The 50 Best Coaching Quotes From Iconic Sports Coaches

best motivational coaching quotes about leadershi

Coaches are always looking for the best inspirational and motivational quotes so that they can get their teams going in the right direction.  However, sometimes coaches don’t realize that the best coaching quotes  of all time have been created when they’re just themselves and speak from the heart.

Coaching is a unique profession that has the ability (and responsibility) to impact lives in a positive manner. That’s what makes it one of the most rewarding, and one of the most difficult jobs in the world.  Despite it’s challenges, the coaching profession attracts characters with different coaching philosophies that come from all walks of life. The different coaching personalities that we see are what make the profession so unique. Coaching is all about style, thought, and philosophy. 

If you’re coaching youth sports, these motivational quotes will help you hone your coaching philosophy and help you understand that developing leadership and coaching is about teaching your players to become the best versions of themselves.

Developing a winning coaching philosophy is an extremely difficult process that requires dedication, sacrifice, and a relentless obsession to be the best. So, we’ve created a list of the best coaching quotes that will help you  stay motivated as you push forward to reach your goals. These quotes about coaching will bring you some perspective and help you stay focused on coaching your team to the end.

The Best Quotes About Coaching From The World’s Most Iconic Coaches

steve kerr coaching quotes successful teams

“If you’re going to have a team of role players, then you better have a team of players who truly understand their roles.” – Steve Kerr

“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.” – John Wooden, Former UCLA Men’s Basketball Coach

“Coaches have to watch for what they don’t want to see and listen for what they don’t want to hear.” – John Madden

“The only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary.” – Vince Lombardi

“I think the most important thing about coaching is that you have to have a sense of confidence about what you’re doing. You have to be a salesman and you have to get your players, particularly your leaders, to believe in what you’re trying to accomplish on the basketball floor.” – Phil Jackson, Basketball

“You can motivate by fear. You can motivate by reward. But, both of those methods of motivation are temporary.  The only lasting thing is self motivation.” Homer Rice, Football

“The key is not the will to win. Everyone has that.  It’s the will to prepare to win that is important.” – Bobby Knight

“You don’t win with X’s and O’s. What you win with is people.” – Joe Gibbs

“Make sure that team members know they are working with you, not for you.”
John Wooden

“It’s different as a coach because you feel responsible for a lot of people. Even though you don’t take a shot, you don’t get a rebound, you feel like you just want people to succeed and you want to help them any way you can.”  -Steve Kerr

“Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence…If you’re in control, they’re in control.” – Tom Landry

“A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are.” –Ara Parseghian

nick saban quotes about coaching winners

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

Check out some more amazing coaching quotes on leadership from Coach Saban.

“You fail all the time, but you aren’t a failure until you start blaming someone else.” – Bum Phillips

“Either love your players or get out of coaching.” –Bobby Dodd

“I’ve never felt my job was to win basketball games – rather, that the essence of my job as a coach was to do everything I could to give my players the background necessary to succeed in life.” – Bobby Knight

“Never quit. It is the easiest cop-out in the world. Set a goal and don’t quit until you attain it. When you do attain it, set another goal, and don’t quit until you reach it. Never quit.” –Bear Bryant

“Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” –Vince Lombardi

“You get the best effort from others not by lighting a fire beneath them, but by building a fire within.” Bob Nelson

“What keeps me going is not winning, but the quest for reaching potential in myself as a coach and my kids as divers. It’s the pursuit of excellence.” – Ron O Brien

“A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.” John Wooden

david shaw coaching quotes on leadership and success

“If everyone in my locker room is bright, smart, motivated and a team player, we have a chance to beat anyone that we play.” – David Shaw

“Victory is in having done your best. If you’ve done your best, you’ve won.” – Bill Bowerman

“There are three types of baseball players: Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen and those who wonder what happens.”
Tommy Lasorda

“A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.” – Tom Landry

“Winning is the science of being totally prepared.” – George Allen

“Failure is good. It’s fertilizer. Everything I’ve learned about coaching, I’ve learned from making mistakes.”
Rick Pitino

“I have a rule on my team: When we talk to one another, we look each other right in the eye, because I think it’s tough to lie to somebody. You give respect to somebody.“ – Mike Kryzyewski

bill belichick quotes about coaching do your job

“Do your job.” Bill Belichick

Check out the best motivational coaching quotes we could find from Bill Belichick.

“The hardest skill to acquire in this sport is the one where you compete all out, give it all you have, and you are still getting beat no matter what you do. When you have the killer instinct to fight through that, it is very special.” – Eddie Reese

Really, coaching is simplicity. It’s getting players to play better than they think that they can. – Tom Landry

“I think that the most important part of coaching is that you have a sense of confidence about what you’re doing.” – Phil Jackson

“My responsibility is leadership and the minute I get negative, that is going to have an influence on my team.” -Don Shula

“To have long term success as a coach or in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessed in some way.” -Pat Riley

“What to do with a mistake: Recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.” – Dean Smith

coach k coaching quotes on teamwork

“Don’t worry about losing. Think about winning”. – Mike Kryzyzewski

“The only thing that counts is your dedication to the game. You run on your own fuel; it comes from within you.” – Paul Brown

Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the me for the we. – Phil Jackson 

If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything.  I’m positive that a does makes mistakes. – John Wooden

“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.” – Pat Riley

“If you don’t make a total commitment to whatever you’re doing, then you start looking to bail out the first time the boat starts leaking. It’s tough enough getting that boat to shore with everybody rowing, let alone when a guy stands up and starts putting his jacket on.”
-Lou Holtz

“The secret of winning is working more as a team and less as individuals.” – Knute Rockne

dabo swinney quotes about coaching winners

“Think about your dream. Then, put your head down and go to work.” – Dabo Swinney

Learn more about leadership and coaching your players with heart from out list of the best Dabo Swinney coaching quotes.

“The coach should be the absolute boss, but he should still maintain an open mind” – Red Auerbach

“Great coaches teach their athletes to go beyond their barriers.” – John Roderick 

“If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes really good, then you did it. That’s all it takes to get people to win football games for you.” – Paul “Bear” Bryant

“Great football coaches have the vision to see, the faith to believe, the courage to do – and 25 great players.” – Marv Levy

“Basketball is a pretty simple game.  What wins is consistency and competitiveness.” – Gregg Popovich

“Show up. Work hard. Try your best. It’s not hard to recognize, but it can be hard to do. I tell my players, if you don’t quit on yourself, then your coaches will never, ever quit on you.” – Paul Vincent

pat riley best coaching quotes

“There are only two options regarding commitment. You’re either in or out. There is no such thing as life in-between.” – Pat Riley

Those are out favorite coaching quotes from the greatest minds in the profession that we love to use for motivation and inspiration.  If you liked these quotes about coaching, then you’ll definitely like some more motivational coaching quotes from some of the most inspiring people in the world: