Inspirational Quotes



A person always doing his or her best becomes a natural leader, just by example.

                                                            - Joe DiMaggio


Contrary to the opinion of many people, leaders are not born.  Leaders are made, and they are made by effort and hard work.

-          Vince Lombardi


A leader is interested in finding the best way, not in having his own way.

                                                            - John Wooden



Hard Work / Dedication


The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.

-          Vidal Sassoon


Hard work is the price we must all pay for success.

-          Vince Lombardi


When all is said and done, as a rule, more is said than done.

-          Lou Holtz


As a kid, I always thought I was behind and I needed that extra hour to catch up.  Jim Jones once told me, ďNo matter how many shots you take, somewhere thereís a kid out there taking one more shot.  If you dribble a million times a day, someone is dribbling a million and one.Ē  Whenever Iíd get ready to call it a day, Iíd think, ďNo.  Somebody else is still practicing.  Somebody, somewhere is playing that extra ten or fifteen minutes and heís going to beat me someday.Ē  Iíd practice some more and then Iíd think, ďMaybe that guy is practicing his free throws now.Ē  So Iíd go to the line and practice my free throws and that would take another hour.  I donít know if I practiced more than anybody, but I sure practiced enough.  I still wonder if somebody ~ somewhere ~ was practicing more than me.

-          Larry Bird


You are really never playing an opponent.  You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy.

-          Arthur Ashe


It is said that good things come to those who wait.  I believe that good things come to those who work.

-          Wilt Chamberlain


Any team can be a miracle team.  The catch is that you have got to go out and work for your miracles.  Effort is what ultimately separates great teams from ordinary teams.

-          Pat Riley


Hustle isnít a God-given talent.  Itís something that a person develops through sheer will.  Itís a state of mind.  Every coach in the world, from the pros to the youth leagues, prays for his players to develop more hustle.

-          Pat Riley


Luck is the residue of hard work.

-          Branch Rickey


Iím a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.

-          Thomas Jefferson




You can be out there in the middle of a tough match pleading to yourself, ďConcentrate, Concentrate!Ē and it wonít happen for you.  Concentration is much more elusive than that.  The concentration you need has to come to you way before your match.  Concentration is born on the practice court, alone with your groundstrokes, your foot speed, and everything else.  You must mentally treat your practice sessions as matches, concentrating on every ball you hit.  You must be keen, alert, and enthused, and you cover all your shots, thinking about just one thing at a time, you are making the mental process more and more automatic.  This is what a true tennis craftsman achieves.  A better quality practice creates a better quality match.

-          Martina Navratilova


Concentration is why some athletes are better than others.  You develop that concentration in training.  You canít be lackadaisical in training and concentrate in a meet.

-          Edwin Moses


One secret of the greatness of Jack Nicklaus is that he never seems to hit a practice shot that he doesnít take as seriously as the shot on the last hole of a major championship.  Heís never careless with a practice shot, he never hits a ball without a purpose.

-          Tom Watson


Sacrifice / Commitment


Sometimes I feel envious when my friends go to parties and I have to go to bed.  But my friends always tell me that the parties really arenít that much fun anyway.  Whatever Iíve missed, Iíve made up for.  Most kids donít get to go to the Olympics and win three gold medals.  Itís definitely been worth it and I wouldnít do it if I didnít want to.

-          Janet Evans


Ask not what your team can do for you, ask what you can do for your team.

-          Magic Johnson


Winning is not a sometime thing, itís an all-time thing.

-          Vince Lombardi


Individual commitment to a group effort Ė that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.

-          Vince Lombardi


I will demand a commitment to excellence and to victory, and that is what life is all about.

                                                            - Vince Lombardi


Dedication / Leadership


You can take the best team and the worst team and line them up and you would find very little physical difference.  You would find an emotional difference.  The wining team has a dedication.  It will have a core group of veteran players who set the standards.  They will not accept defeat.

-          Merlin Olsen




Strength is not nearly as important as desire.  I donít think you can teach anyone desire.  I think itís a gift.  I donít know why I have it, but I do.

-          Larry Bird


It is important to be a self-starter.  Nobody is going to wind you up in the morning and give you a pep talk and push you out the door.

-          Lou Holtz


Iíve always felt it was not up to anyone else to make me give my best.

-          Akeem Olajuwon


The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will

-          Vince Lombardi


Overcoming Adversity


Winners never quit, quitters never win.

-          Vince Lombardi


A winner never whines.                     

                                                            -      Paul Brown


A competitor will find a way to win.  Competitors take bad breaks and use them to drive themselves just that much harder.  Quitters take bad breaks and use them as reasons to give up.  Itís all a matter of pride.

                                                            -      Nancy Lopez


If youíre a champion, you have to have it in your heart.  You can have the greatest coaches in the world, all the opportunities to play, and the greatest equipment, but if you donít have it inside, youíre not going to make it.  On the other hand, if you donít have any of those luxuries but you have heart and courage and the guts to go out there and grind it out, then youíll make it.

-          Chris Evert




I think about never letting anybody get the ball in my zone, about being tough.  If the ball is taken away from me, Iím the first one to take it back.  You can rise to higher levels depending on your level of pride.

                                                            -     Shannon Higgins


Youíll never get ahead of anyone as long as youíre trying to get even with him.

-          Lou Holtz



 The area may just be a back yard.  Up for grabs is not the worldís championship, just bragging rights to whoís best on the block.  Itís a place where legends often begin.  Because from such beginnings, the taste of victory is first savored.  That insatiable taste, incapable of being satisfied, instills the desire to be the best.


Itís more than all those sports page clichťs of extra effort and 110%.  The will to win is a work ethic, a dedication, a commitment to never giving up.  Find these traits in an athlete and youíll find an athlete whoís the first one at practice and the last one to leave.  An athlete who labors continuously and untiringly away from the spotlight, perfecting those little nuances that can later make all the difference.


Though the odds are long of ever achieving fame and glory, this serves as little deterrent to this athlete.  Because even when he faces others with more natural talent, he doesnít let it affect his style of play.  He persists when others quit.  And that makes every victory, no matter how small, sweet.  Sweet payment beyond measure for every drop of sweat spent.


And long after oneís athletic skills are eroded by time, the commitment stays within to face lifeís professional and personal challenges.  These are the ultimate games.




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