Catalyst Quotes

Compiled by Alex Pena ~ ‘Catalyst’: “to spark, to ignite, energize, mobilize; something that accelerates a reaction (DDI)." Thought-provoking & motivational quotes and stories for you to read, reflect on and move forward in making creative and positive changes in your life.

Archive for the category “Sports”

“True Sportsmanship is Always Taking the High Road”

In the past few days, a video has gone viral about two high school football players in San Antonio, Texas, who allegedly targeted a football referee during the game and knocked him down with a hard hit and then ‘speared’ him while on the ground.  The actions of the football players are troubling for many people in and out of sports but more so for the citizens of San Antonio, where I live.  Please do not judge the citizens of this great city by the action of a couple of football players.  In light of this incident, I’d like to share the following quotes.  Even though some of the quotes are not related to football, the quotes fit in with the spirit of sportsmanship.  (Alex Pena)




“Games give you a chance to excel, and if you’re playing in good company you don’t even mind if you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game.”   (Gary Gygax)



“True sportsmanship is…

  • Knowing that you need your opponent because without him or her, there is no game.
  • Acknowledging that your opponent holds the same deep-rooted aspirations and expectations as you.
  • Knowing that, win or lose, you will walk off the course with pride.
  • Always taking the high road.
  • And always, always, always being a good sport.”  (Lorii Myers, No Excuses, The Fit Mind-Fit Body Strategy Book)



“It is all fun and games until a sore loser loses or someone accuses someone of cheating.”   (R. K. Cowles)



“In Brohier’s eyes, violence was not merely the last refuge of the incompetent.  It was the gloating revenge of the sore loser.”    (Arthur C. Clarke, The Trigger)



“A lot of young players don’t really know much about the history of the game and a lot of them are missing out on what the game is all about, especially the whole concept of sportsmanship and teamwork.”   (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)



“Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation.  Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think of you.”   (John Wooden)



“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”   (Epictetus)


“Let Us Prepare / Put On Your Socks / Let’s Do the Undoable”


“John Wooden was arguably ‘the’ greatest coach of all time in any sport. The guy won 10 championships in 12 years at UCLA and had an 88-game undefeated streak that ran nearly 3 years.

Wooden was all about consistency on the fundamentals and had an awesome way of kicking off each season.  Imagine the greatest young basketball players in the US showing up for the first day of practice.  Guess what Coach would start with…

He’d show them how to put on their socks.

Why?  Because if they couldn’t put their socks on just right, they might get a blister.  Get a blister and they might miss practice time.  Miss practice time and their game-time performance would suffer.

The equation was simple:  Blister = No championship. 


Kinda begs the question:  Any ‘blisters’ slowing you down?

If so, you might wanna look at how you’re putting on your socks.

Fact is, when we don’t pay attention to the little things, we’re gonna get blisters.   (Brian Johnson, Chief Philosopher, ‘A Philosopher’s Notes’)



“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”   (Benjamin Franklin)



“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”   (Seneca)



“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.”   (Abraham Lincoln)



“Never try to be better than someone else.  Learn from others, and try to be the best you can be.  Success is the by-product of that preparation.”   (John Wooden)



“Let’s think the unthinkable, let’s do the undoable.  Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not ‘eff’ it after all.”   (Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency)


“Make a Difference / Do the Impossible”


“I’m not old enough to play baseball or football.  I’m not eight yet.

My mom told me when you start baseball, you aren’t going to be able to run that fast because you had an operation.  I told Mom I wouldn’t need to run that fast.

When I play baseball, I’ll just hit them out of the park.  Then I’ll be able to walk.”   (Edward J. McGrath Jr., ‘An Exceptional View of Life’)



“A father was late getting to his son’s baseball game.  As he sat down behind the players’ bench he asked one of the boys known as a real leader on the team what the score was. “We’re behind 14 to nothing,” he answered with a smile.  “Really!” the Dad replied.  “I am surprised that you don’t look very discouraged.”

“Discouraged?” the boy replied with a puzzled look on his face.  “Why should we be discouraged?  We haven’t been up to bat yet!”   …  Just as pessimism erodes our ability to deal successfully with change, so does optimism enhance it.”   (Jim Clemmer, Leaders Inspire Their Teams with Optimism)



“I tried to teach my child with books.  He gave me only puzzled looks.

I tried to teach my child with words.  They passed him by, often unheard.

Despairingly, I turned aside, ‘How shall I teach this child?’  I cried.

‘Come,’ he said, ‘Play with me!”   (Unknown Author)



“You just have to decide if you’re a Tigger or an Eeyore.”   (Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture)



“Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.”   (William James)



“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”   (Walt Disney)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  

“We Are the Champions / We Can Make the World a Better Place”

“I believe you make your day.  You make your life.  So much of it is all perception, and this is the form that I built for myself.  I have to accept it and work within those compounds, and it’s up to me.”   (Brad Pitt)



“There are countless ways of achieving greatness, but any road to achieving one’s maximum potential must be built on a bedrock of respect for the individual, a commitment to excellence, and a rejection of mediocrity.”   (Buck Rogers)



“Winners take time to relish their work, knowing that scaling the mountain is what makes the view from the top so exhilarating.”   (Denis Waitley)



“Champions aren’t made in gyms.  Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, a vision.  They have to have the skill, and the will.  But the will must be stronger than the skill.”   (Muhammad Ali)



“I hated every minute of training, but I said, don’t quit.  Suffer now and live the rest of your life a champion.”   (Muhammad Ali)



“The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, learn about them, or even seriously consider them as believable or achievable.  Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.”   (Denis Waitley)



“Respect your efforts, respect yourself.  Self-respect leads to self-discipline.  When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.”   (Clint Eastwood)



‘We Are the Champions’

“I’ve paid my dues

Time after time

I’ve done my sentence

But committed no crime

And bad mistakes

I’ve made a few

I’ve had my share of sand kicked to my face

But I’ve come through

And I need to go on, and on, and on, and on

We are the champions, my friends

And we’ll keep on fighting till the end

We are the champions

We are the champions

No time for losers

‘Cause we are the champions

Of the world

I’ve taken my bows

And my curtain calls

You brought me fame and fortune

And everything that goes with it

I thank you all

But it’s been no bed of roses

No pleasure cruise

I consider it a challenge before the whole human race

And I’d never lose

And I need to go on, and on, and on, and on…”  (‘We Are the Champions’ song lyrics by Queen)



“After the cheers have died down and the stadium is empty, after the headlines have been written and after you are back in the quiet of your room and the championship ring has been placed on the dresser and all the pomp and fanfare has faded, the enduring things that are left are:  the dedication to excellence, the dedication to victory, and the dedication to doing with our lives the very best we can to make the world a better place in which to live.”   (Vince Lombardi)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  

“What’s That Sound? The Rustle of Super Bowl Week”

Taking a break from the usual ‘catalyst quotes,’ I have some quotes in light of today’s Super Bowl.  Enjoy!


“What was that sound?  That rustling noise?  It could be heard in the icy North, where there was not one leaf left upon one tree, it could be heard in the South, where the crinoline skirts lay deep in the mothballs, as still and quiet as wool.  It could be heard from sea to shining sea, o’er purple mountains’ majesty and upon the fruited plain.  What was it?  Why, it was the rustle of thousands of bags of potato chips being pulled from supermarket racks; it was the rustle of plastic bags being filled with beer and soda pop and quarts of hard liquor; it was the rustle of newspaper pages fanning as readers turned eagerly to the sports section; it was the rustle of currency changing hands as tickets were scalped for forty times their face value and two hundred and seventy million dollars were waged upon one or the other of two professional football teams.  It was the rustle of Super Bowl week…”    (Tom Robbins)



“What does it mean to be the best?  It means you have to be better than the number two guy. But what gratification is there in that?  He’s a loser—that’s why he’s number two.”   (Jarod Kintz, This Book is Not for Sale)



“I wanted a normal life, but normal was as foreign to me as a super bowl ring was to Tony Romo.”  (Angela McPerson, Hope’s Decree)



“Your life is not a movie, Pat.  Life is not a movie.  You’re an Eagles fan.  After watching so many NFL seasons without a Super Bowl, you should know that real life often ends poorly.”   (Matthew Quick)



“Anyone who thinks women talk too much has never sat through a six hour Super Bowl pre-game show.”   (Nora Barry)


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