Motivational Quotes for Coaches

Inspirational Motivational Quotes for Sports

Motivating Players, Inspiring Players
Motivational Coaching Quotes

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"The motivational patches arrived in time for the first game and you would have thought I was passing out $100 bills. The difference in everyone's play since we started with the patches is amazing." Coach Michael, FL

"This season I started using the patches to motivate players. From day one, it has been a success. We are 4-0-1 for the first half of the season." G.W., MO

Tip: Develop a motivational program that encourages every player to strive for continual improvement. Offer encouragement, rewards and positive reinforcement. This way your entire team will improve.

Tip: Success results from doing the right things with the right attitude.

Tip: To motivate players, the word "Brave" is better than "Aggressive" because everyone wants to be brave. We have a "B" patch for Bravery.

204 of the Best Inspirational Quotes & Advice for Coaches and Players

Vince Lombardi, Lou Holtz, John Wooden, Knute Rockne, Casey Stengel, Pat Riley, Anson Dorrance, April Heinrichs, and many more

Give your players something they can physically do - don't ask them to do something they can't do. Lou Holtz, famous football coach and motivator

Winning isn't everything, but the will to win is everything. Vince Lombardi, football coach

We are what we repeatedly do. Aristotle (The reason practice and proper technique are important).

It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up. Vince Lombardi

Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. Vince Lombardi

Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do. Pele

Coaches who can outline plays on a black board are a dime a dozen. The coaches who win are the ones who can motivate their players. Vince Lombardi

The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have. Vince Lombardi

How to Prepare Your Players for a Big Game -- -- Technical Preparation is important but also important is to focus on "the mindset, temperament, how the players perceive things, and the attitude of the team." Jimbo Fisher, Florida State football coach in a TV interview prior to the 2013 NCAA championship football game (played in January 2014) which Florida State won

How to Prepare Your Players Mentally for Big Games - "You want your players to have High Achievement Motivation and Low Anxiety - the anxiety part is the tough part to manage." Get players to think about being successful in their position, not on winning. Tell your players to assume the player they will be playing against is great and motivate themselves to play their hardest. From a TV interview with Nick Saban, Alabama football coach and one of the most successful college coaches ever.

Important Advice from a Coach Who Turned Around a Program -- "Focus on the things you can control. Wake up every single day and maximize that day." (That is great advice for sports and for life). About how to prepare for a big game - "Before the game try to keep the routine as simple as possible." Most great coaches say something similar about preparing for a big game. James Franklin, Penn State football coach and prior Vanderbilt coach (he took Vanderbilt to its greatest success in 100 years)

Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence. Vince Lombardi

Winners never quit and quitters never win. Vince Lombardi

Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. Vince Lombardi

Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit. Vince Lombardi

We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time. Vince Lombardi

The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall. Vince Lombardi

People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society. Vince Lombardi

It's easy to have faith in yourself and discipline when you're a winner. But if you want to be a winner you must have faith and discipline even when you're not a winner. Vince Lombardi

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

Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man. Sooner or later the man who wins is the man who thinks he can. Vince Lombardi

The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That's real glory. That's the essence of it. Vince Lombardi

Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you're willing to pay the price. Vince Lombardi

Fatigue makes cowards of us all. Vince Lombardi

Football is like life - it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority. Vince Lombardi

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

Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile. Vince Lombardi

Live as if you were living already for the second time. Vince Lombardi

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence. Vince Lombardi

The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender. Vince Lombardi

The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand. Vince Lombardi

We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible. Vince Lombardi

Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all time thing. You don't win once in a while, you don't do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. Vince Lombardi

Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it. Lou Holtz, football coach

Ability is what you're capable of doing.

Motivation determines what you do.

Attitude determines how well you do it.

