63 Inspirational Sports Quotes About Sacrifice from Famous Athletes

Athletes must make numerous personal sacrifices in order to attain their professional goals. To succeed in any field, one must not only work hard but also sacrifice many things. Success and sacrifice are inextricably linked. The cost of success cannot be calculated in monetary terms.

The quotes below illustrate the kinds of sacrifices made by athletes and their importance in their lives. These quotes will motivate people to achieve great things while also teaching them the value of making sacrifices.

Also See: Worthy Sports Quotes from Athletes About Inner Potential

Image Quotes/ Quote Wallpapers

Guess the quote’s author

Let’s take a quick quiz now before reading these inspiring sports quotes. Your task in this quiz is to identify the authors of the quotes we’ve provided from this post. You’ll have three choices to choose from, so think carefully! Match the words to the person who said them!


  1. Winning changes everything. You want to win, you sacrifice. That’s what it’s about. LeBron James, basketball player.

  2. From Day 1, I mentioned I’m the guy that’s willing to do whatever for the team. I’ll sacrifice whatever it is that needs to be sacrificed. Russell Westbrook, basketball player.

  3. We talk about sacrifice. First thing people think about is sacrificing scoring output or shots. No, sacrificing making selfless plays. Darvin Ham, basketball coach.

  4. Believe in yourself, even if it mean sacrificing everything. LeBron James, basketball player.

  5. Ask me to play. I’ll play. Ask me to shoot. I’ll shoot. Ask me to pass. I’ll pass. Ask me to steal, block out, sacrifice, lead, dominate. Anything. But it’s not what you ask of me. It’s what I ask of myself. LeBron James, basketball player.

  6. To maintain this level, you need to make sacrifices. There are certain things that I could do when I was 20 that I can’t do today. You have to try and find a balance. It’s the finer details that make a difference. Cristiano Ronaldo, Portuguese soccer player.

  7. You have to sacrifice as without sacrifice you achieve nothing. Cristiano Ronaldo, Portuguese footballer.

  8. To be a professional takes many things: hard work, sacrifice, luck … It’s complicated, but I think you should fight for your dreams and fight to the end. With much effort and sacrifice anything is possible. Lionel Messi, Soccer player.

  9. You have to fight to reach your dream. You have to sacrifice and work hard for it. – Lionel Messi, Soccer player.

  10. Day after day, year after year, it took sacrifice and hard work to reach my dreams. Lionel Messi, Soccer player.

  11. If you want to do something and you want that bad you’ll make sacrifices and growing up for me as a kid I made a lot of sacrifices that I didn’t seem that they were a big deal and I don’t seem like I don’t think of them being as being a big deal right now. Michael Phelps, former competitive swimmer.

  12. The sacrifices were worth it, and I would do it maybe not exactly all over again, but I was happy I chose the road I chose and I was allowed to by my parents. Roger Federer, tennis player.

  13. Dreams are free. Goals have a cost. While you can daydream for free, goals don’t come without a price. Time, Effort, Sacrifice, and Sweat. How will you pay for your goals? Usain Bolt, Jamaican sprinter.

  14. It never felt like I had to sacrifice anything. I trained, yes. I worked very hard, always at the maximum, true. But I enjoyed every single thing. For me, sacrifice means doing something that I don’t want to do. Rafael Nadal, tennis player.

  15. Follow your passion, be prepared to work hard and sacrifice, and, above all, don’t let anyone limit your dreams. Donovan Bailey, Canadian olympic athlete.

  16. My favorite thing is when we lift a trophy. Afterward, we can have a picture of us lifting a trophy. And that picture shows a lot of work, a lot of difficulty and a lot of sacrifice together. N’Golo Kanté, French soccer player.

  17. In your life you do not win without sacrifices and you must take risks. Tiger Woods,  professional golfer.

  18. I think that the good and the great are only separated by the willingness to sacrifice. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, former basketball player.

