20 great quotes for parenting and life from sports coaches

It’s sports time. It’s always sports time. But in this unique year (2020), we have the rare opportunity to enjoy professional basketball, pro hockey, pro baseball AND pro or college football on any given night.

Why does that seem so significant? Why are sports so important to so many of us? The rudimentary answer is that sports are inspiring to us. We love watching and experiencing the struggle to overcome. Often times, we get a sense of participation in that struggle, too–even when we’re bystanders watching other people compete.

Sports can offer inspiration–which is one reason why it’s good to see many athletes of this day and age use their platforms of influence to speak on societal issues. ANYWAYS….

Sports inspire us. And I’ve found the following 20 quotes inspiring beyond the field of play.

Do your thing everyday:

“If you want to win, do the ordinary things better than anyone else does them day in and day out.”

Chuck Noll: Head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1969-1991


“Commitment separates those who live their dreams from those who live their lives regretting the opportunities they have squandered.”

Bill Russell: Coached Boston Celtics to two championships (1968 and 1969)

Focus on what’s important:

“Try not to do too many things at once. Know what you want, the number one thing today and tomorrow. Persevere and get it done.”

George Allen: Coached the Rams, Bears and Washington Football Team from the late 1950’s to late 1970’s

“Be led by your dreams. Not by your problems.”

Roy Williams: Coached North Carolina’s men’s college basketball to three national championships


“It’s just really making sure I am doing the best job I can do as a dad. I do think that is my number one job.”

Tony Dungy: Coached the 2006 Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl victory


“Stay focused. Your start does not determine how you’re going to finish.”

Herm Edwards: Coached the Jets and Chiefs from 2001-2008


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

Pat Riley: Won five NBA championships while coaching the Lakers, Knicks and Heat from 1981-2008

Attitude matters:

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”

Lou Holtz: Known mostly as a college coach at Notre Dame and South Carolina. Coached the Jets in 1976

“It’s what you learn, after you know it all, that counts.”

John Wooden: Coach the UCLA Bruins basketball team to 10 national championships


“A successful person never loses… they either win or learn!”

John Calipari: Coached Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball to a national championship in 2012

Effort matters:

“Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.”

George Halas: Coach and owner of the Chicago Bears, began coaching in 1922 and retired in 1967

“Our emphasis is on execution, not winning.”

Pat Summitt, who coached the Tennessee women’s basketball team to eight national championships while coaching from 1974-2012


“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: Managed the Dodgers baseball team from 1976-1996


“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.”

Tom Landry: Coached the Cowboys from 1960-1988, winning two NFL championships


“Do your best when no one is looking. If you do that, then you can be successful in anything that you put your mind to.”

Bob Cousy: NBA player and coach and six-time champion


“Don’t worry about it. It’s just a bunch of guys with an odd-shaped ball.”

Bill Parcels: Coached for two NFL champion teams, head coach in the NFL from 1983-2006

“Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.”

Mike Singletary: NFL Hall of Famer and coach from 2008-2010

“Difficulties in life are intended to make us better, not bitter.

Dan Reeves: Coach in the NFL from 1981-2003

“If you can’t accept losing, you can’t win.”

Vince Lombardi: Coached the Green Bay Packers to five NFL championships


“When life kicks you, let it kick you forward.”

Kay Yow: Coached the North Carolina State University women’s basketball team from 1975-2009

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