Motivational Mondays

Start off your week with motivational quotes for athletes. Get focused on the week ahead and put in the work that you know is needed to achieve your goals. Get after it for Motivational Mondays!

“No one can arrive from being talented alone. God gives talent; work transforms talent into genius.” – Anna Pavlova

“My best successes came on the heels of failures.” – Barbara Corcoran

“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” – George Washington

“If you don’t bet, you don’t have a chance to win.” – Francis Ford Coppola

“I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.” – Ginni Rometty

“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

“I don’t go by a rule book, because I lead from the heart, not the head.” – Princess Diana

“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.” – John Wooden

“If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?” – Joe Namath

“Find the smartest people you can and surround yourself with them.” – Marissa Mayer

I hoped you enjoyed these quotes for motivational Mondays. If you’re looking for more then check these out as well from Every Day Power.

Motivational Quotes – 6th Edition

Quotes by Leaders

“Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.” – Albert Schweitzer

This is a simple quote but a powerful one. You never know who may be watching. All the reason to make sure you’re setting the right example and doing the right things. Lead by example is especially important concept for coaches and specifically coaches of younger athletes.

Coaches set the stage for how athletes should be executing on the game plan. But coaches are also the ones who set the culture for the entire team. Athletes will imitate their coach if they respect what that individual is trying to accomplish. Respect is earned when respect is given. Coaches and athletes should expect to be held accountable as they work toward one common goal.

Lead by example

Lead by Example

“Example, whether it be good or bad, has a powerful influence.” – George Washington

Athletes who “throw a fit” when they have a bad play or get a bad call are setting a bad example for everyone watching. It’s okay to be frustrated, but its never okay to act out. As a father of 3, when my kids throw a fit because I won’t let them have another cookie or stay up past their bed time, I’m reminded of those athletes we see on TV who consistently act out. What are they teaching our children?

What those athletes are showing, is bad behavior is acceptable. Try to be an athlete or a coach, who leads by example. Show whoever may be watching that it matters how you react to a situation. Lead with a positive attitude and you’ll get positive results.

Next time you’re faced with a frustrating play or outcome, think about whose watching. You can always learn from the outcome so it doesn’t happen again, but the message you send matters to the people that may be watching. Lead by example and show what it means to be a GREAT all around athlete.

Additional quotes on leading by example.

Motivational Quotes – 5

Quotes by Leaders – Visualization

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities.  Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” – Gloria Steinem

I think about what separates one athlete from another when I read this quote.  In most cases, many athletes have similar speed, strength, agility or just overall talent level than who they’re competing with.  Yeah sure, the Lebron James, Tom Brady or Serena Williams of the world certainly were blessed with skills that many athletes don’t have.  But for the majority, the one element that makes the biggest difference is how well we’ve prepared mentally for the competition.

You might have all the talent in the world, but if you did a poor job preparing for the game within your own head, the outcome won’t be pretty.  The difference makers often compete thousands of times in their mind before they compete at their sport.  This allows for the individual to see every possible scenario and how they would react to it.  Thus, being prepared for all possible outcomes.

Sports visualization

Visualizing the outcome in your mind, will separate you from the competition.  It should be positive in nature.  If you prepare for the negative, then that’s what you’ll have.  Instead, prepare for a positive outcome and that’s what you’ll have.

Try it before your next competition and I bet you’ll like the results.

Check out, 12 steps to turbo charge turbo-charge your sports visualization and mental toughness page for help.

Motivational Quotes – 4

Quotes by Leaders

People can be really smart or have skills that are directly applicable, but if they don’t really believe in it, then they are not going to really work hard.” – Mark Zuckerberg

This quote isn’t directly about athletes, but it speaks a lot of truth. The athletes with a tremendous amount of talent, but don’t believe it. We all know a friend or family member who seemed to just be blessed with athletic talent. But they lacked confidence to pursue their athletic dream.

It comes down to believing in your own ability and having confidence. It’s pushing past the mental block of “I can’t”. It’s not “I can’t” but instead it’s “how.” How will you accomplish what you’ve set out to do?

I recently listened to a podcast about an individual who was born with a debilitating medical condition, which left him legless and missing one arm. It spoke about how he has overcame the victim mentality and how he’s developed confidence. For him, it’s not the hand he was dealt that matters, it’s how he plays it. His name is Nick Santonastasso and his story is incredibly inspiring.

As athletes, overcoming our own mind can sometimes be more challenging than the physical preparation it takes to become a champion. Train your mind as much, if not more, than your body and the success will find you.

