put the team's interests above their own and help the full team come together as a cohesive unit.

sports quote phil jackson basketball team
    sports quote phil jackson basketball team
    Icon Sportswire / Contributor / Getty
    Used under Getty Images license
  • "You must learn how to hold a team together. You must lift some men up, calm others down, until finally they’ve got one heartbeat. Then you’ve got yourself a team.” - Paul "Bear" Bryant (football)
  • "Anyone can support a team that is winning — it takes no courage. But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you, that takes a lot of courage." - Bart Starr (football)
  • "The way a team plays as a whole determines its success."- Babe Ruth (baseball)
  • "On a football team, it’s not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function together.” - Bill Belichik (football)
  • "Great teamwork is the only way we create the breakthroughs that define our careers." - Pat Riley (basketball)
  • "To me, teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one. You become selfless." - Mike Krzyzewski (basketball)
  • "Team guts always beats individual greatness." - Robert Zuppke (football)
  • "The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." - Phil Jackson (basketball)
  • "The secret to success is good leadership, and good leadership is all about making the lives of your team members or workers better." - Tony Dungy (football)

Sports Quotes for Kids

Don't overlook the youngest athletes. It's so important to provide kids with words of encouragement as they navigate the world of youth sports. These special words might help keep them moving forward as they learn about sports, even when things seem a bit challenging.

  • "Don’t lose faith in your dreams, keep fighting for what you love, and if you always give everything you have you’ll be happy no matter what the outcome." - Lindsey Vonn (skiing)
  • "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." - Wayne Gretsky (hockey)
  • "I would like to instill in people just to work hard. As long as they keep at it, their dreams will happen." - Misty May-Treanor (beach volleyball)
  • "Stay healthy, have fun with it, and embrace all the moments. Because anything can happen.”- Simone Biles (gymnastics)
  • "Everyone's dream can come true if you just stick to it and work hard." - Serena Wiliams (tennis)
  • “Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.” - George Halas (football)

Funny Sports Quotes

Finally, no list of sports quotes would be complete without a few chuckle-worthy sayings. Some of these funny sayings are from those who work in the world of sports, while others are from entertainers. Either way, sometimes a good laugh provides the best way to boost team spirit and help players get hyped.

  • "You can observe a lot just by watching." - Yogi Berra (baseball)
  • "American football makes rugby look like a Tupperware party." - Sue Lawley (broadcaster/journalist)
  • "The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, I'll never be as good as a wall." - Mitch Hedberg (comedian)
  • "I think football would become an even better game if someone could invent a ball that kicks back." - Eric Morecambe (comedian)
  • "I went to a fight the other night, and a hockey game broke out." - Rodney Dangerfield (comedian)
  • "Playing polo is like trying to play golf during an earthquake." - Sylvester Stallone (actor)

Words of Encouragement for Athletes of All Ages

Now that you've perused a selection of the best sports quotes out there, you might want to expand your horizons beyond just quotes. After all, motivation and inspiration can come from anywhere. Check out these encouraging words for every occasion. You just might find something to pair with one (or more!) of the quotes above.