Monday, September 10, 2012


Welcome to Leading Words!  We have designed this blog as a resource center for coaches (or anyone else) that might be looking for quotes in motivating others or themselves.  We currently have over 125 topics and 1,800 quotes.  You can see the topics by scrolling to the bottom of the page.  Click on the topic you are interested in and it will bring up quotes regarding that topic.  The site is still being built.  We still have nearly 500 quotes to add and will continue to add on as we hear or read great quotes.  We hope you find this beneficial.


"Don't worry about making friends; don't worry about making enemies.  Worry about winning, because if you win, your enemies can't hurt you, and if you lose, your friends can't stand you." –Bear Bryant

"A team wins with the elimination of mistakes and with people who want to win and can't stand losing." -Lou Holtz

"Get the winners into the game." –Bear Bryant

"I don’t get a big charge out of being the leading scorer. The object of competing is winning. I just try to do what has to be done for us to win. That might be anything at the time — defense, rebounding, passing. I get great satisfaction out of being a team player.” -Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

“Winning takes character and intelligence. It is the most important thing you can do because it’s a reaffirmation of your character.” –Pete Carril

“Don’t worry about losing.  Think about winning.” –Mike Krzyzewski

"The way you get to be really great in this league is to defeat the teams that you’re supposed to defeat, and there are never any excuses about that." -Pat Riley

“I never learned anything from a match that I won.” –Bobby Jones

“To win, you have to lose, and then get pissed off.” -Joe Namath

“I am rather thoroughly convinced that those who have the self-satisfaction of knowing they have done their best will also be on the most desirable end of the score as much, and perhaps more, than their natural ability might indicate." –John Wooden
"If you're going to play at all, you're out to win. Baseball, board games, playing Jeopardy, I hate to lose." -Derek Jeter
“I do love the feeling of a big win. But you don’t have to have a World Series ring to be a winner. A winner is somebody who goes out there every day and exhausts himself trying to get something accomplished. Being able to get the most from their ability. That’s what characterizes a winner.” –Joe Torre

“You can't just beat a team, you have to leave a lasting impression in their minds so they never want to see you again.” -Mia Hamm

“For me, winning isn't something that happens suddenly on the field when the whistle blows and the crowds roar. Winning is something that builds physically and mentally every day that you train and every night that you dream.” -Emmitt Smith

“Victory is produced by and belongs to all.” –Bill Walsh

"The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win. The principle is competing against yourself. It's about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before." -Steve Young

"Without winners, there wouldn't even be any civilization." –Woody Hayes

"I have one goal with all my decision: to do whatever is needed to win today's game. I'm loyal to my players, and I stick with people because consistency builds confidence. But if I feel I have to make a change in order to win, I'll do it. I don't ask players to like my decisions, only to accept that I'm doing my job with one thing in mind - winning." -Joe Torre

“The quest that we're on is impossible to complete. Because once you win, you've got to win all the time -- and no one wins all the time. The world doesn't work that way." –Bill Parcells

"Winning must be the obsession that determines every decision you make, that guides your thought process, that pushes you to be aggressive when everyone else is hanging back." –Ron Wolf

“A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.” -Larry Bird

"But truth be told, being a winner, in the purest sense of the word, has nothing to do with your performance, your salary, or your earning potential. It has to do with your value and whether or not you have owned it." –John Maxwell

"Each Sunday after the battle, one group savors victory, another lives the bitterness of defeat.  The practice and the hard work of the season seem a small price for having won.  But there are no reasons that are adequate for having lost." –Vince Lombardi

“Nobody remembers who finished second but the guy who finished second.” -Bobby Unser

“No leader, however great, can long continue unless he wins battles. The battles decides all.” –Vince Lombardi

“You will never hear me tell the players that we should have won a game. You will never hear me quoted as saying, ‘we should have won.’ I do not believe in it. You either do or you don’t. It is as simple as that.” –Bob Stoops
"I never believed in the theory that on any given night, anybody could beat you. I don’t believe in that. I mean if you’re better than the Spurs or the Nuggets or the Los Angeles Clippers, then you should beat them." –Pat Riley

