Motivational Quotes to Inspire Performance

“I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself.”
Marlene Dietrich

This is a great explanation of why I use quotes with my teams. I use them in different ways. Sometimes right before a game or at half time. These are usually simple and short because they make a bigger impact in this situation if they are quick and easy to remember  Occasionally I’ll email longer quotes or inspirational videos to my players so that they can have time to really think about it and what I’m trying to say.

I thought I’d talk about quotes today because I used one of my favorites this weekend in our end of the year tournament. At half time of the semi final we were losing 2-1 and the girls were really down. We talked about what we needed to do tactically in the second half to create chances to score. I also told them that they needed to stay positive because that would give them a better chance than if they kept being negative. We were still behind in the last few minutes but the girls kept fighting and equalized to take the game to pk’s (no overtime in this tournament). Our goalkeeper made three great saves and they missed their fourth pk to give us the win.

Before the final we talked about how we were able to shake off our negative attitude and fight for the tie that got us to pk’s. Then I used one of the quotes that Anson Dorrance has his players at the University of North Carolina memorize; “When you refuse to give up, give in or take ‘No’ for an answer, miracles happen.”

In the final, we were up a goal with a couple minutes to go and the other team equalized. In my experience, the team that ties the game late on has a huge advantage going in to pk’s because the team that was winning feels like they threw it away and now there’s no way they can win.

I told the girls that we had an advantage because we had just won a shootout and we knew what to do. I also reminded the girls that, “When you refuse to give up, give in or take ‘No’ for an answer, miracles happen.” This calmed them down almost immediately and I could tell that they we more calm and confident. We won the shootout 5-3.

There are a ton of great quotes that apply to soccer, competition and life in general. I actively look for quotes and file them away so that I can use later. Here are some more of my favorites:

"Winners Never Quit and Quitters Never Win"

"Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care."

"This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. Being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy." - George Bernard Shaw

'I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the
greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is
that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good
cause and lies exhausted on the field of
battle – victorious. -- Vince Lombardi

"The Vision of a Champion is someone who is bent over, drenched in sweat, and the point of exhaustion, when no one else is watching." - Anson Dorrance in a note to Mia Hamm

Here is a video I sent recently to one of my teams:

Leave a comment with your favorite quote or inspirational video.

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