sports psychologist & clinical psychology

Quotes for Coaches

Sports Psychologist Dr. John F. Murray’s Lists His Favorite Quotes by and about Coaches. Feel free to suggest new ones by email: johnfmurray@mindspring.com

Don Shula: “The superior man blames himself. The inferior man blames others.”

Don Shula: “One thing I never want to be accused of is not working.”

Don Shula” “I don’t know any other way to lead but by example.”

Ken Loeffler: “There are only two kinds of coaches — those who have been fired, and those who will be fired.”

Blanton Collier: “You can accomplish anything you want as long as you don’t care who gets the credit for it.”

Darrell Royal, when an assistant coach said argued against benching a talented but inconsistent quarterback because he had so much potential: “Potential means you ain’t done it yet.”

Casey Stengel: “Most games are lost, not won.”

Vince Lombardi: “If it doesn’t matter who wins or loses, then why do they keep score?”

Casey Stengel: “The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided.”

Sparky Anderson: “Just give me 25 guys on the last year of their contracts; I’ll win a pennant every year.”

David Bristol, Milwaukee Brewers manager: “There’ll be two buses leaving the hotel for the park tomorrow. The two o’clock bus will be for those of you who need a little extra work. The empty bus will leave at five o’clock.”

John Madden: “The fewer rules a coach has, the fewer rules there are for players to break.”

Sparky Anderson, on Willie Stargell batting in Tiger Stadium in the 1971 All Star game: “He’s such a big, strong guy he should love that porch. He’s got power enough to hit home runs in any park, including Yellowstone.”

Casey Stengel: “Two hundred million Americans, and there ain’t two good catchers among ‘em.”

Casey Stengel: “The trouble is not that players have sex the night before a game. It’s that they stay out all night looking for it.”

Bill Peterson: “Men, I want you just thinking of one word all season. One word and one word only: Super Bowl.”

Darrell Royal: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

John Heisman: “Gentlemen, it is better to have died as a small boy than to fumble this football.”

Jim Leyland: “I knew we were in for a long season when we lined up for the national anthem on opening day and one of my players said, ‘Every time I hear that song I have a bad game.’”

Bill Robinson: “A good hitting instructor is able to mold his teaching to the individual. If a guy stands on his head, you perfect that.”

Gene Mauch: “Losing streaks are funny. If you lose at the beginning, you get off to a bad start. If you lose in the middle of the season, you’re in a slump. If you lose at the end, you’re choking.”

Toe Blake: “All I know is I have a job here as long as I win.”

Kevin Keegan: “As a manager, you always have a gun to your head. It’s a question of whether there is a bullet in the barrel.”

Leo Durocher: “You don’t save pitchers for tomorrow. Tomorrow it may rain.”

Darrell Royal: “The only place you can win a football game is on the field, the only place you can lose it is in your hearts.”

Paul Brown: “A winner never whines.”

John Madden: “Coaches have to watch for what they don’t want to see and listen to what they don’t want to hear.”

Gene Mauch: “There should be a new way to record standings in this league; one column for wins, one for losses and one for gifts.”

Bob Lemon: “The two most important things in life are good friends and a strong bullpen.”

Jim Valvano: “I asked a ref if he could give me a technical foul for thinking bad things about him. He said, of course not. I said, well, I think you stink. And he gave me a technical. You can’t trust em.”

Paul Richards: “Tell a ballplayer something a thousand times, then tell him again, because that may be the time he’ll understand
something.”

Bill Peterson: “You guys pair up in groups of three, then line up in a circle.”

Jeff Tufford: “I can TEACH you how to dribble, pass and shoot the right way, but I cannot MAKE you do it the right way.”

Doug Johnson: “The smaller the detail the greater the value.”

Nik Posa: “A tough day at the office is even tougher when your OFFICE contains spectator seating.”

Jimmie Dykes: “The manager’s toughest job is not calling the right play with the bases full and the score tied in an extra inning game. It’s telling a ballplayer that he’s through, done, finished.”