“Overemphasizing winning is bad, but singling out winning as the most important thing you do is good, and you should do everything you can to prepare so you can win. Winning is the only objective measure for a team; all the rest is subjective.” –Pete Carril

"I think the worst thing you can do is play poorly and still win." –Nick Saban

“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all-the-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.” –Vince Lombardi
"By emphasizing not only winning but winning today, you move every one's thought process away from a general concept and direct it toward something substantial. It makes progress easy to measure. It makes every one's performance easier to measure. It establishes a tempo for the organization, and it blows away any excuse about not understanding what our goal is and what I expect should be done to achieve it." –Ron Wolf

"When we lose, I’m not a happy man. It may sound backwards, but one way to create a culture of winning is to make everybody in your organization fearful of, or uncomfortable with, the thought of losing.” -Jim Calhoun


"If you can't out play them, outwork them."  -Ben Hogan
"The only thing wrong with doing nothing is that you never know when you are finishing." -Anonymous

“We had a saying with our team that we used as a reminder on down days: Hard Work beats talent if talent doesn't work hard.’” –Kevin Eastman

“Anything can happen with hard work and dedication.” -Jerry West

"If your health is threatened, work. If disappointments surface, work. If your faith falters, work. If you inherit riches, continue to work. If your dreams are shattered, and the star of hope begins to darken your horizon, work. If sorry overwhelms you, or your friends prove untrue or desert you, work. If you are happy, keep right on working. No matter what ails you, work. Work as if your life depended on it, because it does." -Dennis Kimbro

“The successful man derives more pleasure and real satisfaction from his hard-working life than ever comes to the one who neglects his business and suffers the penalty which such neglect brings.” –Henry Baldwin Hyde

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good. That's just the way it is. And if you believe that and live by it, you'd be surprised at how much you can have." –Woody Hayes

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” -Anonymous

"I was the first one in the gym, and the last one to leave." –Muhammad Ali

"Nothing will work unless you do." -- John Wooden

"Someone might have a germ of talent, but 90% of it is discipline and how you practice it, what you do with it. Instinct won't carry you through the entire journey. It's what you do in the moments between inspiration." -Cate Blanchett

''We got better yesterday. We got better on Wednesday. We're going to have a better team this Sunday. That really has been a trademark of this team ... to always make improvements over the course of the season. So I don't think we take weeks off. I don't think we take days off. We're always trying to get better.'' -Tom Brady
"If every basketball player worked as hard as I did, I'd be out of a job." -Steve Nash

“There’s a simple doctrine: Outside of a person’s love, the most sacred thing they can give is their labor.” -James Carville

"When I played with Michael Jordan on the Olympic team, there was a huge gap between his ability and the ability of the other great players on that team. But what impressed me was that he was always the first one on the floor and the last one to leave." -Steve Alford

“The great ones come back every year with a new weapon or a new counter to one of the things that’s an important weapon to their game because teams are constantly adjusting to them.”  – Rick Carlisle on Dirk Nowitski

“Stop working, and your power, your ability, your endurance, your form will leave you. There’s only one way you can get to the top and stay there, in athletics, and that’s through long hours of hard work.” –Bob Richards

"One of the more important things we look for when we pick a player is that he is a worker, someone who will buy into our program. He has to be willing to lift weights and to condition himself...our experience has always been that the kids that are more self-starter-type guys are the ones who you eventually have more success with. The guys that you’ve got to kick all the time or push all the time, you sometimes fail with them because they get a little bit lazy." -Bill Parcells

“If you think you are working hard, you can work harder. If you think you are doing enough, there is more that you can do. No one really ever exhausts his full potential.” –Pete Carril