  19. At the end of the day, we all want to win, so everybody has to sacrifice when you want to be a part of something special. Jayson Tatum, basketball player.

  20. In high competition, what counts is victory. But you add much greater satisfaction to it when you know that you have had to make sacrifices and strive to achieve your goal. Rafael Nadal, tennis player.

  21. One thing that can never be sacrificed is your preparation and your work ethic. Peyton Manning, former football quarterback.

  22. Everybody can get excited to play the games. But are you willing to pay the price and sacrifice in the off-season? Peyton Manning, former football quarterback.

  23. Success is all about being able to sacrifice. Mike Tyson, former professional boxer.

  24. You don’t win by being good. You win with hard work and sacrifice. Without that, skill is just potential. Bobby Orr, ice hockey player.

  25. When people succeed, it is through sacrifice. Luck has nothing to do with success. Diego Maradona, Argentine football player.

  26. I am surrounded by luxury. But make no mistake – it’s luxury built on sacrifice. Conor McGregor, Irish mixed martial artist.

  27. Trust that your hard work and sacrifice will pay off, and it will pay off. Conor McGregor, Irish mixed martial artist.

  28. Whatever I want, whenever I want. I have earned that through hard work, through sacrifice and through victory. Conor McGregor, Irish mixed martial artist.

  29. Please understand the true power of sacrifice. There’s nothing you desire that a sacrifice won’t accompany. You’ve got to surrender something in order to reach or achieve your desire. Deion Sanders, American football coach.

  30. I knew it wasn’t going to be pleasant waters, but again nothing really worthwhile in life comes without great sacrifice. Andre Agassi, former tennis player.

  31. You aren’t going to find anybody that’s going to be successful without making a sacrifice and without perseverance. Lou Holtz, Former football player.

  32. I could sit at home, watch TV, and go for the odd run. But to be the best, you have to make this sacrifice, keep going away and doing blocks of training in the mountains. Mo Farah, British long-distance runner.

  33. When you’re in love with it you’re willing to do whatever it takes, whether be it cold tubs, or massages, acupuncture, whatever it might be. I think when you love the game purely, all those things you’re willing to do is sacrifice. Jamal Crawford, former basketball player.

  34. If you want to learn and to become somebody, you must sacrifice some things. James Rodriguez, Colombian soccer player.

  35. It’s a lot of sacrifice. It’s a lot of effort I have to put in every day. I know that. But I do enjoy that because what I get in return is moments like I got today, with my team, with my family. It’s priceless really. Roger Federer, Swiss tennis player.

  36. You’ve got to sacrifice things that the common man won’t sacrifice to get to where you want to go in life. James Franklin, football coach.

  37. Your life has to fit into your tennis– not tennis into you life— if you want to be a champion. Sacrifice is a must. Jimmy Connors, American tennis player.

  38. you’ll have to sacrifice something. Sometimes your body will tell you what you have to sacrifice, sometimes you will have to decide. And it’s not easy decisions because many people will be against your decisions. Daniil Medvedev, Russian tennis player.

  39. Being mentally prepared to leave my home at the age of 12 and sacrifice my life in Greece, sacrifice my friends, my daily routines there, my school, whatever, everything, and focus and have a dream of maybe one day making it. Stefanos Tsitsipas, Greek tennis player.

  40. Anyone who has spent any time with any of the top women will know they make those same sacrifices and are as determined and committed to winning as any of the top men on the tour. Andy Murray, tennis player.

  41. I’m going to make as many sacrifices as I can to give myself the best chance to become world number one and that’s the goal for me. Cameron Norrie, British tennis player.

  42. A lot of it is the work you do every day and the sacrifices that you make. I think that’s a really big word, a big key word. Michael Phelps, American former swimmer.

  43. You make sacrifices. You sacrifice yourself. Do you want to possibly win a championship? Or do you want to be the same person you were when you were 20 and get those same numbers? Gary Payton, former basketball player.

