Be Inspired by Sports — Get the Feeling

100+ Inspirational Quotes & Impartable Life Lessons : What We Can Learn from Sports, Games and Fitness

Grey Swan Guild News Wrap 2:17, Supplementary Piece

Author: Sean Moffitt

Given the dramatic nature of sports, fitness, games and outdoors, it should not surprise us that athletes, commentators, authors, fans and weekend warriors might have some fairly poetic things to say about them. Within each is buried some stated, tacit or hidden impartable lesson for all of us. After all, sports is life, just amplified.

Curated below is one hundred+ of our faves, culled from over fifty different sports and interspersed with one of my favourite campaigns ever from Sports Illustrated — Get the Feeling. Enjoy!

Sports-Illustrated, Get the Feeling


“Somebody gives you an opportunity, say yes to it. So what if you fail? you won’t know if you fail or succeed unless you try.” — Ann Meyers, American former basketball player

“…So please, be tolerant of those who describe a sporting moment as their best ever. We do not lack imagination, nor have we had sad and barren lives; it is just that real life is paler, duller, and contains less potential for unexpected delirium.”- author Nick Hornby, Fever Pitch

“The only way to prove that you’re a good sport is to lose.” — Ernie Banks, Chicago Cubs, Hall of Famer

“Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.” — Laird Hamilton, Best Big Wave Surfer of all Time

“The five S’s of sports training are: stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit; but the greatest of these is spirit.” — Ken Doherty, Irish Professional Snooker Player

“People are overlooked for a variety of biased reasons and perceived flaws: Age, appearance, personality. Bill James and Mathematics cuts straight through that. Billy, of the twenty thousand notable players for us to consider, I believe that there’s a championship team of twenty five people that we can afford. Because everyone else in baseball under values them — like and island of misfit toys.” — Peter Brand, Oscar finalist movie Moneyball

“Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.” — Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Three-Time Track and Field Gold Medalist, overcoming severe asthma

“We have two lives… the life we learn with and the life we live after that. Suffering is what brings us towards happiness.” Bernard Malamud, Author, The Natural

“You can motivate by fear, and you can motivate by reward. But both those methods are only temporary. The only lasting thing is self-motivation.” — Homer Rice, former American Football player, coach, and college athletics administrator

“The (volleyball) player is not a soloist, but a member of an orchestra. When that player begins to think, ‘I’m special,’ (The player) is finished.” Bernardo Rezende, Brazilian volleyball coach and former player


“Great moments are born from great opportunity.” — Herb Brooks, coach of the 1980 Miracle on Ice US Gold Medal Hockey Team

“A man with money is no match against a man on a mission.” — Doyle Brunson. Legendary Poker Player

“There is never a right or wrong in curling. There always [are] choices. Making the right choice also is executing it the right way. It’s not only the decision but it’s execution… You focus on the small things, the little details, then big things might happen. You cannot create the big things to happen. You need to focus on the details. “— Eva Lund, Sweden’s two-time Gold Medal-winning Curler

“Never give up! Failure and rejection are only the first step to succeeding.” — Jim Valvano, NCAA Basketball Coach

““It’s always a hardware and a software story. The hardware is useless without the software, just as the reverse is true. Sport skill acquisition does not happen without both specific genes and a specific environment.” David Epstein, Author, The Sports Gene

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six 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, Chicago Bulls basketball player and best NBA player all-time

“Compromise for your dream but never compromise on your dream.”– Imran Khan, finest cricketer in Pakistan history

“Every man at some point in his life is gonna lose a battle. He’s gonna fight and he’s gonna lose. But what makes him a man is that in the midst of the battle, he does not lose himself.” Coach Taylor, Friday Night Lights

“Winners never quit and quitters never win.” — Vince Lombardi, Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Coach

“It’s not the mountain we climb, it’s ourselves”- Sir Edmund Hillary, Mount Everest pioneering mountaneer


“This was a new recognition that perfection is admirable but a trifle inhuman, and that a stumbling kind of semi-success can be much more warming. Most of all, perhaps, these exultant yells for the Mets were also yells for ourselves, and came from a wry, half-understood recognition that there is more Met than Yankee in every one of us. I knew for whom that foghorn blew; it blew for me.” ― Roger Angell, The Summer Game

“Chance to squint at a sky so blue that it hurts your eyes just to look at it. To feel the tingling in your arm as you connect with the ball. To run the bases … stretch a double into a triple, and flop face-first into third, wrap your arms around the bag. That’s my wish, Ray Kinsella. That’s my wish. And is there enough magic out there in the moonlight to make this dream come true?” Archibald Graham from the movie Field of Dreams

“The ability to conquer one’s self is no doubt the most precious of all things that sports bestows.” — Olga Korbut, Russian gymnast

“Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.” — Charles M. Schultz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip

“Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.” — Mike Singletary, NFL Hall of fame player and coach

“If you can’t outplay them, outwork them.” — Ben Hogan, Legendary Pro Golfer & nine-time major champion winner