“I understand why this organization wins. They work extremely hard. Hard. I mean hard! My first couple of days here, I [would] call my agent and be like, ‘Man, what’d you get me into?’ It’s unbelievable. After that first day, I understood why they’re Super Bowl champions. I understand.” –Corey Dillion on the New England Patriots
"Hard work and togetherness. They go hand in hand. You need hard work because it's such a tough atmosphere. You need togetherness because you don't always win and you gotta hang tough together." -Tony Dungy

“Hard work is never a waste. No one will say, "It is too bad he was such a good, hard worker." But if you aren't they will surely say, "It's too bad he was so lazy—he could have been so much more!" Hard work will leave a grand legacy. Give it your all on your trip around the earth. You will do a lot of good and leave a terrific legacy.” –Jim Rohn

"The way I see it, if I put two hours in by myself, then someone who is working out with somebody else has to put in four hours in order to beat me. That's the way I've always gone about it." -Larry Bird

“Far and away, the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”-Theodore Roosevelt

“The personal physical exertion of leaders must not be overlooked. It is as important as any strategy or tactic.” -Karl Von Clousewitz

"If you really want something , you can have it if you're willing to pay the price. And the price means you have to work better and harder than the next guy." -Vince Lombardi

"The heights by great men reached and kept, were not obtained by sudden flight. But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night." -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.” –Vince Lombardi
"I didn’t just show up for work, as has sometimes been said. I also showed up to work." -Cal Ripken

"If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all." –Michelangelo

“The heights by great men reached and kept,
Were not attained by sudden flight:
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.”
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“It comes down to a very simple saying: There is a right way and a wrong way to do things. You can practice shooting eight hours a day, but if your technique is wrong, then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way.” –Michael Jordan

“If you don’t back it up with performance and hard work, talking doesn’t mean a thing.” –Michael Jordan


“I want all the players on our team to see themselves through my eyes. They need to know how they really are, not just how they think they are. If they can step outside themselves and watch their performances as I see them, then they may internalize both their shortcomings and their strengths. That’s why videotape is very important in my business. Because any way you cut it, when a player sees himself on videotape — as the coach sees him — you can bet your life, he’s going to try to improve. And the helps not only individual performance, but overall team effectiveness." -Mike Krzyzewski

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” –Anonymous

"All we do is done with an eye to something else." -Aristotle

"Determine that the thing can and shall be done and then we shall find the way." -Abraham Lincoln

“Vision isn’t enough—it must be combines with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps; we must step up the stairs.” –Vince Abner

"The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did when he was twenty has wasted thirty years of his life." –Muhammad Ali

“You must have a long-range vision to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures.” -Charles Noble
"A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are." -Ara Parseghian

"All things are created twice. All things. Vision is the first creation. For a house it's called the blueprint. For a life it's called a mission. For a day it's called a goal and a plan. For a parent it's called a belief in the unseen potential of a child. For all, it is the mental creation which always precedes the physical, or second, creation." -Stephen Covey

"Where there is no vision a people perish." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Vision will ignite the fire of passion, which fuels our commitment to do whatever it takes to achieve excellence. Vision allows us to transform dreams of greatness into the reality of achievement through human action. Vision has no boundaries and knows no limits. Our vision is what we become in life.” –Jim Tressel

“'You see things and you say 'Why?' but I dream things that never were and I say "Why not?'"-George Bernard Shaw

“See the picture…sell the picture…paint the picture.” –Dick Benntt

"Most people live in a very restricted circle of their potential being. We all have reservoirs of energy and genius to draw upon of which do not dream." -William James

"Vision: the art of seeing things invisible." -Jonathan Swift

"No man that does not see visions will ever realize any high hope or undertake any high enterprise." -Woodrow Wilson

"I would give all the wealth of the world, and all the deeds of all the heroes, for one true vision." -Henry David Thoreau


"There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it." -Charles F. Kettering

"He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words." -Elbert Hubbard

"Understanding is a two-way street." -Eleanor Roosevelt

"Whatever you cannot understand, you cannot possess." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"The improvement of understanding is for two ends: first, our own increase of knowledge; secondly, to enable us to deliver that knowledge to others." -John Locke

