31 Epic Mental Toughness Quotes

In case you missed it, Iron Octopus Fitness has named May #mentaltoughnessmonth.

To be fair, this may already exist. It might be in a different month. Who knows?

The point is that for me (and a lot of roller derby athletes) May is the kick-off to the official season.

  • The Big O is in May and features the first big head-to-head match-ups of some of the top teams in the world.
  • Several teams train hard for the first 4 months of the year to hit the ground skating in May and increasing their rankings.
  • Lower ranked teams on the margins of tournament rankings have been putting up impressive stats already this year.

Basically, the pressure is on.

But you’ve got to keep to keep your head in the game, your eye on the prize, etc., etc., if you want to make the most of your May. Here’s a compilation of mental toughness quotes to come back to — one for each day of the month — when you need to shore up your defenses for a particularly brutal game.

Or just a rough day at the office:

  1. “[The game] is 90% mental, the other half is physical.” YOGI BERRA
  2. Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” MICHAEL JORDAN
  3. “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” VINCENT VAN GOGH
  4. “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” ELEANOR ROOSEVELT
  5. “But failure has to be an option in art and in exploration — because it’s a leap of faith. And no important endeavor that required innovation was done without risk. You have to be willing to take those risks.” JAMES CAMERON
  6. “I failed my way to success.” THOMAS EDISON
  7. Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” ARTHUR ASHE
  8. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?” MARIANNE WILLIAMSON
  9. “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” DALE CARNEGIE
  10. “I really think a champion is defined not by their wins but by how they can recover when they fall.” SERENA WILLIAMS
  11. Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it.” MIA HAMM
  12. “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you will do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” LOU HOLTZ
  13. “Competing is like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t quit when you’re tired. You quit when the gorilla is tired.” ALAN STEIN
  14. “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” WAYNE GRETZKY
  15. “It ain’t about how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.” ROCKY BALBOA
  16. “We may encounter many defeats, but we must never be defeated.” MAYA ANGELOU
  17. “When you’re riding, only the race in which you’re riding is important.” BILL SHOEMAKER
  18. “There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you.” DEREK JETER
  19. “You don’t drown by falling in the water, you drown by staying there.” EDWIN COLE
  20. Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
  21. “Winners build on mistakes. Losers dwell on them.” ARNOLD MORI
  22. “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.” VERNON LAW
  23. “If you can’t accept losing, you can’t win.” VINCE LOMBARDI
  24. “Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.”  PETER MCINTYRE
  25. “Nothing will work unless you do.”  JOHN WOODEN
  26. “I figure practice puts your brains in your muscles.” SAM SNEAD
  27. “Luck? Sure. But only after long practice and only with the ability to think under pressure.” BABE DIDRIKSON ZAHARIAS
  28. “That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing itself is changed, but that our power to do is increased.” HEBER GRANT
  29. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” ARISTOTLE
  30. “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” BUDDHA
  31. “It is what it is. But it will be what you make it.” PAT SUMMITT

Remember, whether your sport is played on a track, field, or court, it’s really played between your ears.

Want more?

The 5-week solution to getting out of your head, building your confidence, and keeping your focus where you need it.

Here’s how it’s going to shake out:

  • #mindsetmonday → I’ll be giving you a mindset focus for the week. Something that you can carry over into your life, your job, your training, and/or your athletic practice.
  • #walkthewalkwednesday → On Wednesdays, we wear pink. And put into practice a specific tool to work on the mindset focus for the week.
  • #followupfriday → Get ready to reflect on how you did. You won’t ever have to share (unless you want to) but part of improving your mental toughness and mindset will be evaluating how things went.

Grab the Mental Toughness Manual by signing up below!


About IronOctopusFitness

Online athletic training and nutrition coach, full-time mom, okay skater, and connoisseur of all things tea, chocolate, and roller derby. I'll help you unleash your inner athlete by building a strong, capable body that can withstand whatever life throws at you.

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