52 Motivational Sports Quotes About Big Games To Get You Pumped Up for Your Next Competition

If you’re looking for inspirational sports quotes about big games, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll share some inspiring quotes regarding big games with our readers. These quotes will inspire you and provide a boost of energy for your next big game. The quotes are not only uplifting, but also incredibly insightful into the mindset one should have before a major game and the approach one should have on important events.

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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. Great players show up to big games. Brad Marchand, Ice hockey player.

  2. Big games are usually about doing the simple things well – not trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat. Owen Farrell, rugby union player.

  3. If you’re going to win games, you’re going to have to come up with the big hits. That’s the bottom line. Derek Jeter, baseball player.

  4. I get fired up in big games. Other guys might get scared, but with me, my intensity overrules my jitteriness. Lorenzen Wright, basketball player.

  5. I’ve always thrived under the pressure of the big games. I enjoy that, and there’s nothing I get afraid about. Dele Alli, Soccer player.

  6. I don’t try to get players emotionally up for a game; it creates too many peaks and valleys… I strive for even keel; they will get up for the big games. Denny Crum, basketball coach.

  7. If you want trophies, they don’t get given to you, you have to earn them, you have to play well in big games. Jamie Carragher, soccer player.

  8. I want big games to prove to myself that I’m a winner and not a loser. Danilo Gallinari, basketball player.

  9. You can’t win the big game until you win it. Carson Palmer, football player.

  10. Dan Marino never won the big game. Does that mean his career is a failure? No, not at all. Donovan McNabb, Football quarterback.

  11. Before a big game, I’m pretty consistent with my routine. I try to do the same thing every single day on a game day because that’s just how I lock in. LeBron James, basketball player.

  12. You need to face your fears head on. Don’t avoid them or say that you’re not scared. Acknowledge it and be honest about it. It’s normal to get nervous about a big game or to get nervous about an important event in your life. Matt Cullen, Ice hockey center.

  13. Our mind is way more powerful than really anything else. If you can utilize that the right way, it’s inevitably going to help your game on the course. Rory McIlroy, golfer.

  14. Champions don’t become champions when they win an event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. Michael Jordan, basketball player.

  15. I talk a big game because I carry a big stick. Richard Sherman, American football player.

  16. I shot millions and millions of shots, just wanted the ball and felt good every time I released the ball, especially in those last seconds of big games. Toni Kukoc, basketball player.

  17. In big games they don’t panic, they continue to focus and continue to fight hard. Ned Yost, Baseball manager.

  18. Kids who dream of reaching the top must grow up looking forward to the big games which define them at every level they play. Robbie Savage, soccer player.

  19. I love to play big games, it makes you a bigger player. Rafael van der Vaart, soccer player.

  20. The big games against big opponents, those are the best games to play in. Oscar, soccer player.

  21. When you go into the really big games you look at your team and think ‘where are we weak, where are we vulnerable. Graeme Souness, soccer player.

  22. As the last ball travelled over the net, and as I realized that the final match was mine, I cannot describe. I felt that here was a prize for all the games I had ever played. Helen Wills, tennis player.

  23. I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge and I’ve never been one to shy away from talking a big game. Aljamain Sterling, MMA.

  24. Whenever there is a big game and people don’t think I can do it, I always play my hardest, and now it has become a part of me. Dwyane Wade, basketball player.

  25. After you have a big game, you can’t just say, ‘That’s it, I’ve arrived,’ by any means. I’m always pushing it to be better. You always want to be better than you are, no matter what. Blake Griffin, Basketball player.

  26. If you don’t start out aiming for the big game, you almost never can get there. Reid Hoffman

  27. I used everything as a positive to make me a better person and a better player. I have no regrets. Everytime I had to play a big game, I played a big game. I used some of the skepticism as a positive and motivation. Chris Osgood, hockey goaltender.

  28. Finding the right balance is very important in preparing for a big game or for business. If you are mentally in the right zone, you will play well whether in sports or in business. Virat Kohli, cricket player.

  29. Sometimes in life the biggest challenges end up being the best things that happen in your life. Tom Brady, football player.

  30. Before you can win, you have to believe you are worthy. Mike Ditka,  American football coach.

  31. Big games are usually where elite college quarterbacks ‘‘meet their match’’. Kirk Cousins, football quarterback

  32. You win big games by executing the little things. All big games are won by the team that executes the most small details. So, it’s the smallest of the details that are executed the most that actually win the big games. Doug Bruno, basketball coach [source]

  33. Most games in sports are won by the more talented team, but it occured [sic] to me a long time ago in my coaching that most big games are won by the team that wants to win the most. Don James, American football player

  34. Big games are won when we play as a team with the never give up attitude. John Murphy, basketball coach

  35. At the end of the day big games are won on the back of effort and will to win. Mitchell Pearce, Rugby player

  36. In big games you have to be mentally strong, your mind can’t waver. It could be the difference between wins or losses. Aquib Nabi, cricket player

  37. The two things in big games you have to control are adversity and adrenaline. Tom Walter, American baseball coach

  38. In big games, you have to perform big. So you come out and you perform big when it calls time for it. Andrew Robertson, football player