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." -Upton Sinclair

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
-Carl Jung

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.”
-Dale Carnegie

“Never do today what you can put off till tomorrow. Delay may give clearer light as to what is best to be done.”
-Aaron Burr

“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”
-Galileo Galilei

“You don’t need strength to let go of something. What you really need is understanding.”
-Guy Finley

“Everyone hears only what he understands.”
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.”
-Kahlil Gibran

“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.”
-Marie Curie

“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you’ll see the way to fly.”
-Richard Bach

“Furious activity is no substitute for understanding.”
-H.H Williams

“If we are to live together in peace, we must come to know each other better.”
-Lyndon Johnson

“A matter that becomes clear ceases to concern us.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

“The reality of the other person is not in what he reveals to you, but in what he cannot reveal to you. Therefore, if you would understand him, listen not to what he says but rather what he does not say.”
-Kahlil Gibran


“To live by relying on one another implies a risk, but without some trust in humanity, life would be unlivable." –Dale Brown

"You can't have success without trust. The word trust embodies almost everything you can strive for that will help you to succeed. You tell me any human relationship that works without trust, whether it is a marriage or a friendship or a social interaction; in the long run, the same thing is true about business, especially businesses that deal with people." -Jim Burke

“Trust becomes the glue that binds us together.” –Herman Boone

“Trust is then enhanced when people know you care about them and you are looking out for their interest as much as your own. The minute someone thinks you are out for yourself rather than them, their internal alarm goes off, trust waivers and the relationship deteriorates.” –Jon Gordon

“In leadership, there are no words more important than trust.” –Mike Krzyzewski

“You can develop a trusting relationship only with people who believe in you, the program, the team, and themselves. A coach must lead his team with truth and honesty to confront the untruth, the half-truths, and all the baloney that others may throw at him.” –Bo Schembechler
“The answers to these questions will determine your success or failure.
1) Can people trust me to do what's right?
2) Am I committed to doing my best?
3) Do I care about other people and show it?
If the answers to these questions are yes, there is no way you can fail.” –Lou Holtz

“If you set up an atmosphere of communication and trust, it becomes a tradition. Older team members will establish your credibility with never ones. Even if they don’t like everything about you, they’ll still say, ‘He’s trustworthy, committed to us as a team.’” -Mike Krzyzewski

“Trust is even more important than love.” -Jeffrey Gitomer

“Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him.” -Booker T. Washington

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved.” -George MacDonald

“A person will not buy from you until he is convinced that you are a friend and are acting in his best interest. You must make this clear.” -Brian Tracy

“You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist.” -Indira Gandhi

"Truth right now! This creates trust -- the foundation of success. Cannot have jealousy and dislike -- these are traits of negative people." -Mike Krzyzewski

“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.” -Frank Crane

“One must be fond of people and trust them if one is not to make a mess of life.” -E. M. Forster

“A man who doesn’t trust himself can never really trust anyone else.” -Cardinal De Retz

“I think we may safely trust a good deal more than we do.” -Henry David Thoreau

“Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson


“Let me say at the outset that a team will never be tough when they are coached by a staff of coaches who are not.” –Don Meyer

“A lot of people are afraid to tell the truth, to say no. That's where toughness comes into play. Toughness is not being a bully. It's having backbone.” -Robert Kiyosaki
“Players play, tough players win.” –Tom Izzo

“There’s a widely held assumption that if players can’t perform at 100 percent, they shouldn’t be asked to perform at all. All I can tell you is that in the National Football League there are very few people at 100 percent three weeks into the season — and that the teams that overcome their collective bruises and sprains are the ones that win.” -Bill Parcells

“Your team is never as tough as they can be and you can never assume they are tough enough.” –Don Meyer

“Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles.” -Alex Karras

“A tough player fills his tank on the defensive end, not on offense. A tough player is not deterred by a missed shot. A tough player values his performance first by how well he defended.” –Jay Bilas