The essence of this collection of sports phrases can be summed up as “no pain, no gain”.

Motivation is one of the basic ingredients when you set out to exercise. Not only does it help us stay consistent when it comes to making the effort, but it also encourages us to set ambitious goals and start those routines that at first may seem almost impossible.

That’s why any help in developing motivation should be welcome, and it’s good that before doing sport we prepare ourselves not only by warming up, but also by adopting another mentality. Reminding oneself of some of these sports phrases can help us to have that extra bit of motivation we need to give our best.

Famous quotes for all tastes

Below you can read a selection of phrases for sportsmen and women to help them go to the gym or to the training track with a better face. However, remember that on this same website you can also find other articles compiling phrases and useful thoughts for other contexts.

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  • 50 Philosophical Sentences by Great Thinkers
  • 20 sentences about life that will help you be happy

Best phrases for sportsmen and women

For your training sessions, nothing better than reading a few sentences about sport and motivation to get inspired towards the gym. Let’s get started.

1. Motivation is what gets you going, and habit is what keeps you going.

One of the reflections of Jim Ryun about the process of incorporating a goal into our routine.

2. To succeed, we must first believe that we can

The Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis left us a reflection that can also be placed within the category of the best sports phrases for the moment when we consider whether to start a type of training.

3. Always give your best. What you sow today will bear fruit tomorrow

A reflection by Og Mandino , made so that we do not lose sight of the fact that the positive consequences of what we do may be invisible at first.

4. You are not a loser until you stop trying

Mike Ditka leaves this reflection on the relatives of failure.

5. Accept challenges so that you can feel the euphoria of victory

George S. Patton gives a powerful reason to undertake routines that at first only appear to us as something that will make us try too hard.

6. Don’t look at the clock, do what it does: keep going

One of the most lyrical sports phrases, it is very easy to come to mind at the right times.

7. The key to starting something is to stop talking and start doing it

One of Walt Disney’s best known phrases is also an excellent reflection for the context of sport.

8. Champions keep playing until they get it right

A very humane way to characterize the champions of the sport. Their characteristic is not so much being good as doing the right thing to become good. Phrase by Billie Jean King .

9. Just play, have fun, enjoy the game

A recommendation from Michael Jordan , very suitable for anyone who, despite needing motivation to play sport, does not intend to be an elite athlete.

10. You can always be better

One of the sports phrases of the golfer Tiger Woods , about a process of constant improvement that never ends.

11. You can’t win until you learn to lose

A phrase from the basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar . It includes defeat as part of the process of winning.

12. The more we do, the more we can do

A motivating phrase from William Hazlitt that serves to remind us of the potential that the development of our objectives has.

13. Quality is not an act, but a habit

If we search in the genealogy of sports and motivational phrases, we will find this reflection of Aristotle among his origins. Although, of course, it is a reflection that goes far beyond the act of motivating.

14. Every strike brings me closer to the home run

Babe Ruth made a memorable reflection steeped in the symbolism of the sport to which he dedicated his life.

15. I can, therefore I am

Simone Weil turned the famous Cartesian reflection around to put will power and potential at the center of human existence.

16. Act like whatever you do makes a difference. It does.

Another of the motivating thoughts of William James, one of the pioneers of research in psychology, is also one of the best phrases for sportsmen.

17. You can’t win the person who never gives up

Another quote from Babe Ruth in which the person who never gives up is characterized as someone who is never quite beaten.

18. Whatever you do, do it intensely

Robert Henri explains what could be a key to performing at your best in sport and in all the challenges of life in general.

19. The most effective way to do this is to do it

A sentence by Amelia Earhat . If it seems obvious, it is because it is. However, to keep it in mind is very necessary in those moments when ramblings and justifications paralyze us.

20. If you fell yesterday, stand up today

This is a sentence by H. G. Wells . Other people would even recommend shortening the period between the two actions.

21. You create your opportunities by looking for them

Shakti Gawain , about the active role that is advisable to maintain to find spaces of opportunity.

