Motivational Quotes for Athletes that will Challenge & Inspire

motivational quotes for athletes

Looking for the perfect motivational quotes for athletes to challenge and inspire your players? 

There have been many times in my coaching career when I needed just the right words. 

Basketball is a challenging sport. Teaching the fundamentals and the "Xs and Os" is hard enough.

But the physical part of the game is just the beginning.

It's what goes on between our players' ears, the mental part of the game, that can be especially challenging to coach.

The game of basketball, like life, is fraught with emotions. That's one of the reasons I believe sports provide such a great learning opportunity for our kids.

Players that have trouble handling the mental part of the game struggle to become great players. 

So, coaches while you're focusing on the fundamentals don't overlook opportunities to help your players manage the mental part of the game as well. 

Below, I've gathered some of the best motivational sayings from exceptional leaders from all walks of life. Follow the links to find the perfect inspirational basketball message for your next team practice, pre-game talk, or sideline huddle. 

Motivational Quotes for Athletes
Teamwork

teamwork quote

Why is teamwork important?

Because unlike golf or tennis, basketball is a team sport. Five players struggling to function as a single unit.

It's not always easy bringing together different personalities, cultures, genders, and skill levels to work effectively.

But if you can, the sky's the limit to what a group of players with a single purpose can achieve! 

Photo: Some rights reserved by andrewtoday

Motivational Quotes for Athletes
Positive attitude

positive attitude quotes

Our beliefs, thoughts, and attitudes have a huge impact on our performance in everything we do. 

Tremendous power lies in the human brain to imagine, dream, and accomplish great things.

Research shows that time spent  envisioning positive outcomes and successes is time well spent.

It all starts with a positive attitude.

The journey through any season isn't always easy. Challenges. Adversities. Setbacks. 

Successful people have developed a habit of maintaining a positive attitude in all situations.

Photo: Some rights reserved by Sweet Dreamz Design

Motivational Quotes for Athletes
Winning

quotes about winning

Success and achievement don't happen by accident.

They're the sweet payoff of hard work.

I don't know any player who likes to lose. But I know lots of players who aren't willing to do the hard work it takes to win.

Setting goals. Desire. Excellence. Showing up everyday and giving it all you've got. This is the secret to winning.

In sports, scoring more points and winning the game is the goal. But as coaches, we know there's so much more. It would be terribly short-sighted while teaching our athletes to pursue victory to neglect the integrity and sportsmanship that goes along with it.

Photo: Some rights reserved by symphony of love

Motivational Quotes for Athletes
Making mistakes

quotes about mistakes

I haven't met a person yet who enjoys making mistakes.

However, amid all the uncertainties of life, one thing is certain. We all face failure and defeat at some point.

Making mistakes is crucial to learning. It's impossible to improve without them.

Be coachable.

Players who are willing to learn from their errors are one step closer to success. 

Photo: Some rights reserved by symphony of love

Motivational Quotes for Athletes
Self-confidence

self confidence quotes

Self-confidence is important.

How we view ourselves makes a difference in how we perform and how we treat our teammates. 

A healthy dose of self-confidence is critical to achieve great things.

But be careful not to confuse self-confidence with conceit. 

There's a big difference.

Conceit is destructive to a team and infests it with selfishness, divisiveness, and jealousy.

Players with self-confidence, on the other hand, make a team better. They're the team leaders. The players you want on the floor at the end of the game because they want the ball. They want to step up to the free throw line. They want to take the last shot. 

Photo: Some rights reserved by symphony of love

Motivational Quotes for Athletes
Criticism

quotes about criticism

Play any sport long enough and you'll receive criticism.

Some will be constructive, pointing out areas for improvement. But some may be unnecessary and untrue.

So what do you do when the words hurt?

Handling criticism is an ongoing part of life.

Be open to listening. It's the coach's job to point out mistakes and be critical of poor performance. Players and teams can't improve unless the weak areas become stronger.

Be coachable. Avoid excuses. Our time is much better spent trying to make ourselves better than making excuses when we mess up.

Photo: Some rights reserved by symphony of love

Motivational Quotes for Athletes
Endurance

endurance quotes

Commitment. Perseverance. Habits. Discipline.

There are no shortcuts to success.

Anything worth accomplishing requires a lot of hard work, practice, and diligence.

The teams that win championships are those that endure the rises and falls of the season.

They push through. They never give up.

They understand the power of their practice routines, day in and day out, and they don't cut corners. They stick to it.

Never underestimate the power of habits. They're the secret to sticking it to it. Over time, our daily habits define who we are. On the court and off.

Photo: Some rights reserved by Sweet Dreamz Design

Motivational Quotes for Athletes
Frustration

frustration quotes

Competition can get fierce. Injuries set us back. The losses pile up higher than the wins.

Bad calls comes our way. Our performance disappoints us.

In the world of sports, this is a reality.

And sometimes our emotions, anger, and frustration can get the best of us.

Maintaining self-control and overcoming destructive negative feelings can be difficult. But the best players learn how to manage their frustration and grow through it.

Photo: Some rights reserved by symphony of love

Motivational Quotes for Athletes
Sportsmanship

We see it all too often these days. Adults involved in youth sports who forget what they're really all about.

In the pursuit of winning, even for the youngest kids, coaches and parents lose sight of the big picture.

One of the most important lessons athletes should take with them when they leave your program is what it means to be a good sport. The definition of sportsmanship should permeate every practice, game, and team interaction.

Every coach will tell you that fundamental skills are important. I agree. But those intangible qualities like character, honesty, integrity, and good sportsmanship will take our young players a lot farther in life than a killer jump shot. 

Photo: Some rights reserved by EvelynGiggles

Motivational Quotes for Athletes
Overcoming nervousness

how to not be nervous

I can still remember the jitters I would feel in my stomach before tip-off of every game.

Anticipation. Excitement. Uncertainty. Fear.

Was our team ready? Would I have a good game?

I can remember the same feeling stepping up the free throw line in a clutch situation or taking the last second shot for the win.

It's natural to be nervous and even afraid when we take on new challenges and risks. But we can't let it become debilitating. 

How to not be nervous? Put everything in perspective. Success is not final. Failure is not fatal.

Photo: Some rights reserved by MyThoughtsOn

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