Beyond Athletics

15 Inspirational Quotes For Athletes

student contemplates the most important part of recruiting

(Flickr – amnestystudent)

Freshman year is full of excitement, wonder and anxiety.

If you’re gearing up for your first year of high school or college, then you are more than likely experiencing a combination of these three feelings and many more.

It’s amazing how quickly we can go from being the big men and women on campus to the tadpoles again, just trying to figure it all out and survive the first few months of freshman year. Establishing our place on new teams, figuring out new classes (or even where classes are) on top of maintaining our friendships and family connections — it’s a lot.

But I have a secret for you.

You are not alone, and you will not just make it through, you will come out smarter, faster, more confident, and better than ever before.

Beginnings are scary, but they are also where we embark on opportunities, create awesome experiences, and learn the most about ourselves. Your freshman year will leave you with memories you will cherish for years to come. I promise you that.

As you may or may not know, I love a challenge, and the challenge of being a freshman student-athlete was no different. Carrying the equipment, getting the last seat on the bus, cleaning up the locker room; all to get home with just enough time to eat dinner, do my homework, and get some sleep before waking up to do it all over the next day.

As you also may or may not know, I also think it’s really important for athletes to have a motivating mantra, or an encouraging quote, particularly from an inspirational athlete in your sport (*cough* Mia Hamm *cough*).

I’ve found fifteen of my favorite quotes about competition, hard work, and using the talents we are given to overcome and achieve.

I used to keep quotes like these on a billboard in my dorm room and on post-its in my planner. Now I keep a running list of quotes that resonate with me on my iPhone so whenever I feel maxed out on a run or like I can’t possibly do one more rep, I can just glance down for some inspiring words to give me that extra push.

Read through this list, find your favorites, and share them with your friends. We’d also love to see you hard at work at school and in your sport; tag any of your photos on Instagram with one of these quotes and #MyRecruiting and we’ll shout you out at @ncsa_sports.

Fifteen inspirational quotes for athletes

  • “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.” –Vince Lombardi
  • “There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.” –Derek Jeter
  • “Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back… play for her.” –Mia Hamm
  • “The principle is competing against yourself. It’s about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before.” –Steve Young
  • “When you win, say nothing, when you lose, say less.” – Paul Brown
  • “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’” –Muhammad Ali
  • “The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret.” –Sarah Bombell
  • “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – 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
  • “Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.” – Laird Hamilton
  • “Leadership, like coaching, is fighting for the hearts and souls of men and getting them to believe in you.” – Eddie Robinson
  • “Never limit yourself, never be satisfied, and smile—it’s free!” – Jennie Finch
  • “There are only two options regarding commitment. You’re either IN or you’re OUT. There is no such thing in life as between.” – Pat Riley
  • “You owe it to yourself to be the best you can possibly be – in baseball and in life.” -Pete Rose
  • “Don’t tell me how rocky the sea is, just bring the ship in.” –Lou Holtz

Sometimes it’s not a quote but advice that’s most inspiring. Our scouts are here to help you through the recruiting process. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.

About the author
Laura Chmiel

Laura Chmiel is a marketing coordinator and a lead writer for NCSA Athletic Recruiting. As someone with a passion for athletics and education, she graduated from Indiana university with a B.S. in Elementary Education. After school, she gained first-hand experience helping student-athletes and their families get to college.