Fred Shero: “Win together now and we walk together forever.”

Ara Parasheghian: “A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are.”

Duffy Daugherty: “When your are playing for the national championship, it’s not a matter of life or death. It’s more important than that.”

Jim Colletto, Purdue football coach and former assistant at Arizona State and Ohio State, on his 11-year-old son’s reaction after he took the job with the Boilermakers: “He said, ‘Gosh, Dad, that mean’s we’re not going to any more bowl games.’”

Duffy Daugherty: “Football isn’t a contact sport, it’s a collision sport. Dancing is a contact sport.”

Vince Lombardi: “Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”

Frank Layden, on a former player: “I told him, Son, what is it with you: Is it ignorance or apathy?’ He said, ” ‘Coach, I don’t know and I don’t care.’”

LaVell Edwards, BYU football coach and one of 14 children: “They can’t fire me because my family buys too many tickets.”

Bill Peterson: “You guys line up alphabetically by height.”

Mike McCormack, coach of the hapless Baltimore Colts, after the team’s co-captain, offensive guard Robert Pratt, pulled a hamstring running onto the field for the coin toss against St. Louis: “I’m going to send the injured reserve players out for the toss next time.”

Red Auerbach, the Boston Celtics’ general manager, asked if he had any criticism of Bill Russell’s coaching: “He has the players too happy.”

Dan Birdwell: “You have to play this game like somebody just hit your mother with a two-by-four.”

Fred Shero: “We know that hockey is where we live, where we can best meet and overcome pain and wrong and death. Life is just a place where we spend time between games.”

Unknown: “Victory or defeat is not determined at the moment of crisis, but rather in the long and unspectacular period of preparation”

Steve Spurrier, Florida football coach, telling Gator fans that a fire at Auburn’s football dorm had destroyed 20 books: “But the real tragedy was that 15 hadn’t been colored yet.”

Patrick Hunt: “Basketball is not a democratic sport”

Mike Waldo, HS Basketball Coach: “Repetition is no fun but it’s the reason we won”
“Attention to Detail is Everything”

John Wooden: “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

Darrell Royal: “The sun don’t shine on the same dog’s rear end every day.”

Vince Lombardi: “Winning is not a sometime thing. It’s an all time thing. You don’t win once in a while. You don’t do things right once in a while. You do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”

Dorothy Shula, on the career dedication of her husband, the Miami Dolphins’ coach: “I’m fairly confident that if I died tomorrow, Don would find a way to preserve me until the season was over and he had time for a nice funeral.”

Phil Jackson: “If you meet the Buddha in the lane, feed him the ball.”

John Heisman: “When in doubt, punt!”

Jim Camp, George Washington football coach, on why he doesn’t use a lonely end: “We train by a parkway, which runs beside a river. If we had a lonely end, he either would be hit by a car or drown.”

Fred Shero: “Arrive at the net with the puck and in ill humor.”

Bobby Knight: “All of us learn to write in the second grade. Most of us go on to greater things.”

George Raveling: “I know the Virginia players are smart because you need a 1500 SAT to get in. I have to drop bread crumbs to get our players to and from class.”

Shelby Metcalf, basketball coach at Texas A&M, recounting what he told a player who received four Fs and one D: “Son, looks to me like you’re spending too much time on one subject.”

Weldon Drew: “We have a great bunch of outside shooters. Unfortunately, all our games are played indoors.”

Harry Sinden: “It’s the attitude of the players, not their skills, that is the biggest factor in determining whether you win or lose.”

Norm Sloan, on zone defense : “I hate it. It looks like a stickup at 7-Eleven. Five guys standing there with their hands in the air.”

Dean Smith: “If you’re going to make every game a matter of life or death, you’re going to have a lot of problems. For one thing, you’ll be dead a lot.”

Toe Blake: “If the day ever comes when I swallow defeat, I’ll quit.”

Bill Shankly, soccer coach: “The trouble with referees is that they know the rules, but they do not know the game.”

Don Cherry: “There has never been a successful team that did not take the body.”