Lou Holtz

It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test. Lou Holtz

You're never as good as everyone tells you when you win, and you're never as bad as they say when you lose. Lou Holtz

I think everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career. You learn a lot from it. Lou Holtz

How you respond to the challenge in the second half will determine what you become after the game, whether you are a winner or a loser. Lou Holtz

If you burn your neighbors house down, it doesn't make your house look any better. Lou Holtz

If you're bored with life... if you don't get up every morning with a burning desire to do things... you don't have enough goals. Lou Holtz

It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it. Lou Holtz

No one has ever drowned in sweat. Lou Holtz

Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I'll show you someone who has overcome adversity. Lou Holtz

The problem with having a sense of humor is often that people you use it on aren't in a very good mood. Lou Holtz

You'll never get ahead of anyone as long as you try to get even with him. Lou Holtz

Win or lose, do it fairly. Knute Rockne, football coach

The secret is to work less as individuals and more as a team. As a coach, I play not my eleven best, but my best eleven. Knute Rockne

A coach's greatest asset is his sense of responsibility - the reliance placed on him by his players. Knute Rockne

At home we're the hosts, and I never liked the idea of being embarrassed in front of our friends. Knute Rockne

Most men, when they think they are thinking, are merely rearranging their prejudices. Knute Rockne

On the road we're somebody else's guests - and we play in a way that they're not going to forget we visited them. Knute Rockne

One loss is good for the soul, too many losses is not good for the coach. Knute Rockne

One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than fifty preaching it. Knute Rockne

There is no need for me continuing unless I'm able to improve. Knute Rockne

We count on winning. And if we lose, don't beef. And the best way to prevent beefing is - don't lose. Knute Rockne

A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment. John Wooden, basketball coach

Measure yourself as a coach not by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished given the ability of your players and the strength of your competition. John Wooden

Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. John Wooden

Never mistake activity for achievement. John Wooden

The main ingredient of a player's stardom is the rest of the team. John Wooden

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. John Wooden

Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts. John Wooden

Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming. John Wooden

Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be. John Wooden

You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you. John Wooden

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. John Wooden

If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes. John Wooden

Happiness begins where selfishness ends. John Wooden

It isn't what you do, but how you do it. John Wooden

It's not so important who starts the game but who finishes it. John Wooden

It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen. John Wooden

It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. John Wooden

Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful. John Wooden

What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player. John Wooden

Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character. John Wooden

You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one. John Wooden

Complacency is the forerunner of mediocrity. You can never work too hard on attitudes, effort and technique. Don Meyer, winningest men's college basketball coach (over 900 victories)

Habits are critical for players. They cannot think and play well at the same time. Don Meyer, winningest men's college basketball coach (over 900 victories)

In any leadership position, the most important aspect of your job will be getting your team to work together. The underlying theme of teamwork will be your ability to convey a renewed sense of optimism. Your role as the captain will give

the ship direction, purpose and ultimately success. Dale Brown, basketball coach

The more you grow as a person, the less shocked you become about people who are different from yourself. Dale Brown, basketball coach

When a person is wrapped up in himself, the package is usually pretty small. Dale Brown, basketball coach

It is a law of life, as certain as gravity, that to live fully, we must learn to use things and love people---not love things and use people. Dale Brown, basketball coach

Most games are lost, not won. Casey Stengel, baseball coach

Finding good players is easy. Getting them to play as a team is another story. Casey Stengel

Don't cut my throat, I may want to do that later myself. Casey Stengel

Never make predictions, especially about the future. Casey Stengel

The trick is growing up without growing old. Casey Stengel

When you are younger you get blamed for crimes you never committed and when you're older you begin to get credit for virtues you never possessed. It evens itself out. Casey Stengel

You never lose a game if the opponent doesn't score. Darrell Royal, football coach

There are always going to be people who run faster, jump higher, dive deeper, and come up drier. Darrell Royal

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Darrell Royal

The only place you can win a football game is on the field, the only place you can lose it is in your hearts. Darrell Royal

A boy shows how much he wants to play in the spring, when it's tough, and during two a days, when it's hot and tough. Darrell Royal

I don't count on the boy who waits till October, when it's cool and fun, then decides he wants to play. Darrell Royal

