50 Sports Quotes About Overcoming Adversity from Famous Athletes

Adversity is a constant in life; no matter which path you choose, you cannot avoid it. We all face adversity from time to time, but while some of us flourish under these circumstances, others struggle to get out of bed in the morning.

But if you can conquer these challenges, you’ll uncover a whole new level of power and potential in your sport and in your life. Adversity is something that every excellent athlete must face on occasion. But they overcome the difficulties through sheer grit and resilience.

In this post, we have included inspiring sports quotes from notable sportsmen about overcoming adversity and conquering challenges that will undoubtedly boost your morale and offer you positivity.

Also See: Top Motivational Athlete Quotes About Never Giving Up to Lift Your Spirits

Image Quotes/ Quotes Wallpaper

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. I think the best teacher in life is experience. And for you to go through things and to fail and not let failure stop you. Some of my best accomplishments were the times that I failed. – LeBron James, Basketball player.

  2. I’ve faced many adversities: playing with injuries and while hurt, sick, jet–lagged. But I see these adversities as a great challenge and feel that it is a privilege to be in this position.” – Roger Federer, Tennis player.

  3. I messed up several times and recovering all the confidence I had has a high price, but I think it’s normal for human beings to fail, it’s part of life and due to these errors you grow and learn. – Neymar, Professional footballer.

  4. Dear Adversity, Thank you for the Opportunity! – Dak Prescott, Football player.

  5. We’ve all had our difficult times overcoming different adversities and challenges that we’re facing. I think what you understand when you’re going through things like this is you learn from them and you make the best of them. – Tom Brady, American footballer.

  6. Make it work no matter what you have to work with – that’s something that stuck with me very early on. – Stephen Curry, basketball player.

  7. There were so many adversities that I had to overcome, even being myself was considered to be different. – Serena Williams, tennis player.

  8. I’ve failed many times in my life and career and because of this I’ve learned a lot.  Instead of feeling defeated countless times, I’ve used it as fuel to drive me to work harder. – Phil Mickelson, Professional golfer.

  9. It’s not the mistakes that define you, it’s not how you fall, it’s how you get back up. – Lewis Hamilton, Racing driver.

  10. I think, in life, when you experience whatever form of adversity in terms of challenges or barriers you find that you have to get over or hurdles, it’s always more satisfying when you overcome them. Lewis Hamilton, Racing driver.

  11. In order for you to keep getting better you have to face some adversity. Take it one possession at a time, game at a time, and put ourselves in position to win. – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Basketball player.

  12. Life is about how you handle adversity. – Rory McIlroy, Professional golfer.

  13. Adversity is Temporary. The Best is Ahead. – Russell Wilson, American footballer.

  14. Any true champion can bounce back. That’s what being a champion is: being able to deal with adversity and being able to bounce back. – Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

  15. I have learned the strength and resilience to bounce back from adversity.” – Novak Djokovic, Tennis player.

  16. A little adversity never hurts. We will be back soon! – Patrick Mahomes II, American footballer.

  17. [A team] It’s like a family. And every time your family goes through adversity and you get through that adversity, you become stronger.” – James Franklin, Football coach.

  18. Adversity has been our thing all year. I’ve just got to do better with it. Bryce Young, Football quarterback.

  19. The triumph can’t be had without the struggle. – Wilma Rudolph, American sprinter.

  20. You’re going to hit adversity. We’ve hit adversity throughout the year, so our guys have stayed locked in. We stay together. We trust each other and that’s what it came down to. – Luke Kennard,  basketball player.

  21. Overcoming adversity, I think, as an athlete in general, as a competitor, you’re going to have success and failure, you’re going to have to fight adversity at some time. – Pat Connaughton, basketball player.

  22. I know what I’m capable of, and this [win] doesn’t surprise me because I know that I’m a really good fighter. I never give up, even through adversity.” – Bianca Andreescu, Tennis player.

  23. We have to play through it. We’ve all been hit with adversity, we have to work through it, play through it. – Dawn Staley,  Basketball Hall of Fame player.

  24. Life is full of adversity. Especially being a woman. Even if you’re a minority woman in a male–dominated world, there’s adversity. – Amaka Agugua–Hamilton, Basketball coach.

  25. The longer your journey goes, you not only have to overcome adversity, you have to come from behind, hold the lead. – Rick Pitino, American basketball coach

  26. Sometimes in life you get dealt a hand, the way you respond to those hands is everything. – Caleb Herring, football player.

  27. Adversity doesn’t have to define you. And some of the worst things that’s happened in my life, starting at a young age, some of the best things have followed. And I’m proud of that and it’s become who I am. – Porter Moser, Basketball coach.

  28. The more you tackle adversity the more confidence you have to face adversity. – Porter Moser, Basketball coach.

  29. There’s been a lot of ups and downs and adversity you have to go through. If there’s no struggle, there’s no progress. – Mike Gesicki, Football player.

  30. I think you can’t find true leadership, and you can’t manipulate it. You can’t make it happen. It happens through adversity, and you have to create the adversity.Kirby Smart, American football coach.

