43 Best Nick Saban Quotes On What It Takes To Be A Winner

best nick saban quotes on what it takes to be a winner and build a winning culture

Love him or hate him, Nick Saban is one of the greatest coaches to ever grace the sidelines in college football. When you become one of the most successful coaches in college football history, you tend to be asked on what it takes to be a winner and build a winning culture on a team.  Since he is one of the best winners in college football, we have put together a list of the best 43 Nick Saban quotes we could find to help you understand his philosophy on what it takes to be a winner.

The 43 Best Nick Saban Quotes On What It Takes To Be A Winner

43. “The process is really what you have to do day in and day out to be successful, we try to define the standard that we want everybody to sort of work toward, adhere to, and do it on a consistent basis. And the things that I talked about before, being responsible for your own self-determination, having a positive attitude, having great work ethic, having discipline to be able to execute on a consistent basis, whatever it is you’re trying to do, those are the things that we try to focus on, and we don’t try to focus as much on the outcomes as we do on being all that you can be.” – Nick Saban

42. “It’s not human nature to be great. It’s human nature to survive, to be average and do what you have to do to get by. That is normal. When you have something good happen, it’s the special people that can stay focused and keep paying attention to detail, working to get better and not being satisfied with what they have accomplished.” – Nick Saban

41. “We create a standard for how we want to do things and everybody’s got to buy into that standard or you really can’t have any team chemistry. Mediocre people don’t like high-achievers and high-achievers don’t like mediocre people.” – Nick Saban

40. “Becoming a champion is not an easy process… It is done by focusing on what it takes to get there and not on getting there.” – Nick Saban

39. “I think everybody should take the attitude that we’re working to be a champion, that we want to be a champion in everything that we do. Every choice, every decision, everything that we do every day, we want to be a champion.” – Nick Saban

38. “Focus on the process of what it takes to be successful.” – Nick Saban

37. “Your character is your accumulation of your thoughts, habits and priorities on a day-to-day basis.” – Nick Saban

36. “We have got to use every opportunity to improve individually so we can improve collectively.” – Nick Saban

35. “Eliminate the clutter and all the things that are going on outside and focus on the things that you can control with how you sort of go about and take care of your business. That’s something that’s ongoing, and it can never change.” – Nick Saban

34. “People who are role models for the principles and values of the organization, who buy in and understand the vision of what the organization is trying to accomplish, and have the personality to inspire other people to the vision. You know, that’s what team chemistry and leadership is all about.” – Nick Saban

33. “Be all you can be in whatever you choose to do. The sky is the limit, so go for it. And do not create any self-imposed limitations.” – Nick Saban

32. “I’m tired of hearing all this talk from people who don’t understand the process of hard work-like little kids in the back seat asking ‘Are we there yet?’ Get where you’re going 1 mile-marker at a time.” – Nick Saban

31. “The more one emphasizes winning, the less he or she is able to concentrate on what actually causes success.” – Nick Saban

30. “The formula for success is every guy can make a difference for the entire team in whatever his role is. And to do it right, to get it right, is a critical factor in being successful.” – Nick Saban

29. “Be on time because it shows you care.” – Nick Saban

28. “If you don’t get result-oriented with the kids, you can focus on the things in the process that are important to them being successful.” – Nick Saban

27. “The number one thing on any team that will keep your players from being selfish is respect for the other players.” – Nick Saban

26. “When you invest your time, you make a goal and a decision of something that you want to accomplish. Whether it’s make good grades in school, be a good athlete, be a good person, go down and do some community service and help somebody who’s in need, whatever it is you choose to do, you’re investing your time in that.” – Nick Saban

25. “We have to compete within ourselves relative to the determination it takes to be successful.” – Nick Saban

24. “A good process produces good results.” – Nick Saban

23. “It’s about how the players play and compete. I know everybody is going to equate that on winning or losing, like they always do, but if we play hard and compete well in the game .. then I think we are building on something.” – Nick Saban

22. “To be a great player, you have to affect the entire unit.” – Nick Saban

21. “Teaching is the ability to inspire learning.” – Nick Saban

20. “When you play against good people, that’s when you focus your concentration. Your sense of urgency to be disciplined in your execution all become more critical. Sometimes you get away with doing things not quite right against lesser competition, but when you play against real good people that’s when it shows up.” – Nick Saban

19. “I don’t like to lose. I don’t expect to lose.” – Nick Saban

18. “One thing about championship teams is that they’re resilient. No matter what is thrown at them, no matter how deep the hole, they find a way to bounce back and overcome adversity.” – Nick Saban

17. “First of all, you’ve got to have a vision of ‘What kind of program do I want to have?’ Then you’ve got to have a plan to implement it. Then you’ve got to set the example that you want, develop the principles and values that are important, and get people to buy into it.” – Nick Saban

16. “We all have anxiety about things. We all have little insecurities, but eventually you have to face your fears if you want to be successful, and everybody has some fear of failure.” – Nick Saban

15. “When people have success, one of two things happen. They either get really satisfied and want to keep thinking about it and talking about what they did, or the success becomes a little addictive, and it makes them want to keep having more.” – Nick Saban

14. “Talent is talent, and everybody knows somebody who has talent or ability, but they never really converted it into a productive performance for whatever reasons.” – Nick Saban

13. “What makes Freddy Krueger such a horrible character? What makes him scare you to death? You can’t get rid of the guy. He never goes away.” – Nick Saban

12. “Honesty and integrity is an important part of our character, my character.” – Nick Saban

11. “It’s not human nature to be great. It’s human nature to survive, to be average and do what you have to do to get by. That is normal. When you have something good happen, it’s the special people that can stay focused and keep paying attention to detail, working to get better and not being satisfied with what they have accomplished.” – Nick Saban

Spongecoach’s Top 10 Nick Saban Quotes On Building A Winning Culture


10“There is no continuum for success. Focus on the progress, not the results.” – Nick Saban

9“Every choice, every decision, everything we do everyday, we want to be a champion.” – Nick Saban

8“It doesn’t matter what you are ranked until the end.” – Nick Saban

7“I don’t care what you did yesterday. If you’re happy with that, you have bigger problems.” – Nick Saban

6“You can’t win together if you don’t work together.” – Nick Saban

5“There are two pains in life. There is the pain of discipline and the pain of disappointment. If you can handle the pain of discipline, then you’ll never have to deal with the pain of disappointment.” – Nick Saban

4“Discipline is not punishment. Discipline is changing someone’s behavior.” – Nick Saban

3“What happened yesterday is history. What happens tomorrow is a mystery. What we do today makes a difference – the precious present moment.” – Nick Saban

2“Success doesn’t come from pie-in-the-sky thinking. It’s the result of consciously doing something each day that will add to your overall excellence.” – Nick Saban

1“You can’t get from A to Z by passing up B.” – Nick Saban 


Well, there you have the best 43 Nick Saban Quotes we could find on what Saban believes it takes to become a winner and build a winning culture. If you like this article, we encourage you to share it with your friends on social media and check out our other best coaching quotes from John Wooden, Bill Belichick, and Dabo Swinney.

Here’s a video of Saban sitting down with 60 minutes discussing life, football, and his winning process that will help you become a better coach.

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