15 Motivational Quotes From Legends in Sports

From baseball to football and swimming, these sports legends know a thing or two about drive, competition and going all the way.

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By Jason Fell

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The world of sports is a lot like business. There's training. Competition. Wins and losses. Passion. Hard work. Shall I go on?

Just as an aspiring baseball or basketball player could find inspiration from successful business leaders, entrepreneurs can draw motivation from the world's hardest working and most dominant athletes.

With that in mind, we've collected 15 of the best quotes from legends in the world of sports. Whether you're just starting out or pushing your business to the next level, these quotes are sure to kick your motivation into high gear.

Harness your passion.

“Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back … play for her.”

-- Mia Hamm, award-winning professional soccer player (1987-2004)

Do it right.

"If you aren't going all the way, why go at all?" 

-- Joe Namath, Hall of Fame football quarterback (1965-1977)

Expect the unexpected.

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it.” 

-- Michael Jordan, basketball icon (1984-2003)

Which are you?

"In baseball and in business, there are three types of people. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen and those who wonder what happened." 

-- Tommy Lasorda, Hall of Fame baseball player and manager (1954-1956, player; 1976-1996, manager)

Train. Study. Always be prepared.

“There may be people that have more talent than you, but there's no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.”

-- Derek Jeter, longtime Yankees shortstop (1995-2014)

Don't always expect to be perfect.

"Champions keep playing until they get it right." 

-- Billie Jean King, International Hall of Fame tennis star (1959-1983)

Always look ahead.

"A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be." 

-- Wayne Gretzky, hockey icon (1978–1999)

Playing it safe isn't always best.

"If you have everything under control, you're not moving fast enough." 

-- Mario Andretti, world champion racing driver (1968-1982)

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Don't settle for anything less.

"Set your goals high, and don't stop till you get there." 

-- Bo Jackson, baseball and football player (1987-1994)

Rise above the obstacles.

"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you." 

-- Arnold Palmer, golfing great (1954-2006)

You're never too old to start.

"Age is no barrier. It's a limitation you put on your mind." 

-- Jackie Joyner-Kersee,  Olympic heptathlon and long jump champion (1984-2000)

Don't forget to give back.

"Remember this. Hold on to this. This is the only perfection there is, the perfection of helping others. This is the only thing we can do that has any lasting meaning. This is why we're here." 

-- Andre Agassi, award-winning professional tennis player (1986-2006)

Set yourself up to tackle your biggest challenges.

"It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe." 

-- Muhammad Ali, World Heavyweight Champion boxer, (1960-1966, 1970-1981)

Savor your accomplishments.

"The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning." 

-- Pele, Brazilian soccer legend (1956-1977)

Anything is possible.

“You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.” 

-- Michael Phelps, Olympic-medal winning swimmer (present)

Jason Fell

VP, Native Content

Jason Fell is the VP of Native Content, managing the Entrepreneur Partner Studio, which creates dynamic and compelling content for our partners. He previously served as Entrepreneur.com's managing editor and as the technology editor prior to that.

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