We are a race of sports lovers and that has been true since the dawn of time. Human history is littered with amazing feats and triumphs over adversity, from martial arts and boxing to soccer and American Football. The very first Olympic Games staged in Greece was a very different spectacle from the version we saw at Tokyo 2020, but it was no less passionate and exciting for fans and athletes.

The stars of the sports world have become more and more famous over the years, with today’s top names from the English Premier League or NFL enjoying superstar status. Fans hang on their every word, following their progress on social media, stopping them in the street for selfies and naming pets and even children after their favourite players. Some even aim to create financial gain from gambling on their heroes to perform well at the leading Vegas betting apps.

There are many ways to follow sports and the ideals of champions. You don’t even have to have an interest in playing sports or watching sports on TV. You don’t have to know the sportsperson to take on board their views and advice. How a tennis player rose from a kid playing at their local courts to a multiple Grand Slam champion can be used to further your career in the office, improve your chances of making a business idea reach its potential or even overcome adversity such as an injury.

Names with global appeal

The influence of the top sports stars, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Tyson Fury and Usain Bolt, can’t be undermined. They have global appeal and use their fame to have a positive impact on the lives of their followers. Some of the most inspirational and well-meaning quotes don’t come from the mouth of poets, writers and actors today. They are delivered by sportsmen and women who have a connection with fans.

Why is this the case? What do footballers, rugby players, and boxers have in common with the public, and what can they teach us? One of the main reasons people look up to sports stars is many have come up the hard way, reached the pinnacle of their world through hard work and dedication. They have been born into humble surroundings, many without any real skill or financial backing, but haven’t given up. Instead, they have overcome those hurdles with commitment and consistency, changing their lives in the process.

Inspiration and motivation

We pick out a selection of our favourite inspirational quotes delivered by sportsmen and women. These are our picks, and we can relate to every one. We hope our readers can, too, and they provide you with inspiration and motivation. 

There are many more quotes from sports stars worth a read, of course. We would advise further reading to find the quotes best suited to your needs and the ones you can relate to most in your current situation. 

Remember, you don’t have to be a world champion boxer to understand these and apply them to your own circumstances. They are about hard work, staying humble and being a good person in good times and bad.

Muhammad Ali – boxer

“To be a great champion, you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.”

Mario Andretti – motorsport

If you have everything under control, you’re not moving fast enough.” 

Michael Jordan – basketball

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Arthur Ashe – tennis

“You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is a real joy.” 

John Wooden – basketball

“Do not let what you can not do interfere with what you can do.”

Tyson Fury – boxer

“I’ve been in crisis situations, I’ve been down, I’ve been hurt, I’ve been behind on the scorecards, and I’ve had to pull that shot out to knock somebody out. I’ve been in all kinds of situations and still come out on top.”

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