Motivational Quotes – 3

Quotes by Leaders

If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then you are an excellent leader.” – Dolly Parton

I really like this quote for the coaches out there. If you’re currently a coach or hope to one day be one, this would be a great one to stick on your desk. It shows the influence a coach can have on an athlete. Coaches are there to get the most out of their athletes and to push them beyond what they think is even possible.

I’ve had my fair share of coaches in my athletic career with just about every type. They’ve been excellent communicators, mentors, and leaders. But it’s the actions of one coach in particular that sticks out the most in my head, and unfortunately, in a negative way.

This particular coach was more concerned with himself then he was with developing his athletes into the best versions of themselves. He was my high school football coach and he was exactly what every coach should strive not to be.

A coach should try to understand their athletes. They should help their athletes develop positive habits to achieve their goals. And they should not be the one that stands in the way. Instead, they should help pave the way to the ultimate goal.

If you’re a coach, then ask yourself, “Will this help this individual achieve their goals?” If the answer is no, then consider changing it.

Coaches can be great at developing athletes both on and off the playing field. But it’s also critical to understand that a coach can also do more harm than good.

Be the coach that inspires your athletes to dream more, learn more, do more and become more. That’s true leadership!

Motivational Quotes – 2

Quotes by Leaders

Whatever you want in life, other people are going to want it too. Believe in yourself enough to accept the idea that you have an equal right to it.” – Diane Sawyer

It has always come down to whether or not I believe in myself and my abilities to accomplish the goals I’ve set out for myself. Believing in yourself is incredibly powerful and is often the difference maker.

As a collegiate athlete, I accomplished more than most people do. Although I had the talent to be more successful, I simply didn’t believe in myself or believe that I had an equal right at winning at a Division I level.

As a look back at my collegiate track career, I often wonder, “what if”. What if I believed in myself more? What if I stopped worrying about failing and just took a leap of faith?

It’s taking me a long time to realize just how powerful the mental side of life really is. It’s a never ending battle between your physical output and your mental mindset. Once you understand just how powerful it is, well then, you can truly accomplish anything you set your mind to.

If you’re reading this then take the leap of faith, because even if you fail, you’ve won. Failing is learning and learning leads to progress. Progress gets you one step closer to accomplishing your goals.

Motivational Quotes

Quotes by Leaders

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything but I’m still alive and kicking. Today’s post will start a series of quotes by leaders. I’ll give a little commentary about each quote and it what it means to me. I’ll try to then relate it back to how it can impact an athlete.

Let’s get started.

“Natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning, by study.” – Francis Bacon

What I like about this one is the call out on your natural abilities only taking you so far. If you want to be successful long-term then you have to consistently work on it. Many athletes have all kinds of natural abilities but only the most disciplined ones become great. “Pruning” isn’t easy and it’ll take a daily effort at honing your craft.

I think about Michael Jordan who practiced everyday on his craft. It didn’t matter if he was in a scoring slump or simply unstoppable. He was hitting the gym everyday to fine tune his shot and to make himself better.

In many cases, this is why having a reliable coach is critical to an athletes success. When you’re feeling unmotivated (perfectly normal by the way), then they can help get you back on track.

As you reflect on what this quote means to you, try to think about how you can create daily habits to help you progress toward your goal or goals. Progress is more important than perfection. If you’re not taking a step forward (no matter the size) then you’re moving backwards and that’s not a good thing.

Go get to work on “pruning” your natural ability!

Why You Suck At Everything Until You Don’t

We all suck at something until we don’t.  The first time we try something new, we suck at it.  Okay so maybe suck is not the right word.  But should that stop you from continuing to try it?  No, of course not.  The only way you’ll get better, is to continue to try improving how you go about it.  That’s easier said than done of course.  I know for me, one of my biggest fears is failing.  The fear of failure (also called “atychiphobia”) is when we allow that fear to stop us doing the things that can move us forward to achieve our goals.

