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The start of any sports season is a magical time.


Jeff Bear Mug CMYKEvery player, coach and fan is brimming with optimism for the new season.


For the athletes, inspiration is a powerful tool, so I thought I would compile some of my favorite inspirational sports quotes from athletes and coaches who have achieved at the highest level.


“It’s not the will to win that matters — everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”
— Paul William “Bear” Bryant


“A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.”
— Mary Lou Retton


“The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.”
— Edson Arantes do Nascimento, aka Pelé


“Leadership, like coaching, is fighting for the hearts and souls of men and getting them to believe in you.”
— Eddie Robinson


“If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail.”
— Mark Spitz


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


“Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.”
— Arnold Palmer


“Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time.”
— Lou Brock


“If you have everything under control, you’re not moving fast enough.”
— Mario Andretti


“To uncover your true potential you must first find your own limits and then you have to have the courage to blow past them.”
— Picabo Street


“I hated every minute of training, but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
— Muhammad Ali


“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”
— Lance Armstrong


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


“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.”
— Vince Lombardi


“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”
— Wayne Gretzky


“Never give up! Failure and rejection are only the first step to succeeding.”
— Jim Valvano


“You have to do something in your life that is honorable and not cowardly if you are to live in peace with yourself.”
— Larry Brown


“There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.”
— Derek Jeter


“Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back ... play for her.”
— Mia Hamm


“You were born to be a player. You were meant to be here. This moment is yours.”
— Herb Brooks


“Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.”
— George Halas


“I never left the field saying I could have done more to get ready and that gives me piece of mind.”
— Peyton Manning


“Make each day your masterpiece.”
— John Wooden


“You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.”
— Michael Phelps


“At one point in your life you either have the thing you want, or the reasons why you don’t.”
— Andy Roddick


“Winning means you’re willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else.”
— Vince Lombardi


“Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.”
— Anonymous

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, Aug. 28, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.


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