At its core, sports is about as inspirational as it gets. From the precision of golf and the graceful swing of a tennis racket to the elegance of skaters gliding across the ice,  watching athletes pursue physical and mental greatness is magical and motivating.

Maybe that’s because sports is art in motion. It’s a world of determination, commitment, and pushing boundaries, and those who have achieved high levels of success have experienced their share of winning and losing along the way. After all, it takes relentless confidence,  motivation, and love of the game to learn from your failures and continue to navigate the path to victory!

Here are some impactful quotes for athletes  from  inspirational worldwide sports figures past and present. Send us your favorite quotes and we’ll compile a collection from Sport Fuels Life members.


​​Inspirational Quotes

  1. “The only one who can tell you ‘You can’t win’ is you, and you don’t have to listen.”

 — Jessica Ennis-Hill (British Track & Field Athlete)

  1. “The only way to prove that you’re a good sport is to lose.” 

— Ernie Banks (American Baseball Player)

  1. “Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.” 

Wilma Rudolph (American Sprinter)

  1. “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. That surrender, even the smallest act of giving up, stays with me. So when I feel like quitting, I ask myself, which would I rather live with?” 

― Lance Armstrong (American Cyclist)

  1. “The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.” 

— Pele (Brazilian Soccer Player)

  1. “A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.”

— Mary Lou Retton (American Gymnast)

  1. "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  

  1. “I am made of what I can give, not what I can take.” 

— Dragan Travica (Italian Volleyball Player)

  1. “At a young age, winning is not the most important thing … the important thing is to develop creative and skilled players with good confidence.” 

— Arsène Wenger (French Soccer Manager)

  1. “Every experience, good or bad, you have to learn from.” 

— Patrick Mahomes

  1. “Worrying gets you nowhere. if you turn up worrying about how you’re going to perform, you’ve already lost. Train hard, turn up, run your best, and the rest will take care of itself.”

 — Usain Bolt, (fastest person in the world)

  1. “Winning takes precedence over all. There’s no gray area. No almosts.” 

— Kobe Bryant 

  1. “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting it is.” 

— Arnold Palmer (American Golfer)

  1. “If you miss a shot, you missed it. You can’t go back. You can only try to not make the same mistake twice. I’ve won a lot in my career, and I’ve lost a lot. You take the good with the bad. Also, it’s not only about winning. It’s about the process and the journey, the people you’re with, continuing to grow and learn, and getting better every day.”

— Megan Rapinoe (American Soccer Player)

  1. “You have to believe in yourself when no one else does.” 

— Serena Williams

  1. “Winning does not always mean coming in first … the real victory is in arriving at the finish line with no regrets because you know you’ve gone all out.” 

— Apolo Anton Ohno (American Speed Skater)

  1.  “We always learn more from the losing than the winning.” 

— Yani Tseng (Taiwanese Golfer)

  1. “Some people say I have attitude — maybe I do. But I think you have to. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does. That makes you a winner right there.” 

— Venus Williams 

  1. “Don’t let small obstacles be in the way of being victorious. Remember, you are stronger than the challenges you face.” 

— Cristiano Ronaldo

  1.  “A man who wins, is a man who thinks he can.” 

— Roger Federer 

  1. "I believe in giving more than 100% on the field, and I don’t really worry about the result. If there’s great commitment on the field, that’s a victory for me." 

— MS Dhoni (Indian Cricket Player)

  1.  “Champions keep playing until they get it right.” 

— Billie Jean King

  1. “Failure is inevitable — and it’s the people that keep trying who become successful.” 

— Mirai Nagasu (American Figure Skater)

What’s your favorite athletic quote?  Email us at