In some cases, the fear of failure can be so powerful and preventative that we actually end up not moving forward.  Maybe even going backwards.  So how do we conquer the fear of failure?  Well, there are many things out there but here’s what I’ve found to help me:

  • Set Goals – Write your goal down on a piece of paper and place it where you can see it every single day.
    • The more you see it, the more likely you’ll believe it.  If you believe it then you can and will achieve it.
  • Focus on what I’ll learn from it – The chances are the first time you attempt to go after your goal, that you’ll fail at it.  But that’s okay, as long as you learn something from it.
    • Throughout history, the greatest achievements came from failing.  Thomas Edison failed over a 1000 times at creating the light bulb.  But all it took was getting it right, ONE TIME, then history was made.
    • “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett
  • Find 3 positives from the situation – It’s human nature to find the negative in the situation.  That’s why many of us stop pursuing our goals.  By finding at least 3 positives, you can grow and truly learn from it.  Thomas Edison was asked what it felt like to fail a 1000 times.  His response was simply, “I didn’t fail a 1000 times.  The light bulb was an invention with a 1000 steps.”
    • That statement speaks volumes to how Edison’s mind worked.  He found the positives that helped him to keep moving forward.
    • If we remove the negatives then we can and will find a way to achieve our goals.

None of this means anything if you’re not taking action toward what you want to accomplish.  I’ve said a lot of things so far in my life but until I started taking action they were just words.  And quite frankly, most of it is just words and dreams.  The things I have accomplished i.e. running track at a Division I program and completing a Half Iron-man just to name a couple, were because I sat down with a goal and focused on what I wanted to accomplish.

In the beginning of both of those goals, I kept getting hurt, partly because I was approaching training in the wrong way.  But I learned from each set back to then come back stronger and stronger where eventually both goals were met.

Make a commitment today to take action.  And be prepared to suck at it, at first, then as you learn and keep moving forward, you can have success after success.  Believe it and you can achieve it!

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucius

Written by: Tim Kane

Timothy J Kane, EzineArticles Basic Author

Win The Day

The concept of “win the day” has caught some attention in recent years.   The University of Oregon and their former coach, Chip Kelly, used it to motivate their players to stay on task each and every day.   It’s really pretty simple, but for many of us, including myself, we struggle with the execution of it.

We struggle doing the small tasks daily, that will make a big difference for the goal we’re trying to accomplish.  But why is that?  The only way to truly answer that, is to look at yourself right now, and to figure out what’s stopping you from winning the day and getting you one step closer to accomplishing your goal.

Set a goal, create a plan to achieve it, then go to work.  That’s easy to say and even write, but for a lot of us, we fail at one of those stages.  Maybe even all of those stages.  We might do well at setting the goal but fail to create a plan on achieving it.  Or we might create a plan but fail at executing it.  That’s where “win the day” comes into play.

Take a look at your day.  What will it take today to win it?  Keep in mind that to win, you only have to be 1 point or 1% better.  So for example, if you break out your day into 10 actions, then you only have to complete 6 of those to win the day.  And if you do that 4 out of the 7 days in a week, then you win the week.  If you do that 16 days out of 30 days in a month, then you win the month, so on and so forth.

You can see how that will add up quickly and build up confidence on the goal you’re trying to accomplish.  We often think that success comes down to one big moment, but in reality, it comes down to thousands of smaller moments. Moments that you can either attack and try to win, or moments you can choose to skip and decide to tell yourself you’ll do it later.  That decision may not seem like a big deal, but it’s add up, and eventually, it will bite you.  Think about it as compound interest.  Over time, if applied correctly, your daily actions will eventually build enough of a foundation that it’s not possible for you to fail, at least in the traditional sense.

“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.  Unfortunately, so is losing.” – Vince Lombardi

This is such a powerful quote from the late Vince Lombardi, who has coached, hundreds if not thousands of individual winners as well as created several winning teams.  The power of winning and what it can do for your confidence is such an amazing thing.

Here’s 5 habits all winners share:*

  1. Winners have positive self-esteem – Self esteem is a person’s overall evaluation or appraisal of her or his own worth.
  2. Winners are optimistic – Optimism is expecting the most favorable result from your actions.  Winners not only think positively, they obsess about it.
  3. Winners have positive self motivation – Focus on where you want to go instead of the obstacles in your path.  Drive and persistence will take you to your desired destination.  Don’t allow fear to restrict or defeat your goals.
  4. Winners have a high internal standard – With a high internal standard you’re driven from within and not affected by what others think or the outcome of the situation.
  5. Winners have positive self discipline – You may be motivated to succeed but you have to constantly work toward your goals.  Practice, practice, practice.  Excellence isn’t a one week or one year ideal.  It’s a constant.

Everyone of us can be a winner, but you have to be committed to continuous growth and improvement.  Athletes of all ages can be and should be taught this.  We all know that for most of us, sports will eventually stop, but the value of learning to become a winner can be applied to all aspects of our life.