Abe Lemons: “Finish last in your league and they call you Idiot. Finish last in medical school and they call you Doctor.”

Bill Vaughn: “Any American boy can be a basketball star if he grows up, up, up.”

Bobby Knight: “If the NBA were on channel 5 and a bunch of frogs making love was on channel 4, I’d watch the frogs even if they were coming in fuzzy.”

Hugh Campbell, football coach at Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash., after his team had defeated Whitman 70-30: “It wasn’t as easy as you think. It’s hard to stay awake that long.”

Darrell Royal, Texas football coach, asked if the abnormal number of Longhorn injuries this season resulted from poor physical conditioning: “One player was lost because he broke his nose. How do you go about getting a nose in condition for football?”

George Raveling: “When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team.”

Harry Sinden: “Two out of every three goals you score come from checking. One out of every three comes from sheer finesse.”

Ray Malavasi: “I don’t care what the tape says. I didn’t say it.”

Duffy Daugherty: “My only feeling about superstition is that it’s unlucky to be behind at the end of the game.”

Al Arbour: “This is a hump you have to get over, and it usually comes in the first series. You get over the hump and you’re on a roll.”

Vince Lombardi: “We didn’t lose the game, we just ran out of time.”

George Raveling: “Fans never fall asleep at our games, because they’re afraid they might get hit by a pass.”

Emile Francis: “Your power play can win you games, and your penalty killers can save you games.”

John Robinson: “I never criticize a player until they are first convinced of my unconditional confidence in their abilities.”

Danny Murtaugh: “Why certainly I’d like to have that fellow who hits a home run every time at bat, who strikes out every opposing batter when he’s pitching, who throws strikes to any base or the plate when he’s playing outfield and who’s always thinking about two innings ahead just what he’ll do to baffle the other team. Any manager would want a guy like that playing for him. The only trouble is to get him to put down his cup of beer and come down out of the stands and do those things.”

Mike Krzyzewski: “If what you have done yesterday still looks big to you. You haven’t done much today.”

Jim Valvano: “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.”

Thomas Luebbe: “Having a great game is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You have to light yourself on fire.”

Steve Seidler: “You don’t demand respect, you earn it.”

Henry David Thoreau: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

Lenny Wilkins: “The most important quality I look for in a player is accountability. You’ve got to be accountable for who you are. It’s too easy to blame things on someone else.”

Pat Riley: “Great teamwork is the only way we create the breakthroughs that define our careers.”

Johnny Kerr: “If a coach starts listening to fans, he winds up sitting next to them.”

Unknown: “Players are made in the off season, teams are made during the season.”

Al Cooper, HS Basketball Coach: “Hard work and winning are contagious.”

Jim Valvano: “Other people go to the office. I get to coach. I know I’ve been blessed.”

Bobby Knight: “Everyone wants to win, but not everyone is willing to prepare to win.”

Unknown: “We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sail.”

Eldon Marshall: “The harder you work…the more fun you will have.”

Phil Jackson: “Approach the game with no preset agendas and you’ll probably come away surprised at your overall efforts.”

Unknown: “One can define discipline as: Doing what you have to do, doing it as well as you possibly can and doing it that way all the time!”

Steve Bankston: “it’s not the push from behind, or the pull from up front, but rather the drive from within.”

Unknown: “If you pay attention to the grandstands…it won’t be long before you join them.”

Claire Bee: “Good coaching may be defined as the development of character, personality and habits of players, plus the teaching of fundamentals and team play.”

Larry Bird: “First master the fundamentals.”

Bob Lanier: “It takes education to be successful in the game of life.”

William Gibbs McAdoo: “It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in an argument.”

John Wooden: “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

Tom Curle: “Excuses are like rear ends. Everybody has one and they stink.”

Unknown: “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

Tom Arev: “Without the burn, you will never learn.”

Elvin Hayes: “Blame is the cowards way out.”

Indira Ghandi: “There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group there is less competition there.”

