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Posted in: General

What's your favourite coaching quote?

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  • ABradshaw

    We have our England U18 assessment camp coming up this weekend and whilst doing some of the preparation for it I came across a few quotes I've used before or that have inspired me ... thought it would be worth sharing and seeing what other ones people like!

    Plenty to chose from John Wooden but I do really like this one and links nicely to our assessment aims and objectives:

    "Sports do not build character ... they reveal it"

    A couple from the 'great one' Wayne Gretsky which I'm sure you'll have seen before but again reflect a mindset and game awareness we are looking for in our aspiring players:

    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"

    "A good hockey player plays where the puck is, a great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be"

    And on a slight tangent when we prepare to play Holland (our toughest opposition) I always like to use this from Roald Dahl:

    "Those who don't believe in magic will never find it"

    Look forward to seeing what you all think!!

  • andrewb62

    My own favourite - "the harder I practice, the luckier I get"

    variously attributed, but (apparently) not originally from Gary Palmer.

  • gareth.a.smith

    Not necessarilly one to use with athletes/players but one which reflects the nature of our roles as coaches and the impact we all have. 

  • ABradshaw

    The rooms in Lilleshall all have motivational quire above the bed (a nice touch), always interesting to see which one you've got ... see pic for my one this time!

  • EllyNetball

    There are many people out there who will tell you that you can’t. What you have to do is turn around and say “watch me”.

  • NickRuddock

    Ooooh I have hundreds. Here's a few on my favourites:

    'You learn more in defeat than you do in victory'

    'Failure is an experience not an identity'

    'Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success'

    'It is foolish to expect a young athlete to follow your advice and ignore your example'

    'Where focus goes, energy flows'

    'Ten years of coaching without refelction is simply one year of coaching repeated ten times'

  • lnapthine

    "Don't dream of winning. Train for it!" - Mo Farah 

    Probably a well known quote, but brilliant nonetheless. 

  • CatherineBaker

    Great to see so many good quotes in one place - the quote wall in our office is now looking a bit busier! Another one to add into the mix - "it's easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn't." Martina Navratilova. 

  • Richard2591

    A few from my short time within coaching...

    "You have to play to lose to win"

    "You are a product of your influences and experiences"

    "Giving an answer to a player is like a parent doing a child's homework, they will get 100% the next day but will struggle to retain the information"

    "We are afraid to do the ordinary spectacularly well" - The rare find?!

    "Belief drives behaviours, behaviours drive performance and performance drives results (or success)" 

    "Fun + Development (Winning) = Success" 

    "Players have to build up a library of pictures that will enable their guesses to become more educated"

    "You have to connect with a player before they can connect with the ball and the learning"

    Theres some more from Dennis Bergkamp's book and some stuff from Dan Abrahams which is always useful...

  • andrewb62

    Here's one I like - takes a little translation, though.wink

    “The only use for a coach is to take the team to the ground.”

    Attributed, in slightly different formats, to Shane Warne.

    It certainly sounds like Shane. And, as with so many of his cutting comments, there is an underlying truth in this statement, one that he probably did not intend, at the time.

    As coaches, we can’t bowl or kick the ball for the player, we can’t clear the hurdle or spend the extra 30 minutes in the gym after everyone else has finished training.

    We can’t carry the bag, or the bat, or the racket.

    All we can do is help the player to get to the field of play as well prepared as he possibly can be.

    All we can really do is get them to the ground.

  • shootcoach

    Ronald Koeman. Manager Southampton  "if you can't win make sure you don't lose"

  • Coach_Browning

    "Good is the enemy of great"

    - God knows who said it, just something I have picked up at somepoint. I'll lay claim to it though if no-one else knows!!

    There is also a great Twitter feed for this if you havent already seen it - @SportsMotto. Dip in there and you will find some good ones. One I like that I have just seen when I went to check the @address is:

    "Everybody likes each other until things get tough. Then you will fid out what kind of team you have" - Doc Rivers

    Also, something that people may enjoy is the app - Pocket Sports Quote - from the Positive Coaching Alliance.

    Waht is brilliant about this one is that, it sits on your phone and links to your photos. It has a huge bank of inspirational quotes (in a similar vein to those placed here). So.....You take a photo of one of your players doing something great, and you can then put a quote over the top of it and share it. Hard to describe unless you have the app in front of you but I tihkn it is good fun. While I havent dont it myself, I think that it woudl work really well with younger players - especially youth level - if they saw their photo next to a quote.

  • StevieP

    I'm loving all these quotes. I keep a little black book, well it's blue actually, of inspirational quotes that I read during times of self doubt - just to help me swing bavk into the right frame of mine.

    Anyway I couldn't comment on this post with out leaving a quote so here's my ten pence worth.

    One for the coaches;

    'Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader success is all about growing others'

  • CoachFeedback

    One quote I use for players trying to reach the next level.

