5 Quotes From Famous Coaches That’ll Help You Crush Your Goals

When we’re young, many of us view our future in two categories — dreams and goals.

Dreams are the ideas we have that may not be impossible, but that will require an almost superhuman level of work, dedication, and luck to attain. Goals are a series of stepping stones we must follow if we’re to achieve anything at all.

A baseball player can dream of reaching the World Series, but to get there, he sets a series of goals — hitting a certain batting average, improving his fielding or base-running abilities, and more. In this way, goals and dreams can be intertwined.

It should come as no surprise that sports coaches know a little something about achievement. Here are the words of five highly respected coaches that will help you make both your goals and your dreams a reality:

  1. Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” — Vince Lombardi

Whether working toward a goal or hoping to realize a dream, true leaders are forged by the effort they’re willing to exert. And when it comes to working with a team, others will recognize that effort and follow accordingly.

With my business, I often end up putting in hours while most people are sleeping. My team knows that I put in that extra work, and I never ask them to do the same. But when I log in at night and see that they’re working as well, it’s rewarding to know we’re all striving toward a common goal.

  1. “I’ve learned that something constructive comes from every defeat.” — Tom Landry

The hardest part of competition is learning to see the positives in a loss or setback.

I’ve had the opportunity to learn through loss many times, and while it’s never pleasant, with time, I’ve come to recognize that failure only comes when you decide to give up. For those who keep going no matter what, defeat is really just a process of elimination — if one method doesn’t work, move on to the next.

  1. “You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.” — Yogi Berra

Often, the winner doesn’t determine the outcome — it comes to pass because the loser wasn’t prepared to win.

There is no substitute for preparation. You can’t control what the other side is going to do, but you have full control over how prepared you are.

  1. Love is the forcethat ignites the spirit and binds teams together.” — Phil Jackson

Nine times out of 10, the team that wins is the one with the most chemistry. That doesn’t mean everyone on the team has to be best friends. But it does mean that they have respect for one another, a common goal, and the will to win.

The minute I sense a lack of respect among team members, or that someone might settle for less than our ultimate goal, I know it’s time for a change. When evaluating employment candidates, I look for emotion, passion, and changes in expression when discussing job responsibilities. I can almost always tell if someone is genuinely excited for the opportunity, or if they’re just looking for a paycheck.

If someone doesn’t love what they do, they won’t love being part of the team, and the whole enterprise suffers. It all comes down to respect — for the team, for the job, and for the goal.

  1. Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.” — John Madden

There’s a time and place for pride, and how we carry ourselves in times of triumph often defines us more than how we react to defeat. Maintain a balance between appreciating your accomplishments and knowing that you still have much to learn.

In the end, achieving your goals and dreams comes down to a few traits — respect, preparation, effort, humility in the face of success, and the ability to learn in the face of defeat. These things are true in sport, business, and life in general.

There are times when some of these will be harder to achieve than others, but to offer one final quote from George Halas, “Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.”

So try to give your best at all times. That way, when you fail, you’ll know that you gave it your all. And when you win, you’ll know that you’ve truly earned it. 

Daniel Wesley is a recognized thought leader in the world of online marketing and social media. Always looking to learn and grow professionally, you can find him on LinkedIn.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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