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  • Colin Jonov

28 Lessons for Turning 28 Years Old

First of all, Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there. Being a father will always be the greatest thing I ever do. No athletic feat or business accomplishment will ever outweigh being a dad. Now, I turn 28 this Tuesday. So here’s 28 of my favorite sports quotes that challenges you to move the needle forward.

  1. “The only way to prove you are a good sport is to lose.” — Ernie Banks

Explanation: True character is revealed in how we handle defeat, not just victory.

2. “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.” — Vince Lombardi

Explanation: The desire to strive for excellence is more crucial than the end result itself.

3. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” — Wayne Gretzky

Explanation: Regret often comes more from the shots that you don’t take rather than from the shots you miss.

4. “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.” — Vince Lombardi

Explanation: No matter what happens. Regardless of how painful. Just get back up. It gives you a chance.

5. “Champions keep playing until they get it right.” — Billie Jean King

Explanation: A lot of things have to go right to be a champion. One of the most common is champions simply never quit.

6. “The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory.” — Les Brown

Explanation: Fall in love with adversity. When you win, it’ll feel that much sweeter. Trust me.

7. “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” — Michael Jordan

Explanation: Embracing failure as a part of the learning process is underrated. You don’t have to like failure. In fact, you should hate it. However, you need to fail in order to succeed.

8. “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” — John Wooden

Explanation: Lean on your strengths and capabilities rather than being hindered by limitations. Find what’s unique to you

9. “It’s not the will to win that matters — everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” — Paul “Bear” Bryant

Explanation: Preparation and hard work are the foundations of success, not just the desire to win. 99% of confidence comes from preparation.

10. “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.” — Tommy Lasorda

Explanation: It’s only crazy until someone does it. Be an outlier.

11. “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” — Pelé

Explanation: Sometimes we make things more complicated than they are. Success stems from a combination of dedication, passion, and continuous effort.

12. “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” — Phil Jackson

Explanation: The team needs the individual and the individual needs the team. This is something lost a little bit in today’s society. The power of “we” will take you further than just “me.”

13. “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” — Mark Twain

Explanation: Personal mantra since I was always shorter than the competition. Be relentless.

14. “Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.” — Pat Riley

Explanation: Consistent effort and the pursuit of improvement regardless of the outcome lead to excellence over time.

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

Explanation: If you’re humble enough in defeat, each failure offers a lesson that contributes to future success.

16. “Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.” — William Arthur Ward

Explanation: We are often defined by how we handle adversity. Life isn’t fair or created equal. Stop measuring who has it worse and go shatter all expectations.

17. “If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it.” — Ronnie Lott

Explanation: Our mindset is one of our greatest assets. In order to achieve something that’s never been done, it requires an unrelenting belief in ourselves.

18. “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” — Vince Lombardi

Explanation: Hard work is a prerequisite for success, there’s really no shortcuts.

19. “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” — Babe Ruth

Explanation: Fear of failure is normal. Learning to overcome that fear will separate you from your peers.

20. “You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.” — Michael Phelps

Explanation: Ambitious dreams push us to achieve beyond perceived limitations. Aim for the impossible and let your work ethic reflect your ambition.

21. “A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.” — Jack Dempsey

Explanation: True champions persist and rise even when it seems impossible. Always. Get. Up.

22. “Sports do not build character. They reveal it.” — Heywood Broun

Explanation: Sports are the closest metaphor to life there is. Full of failure and disappointment. Yet, full of successes and excitement. How you conduct yourself in victory and defeat matters.

23. “Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.” — Bo Jackson

Explanation: Not everyone will understand you. Few will support you. Push forward anyways. They can’t see what you can see.

24. “Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.” — Mike Singletary

Explanation: Don’t forget what a blessing it is simply to play the game. Don’t take it for granted, it’ll be gone before you know it.

25. “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.” — Jerry Rice

Explanation: Extraordinary effort today leads to exceptional outcomes tomorrow. It’s a lonely road on the mountain tops. Be relentless in your pursuit.

26. “Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.” — John Wooden

Explanation: It doesn’t matter how much you’ve accomplished if you’re accomplishing below your capabilities. Don’t beat up on competition less than you. Challenge yourself.

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

Explanation: If your goal isn’t to be the best then what’s the point? There’s only one “best” in the world. However, striving to be the best will bring out your best.

28. “You’re never a loser until you quit trying.” — Mike Ditka

Explanation: Persistence in the face of adversity is what prevents failure from becoming final. Most winners simply didn’t quit when everyone else did.

To Building Fortitude.

Best Regards,

Colin Jonov, Founder & CEO Athletic Fortitude

If this exploration resonated with you, become a part of our newsletter community. Together, we journey through the realms of thought, performance, and personal excellence.

P.S. Want to share your experiences or challenges with us? Reply to this newsletter or connect with me on social media @ColkyJonov10. I’m here to support you on your journey!

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