  44. My parents’ sacrifice and hard work obligated me to be successful, it wasn’t an option to fail. Wayne Messam, former American football wide receiver.

  45. Sometimes I have to sacrifice myself and my body to help the team in a bad moment and that’s fine. Kevin De Bruyne, Belgian footballer.

  46. In my career, I sacrifice everything for football. I want to be 100% fit, 100% ready. Sadio Mané, Senegalese professional footballer.

  47. You have to sacrifice everything. What you have and what you want. You have to sacrifice. You have to stay very focused. Khabib Nurmagomedov, Russian former mixed martial artist.


Sacrifice quotes from female athletes

  1. It is not sacrifice if you love what you’re doing. Mia Hamm, American soccer player.

  2. If I have nothing to sacrifice, I have nothing to gain. Catherine Ndereba, Kenyan olympic athlete.

  3. Because I knew how hard I worked, I knew the pain, I knew the sacrifice, I knew the tears, I knew everything. Despite everything, I stuck to it. I toughed it out, and I kept my head in the game, even when the odds were against me. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Jamaican track and field athlete.

  4. You sacrifice a lot, but you’re gaining more. Lindsey Vonn, American alpine ski racer.

  5. It’s good to make sure you keep yourself surrounded by people that want to see you succeed and will help you get there. And you know that if you have to make a sacrifice, they’re going to pick up the slack for you. Lindsey Vonn, American alpine ski racer.

  6. I think athletes have the ability to work hard and put in the hours and make sacrifices that others are not. Lindsey Vonn, American alpine ski racer.

  7. It’s really about the commitment, the sacrifice and the magic of really wanting something. Danica Patrick, American former racing driver.

  8. There’s a lot of sacrifice. But I never lost sight of what I wanted to do. Jackie Joyner-Kersee, American track and field athlete.

  9. It’s been a tremendous journey. It’s 20 years of sacrifice, of putting everything else aside and just wanting to win. Diana Taurasi,  basketball player.

  10. Most people focus on the wrong thing; They focus on the result, not the process. The process is the sacrifice; it’s all the hard parts – the sweat, the pain, the tears, the losses. You make the sacrifices anyway. You learn to enjoy them, or at least embrace them. In the end, it is the sacrifices that must fulfill you. Ronda Rousey, American professional wrestler.

  11. My whole childhood. My whole childhood was sacrificed for the dream. But I’m living my dream. I’m living what I love to do, and there is not a lot of people who can say that. So I’m privileged. – Victoria Azarenka, Belarusian tennis player.

  12. Over the years, I’ve made many sacrifices to win two Olympic gold medals and put together winning streaks that will never be broken. Misty May-Treanor, beach volleyball player.

  13. Work hard. You have to make sacrifices but know that those sacrifices are worth it. Natalie Coughlin, American swimmer.

  14. I love the game, and I do not feel that I have sacrificed anything. On the contrary, I feel privileged to do something that I love. Simona Halep,  Romanian tennis player.

  15. I felt like I had sacrificed so much in my family life and in my personal life, I had closed a lot of drawers in my personal life for tennis and it was time to sort out things in my personal life. And as long as I had this career, I couldn’t do that. So it was also a search for balance. Justine Henin, Belgian former tennis player.

  16. My sacrifice was leaving my family for the tennis because I knew I couldn’t succeed if I stayed back and so I gave up all those years with my family and friends. If I regret anything it’s not that I did it but it’s the fact that I had to do it. Martina Hingis, Swiss former professional tennis player.


A fun quiz is a great way to summarize the lessons we can take from these inspiring quotes. This fun quiz is intended to help you remember the key ideas and takeaways from the quotes in our blog post.

How to play?

In this quiz, you must complete the quote you’ve just read from various athletes and coaches by selecting the correct option from the options provided. The aim of this quiz is to help you recall key takeaways from the quotes. You will receive one point for selecting the correct option. Are you ready? Let’s get started.



Tags: Motivational

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Featured image credit: Addesolen, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

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