Famous Sports Quotes

For the coach of a winless and discouraged junior high basketball team the following famous sports quotes may provide the motivation to ignite a record breaking win streak. What have you got to lose? 

  1. “Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” (John Wooden). In this famous sports quote, Wooden has given six principles for a successful life.
  2. “Sports do not build character. They reveal it.” (John Wooden). Just as a sponge releases its contents when squeezed, the pressure of competitive sports exposes strengths and weaknesses.    
  3. “What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player.” (John Wooden). You are more important than what you do is a particularly important point for an athlete to remember because he or she will spend more years outside the sports arena than inside it.
  4. “Golf is a good walk spoiled.” (Mark Twain). Twain intimated in this famous sports quote that golf interrupts the more physically productive walk. Not a fan of golf, apparently.
  5. “I hated every minute of training, but I said, Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” (Muhammed Ali). Ali endured years of training that he hated, to retire from the boxing ring a champion. He worked and accomplished his goal, but the goal left him physically impaired for remaining years of his life.
  6. “I am the astronaut of boxing.  Joe Louis and Dempsey were just jet pilots; I’m in a world of my own.” (Muhammed Ali). This is not a good analogy since Dempsey, Louis, and Ali fought in different eras, but all three were heavyweight champions.  Each champion boxer was the best in his time.
  7. “Float like a butterfly sting like a bee.” (Muhammed Ali). This is Ali’s most popular quote during his boxing career. The butterfly light footwork and bee sting boxing punch has great visual symbolism.  
  8.  “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” (Vince Lombardi). Excellent motivational quote for setting lofty goals. 
  9. “Tennis is a perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquility.” (Billie Jean King). In an atmosphere of total tranquility, evidently King never watched a McEnroe match, or the gruntfest tennis matches of today.
  10.  “Congratulations. I knew the record would stand until it was broken.” (Yogi Berra). Be careful…if you read too many Berra quotes they begin to make sense. 

If the team is still winless at the end of this year’s basketball season, don’t worry; the famous sports seeds of encouragement have been planted, and the harvest  next year may exceed all expectations.

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