Mark Twain: “If we were supposed to talk more than we listen, we would have two mouths and one ear.”

Jason Bumblis: “The only important shot you take is the next one. Because no matter how hard you try, that is the only one you can still have an effect on!”

Claire Bee: “Play to win, observe the rules, and act like a gentleman.”

Bill Russell: “the idea is not to block every shot. The idea is to make your opponent believe that you might block every shot.”

John Wooden: “Nothing will work unless you do.”

Heraclitus, 450 B.C.,on using time wisely: “You cannot step into the same river twice.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The reward of a thing well done is to have done it.”

Thomas Fuller, on perfection: “A good garden may have some weeds.”

Strendal: “The man of genius is he and he alone who finds such joy in his art that he will work at it come hell or high water.”

Lorrie Ardoin: “Don’t wallow in the mud with pigs, you will get dirty….and the pigs will like it.”

Jeff Fletcher: “Don’t do more than you can do, but don’t do less either.”

John Wathan, upon being named Kansas City Royals manager:
When I asked, “How would you like to be married to a major league manager?” my wife said, “What, is Tommy Lasorda getting a divorce?”

Yogi Berra, asked if he had new plans for the World Series:
“It ain’t like football. You can’t make up no trick plays.”

Tommy Lasorda: “Managing is like holding a dove in your hand. Squeeze to hard and you kill it; not hard enough and it flies away.”

Branch Rickey, on Leo Durocher: “He had the ability of taking a bad situation and making it immediately worse.”

Matt Keough: “Playing for Billy Martin is like being married to him. Right now, we’re all sleeping on the couch.”

Unknown: “It’s so hard when you have to, but so easy when you want to.”

Shannon Fish: “If you are going to take it to the bank, then you better cash it in.”

Unknown: “My responsibility is getting all my players playing for the name on the front of the jersey, not the one on the back.”

Armilando Evora: “A Spelling Lesson: “Unity begins with you.”

Unknown: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, it not an act, but a habit.”

Johnny Oates, after his team left 14 runners on base in an 8-3 loss to Oakland: “We set the table, but no one ate.”

George Patton: “There is no such thing as a successful defense.”

Mike Pendley: “The best man defense looks like a zone and the best zone defense looks like a man”

Branch Rickey: “Success is that place in the road where preparation meets opportunity.”

T. X. Huxley: “Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.”

Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

John Rohn: “To be successful, you don’t have to do extraordinary things. Just do ordinary things extraordinarily well.”

Rick Pitino: ” Excellence is the unlimited ability to improve the quality of what you have to offer.”

Henry Ford: “Failure is the only opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”

Confucius: “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

John Wooden: “What you are as a person is far more important that what you are as a basketball player.”

Montaigne: “Not being able to govern events, I govern myself, and apply myself to them, if they will not apply themselves to me.”

Francis Bacon: “A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.”

Hank Iba: “Everyone should want to excel in life. You should never take the desire to excel away from the human race.”

Unknown: “Teaching a complicated skill to a player with little knowledge is like putting an embroidered saddle on a donkey.”

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

Earl Weaver: “My best game plan is to sit on the bench and call out specific instructions like ‘C’mon Boog,’ ‘Get a hold of one, Frank,’ or ‘Let’s go, Brooks.’”

Tommy Lasorda, Dodger manager, asked what terms Mexican-born pitching sensation Fernando Valenzuela might settle for in his upcoming contract negotiations: “He wants Texas back.”

Norm Stewart: “We’re shooting 100 percent – 60 percent from the field and 40 percent from the free-throw line.”

Jim Kelly: “The cream will always rise to the top.”

Unknown: “It is foolish to expect a young man to follow your advice and to ignore your example.”

Jeff Brown: “Coaching does not permit democracy.”

John Wooden: “Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.”

Vince Lombardi: “The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.”

Pat Riley: “Great efforts springs naturally from great attitude.”

Mike McDowell: “..it (coaching basketball) is kind of like wrestling a gorilla, you don’t quit when you’re tired, you quite when the gorilla is tired.”