22. Get to deserve your dream

A motivating sentence by Octavio Paz , very suitable for sportsmen.

23. True happiness involves the use of all one’s talents and abilities

One of the sports phrases in which happiness and personal potential are related when it comes to reaching goals. It is a quote from John W. Gardner .

24. Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.

A reflection by Peter Marshall , is also a phrase for athletes who are sometimes assaulted by procrastination.

25. It is always too early to retire

Norman Vince Peale expresses a very simple idea about what to think about when we are looking for any excuse to leave a routine unfinished.

26. Success is the only motivational factor that someone with character needs

A quote from Woody Hayes , links motivation with self-image.

27. Everything is practical

A phrase from one of the football champions: Pelé . As simple as it is powerful.

28. If you don’t lose, you can’t enjoy your victories

One of the sports phrases of one of the references of tennis: Rafael Nadal .

29. There is no substitute for hard work

A famous quote from Thomas Edison that fits perfectly with the sportsman spirit.

30. To win you need talent, to repeat you need character

A reflection by John Wooden , is also a phrase for athletes that relates the achievement of goals with the ability to be willing to repeat many attempts.

31. It doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you keep moving

One of the phrases from Confucius that can be related to the spirit of self-improvement needed in sport.

32. Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can

A sporting and motivating phrase by Arthur Ashe , of almost literal interpretation.

33. Every noble task seems impossible at first

A sentence by Thomas Carlye to be taken into account in the first moments when we face a new challenge.

34. The beginning is the most important moment of the work

A phrase attributed to Plato and which, in addition to having historical value, is very motivating.

35. If you go step by step and with confidence, you can go far

A sentence by Diego Armando Maradona , in which he emphasizes the importance of combining short-term thinking to set immediate objectives, and long-term thinking to think about big goals.

36. It always seems impossible until it is done

One of the most remembered phrases of Nelson Mandela , goes very well also to keep it in mind at times when one has to make an effort.

37. Setting goals is the first step in making the invisible visible

A sentence by Tony Robbins very appropriate when setting concrete goals in the context of sport.

38. Go for it now. The future is not promised to anyone

This sentence by Wyne Dyer may not seem too optimistic, but it is motivating and suitable for turning our plans into immediate action.

39. Records are there to be broken

A sentence by Michael Schumacher to take the challenges with attitude.

40. The more difficult the victory, the greater the satisfaction of winning

Another of the sports phrases of Pelé ; it serves to see the good part of the sacrifices of the present.

41. We cannot build a reputation on what we are going to do

Henry Ford points out the importance of facts over words.

42. Pursue a great and decisive goal with strength and determination

A quote from Carl von Clausewitz . If the goal is imposing, the efforts to achieve it must also be imposing.

43. Even if you fall on your face, you keep moving forward

Viktor Kiam , on why we should not fear failure.

44. Set high goals and don’t stop until you reach them

A sentence by Bo Jackson , about the appropriateness of setting ourselves upward targets.

45. You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the further you go

A sentence for sportsmen from Michael Phelps , one of the champions of swimming.

46. A mint is a dream with an expiration date

Napoleon Hill leaves this reflection so that we can see the meaning of the term “goal” in a broader and more optimistic way

47. When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor

Elon Musk puts a passionate twist on the pursuit of goals relevant to oneself in one of the sports phrases that appeals most to feelings.

48. If you are afraid of failure you don’t deserve to succeed

Basketball player Charles Barkley leaves this sentence for sportsmen and women who think too much about the worst possible scenario.

49. Step by step and the process is completed

Charles Atlas , on the benefits of setting short-term goals, also when exercising.

50. When one must, one can

A reflection by Charlotte Whitton , also has a reading on the good of “self-obligation” to meet objectives.

51. When you have something to prove, there is nothing better than a challenge

Former quarterback Terry Bradshaw sets out his positive view of challenges in this sports phrase.

