42 Famous Sports Quotes About Life and The Interconnection Between The Two

Sports are considered an integral part not only of an athlete’s life but also in the lives of others as it teaches valuable life lessons. In the eyes of many, what we experience and learn in sports is nothing but a reflection, perhaps on a smaller scale, of life and its experiences. Whether it’s a skill or a certain mindset, what we learn in sports aids us in everyday life. In this post, we are providing you with positive and educational quotes about life and sports. These quotes convey how life and sports are interconnected and reflective of each other.


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1. “Dream Building— Life Building—is an athletic event. Will Smith, Actor (Quote’s Source)

Will Smith compares the process or journey of building towards your goals and dreams to how an athlete prepares for an athletic event. To prepare for an athletic event, an athlete has to incorporate certain things into their daily life, such as discipline, work ethics, punctuality, among many other things. Smith emphasizes that in life, if you want to achieve a goal or are working towards one, you need to have a definite framework in place.


2. “Sports is the greatest metaphor we have in terms of dealing with life because even if you listen to music, music will give you guidance that you can then meditate on and think about how you would apply it. In sports you have to apply it in the here and now. Kobe Bryant, Basketball player

Kobe Bryant, in numerous interviews and interactions, has consistently promoted sports as something that addresses various aspects of life. In the quote above, he beautifully uses the analogy of music and compares it with sports. Music is a great tool for mindfulness and meditation, helping us keep our headspace right. On the other hand, sports teach us valuable life lessons that are necessary and can be applied in practical day-to-day life.


3. “It truly is, in life and sports, we’ve got to just focus on the here and the now and you’ve got to be mindful. Brandon Marshall, former NFL player


4. “I had breakups in my family, things with finances, navigating the business of life and sports, but still was able to navigate it and find myself as a champion – and not only on the field, but in every endeavor. And I feel like that success is open and available to everyone if they see that in themselves. Malcolm Jenkins, former NFL player

The above quote by former NFL player Malcolm Jenkins shows how life and sports are interconnected. Through the obstacles in his life, whether in the NFL or personal life, Jenkins kept self-belief and faced everything with the attitude of an athlete.


5. “In life and sports, nothing lasts forever. Times change, circumstances change. Peyton Manning, former NFL player

One has to look at Manning’s quote in a positive light. In life, as well as in sports, we tend to face difficulties on various occasions. During those moments, we should never get disheartened because with time, things do change, and different scenarios present new opportunities. 


6. “There is an inclination in life and sports, in relationships, and when something goes wrong you change right away. When you continue to change right away and be re-active to everything that happens right away, what you get good at is change. Clint Hurdle, American baseball manager (Quote’s source)

Change is the only constant in life and sports. Clint Hurdle, through his words, gives us a simple message that one must learn to adapt to the changes that occur throughout our life. When we accept and adapt to change, and react accordingly, we pave the way for further growth. In sports, for instance, there is a constant change in rules and governance as well. If players don’t adapt to new rules and conditions, they will fall behind other athletes, hindering their future progress.


7. “We all have an ability to be something in this world. It’s up to you to bring it out. When you find it, nothing can stop you whether it is in sports or life. Malat Lueth Wei, wheelchair basketball player

 (Quote’s source)

Wheelchair basketball player Malat Wei has seen his fair share of ups and downs in life but his positive attitude is something which truly reflects from his words: “We all have an ability to be something in this world.” Wei is a wheelchair basketball player who has inspired many with his affirmative attitude towards life. He contracted polio at the age of three, resulting in paralysis in both legs. Despite this, he harbored a passion for sports since childhood. Upon learning about wheelchair sports after moving to the USA from Ethiopia in 2006, he decided to pursue it as a career, thus fulfilling his childhood dream.


8. “In both life and football, failure is inevitable. You don’t always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm and place yourself in the arena again. Tom Brady, NFL player (Quote’s source)

Tom Brady, being a pro athlete, has seen a fair amount of failure (and lots of success too) in his professional career. This has taught him, and something that we can learn as well, that failure in life is nothing but one more opportunity to achieve our goals and impart the learning from earlier failures while doing so.


9. “In life, like sports, half of the battle is mental. If you think you can do it, that’s half the battle. Adam Taliaferro, former NFL player


10. “Sports taught me that, rather than be blind followers of rules, we need to constantly question them as to their purpose and validity and be bold enough to change them if they don’t serve our value of fair play. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, former Basketball player

Sports give us the freedom and a way to express ourselves freely without really bothering about the opinions of others. 


11. “That’s [hard work] the key to all the good things. In life and sports and everywhere, you can have a bad day, but you can’t give up or stop working. Alexander Radulov, ice hockey player

“Bad day at the office” is a very popular phrase, not only in desk job offices but also in sports. But that doesn’t mean everything just shuts down after that. We have to get up the next day and do what we’re supposed to do: work.