I learned this about coaching: You don't have to explain victory and you can't explain defeat. Darrell Royal

I try not to make the same mistakes today that I made yesterday. Darrell Royal

You know, a football coach is nothing more than a teacher. You teach them the same subject, and you have a group of new guys every year. Darrell Royal

You're never a loser until you quit trying. Mike Ditka, football coach

Before you can win, you have to believe you are worthy. Mike Ditka

Success isn't measured by money or power or social rank. Success is measured by your discipline and inner peace. Mike Ditka

You have no choices about how you lose, but you do have a choice about how you come back and prepare to win again. Pat Riley, basketball coach

Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better. Pat Riley

Great effort springs naturally from a great attitude. Pat Riley

Giving yourself permission to lose guarantees a loss. Pat Riley

If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges. Pat Riley

Look for your choices, pick the best one, then go with it. Pat Riley

Don't let players who create 20% of the results start to believe they deserve 80% of the rewards. Pat Riley

There can only be one state of mind as you approach any profound test; total concentration, a spirit of togetherness, and strength. Pat Riley

To have long term success as a coach or in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessed in some way. Pat Riley

When a great team loses through complacency, it will constantly search for new and more intricate explanations to explain away defeat. Pat Riley

You can never have enough talent. Pat Riley

Great teamwork is the only way we create the breakthroughs that define our careers. Pat Riley

"I can't promise we will win, but I can promise we are going to teach our guys to play like winners. Number one, we are going to be in good shape. We're going to be fit, we are going to be able to play the whole game and we're not going to poop out.

Number two, we're going to play with a lot of effort. We're going to play with full effort from snap to whistle on every play the entire game.

Number three, we're going to play very smart and we're not going to beat ourselves. If the other team is better than us and they just out execute us and play better then we can live with that, but we're going to play smart and give ourselves every opportunity to win the game.

Number four, we're going to play like winners, play the game the way it's meant to be played. Don't get full of yourself if something good happens. Don't get too depressed when something bad happens." Steve Spurrier, American college football coach

April Heinrichs on practice: "Build competition into the practice. It's more fun and better prepares players for real soccer matches". April Heinrichs was Soccer America's "Player of the Decade" for the 1980's, a 3 time All American at the University of North Carolina where she scored 87 goals in 90 games and Anson Dorrance said she was one of the best he has ever seen at 1 v 1 attacking, the first female player voted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame, Captain of the World Cup Championship team in 1991, Head Coach of the U.S. U-16 Girl's National Team, Head Coach at the University of Virginia, and at the time of our interview she coached the U.S. Women's National Team. />Bear Bryant on how you win: A reporter said to Coach Bryant: "Coach Bryant, I notice you spend almost all your practice time on your team's strengths and little on their weaknesses, why is that?" Coach Bryant said "You win games with your strengths, not your weaknesses."

If you trust, you will be disappointed occasionally, but if you mistrust, you will be miserable all the time. Abraham Lincoln

Winners Train, Losers Complain. Unknown

The Pain of Discipline or the Pain of Regret - Take Your Choice. Unknown

I've never questioned the integrity on an umpire. Their eyesight, yes. Leo Durocher

Losing streaks are funny. If you lose at the beginning, you get off to a bad start. If you lose in the middle of the season, you're in a slump. If you lose at the end, you're choking. Gene Mauch

A winner never whines. Paul Brown

I asked a ref if he could give me a technical foul for thinking bad things about him. He said, of course not. I said, well, I think you stink. And he gave me a technical. You can't trust em. Jim Valvano

Tell a ballplayer something a thousand times, then tell him again, because that may be the time he'll understand something. Paul Richards

I can TEACH you how to dribble, pass and shoot the right way, but I cannot MAKE you do it the right way. Jeff Tufford

The manager's toughest job is not calling the right play with the bases full and the score tied in an extra inning game. It's telling a ballplayer that he's through, done, finished. Jimmie Dykes