Charles Smyth: “Coaches build teams, parents build players.”

Unknown: “Good is not enough if better is possible.”

Dave DeBusschere: “The best teams have chemistry. They communicate with each other and they sacrifice personal glory for the common goal.”

Abraham Lincoln: “I do the best I know how, the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing it to the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me will not amount to anything. If the end brings me out all wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”

Al Maguire: “Keep it simple, when you get too complex you forget the obvious.”

Chinese Proverb: “Experience is a comb that nature gives us when we are bald.”

La Rochefoucauld: “True eloquence consists in saying all that should be said, and that only.”

Chuck Daly: “A lot of guys go through their whole careers and don’t win a championship, but are still great coaches.”

Bill Walton: “Winning is about having the whole team on the same page.”

Brenden “Buff” Blackler: “If you’ve got nothing to do, don’t do it here.”

Unknown: “It’s not the hours you put in, it’s what you put in the hours.”

William James: “If you care enough for a goal you will almost certainly attain it.”

Unknown: “At the top there is only a small piece of pie for many….the days that we are not striving for it…somebody else is.”

Phil Jackson: “Always keep an open mind and a compassionate heart.”

LA Kings coach Larry Robinson: “Maybe one of the qualities of being a great coach is being [a jerk]. There are quite a few of them around.”

Unknown: “We all want to be important in our jobs. However the person who thinks I am the most important part of the team should remember this. Life is like a buck of water. We are a part of the whole. But how big is the hole that is left when we take away a large cup of water? The hole suddenly fills up and…so life goes. The nature of life is that there is always someone who can and will take your place, when you think you are irreplaceable.”

Red Auerbach: “The coach should be the absolute boss, but he still should maintain an open mind.”

Ogden Nash: “Here’s a good rule of thumb; too clever is dumb.”

Unknown: “Champions never complain, they are too busy getting better.”

Jack Michels, HS Coach: “Don’t tell me how good you are, show me!”

Ortega y Gassett: “Effort is only effort when it begins to hurt.”

Unknown: “Life’s Mirror- There are little eyes upon you that watch everything you say and do. When you doubt the power of your position, just remember that 10 or 20 years earlier that little boy or girls was you!”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Unknown: “The only difference between me and General Custer is that he didn’t have to watch the game films the next day.”

John Wooden: “The only place that success is before work is in the dictionary.”

Unknown: “Superstar- A player who hears what he doesn’t want to hear, sees what he doesn’t want to see, and does what he doesn’t want to do.”

Brian Merritt: “You can not control how high ‘he’ jumps. You cannot control how fast ‘he’ is. You can not control how great ‘he’ is. But he can not control how hard ‘YOU’ play.”

Mike Krzyzewski: “Every season is a journey. Every journey is a lifetime.”

Unknown: “What you do reflects your attitude, not what you say or even how you say it.”

Tom Landry: “Coaching is making men do what they don’t want, so they can become what they want to be.”

John Marcum: “Discipline is the refining fire which enables talent to become ability.”

Marv Harshman: “Quick guys get tired; big guys don’t shrink.”

Hans Schmidt: “It takes no talent to hustle.”

Bob Hoffman: “The more you complain, the more you find things to complain about. The more you give thanks, the more you find things to be thankful for.”

Shannon Wilburn: “Lack of confidence is born from a lack of preparation.”

Darrell Johnson, Seattle Mariner manager, on when to change pitchers: “You just listen to the ball and bat come together. They make an awful noise.”

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

Steve Hewitt: “Our reach must exceed our grasp.”

Hank Iba: “Think and then act. Never act and then alibi.”

Vince Lombardi: “It’s easy to have faith in yourself and discipline when you’re a winner, when you’re Number 1. What you’ve got to have is faith and discipline when you are not yet a winner.”

John Wooden: “Happiness begins where selfishness ends.”

Darrel Royal: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

Pete Carill: “Work hard to make things easier.”

Unknown: “Your attitude is either the lock or the key to the door of success.”