12. “In every single sport and in life, being in the moment—when you’re in the zone, when your head and your heart and your gut are integrated—that’s when we do our best. Billie Jean King, former Tennis player (Quote’s Source) 

Staying in the present, as King highlights, is a valuable habit not just for sports but for various fields of work. Billie Jean King has always been a source of inspiration for people from many walks of life. Her words carry a valuable message: if we fully commit ourselves to a moment and stay focused, we operate at our best and will ultimately achieve what we strive for.


13. “You need to be able to forgive yourself. Stay positive when the tide is against you. If we can do things when the pressure is on, we can get the most of ourselves. Yuta Watanabe, badminton player (Quote’s source)


14. “I learned that in life and sports and raising your children it’s not all this smooth highway. There are peaks and there are valleys in it, and from that you have to get up and dust yourself off, and you have to keep on going, and keep on going. Joe Pisarcik, Former NFL player

The ocean and life have something in common: they’re both filled with ups and downs, just like the tides. Sailing smoothly without ever encountering a storm is a rare occurrence in life.


15. “The greatest killer of potential is ego — in business, in life and sports. Rick Pitino, basketball coach


16. “We all know in life and sports, if you want to play in big games, if you want to play in the biggest moments, then you also have to be prepared that it doesn’t go your way sometimes, that you lose sometimes, that there is heartbreak sometimes. If you let the fear of that stop you, then you wouldn’t go very far. Michael Bradley, Soccer player

The quote by Michael Bradley, an American soccer player, is an inspiring take on how to face some of life’s most difficult challenges. As an athlete, Bradley has undoubtedly encountered numerous pressure situations, and these experiences are reflected in his words. According to Bradley, when it comes to fear, there is only one way, or possibly the best way, to tackle it: to face it and overcome it. Fear of failure has no place in sports nor in life.


17. “I never looked at the consequences of missing a big shot. When you think about the consequences, you always think of a negative result. Michael Jordan, former Basketball player

In many situations in life, when making a crucial decision, we tend to dwell on negative outcomes and postpone or cancel a lot of things.  Michael Jordan, being a renowned basketball shooter, has missed many shots throughout his career. But Jordan advises that, especially when we are working on something productive, we should not overthink the consequences and focus on the task at hand.


18. “Mostly, I needed to go through some life experiences. Life and sports go hand in hand. I had to grow up in lots of different areas before it translated on the court. Johanna Konta, tennis player  (Quote’s source)


19. “Sports taught me this: A rising tide floats all boats. Ray Allen, former NBA

In the above quote, Ray Allen delivers an important message that can be applied to life as well. In sports, whether team sports or otherwise, success can’t be achieved by one individual. The collaborative efforts of many individuals are what it takes to succeed in sports and life in general.


20. “Expectations are the best part of sports and life: When you’re given much, much is expected of you. Ben Wallis, Volleyball coach


21. “There are going to be situations. It’s going to happen. And how you handle those determines a lot of what type of success you’ll have long term. Handling adversity is big deal in our league, in sports and life in general. Leslie Frazier, American football coach

If you are looking to achieve a goal in life, expect challenges to come in your pursuit. In that case, instead of asking “if” challenges will arise, ask about “when.”


22. “I feel that goals in sports, and life in general, seem much more real when you can see somebody like you doing them. If you can see it, you can believe it, and, then, you can become it. Elana Meyers Taylor, American bobsledder (Quote’s source)

Elana Meyers Taylor is one of the best athletes in American history. She has been a source of inspiration for many young female athletes. Athletes like her give the future generation of athletes hope and a pathway to success.


23. “In sports and life, progress is almost never linear. You’ll hit peaks, valleys and plateaus on your road to peak performance. These obstacles are actually crucial to your performance, since failures tend to energize us while successes generate complacency. Tony Robbins, Author and Coach

Tony Robbins’ take on life and its journey is much like what mountaineers and hikers experience when embarking on their journeys. In life, we also encounter similar types of obstacles and must overcome them to reach our final destination.


24. “Did I make mistakes? Of course, we always do. You have to learn to gut it out, just like in sports, and then come back. Steve Ballmer, businessman 


25. “I think a big part of sports and life in general is just figuring out how you fight best and also how you can connect with your team to fight best. Sarah Mohr, Volleyball player

Sarah Mohr, being part of a team sport, understands the value of teamwork when pursuing a common goal, as reflected in her quote above. When you collaborate with others and work towards a shared objective, the rest of your journey in the pursuit of that goal becomes fruitful.


26. “Sports teach us about teamwork and hard work and what it takes to succeed not only on the field, but in life. Barack Obama, former U.S. President (Quote’s source)


27. “But surely, there is a parallel of sports and life. That is: If you stay focused, keep your mind fixed, and have faith, you’ll be fruitful. Cliff Hayes Jr., Virginia State Delegate

Cliff Hayes, through his quotes, has once again highlighted how sports have so much in common with life, and how many aspects can be applied in life.