Win together now and we walk together forever. Fred Shero

A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are. Ara Parseghian, Notre Dame football coach

I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday. Abraham Lincoln

If everyone is thinking alike then somebody isn't thinking. George Patton

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

Football isn't a contact sport, it's a collision sport. Dancing is a contact sport. Duffy Daugherty

When in doubt, punt! John Heisman

It's the attitude of the players, not their skills, that is the biggest factor in determining whether you win or lose. Harry Sinden

If you're going to make every game a matter of life or death, you're going to have a lot of problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot. Dean Smith

I never criticize a player until they are first convinced of my unconditional confidence in their abilities. John Robinson

Having a great game is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You have to light yourself on fire. Thomas Luebbe

You don't demand respect, you earn it. Unknown

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. Henry David Thoreau

The most important quality I look for in a player is accountability. You've got to be accountable for who you are. It's too easy to blame things on someone else. Lenny Wilkins

One can define discipline as: Doing what you have to do, doing it as well as you possibly can and doing it that way all the time! Unknown

First master the fundamentals. Larry Bird

If we were supposed to talk more than we listen, we would have two mouths and one ear. Mark Twain

The idea is not to block every shot. The idea is to make your opponent believe that you might block every shot. Bill Russell

Don't wallow in the mud with pigs, you will get dirty....and the pigs will like it. Unknown

It's so hard when you have to, but so easy when you want to. Unknown

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle

To be successful, you don't have to do extraordinary things. Just do ordinary things extraordinarily well. Unknown

Excellence is the unlimited ability to improve the quality of what you have to offer. Rick Pitino

A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds. Francis Bacon

It is foolish to expect a young man to follow your advice and to ignore your example. Unknown

Coaching does not permit democracy. Jeff Brown

Coaches build teams, parents build players. Charles Smyth

Good is not enough if better is possible. Unknown

The best teams have chemistry. They communicate with each other and they sacrifice personal glory for the common goal. Dave DeBusschere

I do the best I know how, the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing it to the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me will not amount to anything. If the end brings me out all wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference. Abraham Lincoln

Keep it simple, when you get too complex you forget the obvious. Al Maguire

Winning is about having the whole team on the same page. Bill Walton

It's not the hours you put in, it's what you put in the hours. Unknown

We all want to be important in our jobs. However the person who thinks I am the most important part of the team should remember this. Life is like a buck of water. We are a part of the whole. But how big is the hole that is left when we take away a large cup of water? The hole suddenly fills up life goes. The nature of life is that there is always someone who can and will take your place, when you think you are irreplaceable. Unknown

The coach should be the absolute boss, but he still should maintain an open mind. Red Auerbach

Champions never complain, they are too busy getting better. Unknown

You can not control how high 'he' jumps. You cannot control how fast 'he' is. You can not control how great 'he' is. But he can not control how hard 'YOU' play. Brian Merritt

Every season is a journey. Every journey is a lifetime. Mike Krzyzewski

What you do reflects your attitude, not what you say or even how you say it. Unknown

The more you complain, the more you find things to complain about. The more you give thanks, the more you find things to be thankful for. Bob Hoffman

Lack of confidence is born from a lack of preparation. Shannon Wilburn

Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it. Tom Landry

Great minds have purposes, little minds have wishes. Washington Irving

If I was given eight hours to chop down a tree. I would spend seven hours sharpening my ax. Abraham Lincoln

Be at the right place, at the right time, and do the right thing. Elton Hall

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction. John F. Kennedy

The three best things I've learned in coaching: my players must play Hard, Hard, Hard. John Wild

A person really doesn't become whole, until he becomes a part of something that's bigger than himself. Jim Valvano

All battles are won before they are fought. Sun Tzu

Perception is reality. Remember it is not what you say or how you say it, but rather what is heard that is important. Ian Gray

It is not the critic that counts. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena... who strives valiantly, who errs and often comes up short again and again...who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat... President Teddy Roosevelt

What to do with a mistake--recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it. Dean Smith, basketball coach

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. President Thomas Jefferson.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

Extra discipline makes up for a lack of talent and a lack of discipline quickly siphons away extra talent, that's why it's frequently the most disciplined rather than the most gifted rise to the top. Unknown

There are three reasons we make mistakes, don't know, don't care, or not able (ignorance, apathy, ability). Mike Davis

Players and parents need to know what a coach stands for, AND what he or she won't stand for. Unknown

R.E.P.S.- Repetition Elevates Personal Skills. Conor Gillen

Kids don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Unknown

Teamwork: The fuel that produces uncommon results in common people. Unknown

If you think small things don't matter, think of the last game you lost by one point. Unknown

Professional coaches measure success in rings. College coaches measure success in championships. High School coaches measure success in titles. Youth coaches measure success in smiles. Unknown

Discipline builds winners, Winners stay disciplined! Ed McAllister

The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital. Joe Paterno

A winner never whines. Paul Brown

A player who makes a team great is better than a great player. John Wooden

The only discipline that lasts is self-discipline. Bum Philips

About the only problem with success is that it does not teach you how to deal with failure. Tommy Lasorda

Attitude is the whole thing in football. Every team has the talent and the coaching. Motivation makes the difference. The teams that win stay healthy and interested. Sid Gillman

A goal properly set is half reached. Zig Ziglar

The hardest victory is the victory over self. Aristotle

No one plays this or any game perfectly. It's the guy who recovers from his mistakes who wins. Phil Jackson

If you want to get the best out of a man, you must look for the best that's in him. Unknown

The deepest principal in human nature is the craving to be appreciated. William James

Efficiency is doing the things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things. Zig Ziglar

Teamwork means more "we" and less "me". Unknown

TEAM stands for:


"I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where the puck is..." Wayne Gretzky, great hockey player when asked how he scores so many goals.

(Note from David: Below are some quotes from Yogi Berra, the famous baseball player and manager. Yogi played in 14 World Series for the New York Yankees, won the American League MVP award 3 times, managed the Yankees to a pennant and also managed the Mets to a pennant, and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972. His quotes are funny, but some are also wise.)

"You can't think and hit at the same time." Yogi Berra (Note from David - this one is wise... don't think when you need to react)

"We were over-whelming underdogs." Yogi Berra

"The other teams could make trouble for us if they win." Yogi Berra

"Slump? I ain't in no slump -- I just ain't hitting." Yogi Berra

"If you can't imitate him, don't copy him." Yogi Berra

"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra

"It's not too far, it just seems like it is." Yogi Berra

"You've got to be careful if you don't know where you're going cause you might not get there." Yogi Berra

Hard work alone won't guarantee success, but without hard work, I'll guarantee you won't have success. Bruce Pearl, basketball coach

"Competition is key to developing players. The only practice environment in which you truly develop a player is a competitive arena." Anson Dorrance (Watch Video Clips of Anson Dorrance & Tom Stone Soccer Clinic DVD and Read an article about how Anson Dorrance uses Competition during practice to develop each player's potential and the importance of competition, pressure and keeping score during practice.)

"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

"Usually a championship team is built on a strong defense. That is something you can bring to every game. A great attack is always going to be inconsistent - at least on the scoreboard - that's the nature of the game." Anson Dorrance in "The Vision of a Champion"

"You can never be fit enough for this game." Anson Dorrance in "The Vision of a Champion"

"One of the most unfortunate things I see when identifying youth players is the girl who is told over the years how great she is. By the time she's a high school freshman, she starts to believe it. By her senior year, she's fizzled out. Then there's her counterpart: the girl waiting in the wings who quietly and with determination decides she's going to make something of herself. Invariably, this humble, hardworking girl is the one who becomes the real player." Anson Dorrance in "The Vision of a Champion"

"If you lose your integrity, you've lost everything." Larry Gelwix, Rugby Coach

"I want you to be forever strong on the field, so that you will be forever strong off the field." Larry Gelwix, Rugby Coach