  39. We’re playing against the champions and champions always turn up in the big games, but we also have a team of champions. Zinedine Zidane, French soccer manager

  40. In the biggest games, the best players step up and make plays. Deuce McAllister, football running back

  41. These big games separate the men from the boys. This is what you strive for in professional sports – big games in big opportunities. When your back is against the wall, it shows which team has the true colors to pull through. Jonathan Borrajo, American soccer player

  42. Big games separate the pretenders from the contenders, we hope to be the latter. Javier Bevacqua, basketball coach

  43. The timing of emotions is important in big games – we must focus on the best game you can as a team and individual. Erik ten Hag, Dutch football manager

  44. I play to get to these moments and to make plays and take advantage of my opportunities. I work really hard for these moments. Joe Burrow, NFL player

  45. The big games are the ones that trigger you. They’re the games everyone speaks about. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, former soccer player

  46. The big games are the ones you want to play, and if you want to compete for titles, you have to beat the best. Kevin De Bruyne, soccer player

  47. The big games are the best. You have to want to be the guy. You have to want to be in the spotlight. Ryan Cruz, Baseball pitcher

  48. The big games are the ones you want to play in, the best players play in them and everyone is vying to play well. Simon Zebo, Irish rugby union player

  49. If you want to win big games, you have to be mature. Erik ten Hag, Dutch football manager

  50. Those big games are where you need to come out and you can’t hide. You need to show resilience and have the right attitude. Bali Mumba, English soccer player

  51. These big games are where you find out about yourself, where you find out if you can cut it. Matt Banahan, Former rugby union player

  52. I was taught the best players shine in the biggest games. I just try to do my best, it’s just so happens big games is where I perform best. Jerome Baker, American football linebacker


What We Can Take Away from These Quotes About Big Games

1. Handling The Pressure

Great athletes show their true character when faced with big challenges. They don’t run away from difficult situations. They face whatever obstacles are thrown their way, and through their actions, they inspire their teammates as well. Playing in big games is all about putting your best effort forward and using your skills to your full potential.

Pressure can be a privilege if handled correctly. Many athletes thrive under pressure, especially on big occasions. Pressure in big games is a sign that you’re playing the sport at the highest level, both in terms of skill and mental toughness.

2. Keeping it Simple

Even though the stakes are high in finals, it all comes down to doing the basics right and keeping it simple. It’s like a game of chess, where a player wins by making small, calculated moves and waiting for the opponent to make a mistake. In big sporting moments, it’s very important to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way.

3. Hold it Together

When it comes to big games, it’s those crucial moments that decide the outcome. The team or player who holds their nerves better in those tense moments will achieve the positive result. As we can see in basketball, a basketball player hits a shot in a tense situation, and that becomes a game-defining moment.

4. Controlling The Controllable

It’s easy to get nervous when playing in big games, but the ones who overcome it eventually win the final battle. Some players have a natural ability to use their nerves and pressure to their advantage, both for themselves and for their team. A car race isn’t won by a driver who drives with the feeling of adrenaline rush, but by the one who controls and uses it in their favor. 

5. Staying in The Moment

Big games are like a storm. They come and go in the blink of an eye, and sometimes it takes time for an athlete to process what happened. When the stakes are high, it’s important to stay in the present and avoid thinking too much about the future. Big games for an athlete are much like final exams for students. A student must focus on their studies rather than worrying about the questions that will be asked on the exam paper.

6. Trophies are Earned 

Trophies aren’t given; you have to earn them. It takes years of preparation and perseverance to compete in the knockout stages of a competition. The best way to prove that you’re the best at what you do is by winning trophies. Winning a single trophy can silence many doubters.

7. Practice and Progress

No matter what profession you have, practice is key to your progression. Practice helps you identify the flaws in your technique and the things you can improve. Correcting these things before the big day can do wonders. 

8. Accepting the Result

Sometimes, even after putting in your best effort, the results may not always go your way. In this scenario, accepting that your opponent played better than you on that day is a sign of maturity. As an athlete, you can take learnings from that game and move on. Dwelling on a loss won’t help you, as it doesn’t improve your current situation. As an athlete, it’s very important to enjoy the process rather than worrying about the end result.

9. Acknowledge to Overcome

It’s crucial for an athlete to acknowledge their shortcomings as soon as possible so that they can be overcome. When we face our problems head-on, we realize that they’re not as strong as we think, and we can overpower them by finding solutions.  

10. Believe You Can

It all starts with confidence in your abilities when facing big occasions. Sometimes, to achieve something, you have to act like you’ve already achieved it. Visualization is a very important aspect of the life of a professional athlete. In the end, it all boils down to executing what you’ve planned, and the athlete or team that does that better than their opponent eventually wins the final race.


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.



Also See:

Quotes About Game Preparation from American Football Players

Sports Quotes About Positive Attitude and Thinking

Positive Quotes on the Connection Between Life and Sports


Tags: Motivational

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Featured image credit: Lisa Gansky, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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