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Professional athletes are a great source of sports motivational quotes. No one knows how to beat the odds better than them. They know how it feels to work hard and win. They know how it feels to fall and stand back up again. They are amazingly goal-driven and will go through any lengths to improve their track record.

No wonder a lot of people look up to them as heroes! Even if you’re not an athlete, their words will give you a sense of renewed hope, a burning desire to win, and the force you need for inspiration.

If you find yourself in need of extra motivation, look no further. Here are some of the most powerful sports motivational quotes from athletes who know just what they’re talking about.

1) “Success is about having, excellence is about being. Success is about having money and fame, but excellence is being the best you can be.” – Mike Ditka, former American football NFL player

Mike Ditka has certainly known success for a very long time now. However, the goal to succeed is not the only thing that drives him. He is obviously committed to excellence and knows how to make the most of his potential.

You, too, have to realize that life isn’t just about material things. It’s about bringing out the best in you and making the most of what gifts you were given.

2) “If you sacrifice early, you’ll win late.” (Charles Haley, American football linebacker for the NFL)

In life, you have to make sound decisions. They may not always be easy, but that only makes your choices all the more important.

According to Charles Haley, you have to try and keep yourself together for as long as you can. For example, if your ankle got sprained, don’t join the marathon this year and risk not being able to walk properly again. Never mind that you’ve been preparing for it for four months now.

As this sports motivational quote tells you, always consider your long-term goals. Don’t sacrifice too early just to win the battle and risk losing the war.

3) “The sterner the discipline, the greater the devotion.” (Pete Carill, former basketball coach)

Coming from a former basketball coach, this sports motivational quote makes a lot of sense.

Life would be so much easier if everyone had discipline. Unfortunately, that is not the case. But if you have a goal that you really like to achieve, you have to be willing to personally restrain yourself should temptations appear.

These sports motivational quotes are not just words pulled out of nowhere. They are words that are backed up by experience and wisdom. You would do well to keep these words in mind.