  31. Any true champion can bounce back. That’s what being a champion is: being able to deal with adversity and being able to bounce back. – Floyd Mayweather Jr., former professional boxer.

  32. I’m OK with adversity, honestly. I never panic throughout the course of a season. – Russell Westbrook, basketball player.

  33. Adversity is a fact of life. It can’t be controlled. What we can control is how we react to it. – Chris Paul, professional basketball player.

  34. You are going to have all types of adversity, you’re going to have all types of moments and circumstances where all of a sudden it feels like you’re off course (and) going in a direction that you and your team did not expect. And yet you have to be the calm hand that steers the ship. – Drew Brees,  former American football player.

  35. I’ve always felt like my greatest achievements, my greatest accomplishments, my most fulfilling moments have come after huge bouts of adversity so adversity equals opportunity. – Drew Brees,  former American football player.

  36. Anyone can see the adversity in a difficult situation, but it takes a stronger person to see the opportunity. – Drew Brees,  former American football player.

  37. What I come from and my background made me who I am. As comfortable as I am with the good times, I’m also comfortable in adversity. – Damian Lillard, American basketball player.

  38. Push through adversity, trials & tribulations that you must overcome. Life is what it is & where it is because of a series of decisions & misfortunes that involves you. Make up your mind today to Push through it all & give yourself a chance to succeed. You deserve that. – Deion Sanders, American football coach.

  39. You can fight your way out of adversity. You’re never down and out until the last point. There’s always hope. – Chris Evert, former tennis player.

  40. In life, adversity only visits the strong. It stays forever with the weak. We have to decide whether we’re going to be strong or weak. – Dale Brown, American basketball coach.

  41. Overcoming adversity is part of becoming successful. And dealing with losses, mistakes, and bad breaks is simply part of life. – Mike Krzyzewski,  basketball coach.

  42. You position yourself mentally to go out and take on obstacles that stand in your way. In the Octagon and in life, you face tough situations and have every chance to quit, but the more adversity you push through, the more likely you are to be successful. Tyron Woodley, American MMA.

  43. You go through a lot throughout a season. You’re going to face a lot of adversity. And the best teams overcome any type of adversity. – Avery Bradley, basketball player.

  44. You can’t judge somebody when they’re doing well: You’ve got to judge them when they’re going through adversity. Caris LeVert, basketball player.

  45. Players that tend to respond to adversity the right way and triumph in the end are players with strong character. Theo Epstein, baseball executive.

  46. I’m not a quitter. All my career, I went through a lot of physical adversity, injuries. It’s in my nature to be a battler. Harmon Killebrew, baseball player.

  47. You face distractions, you face adversity in life and you have to be able to handle it, you have to be able to fight through it and become a better man and become a better player because of it. Ryan Tannehill, Football quarterback.

  48. It’s one of those things, like in sports and other situations in life, you’re going to have some adversities and some challenges that are similar to the race. You go uphill one moment and then you go downhill, but that’s life too. You’ve got to be willing to sometimes take it slow but keep going. Zdeno Chara, Ice hockey player.

  49. My pain gives me strength. Failure motivates me. Jalen Hurts, NFL player.

  50. I don’t want to run away from adversity. I want to run through it. Sean McVay, American football coach. 

What we can take away from these inspiring quotes about overcoming adversity

Learning from Experience

LeBron James says in one of his quotes that experience is the best teacher, and that’s the best advice anyone can give. It’s important to accept failures in life rather than running away from them. Failures teach us more than successes. If we have the right attitude towards our failures, they can actually help us become stronger.

Facing Adversity as a Challenge

When faced with challenging situations in sports or in life, it’s always good to have a positive attitude. Not fighting against adversity won’t make any difference anyway.

Staying True to Yourself

Professional athletes face criticism from all corners of society when they’re performing well. Professional sports come with a lot of expectations, and when an athlete doesn’t perform up to expectations, they get criticized. People tend to forget that no one can perform with 100% consistency. In these situations, it’s best to focus on our own routines and processes, and to stay true to ourselves and what we’re doing to achieve our goals.

Overcoming Adversity is Rewarding

Adversity comes in many forms in life. When we face adversity on the path to achieving something, it’s something that everyone who is on a similar path will also face. Overcoming those hurdles and difficulties is a rewarding experience.

Nothing is Permanent

The best thing about time is that it changes, and so does our life. As NFL player Russell Wilson said, “Adversity is temporary. It’s not going to stay forever. We have to move forward and keep fighting it, and then time will do what it does best.”

Failure Defines Us

What separates champion players from ordinary players is how they handle failure. Their ability to bounce back from major setbacks is what defines them. Champion players are never afraid of failure, and they spend most of their time finding ways to overcome it.

A Test of Character

Adversity tests not only our character, but also the people around us. In a team, if even one individual is not aligned with the team’s approach to handling difficult situations or setbacks, it can negatively impact the team’s performance and morale.


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:

Motivational Sports Quotes About Overcoming Obstacles


Tags: Motivational

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All–Pro Reels, CC BY–SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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