“Like books, sports give people a sense of having lived other lives, of taking part in other people’s victories. And defeats. When sports are at their best, the spirit of the fan merges with the spirit of the athlete.”― Phil Knight, Nike founder

“If you have everything under control, you’re not moving fast enough.” Mario Andretti, ItalianAmerican racing driver. one of only two drivers to have won races in Formula One, Indy Car, World Sportscar and NASCAR

“It ain’t over till it’s over.” — Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame New York Yankees catcher and one of the most often quoted athletes of all time

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”– Ralph Waldo Emerson, American well known essayist & lover of nature


“One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than 50 preaching it.” — Knute Rockne, Notre Dame’s legendary football coach

“Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the human race.” — H.G. Wells, English author

“Kill them with success and bury them with a smile.” — Usain Bolt, Jamaican sprinter and the fastest person on planet earth

“Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; You have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits.” — Cindy Ross, Seven-time novelist on tails and nature

“A ballplayer spends a good piece of his life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.” — Jim Bouton, Ball Four

“Enthusiasm is everything. It must be taut and vibrating like a guitar string.” Pele, Brazil & International soccer star

“It doesn’t matter where you come from and no matter where you are or who you are, you can still make it.” — Gift Ngoepe, South African former professional baseball shortstop and second baseman

“I just wish people would realize that anything’s possible if you try; dreams are made possible if you try.” — Terry Fox, Canadian Canadian athlete, humanitarian, and cancer activist ran 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 mi) across Canada on on leg

“There are only two options regarding commitment. You’re either IN or you’re OUT. There is no such thing as life in-between.”- Pat Riley, Hall of Fame NBA Coach & President

“When the mind is controlled and spirit aligned with purpose, the body is capable of so much more than we realize.”- Rich Roll, vegan ultra-endurance athlete


“At one point in your life you either have the thing you want or the reasons why you don’t.” — Andy Roddick, American tennis player and major champion

“Everything I know about morality and the obligations of men, I owe it to football (soccer).” — Albert Camus, Algerian-born French philosopher, author, and journalist

“The race is won by the rider who can suffer the most” — Eddy Merckx, Belgian road bicyclist, winner of 11 grand tours

“Nothing is every predetermined. It’s a constant reminder to work hard, stay focused and never believe that your future is assured.” Tim Cahill, Australian former professional footballer

“I think the way to become the best is to just have fun.”— Shaun White, American former professional snowboarder and skateboarder and five-time Olympian

“Everybody pulls for David, nobody roots for Goliath.”— Wilt Chamberlain, NBA Basketball Legend

“The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.” — Roger Bannister, record breaker of the four minute mile

“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope, where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination.” — Nelson Mandela,South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and political leader who served as the first president of South Africa with a keen interest in boxing, rugby, and soccer

“Sports don’t build character; they reveal it.” Heywood Brown, CBS Commentator

“I felt it — the exhilaration of what the bike has to offer. It’s a simple machine that conjures a vast mix of emotions. It can evoke the senses and raise the spirits of people who watch. For those who ride it can seem like the perfect vehicle for transport. For those who race, there’s no better sensation than being on top of your gear making mountains feel like flat roads. Cycling throws up plenty of obstacles, unknown territory, high speed split-second considerations. Where to next? What’s around the next corner? Who cares? You’re flyin’!”” Cadel Evans, Cycling World Champion


“Sport is the best means of communication between people from different religions and countries.” — Yao Ming, Chinese Basketball Player

“Football is the ballet of the masses.” — Dmitri Shostakovichm,Soviet-era Russian composer and pianist

“Getting to the top of any given mountain was considered much less important than how one got there: prestige was earned by tackling the most unforgiving routes with minimal equipment, in the boldest style imaginable.” — Jon Krakauer, Author, Into Thin Air

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” — Tim Notke, High School Coach

“Believe me, the reward is not so great without the struggle.” — Wilma Rudolph, the first woman to win three Olympic gold medals

“When you’re riding, only the race in which you’re riding is important.” — Bill Shoemaker, top horse jockey of all-time

“Just do whatever you want to in life. One day tomorrow won’t be there.” Donald “The Cowboy” Cerrone, Mixed Martial Arts fighter and most wins in UFC history

“Good soccer players need not be titans sculpted by Michelangelo. In soccer, ability is much more important than shape, and in many cases, skill is the art of turning limitations into virtues.” — Eduardo Galeano, Uruguayan journalist, writer and novelist

“The best thing about sports is the sense of community and shared emotion it can create. “ — Bob Costas, NBC Sportscaster and Voice of the Olympics

“To me the beauty of teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one. You become selfless.” — Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Duke’s Top Winning NCAA Basketball Coach


“Looking back, 1995 became a story about us, new South Africa finding its identity through sport.” — Francois Pienaar, 1995 South African Rugby World Cup Captain & Champion

“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” — Arthur Ashe, three time tennis Grand Slam winner and first black man to win Wimbledon, the U.S. Open & Australian Open

