I’m a big sports fan. In my day to day life, I tend to think about sports a lot. I’ve come to idolize and respect athletes from many different sports and walks of life; not just because of their actions on the field (or ice, diamond, court, course, take your pick), but because of their wisdom which can be translated to many other aspects of life. Sports are a medium to build teamwork, friendship and to learn the value of hard work, all while having fun. Often lessons learned during a game can translate wonderfully to the business world. Below, I’ve compiled my top 10 favorite sports quotes that can also be related to business.
1. “Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them — a desire, a dream, a vision.” –Muhammad Ali (World HeavyWeight Champion Boxer)
Muhammad Ali, while being one of the greatest boxers ever, was also one of the best speakers of his era. This quote should hit home for anyone with a desire to make something of themselves, boxers and entrepreneurs alike.
2. “The secret of winning football games is working more as a team, less as individuals. I play not my 11 best, but my best 11.” – Knute Rockne (College Football Hall of Fame Coach)
If you work with a team at your company, this quote holds true for you. If you manage a team of people this quote should hold especially true. Great teamwork will always get more accomplished, with a higher degree of quality than a skilled performer who doesn’t work well with others whether that be on the field or work environment. Nearly every job involves teamwork. I (and many others) believe that team synergy is one of the most important aspects of success.Just because you can’t measure the ROI of teamwork directly, the value of good teamwork is certainly not to be ignored.
3. “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” – Wayne Gretzky (Hockey Great)
Wayne Gretzky definitely knows a thing or two about being a great hockey player, but this quote also holds true in any situation. Top performers are always ahead of the curve. That means being ready to adapt to the next shift in the market or the next challenge to overcome. The puck is a metaphor for your business. If you can stay on top of things that’s good, but if you can get ahead of the trends and be one step in front of your competitors, your business truly has the chance to be great.
4. “Take your victories, whatever they may be, cherish them, use them, but don’t settle for them.” – Mia Hamm (U.S. Soccer Great)
I think Mia Hamm wanted to let others know that they should always be striving for greatness, no matter what field they’re in. If you just landed a big client, turned in an amazing project or just passed your sales goals, it’s important to continue to strive for the next big thing.
5. “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it” – Michael Jordan (6-time NBA Champion)
Michael Jordan, probably the greatest human being ever to play basketball, was a pretty competitive guy. So competitive, in fact, that when he said this he might have been talking about literally running through a brick wall because somebody said he couldn’t do it. This quote, while it definitely applies to athletes (and people who need to get past a literal wall), it also applies to business. It’s important to keep moving forward, no matter what obstacle gets in your way, from a difficult client to a seemingly impossible engineering problem. It’s important to move forward, keep going and work around your obstacles.
6. “It doesn’t matter what your background is and where you come from, if you have dreams and goals that’s all that matters” – Serena Williams (Tennis Superstar)
I’ll admit, this quote is a little bit of a cop-out. It can really apply to any part of your life but it applies fittingly to business as well. No matter what your goals are, it’s important to realize that nothing is impossible. Whether you want your own business to grow to become an industry giant or if you want to get a promotion, your goals can become a reality with some hard work!
7. “Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.” – Jackie Joyner-Kersey (Track and Field)
I think that this quote is very fitting in today’s rapidly changing technological landscape. While Jackie Joyner-Kersey (3-time gold medalist) was talking about competing in the Olympics against a field of much younger competition, this quote can apply to your everyday business needs as well. Adopting new technologies (for any purpose) can be beneficial to the growth of the company. That can mean anything from setting up a Snapchat or Instagram account to trying to engage the Millennials, or investing in robust ERP software, don’t let yourself fall too far behind in regards to technological trends. Be willing to innovate! Don’t let years of doing things a certain way stop you from adopting a new trend or technology, it just might help and make things easier.
8. “As the leader, part of the job is to be visible and willing to communicate with everyone” – Bill Walsh (American Football Coach)
This quote goes out to all the leaders out there, whether you’re a team lead, manager or CEO. If you lead you should listen to the wise words of Bill Walsh. Communication is an essential part of team success. If you lead a team of people you need to be available and ready to listen to your team and ensure they are all working in tandem. This cannot be done without top of the line communication. While your team members may have very little in common with the NFL athletes Bill Walsh had on his teams, the job of a leader is the same, no matter the situation.
9. “If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?” – Joe Namath (NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback)
Throughout history, there are hundreds of variations of this quote, said by people from all different walks of life. It boils down to the idea of doing whatever you do to the best of your abilities, giving it your all and bringing everything you can to the table.
10. “In baseball and in business, there are three types of people. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happened.” – Tommy Lasorda, Hall of Fame baseball player and manager
This quote needs no explanation. Which one of these types of people do you want to be? The choice is up to you!
What do you think of our list of quotes? Let us know your favorite sports and business quotes. We’d love to hear from you on Twitter: @VeridayHQ #MotivationMonday