Losers complain.  Winners train and gain.  Losers seek attention.  Winners earn respect.  Losers blame others for their problems.  Winners find solutions.  Losers live in the past.  Winners learn from their past to better their futures.

It’s time to get excited about YOUR dreams and to take responsibility for YOUR decisions.  Break out your day into smaller actions and start WINNING THE DAY!!!

*Some of this information was taken from, “Psychology Of The Winner”

Written by: Tim Kane

Timothy J Kane, EzineArticles Basic Author

Compound Interest & How It Affects Your Life

Here’s a question for everyone:

If given the choice between a million dollars and a penny that you would get 30 days from now, what would you choose?

Now what if I told the million dollars will be a million dollars but the penny will double every day (Day 1 = .01; Day 2 = .02, Day 3 = .04, etc), what would you choose then?

If you chose a million dollars then congratulations you’ll be RICH on day 30, but if you chose the penny then congratulations you’ll be even RICHER!!  How does that work, you ask?

Let’s do the math:


That’s the power of compound interest.  This is not a new concept and anyone that has a 401k or retirement fund should understand it.  But how does it relate to what we do every single day?  The formula for success in anything, is a few simple disciplines, repeated every day. Decisions you make on any given day will compound on itself over time.

This can either work for you or against you. Let me explain with a few examples.  Let’s say you make a decision today to eat one medium sized donut.  The calories in that one donut is 195.  Will that one donut affect your diet today?  Probably not.  195 calories can easily be worked off.  But what if you had a donut every day for 30 days?  That’s a total of 5,850 calories.  Will those 30 donuts affect your diet?  Probably so, but you could still work that off if you made a decision to stop after 30 days.  But what if you had a donut every day for 6 months?  That’s roughly 35,100 calories and not good calories mind you.  Will that affect your diet?  Absolutely.  If you ate a donut every day for 6 months you would absolutely see the effects and not in a positive way.  That’s compound interest working against you.


Let’s see how it can work for you. What if you decided to run 1 mile today?  Will running 1 mile once affect you today?  Probably not.  Sure you might be hurting from that mile, but one day of it won’t all of sudden put you in Olympic athlete shape.  But what if you ran 1 mile every day for 30 days?  That’s 30 miles ran.  Will that affect you?  Possibly.  We’re getting closer and you’re starting to develop a healthy habit.  Now what if you ran 1 mile every day for 6 months?  That’s 180 miles ran.  You’re probably still not in Olympic athlete shape, but you’ve built a solid foundation to grow from and can start adding mileage much quicker.  In fact, if you started running just 1 mile a day, eventually you would want to add to it and it’s recommended that you add just 10% per week to help avoid injury.  Now let’s say instead of 10% you decided to increase your daily mileage by 5% per week.  Easy enough.  At the end of 6 months your daily mileage would be 3.39 miles per day.  If you kept that exact mileage up for 180 days you would have ran 610.20 miles.  That’s roughly 25 miles per week.  The impact on your health and training would be tremendous.  Chances are, you’d increase your mileage faster than that, but you would have created a daily habit that will stick with you and the compound interest effect would build on itself putting you in position to accomplish just about any goal.


Each day comes down to a bunch of small decisions that at the time doesn’t seem like a big deal and for that day they’re not, but that same decision made every day can compound either for you or against you. As an athlete you make decisions every day on preparing for your sport.  You might decide to cut the workout short one day then the next then the next and so on.  Thinking that not running one of the sprints or not doing the last set would ever hurt you.  It’s just one day, right?  That decision will absolutely affect your performance and not in a good way, but the great thing about compound interest is, you can make it work for you.  If you make a decision to put in just a little bit of extra work every day, over time that will have a huge impact on how you perform.

We often see success and think it was luck or maybe just a bunch of natural talent, but what we don’t see is all the blood, sweat and tears put into the daily work. Walter Payton, one of my favorite athletes of all times, had off season workouts where he literally ran until he threw up.  How many of us can say we’ve pushed ourselves that far?  And more importantly, how many of us can say they’ve pushed themselves that far EVERY DAY?

Today that changes. Make a commitment that you will take each and every decision serious no matter how big or small.  The small decisions are not always the most fun, but when you compound them over time, they can and will have a huge impact.  Remember, the formula for success in anything, is a few simple disciplines, repeated every day.

Attack the day by handling the simple disciplines.  It may only be worth a penny today but compounded over time it may be worth millions!


“If you think small things don’t matter, think of the last game you lost by one point.”