Inspiration for Athletes

Here are some inspirational thoughts that I have used with our teams from time to time.


In 1885 the world champion mule team competition was held in Chicago. The winning team managed to pull a load of 9,000 pounds. The second place team pulled slightly less. After the competition, someone came up with the question-What if both teams were put together in a collective effort, how much could they pull? To everyone’s amazement, the two teams together pulled 30,000 pounds!! There is something that is created when individuals work together as a team that is greater than the sum of the individual parts.


Whose Job is It? This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

“I will persist ’til I succeed”

by Og Mandino

I will not allow yesterday’s success to lull me into today’s complacency,
for this is the great foundation of failure.

I will forget the happenings of the day that is gone, Whether they were good or bad,
And greet the new sun with confidence that this will be the best day of my life.

So long as there is breath in me, that long will I persist.
For now I know one of the greatest principles of success;
If I persist long enough I will win.

I will persist.
I will win.”

An IDEAL Athlete has:

I = Intelligence
D = Dedication
E= Enthusiasm
A= Ability
L = Loyalty

Don’t Quit

Written by Edgar A. Guest

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressuring you down a bit,
Rest, if you must—but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow–
­You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man.
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup.
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you can never tell how close you are;
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.

The Value of One Day

Imagine there is a bank account that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day.

Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course?

Each of us has such a bank. It’s name is TIME.

Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.

Every night it writes off as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to a good purpose.

It carries over no balance. It allows no over draft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day.

If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no drawing against “tomorrow.”

You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health,

happiness and success!

The clock is running!! Make the most of today.

To realize the value of ONE YEAR. ask a student who failed a grade.

To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.

To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who just missed a train.

To realize the value of ONE SECOND. ask someone who just avoided an accident.

To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who won a silver medal at the Olympics.

Treasure every moment that you have! And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with. And remember time waits for no one.

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why its called the present.

From Marc Levy’s debut book, “If Only It Were True!”


3 comments for “Inspiration for Athletes

  1. Ethan Duewell
    October 27, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Add to this list of poems “The man in the glass” by Peter “Dale” Wimbrow.

      October 29, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      Thanks Ethan, I really like that one too and will get it posted.

  2. Judy Joslin
    September 3, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Love these. The Ideal Athlete is a keeper. I have been giving my teams the “Don’t Quit” poem since I started coaching in 1982. Every team has loved it, even the boys teams that I coached. I have had girls copy, write it in calligraphy and frame it as a present. Another one that I love is ‘The Man Who Thinks He Can’ by Walter Wintle. Thank you

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