Casey Stengel: “Whenever I decided to release a guy, I always had his room searched first for a gun. You couldn’t take any chances with some of them birds.”

John Wooden: “Ability will get you to the top, character will keep you there.”

Casey Coleman: “Your toughest competition in life is anyone who is willing to work harder than you.”

Vince Lombardi: “Individual commitment to a group effort. That’s what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

Matt Dalrymple: “A team consist of not only the players on the court, but also the coaches and the bench. It is a team game and a team wins!”

Unknown: “Dream the Impossible – Do The Incredible.”

George Torigian: “Do you really understand all of what you think you know?”

Henry Ford: “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

Washington Irving: “Great minds have purposes, Little minds have wishes.”

Vince Lombardi: “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”

Unknown: “Everybody wants to follow the leader; but, nobody wants to lead the followers.”

Knute Rocke: “Leaders are like eagles – they don’t flock. You find them one at a time.”

Abraham Lincoln: “If I was given eight hours to chop down a tree. I would spend seven hours sharpening my ax”

Conrad Burns: “In life you are given two ends, one to think with the other to sit on. Your success in life depends on which end you use the most. Head you win, tails you lose.”

Elton Hall: “Be at the right place, at the right time, and do the right thing.”

John F. Kennedy: “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”

John Wild: “The three best things I’ve learned in coaching: my players must play Hard, Hard, Hard.”

Jim Valvano: “A person really doesn’t become whole, until he becomes a part of something that’s bigger than himself.”

Lou Holtz: “Nothing is as good as it seems and nothing is as bad, but somewhere between reality falls.”

Sun Tzu: “All battles are won before they are fought.”

Ian Gray: “Perception if reality. Remember it is not what you say or how you say it, but rather what is heard that is important.”

John Wooden. “Remember this, the choices you make in life, make you.”

President Theodore Roosevelt: “…It is not the critic that counts…The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena… who strives valiantly, who errs and often comes up short again and again…who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat…”

Dean Smith: “What to do with a mistake–recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.”

President Thomas Jefferson: “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

Unknown: “Those who have invested the most are the last to surrender.”

James Perry: “There is no obstacle that is too small to stumble over or too large to overcome.”

Will Rogers: “If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out.”

Albert Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

Michael Burks: “The difference between an extraordinary player and an ordinary player is that little extra.”

D. Cotrell: “In practice, if you don’t like to do it, it is probably good for you.”

Unknown: “Extra discipline makes up for a lack of talent and a lack of discipline quickly siphons away extra talent, that’s why it’s frequently the most disciplined rather than the most gifted rise to the top”.

Ron Guidry: “If you approach Billy Martin right, he’s Okay. I avoid him altogether.”

Matt Keough, on a game between teams managed by Billy Martin and Earl Weaver: “It’s like you came to a controversy and a ball game breaks out.”

Mike Davis: “There are three reasons we make mistakes, don’t know, don’t care, or not able (ignorance, apathy, ability).”

Unknown: “People need to know what you stand for, AND what you won’t stand for.”

Joe Paterno: “Besides pride, loyalty, discipline, heart and mind, confidence is the key to all the locks.”

Scott Sieling: “Tradition never graduates.”

Bob Sundvold: “Basketball is a game that gives you every chance to be great, and puts every pressure on you to prove that you haven’t got what it takes. It never takes away the chance, and it never eases up on the pressure.”

Conor Gillen: “R.E.P.S.- Repetition Elevates Personal Skills.”

Steve Levesque: “Whenever I say something is ‘good enough’ it usually isn’t.

Unknown: “Kids don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

Tex Winter: “Neither criticism nor praise should be highly regarded.”

Unknown: “Teamwork: The fuel that produces uncommon results in common people.”

Pittsburgh Penguins coach Kevin Constantine, when asked if his team had potential: “Potential is synonymous with getting your ass kicked.”

Unknown: “There are two pains in life, the pain of discipline, and the pain of regret. Take your choice.”

