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Success/Sports-Related Quotations

"You have to accept whatever comes, and the only important thing is that you meet it with the best you have to give."

"The best feeling in the world is walking into an athletic atmosphere and knowing the other athletes are scared to death to compete against you."
---Matt Hurst

"A successful team beats with one heart."
---Sarah Redmond

"I like pressure. If I am not on the edge of failure, I'm not being sufficiently challenged."

"I will always be someone who wants to do better than others. I love competition."
---Jean-Claude Killy

"Athletics should reduce stress, not increase it."
---Mark Allen

"Do you believe you're a starter or a benchwarmer? Do you believe you're an all-star or an also-ran? If the answers to these questions are the latter, your play on the field will reflect it. But when you've learned to shut off outside influences and believe in yourself, there's no telling how good a player you can be. That's because you have the mental edge."
---Rod Carew

"Every athletic career, no matter how modest or lofty, is a journey."
---Dan Millman

"I don't think I can play any other way but all out... I enjoy the game so much because I'm putting so much into it."
---George Brett

"Part of being a champ is acting like a champ. You have to learn how to win and not run away when you lose.... Everyone has bad stretches and real successes. Either way, you have to be careful not to lose your confidence or get too confident."
---Nancy Kerrigan

"I've always made a total effort, even when the odds seemed entirely against me. I never quit trying; I never felt that I didn't have a chance to win."
---Arnold Palmer

"Before I go out on the field every day, I tell myself, 'You are having fun, and you want to set a good example to those who are watching.'"
---Cory Snyder

"There is no doubt in my mind that there are many ways to be a winner, but there is really only one way to be a loser, and that is to fail and not look beyond the failure."
---Kyle Rote, Jr.

"I know you've heard it a thousand times before. But it's true--hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice."
---A.J. English

"There has never been a great athlete who died not knowing what pain is."
---Bill Bradley

"Sports ideally teach discipline and committment. They challenge you and build character for everything you do in life."
---Howie Long

"I never thought about losing, but now that it's happened, the only thing is to do it right....We all have to take defeats in life."
---Muhammad Ali

"Obstacles are challenges for winners and excuses for losers."
---Gentlehands by M.E. Kerr

"Let others cheer the winning man, there's one I hold worthwhile; 'Tis he who does the best he can, then loses with a smile."
---"A Smile"

"For every finish-line tape a runner breaks--complete with the cheers of the crowd and the clicking of hundreds of cameras--there are the hours of hard and often lonely work that rarely gets talked about."
---Grete Waltz

"Heart in champions has to do with the depth of your motivation and how well your mind and body react to pressure--that is, being able to do what you do best under maximum pain and stress."
---Bill Russell

"You go for it. All the stops are out. Caution is to the wind and you're battling with everything you have. That's the real fun of the game."
---Dan Dierdorf

"I learned that the only way you are going to get anywhere in life is to work hard at it. Whether you're a musician, a writer, an athlete or a businessman, there is no getting around it. If you do, you'll win--if you don't, you won't."
---Bruce Jenner

"A winner never whines."
---Paul Brown

"The most important thing is to love your sport. Never do it to please someone else--it has to be yours. That is all that will justify the hard work needed to achieve success. Compete against yourself, not others, for that is who is truly your best competition."
---Peggy Fleming Jenkins

"I've always tried to do my best on the ball field. I can't do any more than that. I always give one hundred percent; and if my team loses, I come back and give one hundred percent the next day."
---Jessie Barfield

"I just don't feel right unless I have a sport to play or at least a way to work up a sweat."
---Hank Aaron

"It is a matter of spirit, not strength. It is a matter of doing your best each little moment. There's never a break. You must have desire, a very intense desire to keep going."
---Janet Guthrie

"Enjoy the successes that you have, and don't be too hard on yourself when you don't do well. Too many times we beat up on ourselves. Just relax and enjoy it."
---Patty Sheehan

"We generally make too much of winning. Let's face it, someone always has to win; that is the nature of competition. But the mere fact of winning doesn't make you great."
---Wilt Chamberlain

"Winning has a joy and discrete purity to it that cannot be replaced by anything else. Winning is important to any man's or woman's sense of satisfaction and well-being. Winning is not everything; but it is something powerful, indeed beautiful, in itself, something as necessary to the strong spirit as striving is necessary to the healthy character."
---A. Bartlett Giamatti

"I think it's the mark of a great player to be confident in tough situations."
---Jackie Joyner-Kersee

"We all have days when we just don't seem to have the energy or the interest in working out at peak effort. These are the times to reach inside ourselves and try to find that extra umph that will motivate us."
---Kara Leverte Farley and Sheila Curry

"The harder we work every step of the way, the quicker and more efficiently we'll reach our goals."
---Kara Leverte Farley and Sheila Curry

"Hard work is the only way to go. Strive to be the best you can be and remember that when you try your best, you can't ask any more from yourself, and people can't ask any more from you."
---Michael Chang

"What we need are positive, realistic goals and the willingness to work. Hard work and practical goals."
---Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"In wheelchair sports, people thought athletes with disabilities were courageous and inspirational. They never give them credit for simply being competitive."
---Jean Driscoll

"I ran and ran and ran every day, and I acquired this sense of determination, this sense of spirit that I would never, never give up, no matter what else happened."
---Wilma Rudolph

"Once I get the ball, you're at my mercy. There is nothing you can say or do about it. I own the ball....When I'm on my game, I don't think there's anybody that can stop me."
---Michael Jordan

"I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying."
---Michael Jordan

"The feeling of accomplishment welled up inside of me...three Olympic gold medals. I knew that was something nobody could ever take away from me, ever."
---Wilma Rudolph

"Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to produce uncommon results."