28. “It probably started when I was playing high school sports. I always took it upon myself to target several young men and help develop them not just as athletes, but as men. Deion Sanders, NFL coach  (Quote’s source)

Deion Sanders, apart from being a former NFL player and current football coach, is known for his inspiring perspective through comments and quotes on sports and life.


29. “Life and sports are all about second chances. Nick Vitucci, Hockey coach  (Quote’s source)

Vitucci highlights a valuable aspect of life: it always gives us a second chance, and it’s upon us to identify it and make the most of it. As Vitucci says, if there’s anything we can learn from sports, it’s that no matter what, there is always a second chance to win and succeed.


30. “The biggest lesson sports teaches you is how to lose. Sport teaches one so many life lessons, which the four walls of a classroom cannot. Neha Aggarwal, Olympian


31. “I tell them [players] all the time in sports and life, the really good things wouldn’t feel so good if the bad things didn’t hurt so bad. You can’t have one without the other. Devin Fulk, College Basketball coach

Devin Fulk has in his quote told us the interconnected relation between success and failure. As Fulk said,  you can not realize or value the importance of success if you have never experienced what failure feels like. 


32. “Sports are a microcosm of life. What you do in sports, you are going to eventually do in life. There can be frustrations, happy times, bad times and highs and lows. Sports help you prepare for those life experiences. Torry Rollins, University executive

The quote by Torry Rollins gives us an important message about the moments we experience on the playing field and all the ups and downs. Everything is a reflection, perhaps on a smaller scale of life. 


33. “There is a window for everything in life, and sports have an especially unique window of opportunity. Levi Sybert, Cross country and track


34. “There’s no story in life or sports any better than a comeback and a rise. To get a chance to be a part of that, embrace that, it reinvigorates you. It’s exciting. Lincoln Riley, Football coach

In an athlete’s life, two moments always stand out as highlights or memorable milestones in their career: first, when they make a debut at a marquee event or tournament, and second, when they make a comeback. These moments are not only cherished by the athlete themselves but also by those who follow the journey of that athlete.


35. “It’s the natural cycle of life, and sports. If you try to hold on to the past forever, you end up wallowing in nostalgia and missing the joys of the present. Kevin Van Valkenburg, sports journalist


36. “In both life and in sports, there’s always sunshine after the storm. You learn from failures and losses and build upon them to get better and eventually succeed. But if you’re taught that you can never fail, then you never feel the joy of truly succeeding. Frankie Leal, Columnist


37. “Sports teaches you that you can surmount life’s hurdles if you just give it a good try. Stephanie Elam, journalist


38. “Action sports teaches you to pick yourself up from a fall and to tap into that spark and fire we all have inside of us. Kevin Robinson, Biker

Kevin Robinson’s quote derives from his experiences in professional freestyle bike riding. Freestyle bike riding is a sport where a rider can only learn by experiencing failure. Every time a rider fails to perform a certain move or maneuver, it becomes a learning curve for them. This is a valuable lesson that we too can implement in our personal lives. 


39. “The greatest thing I’ve gathered from Nebraska is a quality. I’ve learned that in order to succeed in sports, or life, you have to have a relentless work ethic. Nothing will be handed to you in your pursuit for success. Blake Headley, Baseball player   


40. “Sports is a way for individuals to experience triumph, which can ensure they’re successful throughout life no matter what obstacles they may face. John Wynkoop, Army veteran

John Wynkoop is a U.S. Army veteran who is also a sports enthusiast. In his quote, he simply states that participating in a sport provides a sense of achievement, which not only boosts individual confidence but also serves as a foundation for future endeavors. 


41. “Life and sports is a game of attrition. If you stay in long enough, success is guaranteed. Rob Bell, sports psychology coach

Derrick Rose, Steph Curry, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan have two things in common: first, of course, they are basketball greats. The second thing is that they have faced career-threatening injuries in their respective careers, but that didn’t stop them from making successful comebacks. They didn’t quit and continued to pursue their passion. In life, we also face many challenges, but we must stay the course and let time do its thing. As Rob Bell mentioned above, if we do that, we will surely become successful.


42. “Few activities have the power to unite people from all walks of life like sports. At the end of the day, sports unite us. It cuts across race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Every one of us has the opportunity to be transformed by sport and to transform others through it. Peter M. Donohue, University Prof.


These inspiring quotes about the beautiful connection between life and sports have certainly taught us a lot of important lessons that we can apply during any phase and situation in life. How did you find these quotes? Share your thoughts in the comment box below. If you also have some thoughts on this topic, then do share those too.


Also See:

Uplifting Sports Quotes About Patience from Professional Athletes

Inspiring Sports Quotes About Integrity from Athletes and Coaches



featured image credit: Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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