    "If it is meant to be then it's up to me"

  • anfy

    Not a quote, but a thought-provoking cartoon ...


  • AndyP

    Rather sprints specific I'm afraid...

    "Any program can make you tired. A good one will make you fast." I heard it from Loren Seagrave, but I've seen it paraphrased elsewhere so I suspect he wasn't the first person to say it.

    I find it quite useful when combatting the mentality that someone hasn't worked hard enough unless they are left in a crumpled heap at the end of a session!

  • Hi Andrew

    My coach and good friend, ex-Olympic Coach for the Japanese sprints in 1996 and coach of Michael Rosswess as well as many other great talents, always used to end a session with the words:

    "Discipline, Manners, Respect, Kindness, Education... Education... Education"

    Michael Oluban

    He always used to end the session saying those words, with the squad repeating after him loud and proud. He ensured that he coached and mentored to those words, and I can now say they have left a lasting impression as I live by and coach by those words and values. It is important to coach character, morals and values as well as a sport.

    Kind Regards

    Jonathan Benjamin

    Birchfield Harriers - Athletics Coach

    Newman University - Sports Student

  • ABradshaw

    Great to read through some of your responses and favourites ... thought I'd add another one from a slightly different angle to maybe spark some more thought.  It comes from Danny Kerry (GB Women's Hockey Coach) who I interviewed to create two of our Coaching Bootroom videos.  He talks about his level of self awareness particularly in relation to player or squad meetings and describes a 'mantra' that he uses to help his preparation and thinking:

    "Where am I?"

    "Where do I need to be?"

    Then flipped to the player or players asking...

    "Where are they?"

    "Where do they need to be?"

    To see the quote in context check out the video on the link below and watch from 10.50 ... but it's worth a watch of the whole thing!


    Intrigued to see if these prompting questions generate some interesting insight into how you preapre/think/plan your interactions and conversations??

  • Wayne_Smith

    Love these! Always good for pick ups when it all becomes gloomy! 

    "Quitters never win & winners never quit"

    "pain is weakness leaving the body"

    From a boxing point of view very true words came from the great Mike Tyson "everyone always has a great game plan until they get hit!"

  • Ralph

    You’re lucky when you’re young if you find someone that doesn’t talk down to you. That treats you seriously, as a serious person. If you want to be taken seriously, then take something seriously, don’t coast. Edward Norton


    Professionals don’t stop practicing until they get it right; world champions don’t stop practicing until they can’t get it wrong.Adapted “Psychology for Musicians” by Percy C. Buck


    It always matters how you win.


    Two opposites don’t necessarily oppose.


    Be at anytime able to sacrifice who you are for what you could become. Sugar Ray Leonard


    Even if id hadn’t been a boxing champion, I’d have swept the streets as one. I was a world champion way before I’d ever become one. The Ali


    Your enemy is only a perception, his job actually is to help you… find your weaknesses,  and help you to train your mind to not get distracted by his strengths but adapt to them. Orson Scott Card


    Coby Bryant was asked; “there are two types of athlete, Those that love winning and those that hate losing; which are you?

    Ans: “Neither, both winning and losing are illusions.”


    I’d rather lose than play ugly. The Fed

  • Alasdairjon

    Thanks for posting all the fantastic quotes - definitely something for everyone there that'll help in most situations!  As I coach young Rugby players, still very raw in their development, they are thankfully not TOO focused on whether they win or lose.  Therefore my favourite recently heard quote was used on a Judy Murray tennis camp recently for young girls.  (Please forgive me for paraphrasing)

    A game has only two outcomes - you either win...or you learn.

    A great way for younger players to understand that you can use the sense of failure/disappointment and gain from every session, game or challenge.

  • BillB

    This is one from Frank Dick that I have on the inside page of my journal; A mistake only becomes a failure if we ignore it, don't learn from it and then repeat it. No one means to make one; no one needs to be a failure

  • Ralph
    On 25/11/15 9:51 AM, Anthea Dore said:

    Not a quote, but a thought-provoking cartoon ...

    hi Anthea, the qoute it's atributed to is...

    Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”-Albert Einstein

  • Ralph
    On 12/11/15 12:19 PM, Andrew Bradshaw said:

    Plenty to chose from John Wooden

    “Dad tried to teach me and my brothers that you should never try to be better than someone else. I'm sure at the time he did that, I didn't -- it didn't -- well, somewhere, I guess in the hidden recesses of the mind, it popped out years later. Never try to be better than someone else, always learn from others. Never cease trying to be the best you can be -- that's under your control. If you get too engrossed and involved and concerned in regard to the things over which you have no control, it will adversely affect the things over which you have control. John Wooden

  • EllyNetball

    Ralph's post brings to mind:

    "Don’t compare yourself with others; compare yourself with the person you were yesterday."

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