Motivate yourself with these 20 inspirational quotes from the best Olympic coaches in the world


They don’t just coach; they mentor, advise, counsel, and are the friends you’re looking for. The right coaches inspire players to recognise their full potential. Although they often prefer to stay behind the scenes, it is the dedication, hard work, and sacrifice of coaches that helps athletes maintain their professional status. They are the ones responsible for turning exceptional talents into top performers.

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Whether you play sports or not, these quotes by some of the top Olympic coaches are sure to ignite the fire that you need to move forward and give your best in any area of life.

  1. “Compete for yourself. Focus on the personal joy competition brings and not the weighty expectations." — Aimee Boorman (Simone Biles’ coach)
  2. "You must lose in order to win." — Glen Mills (Usain Bolt's coach)
  3. "Adjust your strategy to your team. Be your best player's best friend. It's the leader's job to get rid of distractions. Don't have rules, have standards." — Mike Kryzewski (Coach, US men’s basketball team)
  4. "Improve your technique or skill level. Be a student of the strategies of your game, whatever they are. And take care of yourself away from the field of play." — Bob Bowman (Michael Phelps' coach)
  5. "You have to be willing to go the extra mile. You have to be willing to do more than anyone else. That's where champions come from." — Pistol Coach Sergey Luzov (USA shooting team)
  6. "Connect on a personal level to build trust, though not at the expense of honesty or the collective needs of the team." — Jill Ellis (Coach, US women's soccer team)
  7. "The magic happens when all (team members) get along. The team wants to hear from people they trust." — David Marsh (Coach, US women's swim team)
  8. “Strengthen your procedure or talent amount. Be a student of the methods of your game, whatever they are. And get care of oneself away from the area of play.” — Bob Bowman
  9. “You ought to eliminate in purchase to gain.” — Glen Mills
  10. “The key is not the will to win. Everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.” — Bobby Knight (Former coach, US men's basketball team)
  11. “Victory is in having done your best. If you've done your best, you've won." — Bill Bowerman (Former US track and field coach)
  12. “You have to do something in your life that is honourable and not cowardly if you are to live in peace with yourself." — Larry Brown (American basketball coach)
  13. “Don't plan on being disappointed. Plan on being really good, and obviously you plan on winning.” — Gregg Troy (American swimming coach)
  14. “A champion is afraid of losing. Everyone else is afraid of winning." — Billie Jean king (US women's tennis)
  15. “The hardest skill to acquire in this sport is the one where you compete all out, give it all you have, and you are still getting beat no matter what you do. When you have the killer instinct to fight through that, it is very special.” — Eddie Reese (American swimming coach)
  16. "What keeps me going is not winning, but the quest for reaching potential in myself as a coach and my kids as divers. It's the pursuit of excellence." — Ron O’Brien (American diving coach)
  17. “This team just wasn't good enough today, but they had the unity I always wanted. To have a team like this has always been a dream of mine.'' — Béla Károlyi (US women’s gymnastics coach)
  18. “Do not undervalue yourself. Be able to express your value and what impact you can make. Show how your experience translate and can help a company.” — Katie Smith (WNBA assistant coach)
  19. “If you are not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.” — John Wooden (Former US basketball coach)
  20. “Never give up, never give in, and when the upper hand is yours, have the ability to handle the win with the dignity that we absorbed the loss.” — Doug Williams (Former coach, Grambling State Tigers)

If you know of any other quotes by Olympic coaches which have inspired you, please let us know in the comments section below.