“Taking on a challenge is a lot like riding a horse, isn’t it? If you’re comfortable while you’re doing it, you’re probably doing it wrong.” — Ted Lasso, Netflix hit show Ted Lasso

“To give any less than your best is to sacrifice a gift.” — Steve Prefontaine, American Long Distance Running Icon

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.” — Jerry Rice, San Francisco 49ers hall of famer and best wide receiver ever

“Some people think football [soccer]is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that.” — Bill Shankly, Scottish football player and manager

“Bowling is an IQ test. The lane asks, ‘Can you solve me?’”- Dr. Dean Hintz, Sports Psychology

“In the dust of defeat as well as the laurels of victory there is a glory to be found if one has done his best.” Eric Liddell, Scottish sprinter, rugby player,

“Sport is a preserver of health.” Hippocrates

“The best and fastest way to learn a sport is to watch and imitate a champion.”- — Jean-Claude Killy. Three Time Olympic Gold Medal Skier


“When you see a good move, look for a better one.” — Emanuel Lasker, German Master Chess Player, World Chess Champion for 27 Years

“Just when you think you know the answers, I change the questions.”- Roddy Piper, Canadian WWE Wrestling Icon

“If you want experiences to make you a better person, then you play two or three sports.” Jim Brown, NFL Hall of Famer and also noted in basketball, track & field and lacrosse star

“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.”- Roger Staubach, Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame Quarterback

“There is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first time. I owe him my best.”- Joe Dimaggio, New York Yankee Hall of famer, and owner of longest conmsecutive hitting streak

“Only he that can see the invisible, can do the impossible.” — Frank Gaines

“We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass.” Brian Clough, English Footballer & Coach

“Every champion was once a contender that refused to give up.”- Rocky Balboa. the movie Rocky

“Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.” — Dan Gable, Greatest Amateur Wrestler in American history and coach

“Good is not good when better is expected.” — Vin Scully, famed L.A. Dodger Voice and Sports Broadcaster for six decades


“Your health account, your bank account, they’re the same thing. The more you put in, the more you can take out.” — Jack LaLanne, Fitness Icon

“When you’re good at something, you’ll tell everyone. When you’re great at something, they’ll tell you.” — Walter Payton, Chicago Bears Legend

“Sport & health are so important to our nation, that they deserve to be at the front of people’s minds.” Daley Thompson, British Decathlete and World Record Holder

“On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit. And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit, and you think, ‘Okay, this is the limit’. And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further.” — Ayrton Senna, Brazilian Formula One Race Car Driver

“It’s even harder to stay at the top in sports than it is to get there.” — Babe Didrikson Zaharias, American athlete who excelled in gold, basketball, baseball and track & field and only Olympian to win medals in running, jumping and throwing events

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” — Henry David Thoreau, American naturalist, essayist, poet, and philosopher

“There’s no elevator to success. You’ll have to take the stairs” — Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Hollywood icon and former WWE Wrestler

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” — Famed UCLA Backetball Coach John Wooden

“You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.” — Babe Ruth, Baseball Icon and greatest baseball player of the 1900s

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” Teddy Roosevelt, US President and noted American Sportman


“You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.” — Wayne Gretzky, Hockey icon and NHL all-time leading scorer

“I run on the road, long before I dance under the lights.” — Muhammad Ali, Professional Boxer and Greatest heavyweight of All-Time

“The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.” — John Madden, NFL Footb all Coach, Broadcaster and Video Game Legend

“The pleasure of sport was so often the chance to indulge the cessation of time itself — the pitcher dawdling on the mound, the skier poised at the top of a mountain trail, the basketball player with the rough skin of the ball against his palm preparing for a foul shot, the tennis player at set point over his opponent — all of them savoring a moment before committing themselves to action.” — George Plimpton, Journalist, writer, literary editor, actor and occasional amateur sportsman

“A champion is afraid of losing. Everyone else is afraid of winning.” — Billie Jean King, one of the best tennis players of all time and 12x Grand Slam Winner

“Sports serve society by providing vivid examples of excellence.” — George F. Will, Columnist and Life long baseball fan

“The only boundaries for you are those, you place in yourself.” — Zoltan Andrejkovics, Author of A Newborn Business: Esports’, ‘The Invisible Game’

“Soccer forces life to move on. There’s always a new match. A new season. There’s always a dream that everything can get better. It’s a game of wonders.” — Fredrik Backman, Swedish author, blogger, and columnist

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.” — Archie Griffin, two-time Heisman trophy winner

“A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.” — Jack Dempsey, Best boxer from the first half of the 20th century


“Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is.”- Bob Feller, the greatest baseball pitcher of his era

“I always turn to the sports pages first, which records people’s accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man’s failures.” — Earl Warren, 14th Chief Justice of the United States

Nike’s Original Manifesto from 1977

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Making Sense of the World’s Biggest Challenges & Next Grey Swans — curating and creating knowledge through observation, informed futurism, and analysis🦢