Lee MacPhail, former American League President, recounting a meeting with Earl Weaver, whom he subsequently suspended for three days for abusing umpires: “Earl gave me his version of what happened and asked me not to suspend the umpires.”

Bill James, on Maury Wills: “Letting him manage in the major leagues is like sending Bo Derek through cellblock A without a bodyguard.”

Gene Mauch, Phillies manager, on how to handle Richie Allen: “Play him, fine him, and play him again.”

Ernie Harwell, on Sparky Anderson: “Sparky’s the only guy I know who’s written more books than he’s read.”

Unknown: “If you think small things don’t matter, think of the last game you lost by one point.”

Paul McAllister, Youth Coach: “Professional coaches measure success in rings. College coaches measure success in championships. High School coaches measure success to titles. Youth coaches measure success in smiles.”

Chinese Proverb: “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.”

Vince Lombardi: “Coaches who can outline plays on a blackboard are a dime a dozen. The one’s who win get inside their players and motivate.”

Unknown: “Perfection is not attainable but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”

John Wooden: “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation.”

Unknown: “Everyone can’t be a professional player at sports, but everyone can be a professional sport as a player.”

Ed McAllister: “Discipline builds winners, Winners stay disciplined!”

Danny White, on Coach Tom Landry: “Coach Landry was a master at maintaining discipline and creating an environment where ordinary people could achieve extra ordinary results.”

Joe Paterno: “The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.”

John Madden: “The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.”

Paul Brown: “A winner never whines.”

Ronnie Lott: “If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it.”

Vince Lombardi: “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”

John Madden: “Winning is a great deodorant.”

Bill Parcells, on his expectations for the Cowboys in his first season as head coach: “My expectations are greater than the average fan’s but, I’m more realistic than the top prognosticators.”

Abe Lemmon, on why he didn’t impose a curfew on his players: “You always catch the wrong players.”

Jim Valvano, on assistant coaches who take over for a fired head coach: “Are you saying that the assistant had the answers all along, he just wasn’t telling anyone?”

Herm Edwards: “You play to win the game.”

Joey Galloway, referring to Head Coach Bill Parcells: “If you can eliminate the yelling and listen to the message, there’s a great message there.”

John Wooden: “A player who makes a team great is better than a great player.”

Bum Philips: “The only discipline that lasts is self-discipline.”

Sparky Anderson: “A baseball manager is a necessary evil.”

Walt Alston: “Perhaps the truest axiom in baseball is that the toughest thing to do is repeat.”

Tommy Lasorda: “About the only problem with success is that it does not teach you how to deal with failure.”

Tommy Lasorda: “Everybody makes mistakes, that’s why they put erasers on pencils.:

Vince Lombardi: “Leaders are not born, they’re made.”

John McKay, commenting on his coaching debut with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: “We didn’t tackle but, we made up for it by not blocking.”

Gerry DiNardo, after his Indiana football team won a game, “The only reward in this game is winning. It’s no fun to practice; it’s no fun to play and lose.”

Sid Gillman: “Attitude is the whole thing in football. Every team has the talent and the coaching. Motivation makes the difference. The teams that win stay healthy and interested.”

I hope you enjoyed these quotes and use them in your work, compliments of sports psychology!

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4 Responses to “Quotes for Coaches”

  1. Thank you a lot for sharing this with all of us you really recognise what you are talking about!
    Bookmarked. Please additionally discuss with my website =).
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  2. [...] it will be fun for you to peruse one of the most popular areas of my website by far and review the many great sayings and quotes in sports. If you cannot find what you are looking for here, you are simply not [...]

  3. Lynn says:

    Hello there.
    I am wondering if you’d be interested in doing a website link exchange? I see your website: http://www.johnfmurray.com/index.php/motivational-quotes-john-f-murray-sports-psychology/quotes-for-coaches and my blog are based mostly around the same subject. I’d love to switch links or possibly guest author a article for you.
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  4. New Quote:

    “If your dribbling you can’t pass, if you can’t pass you can’t beat a defense.”

    Steve Seidler

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