"Do not throw in the towel; use it for wiping the sweat off your face."

"It's not how hard you pushed along the way. It's having something in you to finish."
---Michael Jordan

"It's not the will to win that matters--everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters."
---Paul "Bear" Bryant

"Competition is a painful thing, but it produces great results."
---Jerry Flint

"A group becomes a team when each member is sure enough of himself and his contributions to praise the skills of the others."
---Norman Shidle

"There is no defeat except for those who give up."
---Joseph Warthlin

"I believe I'm one of the best pitchers in the world--I know I am as far as results go. But you can't live on your legacy. Every time I step on the mound I have to prove it."
---Michele Smith

"I refuse. I refuse to lose. To be average. To fail. I refuse to die. To be afraid. I refuse to be taken. I refuse."

"It takes a fighter to be a true champion."
---Chris Busey

"I can't play being mad. I go out there and have fun. It's a game, and that's how I am going to treat it."
---Ken Griffey, Jr.

"You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement."
---Steve Prefontaine

"Most people run a race to see who is fastest. I run a race to see who has the most guts."
---Steve Prefontaine

"When you're playing against a stacked deck, compete even harder. Show the world how much you'll fight for the winner's circle."

"The purpose of any athletic endeavor is to challenge human limits both on and off the playing field."

"Experience shows that success is due less to ability that to zeal. The winner is he who gives himself to his work, body, and soul."
---Charles Buxton

"When I was fifteen, I had lucky underwear. When that failed, I had a lucky hairdo, then a lucky race number, even lucky race days. After fifteen years, I've found the secret to success is simple: it's hard work."
---Margaret Groos

"You either get better or you get worse. You never stay the same. As for me, I'd rather get better."
---Jim Smith

"Don't get mad, get better."
---Cindy Bristow

"Excellence is not a singular act but a habit. You are what you do repeatedly."
---Shaquille O'Neal

"You win some, you lose some, but you always try again."

"The higher the goal, the harder the climb, but taken each day, one step at a time. The goal is accomplished, the dream is attained, and the prizes? The wisdom and strength that are gained."
---American Greeting Cards

"We all like to win, but enjoy the moments along the way, no matter the outcome. Just put your heart and soul into it, and give 110%. If you do this, you will always be a winner to the person who counts most...you!"
---Marlene Blaszczyk

"The vision of a champion is someone who is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion when no one else is watching."
---Anson Dorrance

"I remember the last season I played. I went home after a ballgame one day, lay down on my bed, and tears came to my eyes. How can you explain that? It's like crying for your mother after she's gone. You cry because you love her. I cried, I guess, because I loved baseball, and I knew I had to leave it."
---Willie Mays

"What I am, what I have, what I am going to leave behind me--all this I owe to the game of baseball."
---Babe Ruth

"I think a baseball field must be the most beautiful thing in the world. It's so honest and precise. And we play on it. Every star gets humbled. Every mediocre player has a great moment."
---Jim Lefebure

"Running is a metaphor for life; there's always someone faster than you, always someone slower. All you can do is hang in there, and put your heart into it."

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice your gift."
---Steve Prefontaine

"I find motivation within myself. I run track not from a competitive nature, but because I'm a very goal-oriented person."
---Gail Devers

"A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are."
---Ara Parasheghian

"Build for your team a feeling of oneness, of dependence on one another, and of strength to be derived by unity."
---Vince Lombardi

"Football is a great deal like life in that it teaches that work, sacrifice, perseverance, competitive drive, selflessness, and respect for authority are the price each and every one of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile."
---Vince Lombardi

"Teamwork is what the Green Bay Packers were all about. They didn't do it for individual glory. They did it because they loved one another."
---Vince Lombardi

"They don't give you gold medals for beating somebody. They give you gold medals for beating everybody."
---Michael Johnson

"The man who can drive himself farther once the effort gets painful is the man who will win."
---Roger Bannister

"History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats."
---Bertie Forbes

"Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play."
---Mike Singletary

"I've worked too hard and too long to let anything stand in the way of my goals. I will not let my teammates down, and I will not let myself down."
---Mia Hamm

"If you set a goal for yourself and are able to achieve it, you have won your race. Your goal can be to come in first, to improve your performance, or just finish the race--it's up to you."
---Dave Scott

"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

"The winners in life think constantly in terms of I can, I will, and I am. Losers, on the other hand, concentrate their waking thoughts on what they should have or would have done, or what they can't do."
---Dennis Waitley

"I'm playing baseball because I love it, not because I need the money or attention. That is why I've been so dedicated. I've accomplished a lot of things no one ever thought I could, and I've done it from hard work."
---Mike Piazza

"It's easy to figure out who isn't a team player. They'll constantly remind the coach just how good they are."
---Brian Jett

"The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle."

"I make my weaknesses my strengths and my strengths stronger."
---Lisa Fernandez

"A true champion is someone who wants to make a difference, who never gives up, and who gives everything she has no matter what the circumstances are. A true champion works hard and never loses sight of her dreams."
---Dr. Dot Richardson

"I didn't fall out of bed and become an Olympic champion. I worked hard, I was dedicated, and I really worked to perfect all aspects of my game."
---Michele Smith

"In the end, it's extra effort that separates a winner from second place. But winning takes a lot more than that, too. It starts with complete command of the fundamentals. Then it takes desire, determination, discipline and self-sacrifice. And finally, it takes a great deal of love, fairness and respect for your fellow man. Put all these together, and even if you don't win, how can you lose?"
---Jesse Owens

This page was created on June 26, 2002.

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