31 Quotes and Lessons From Football Coaches

Wisdom from Coaches

Regardless of whether you’re a fan of American football, or even of sports at all, you likely have seen various words of football wisdom appear in various business articles or business books. Coaches inspire players with words of encouragement and motivation that often have equally compelling application in corporate boardrooms as they do in team locker rooms.

As football season starts, it’s appropriate to learn from the coaches. Here are a few inspiring quotes from some of those coaches to inspire you today:


“If what you did yesterday seems big, you haven’t done anything today.” –Lou Holtz


“Doing something the right way is something I take pride in.” –Frank Thomas


“To defeat a weak opponent is not the problem: The problem is to win when he is as good or better than you.” –Robert Neyland


“Good fellows are a dime a dozen, but an aggressive leader is priceless.” –Red Blaik


“Whether the light switch is on in every room or not, I’m not certain. But I can tell you that most of the house is lit.” –Les Miles


“Either love your players or get out of coaching.” –Bobby Dodd


“I don’t expect to win enough games to be put on NCAA probation. I just want to win enough to warrant an investigation.” –Bob Devaney


“Nothing that comes easy is worth a dime.” –Woody Hayes


“To have the kind of year you want to have, something has to happen that you can’t explain why it happened. Something has to happen that you can’t coach.” –Bobby Bowden


“All I can say is that I’m going to try to coach the way I’ve coached in the past. And if it ends up not being good enough, then so be it.” –Steve Spurrier


“When you find your opponent’s weak spot, hammer it.” –John Heisman


“The champion makes his own luck.” –Earl Blaik

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


“You don’t have to flaunt your success, but you don’t have to apologize for it, either.” –Gene Stallings


“Treat a person as he is, and he will remain as he is.  Treat him as he could be, and he will become what he should be.” –Jimmy Johnson


“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” –Vince Lombardi


“There’s no substitute for hard work and effort beyond the call of duty.  That is what strengthens the soul and ennobles one’s character.” –Walter Camp


“Great leaders are positively contagious.” -Mike Smith


“I pray not for victory, but to do my best.” –Amos Alonzo Stagg


“Sportsmanship is that quality of honor that desires always to be courteous, fair, and respectful, and it is interpreted in the conduct of players, spectators, coaches, and school authorities.” –Fielding Yost


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


“We don’t live in our fears. We live in our hopes.” –Mike Tomlin


“Championships are won by teams who love one another, who enjoy and respect one another and play for and support one another.” –Tom Coughlin


“Mediocre people don’t like high achievers, and high achievers don’t like mediocre people.” –Nick Saban


“Mental toughness is going out there and doing what’s best for the team—even though everything isn’t going exactly the way you want it to.” –Bill Belichick


“Success is not forever and failure isn’t fatal.” –Don Shula


“Don’t worry about it. It’s just a bunch of guys with an odd-shaped ball.” –Bill Parcells


“Pressure is something you feel when you don’t know what you’re doing.” –Chuck Noll


“I have yet to be in a game where luck was involved. Well-prepared players make plays. I have yet to be in a game where the most prepared team didn’t win.” –Urban Meyer


“Never quit. It is the easiest cop-out in the world. Set a goal and don’t quit until you attain it. When you do attain it, set another goal, and don’t quit until you reach it. Never quit.” –Bear Bryant


“Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” –Vince Lombardi


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