There are moments in every athlete's career when they have doubts and the future seems like a never ending up-hill battle. In these moments, they must find the strength to push forward, to work harder, to be better. Some athletes are lucky to have coaches and mentors who have the ability to put things into perspective and motivate the athlete. For others, the motivation must be generated on their own. Whether you are sitting in a locker room, riding in the car on the way to a game or laying in your bed at night, there is no right or wrong time to mentally prepare yourself for success.

Here are some of the greatest motivational speeches of all time, both real and fictional, to inspire every athlete to reach another level.


What it Takes to be Number One - Vince Lombardi

Full Speech

"You don't win once in awhile; you don't do things right once in awhile; you do them right all of the time."

In sports, you are often told that perfection doesn't exist - that it is unattainable. While that may be true as a whole, perfection can and should be strived for on a smaller level. The harder you practice doing something the right way, the more likely you are to execute it properly in a game. It may be a soccer player receiving the ball with the proper side of the foot or a quarterback in football throwing the ball in a perfect spiral. All of these things can be perfected through practice so that doing them right becomes a habit. When you get in the habit of doing things the right way in a game, you will also find yourself winning much more.

Ain't About How Hard You Get Hit - Rocky

"But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you."

In every sport, there is going to be adversity. It may be an opponent, a teammate or a coach. The only thing you can control is you and your attitude. You have to be willing to take accountability for the outcome of your success, and that means dealing with obstacles and criticisms. Blaming others for not reaching your goal is pointless. It is your goal, and you are the only one who can reach it.

Inch by Inch - Any Given Sunday

"In any fight, it is the guy who is willing to die, who is going to win that inch."

Every game is broken down into smaller parts. A catch, a pass, a tackle, a run. The winner of most of the smaller battles is going to come out victorious. When you miss an opportunity, no matter how close you were, it should never be seen as "unlucky." Luck has nothing to do with it. The player that fights and works the hardest will always come out on top.

I am a Champion

"No one will deny me, no one will define me. And no one will tell me who and what I am and can be"

When you understand that you alone are the only one who can determine your success and define your future, your opportunities become limitless. A champion does not even need to be someone who is on the winning end of the scoreboard. A champion is someone who realizes their potential and will stop for nothing or no one. Champions are the ones who work to the point of exhaustion when no one else is watching.

How Bad Do You Want Success - Eric Thomas

"When you want to succeed, as bad as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful."

Saying you want to be successful does not guarantee that it is going to happen. The most successful athletes all had one thing in common—sacrifice. If you are not willing to make sacrifices to reach your goal, then how can you ever expect to get there? Great athletes recognize this and understand that success is not given freely.

Being Perfect - Friday Night Lights

"And that truth is you did everything you could. There wasn't one more thing you could've done."

If you have given everything you can and played as hard as you can, then the outcome of the game is out of your control. You cannot control how your teammates play or how your opponents play. If you make sure you did everything in your power to help yourself or your team win, then you have already succeeded. Your determination and hustle will inspire your teammates to do the same. Teams win games when everyone on the team puts in their own maximum effort.

Great Moments - Herb Brooks

"Great moments... are born from great opportunity."

Learning to capitalize on the opportunities you are given is beneficial for athletes everywhere. Whether it is making it to the championship game, participating in a tryout or even playing a significant opponent, you have the ability to do something incredible. In sports, you should try to look for these opportunities everywhere. Sometimes all it takes is one chance to leave your mark, but if done right, once may be all it takes.


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