10 Motivational Sports Quotes for Kids

Sometimes it’s hard to motivate your kids to do anything including sticking with an activity or hobby. We found 10 motivational quotes you can teach your kids as they learn to navigate the sports world.

1. “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I cannot accept not trying.” -Michael Jordan 

It’s normal to be afraid of trying something new! We have all been afraid to fail. However, if we don’t try, we can’t learn.

2. “The only way to prove that you’re a good sport is to lose.” Ernie Banks 

Nobody wins all the time! Being able to accept defeat and learn from your mistakes makes you a winner every time.

3. “The five S’s of sports training are: stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit; but the greatest  of these is spirit.” Ken Doherty 

Youth sports teach all of these, but spirit, good sportsmanship, and having fun are the most important components of the game. These are the skills that will help you throughout life in any situation. 

4. “My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having  trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.” Hank Aaron 

One of the most important motivational lessons in youth sports is to never give up! The discipline to keep going, even when things are hard or the game is not going your way, is what creates elite athletes. 

5. “I don’t want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant.” Kobe Bryant 

It is important to remember not to compare yourself to others when playing youth sports. Someone will always be faster or stronger. The only one you can truly compete with is yourself. 

6. “Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.” -Mike Singletary

Youth sports are all about having fun. Fun is motivation for kids! Parents tend to forget that when they get caught up in competition. Recreational sports take the pressure of winning out of the equation. The most important part of playing the game is to show up, be a good teammate, and enjoy the game.

7. “It does not matter how many times you get knocked down. What matters is how many times you get up.” Vince Lombardi 

You may drop the ball, miss the goal, or fall down. Getting back up and trying again makes you successful no matter how the game turns out. 

8. “Victory is in the quality of competition and not the final score.” Mike Marshall 

Naturally, everyone wants to win. However, bad attitudes or poor sportsmanship take away the value of a victory.

9. “It’s not how big you are but how big you play.” John Wooden 

Sometimes kids worry if they are not the biggest, or strongest player they won’t be good enough. Attitude and hard work have been proven to be more important than size!

10. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe 

Every child comes to youth sports with different skills and experience. The important thing is to focus on playing to your strengths and work on what you need to improve.

Young basketball player in a navy blue headband and navy blue i9 Sports jersey holding a basketball and about to pass it during a game.