52. Persistence can transform a failure into an extraordinary achievement

Football coach Marv Levy leaves this sentence for athletes that deals with the appropriateness of thinking big when aiming for a difficult goal.

53. Good is not good if it is expected

Sports commentator Vin Scully encourages us to set our goals high and always go a little further than we thought we could.

54. If you have everything under control, you are not moving fast enough

Race car driver Mario Andretti , on the need to go outside the comfort zone.

55. Age is not a barrier, but a limitation you put on your mind

The American athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee talks here about the way in which we should relativize the importance of age when valuing our potential.

56. No one who has given his best has ever regretted it

George Halas made this sentence about the good of squeezing your own performance memorable.

57. Mentality is the limit

Arnold Schwarzenegger , about the wide potential that each sportsman has reserved for himself.

58. If you train hard enough, you will not only harden, but you will also be hard to beat

Herschel Walker , on the double benefit of hard training and technique improvement in a sport.

59. Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do

Basketball coach John Wooden left one of those phrases for athletes that serve to destroy excuses.

60. I have learned that with every defeat comes something constructive

Tom Landry , on how to appreciate and recognize the usefulness of defeats.

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

An anonymous reflection on the importance of practicing well before the decisive moment.

62. The best motivation always comes from within

Michael Johnson

63. You have to expect things from yourself before you get them

One of the sports phrases of the legendary Michael Jordan.

64. Winning is not everything, but making the effort to win is

Vince Lombardi talks about the need to have a purpose that leads to effort.

65. If you can believe in it, your mind can reach it

Former American football player Ronnie Lott offers this reflection on the capacities of self-improvement.

66. Never give up

A very simple idea expressed in this way by basketball coach Jim Valvano.

67. A trophy collects dust, but the memories last forever

A motivating reflection by Mary Lou Retton.

68. An athlete cannot run with money in his pocket, but with hope in his heart and dreams in his head

Nice contribution from the Czech athlete Emil Zátopek.

69. Continued effort, not intelligence or strength, is the key to success

Liane Cardes has an opinion on the main ingredient of excellence.

70. A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t do it

Jack Dempsey, about the effort and experience of personal sacrifice .

71. What characterizes great players is that they remain determined in difficult situations

John McEnroe talks about the need to keep a cool head in stressful times.

72. What to do with mistakes: recognize them, admit them, learn from them, forget about them

Dean Smith drew that lesson from his experience as a basketball coach.

73. The will is a muscle that needs to be exercised, just like the rest

Lynn Jennings reflects on the psychological needs that make a good athlete.

74. Victory is something that is built physically and psychologically every day you train and every night you dream

One of former football player Emmitt Smith’s sports phrases.

75. Good is not good when you hope for the best

Another reflection on the need to set ambitious goals for growth.

76. How a team works as a whole determines its success

Another of Babe Ruth’s motivating sports phrases , in this case emphasizing the need to collectively face challenges.

77. Treat a person as he is, and he will remain so; treat him as he could be, and he will become what he should be

This phrase by Jimmy Johnson reminds us of the hidden potential and how easy it is to release it many times.

78. Sport creates a bond between people that lasts a lifetime

This statement, issued by former basketball player Bob Cousy, talks about the bonds of complicity and solidarity that sport is able to convey both on and off the field.

79. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you

A motivational quote from Fred DeVito

80. Adversity causes some people to break and others to break records

William Arthur Ward understands difficulties as a means through which one can grow.

81. If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail

An aphorism by Mark Spitz.

82. Only he who can see the invisible can do the impossible

Frank L. Gaines talks about the power of seeing potential and hidden opportunities.

83. It is not the will to win that matters, but the will to prepare

Everyone wants to win , but not everyone acts in a way that is consistent with that idea. A phrase from Paul “Bear” Bryant.

84. Experience is a tough teacher because it offers the test first and then the lesson

A witty reflection by former baseball player Vernon Law.

85. The social function of sport is to provide vivid examples of excellence

George F. Will offers this insight into the inspirational power of sports.