Many of us rest on Sundays, but it’s also a good time to prepare ourselves mentally for the coming week. Can these snippets of sports wisdom give you a different point of view on other areas of your life?
Some quotes focus on pushing through adversity, while others touch on hard work and excellence, which you might want to keep in mind as you plan your upcoming week.
1. Dan Gable
Danny Mack (or “Dan”) Gable is a legendary Olympic wrestler and coach. As head coach at the University of Iowa, he led Iowa to a 355-21-5 record and 15 NCAA titles between 1976 and 1997.
During his collegiate career, Gable was so dominant that he had only one lost match (his last) and won the gold medal the at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games while not giving up a single point.
2. William A. Ward
William Arthur Ward wasn’t an elite athlete like the others on this list – he’s a terrific writer and poet – but he had no shortage of inspirational maxims. In fact, he is America’s most quoted when it comes to motivational sayings.
3. Jack Dempsey
William Harrison “Jack” Dempsey is one of boxing’s legends. He changed the sport from a defensive-minded contest of single punches and frequent holding into an exhilarating, aggressive battle of fierce combos and knockouts.
Dempsey went from starving hobo to millionaire during his career. He was part of the sport’s first five $1 million gates.
Even today, Dempsey is ranked by experts as one of the top five heavyweights in boxing history.
4. Larry Bird
Drafted into the NBA sixth overall by the Boston Celtics in 1978, Bird started at forward for thirteen seasons. He was a 12-time All-Star and was named MVP three consecutive times (from 1984 to 1986).
Bird was all about hustle and consistency, and excelled as a scorer, passer, rebounder, defender, team player, and clutch performer.
Larry Legend played his entire professional career for Boston and won three NBA championships.
5. Pat Riley
NBA Hall of Famer Pat Riley has a resume that is unquestionably one of the most impressive in all of sports. As head coach, he won five NBA championships: four with the Lakers and one with the Heat. He also played for the 1972 Lakers’ championship team.
Riley is the first North American sports figure to win a championship as a player, assistant coach, head coach, and as an executive.
6. Phil Jackson
Philip Douglas Jackson holds the NBA record for the most combined championships (13) as a player and a head coach. In 1996, he was named one of the ten greatest NBA coaches of all time by vote in an unranked compilation.
As coach, he has two more NBA championships than Red Auerbach, but what truly separates him from the other coaches in NBA history is his success in managing enormous egos, while earning the utmost respect of his players.
7. Satchel Paige
Leroy Robert “Satchel” Paige’s claim to baseball immortality is threefold:
- He is quite possibly the greatest pitcher in baseball history.
- His longevity in baseball is unmatched (Satchel played his last professional game on June 21, 1966, at age 60).
- He attracted record crowds wherever he pitched.
It’s no wonder Joe DiMaggio called Satchel Paige “the best and fastest pitcher” he ever faced.
8. Vince Lombardi
Vincent Thomas Lombardi isn’t just the greatest coach in football history; he is considered one of the greatest coaches and leaders in the history of any sport. His ability to teach and inspire players helped turn the Green Bay Packers into the most dominating NFL team in the 1960s.
Lombardi never had a losing season as a head coach in the NFL. He compiled a regular season win-loss percentage of 72.8% (96–34–6), and 90% (9–1) in the postseason. That’s an overall record of 105 wins, 35 losses, and 6 ties.