Brown and Black Wilson Football Photo

120+ Best Vince Lombardi Quotes to Encourage Determination, Hard Work, and Success

Famous football coach, Vince Lombardi, was born on June 11th, 1913 in Brooklyn, New York. Raised in a strict Italian-Catholic household as the oldest of five, Lombardi left home at 15 to pursue priesthood at Cathedral College of Immaculate Conception. Two years later he decided to change paths, transferring to St. Francis Preparatory School where he starred as the fullback on the football team. He then went on to study and play football at Fordham University where he graduated magna cum laude. He found work at a finance company after graduation while also attending law school at night, but soon realized he wanted to continue pursuing his passion for football.

His coaching career began at St. Cecilia High School in New Jersey where he taught and acted as the assistant coach for the football team. During this time, he started a family, marrying Marie Planitz in 1940 with whom he bore two children, Vince Jr., and Susan. After eight years at St. Cecilia, Lombardi took an offer to be the head coach at his alma mater, Fordham University. From there he moved up to be the coach at West Point University and soon after, as an NFL coach for the Giants. During his time coaching the Giants, Lombardi established himself as one of the most desirable coaches in the league, leading them to 5 winning seasons and a league championship in 1956.

After spending a few years with the Giants, Lombardi signed a contract in 1959 to become the new coach for the Green Bay Packers. His regimented coaching style and knack for encouragement and inspiration helped him to turn the Packers into an envied team. During Lombardi’s years as their coach, he led them to five NFL championship wins and victories in both SuperBowl I and Superbowl II. After his many accolades, Lombardi took a year off from coaching, then returned in 1969 as a coach for the Washington Redskins. He led the Redskins to their first winning season in a decade but sadly these last wins would mark the end of Lombardi’s coaching career. In June of 1970, Vince Lombardi was diagnosed with an aggressive form of colon cancer, causing his death a short ten weeks later on September 3rd, 1970 at the age of 57.

Vince Lombardi’s death saddened many, attracting thousands to attend his funeral. His legacy continues to live on as he is still widely regarded as the best football coach in history, bringing on his entrance to the Professional Football Hall of Fame on July 31st, 1971, and dedication of his name on each Super Bowl trophy. Discover a popular Vince Lombardi quote below to share with friends, family, and all football lovers.

Vince Lombardi Quotes on Leadership, Teamwork, and Friendship

“People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses or the problems of modern society.”

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

“In order to succeed, this group will need a singleness of purpose, they will need dedication, and they will have to convince all of their prospects of the willingness to sacrifice.”

“A leader must identify himself with the group, must back up the group, even at the risk of displeasing superiors. He must believe that the group wants from him a sense of approval. If this feeling prevails, production, discipline, morale will be high, and in return, you can demand the cooperation to promote the goals of the community.”

“I’ve been in football all my life, gentlemen, and I don’t know whether I’m particularly qualified to be a part of anything else, except I consider it a great game, a game of many assets, by the way, and I think a symbol of what this country’s best attributes are: courage and stamina and a coordinated efficiency or teamwork.”

“A disciplined person is one who follows the will of the one who gives the orders.”

“Leadership rests not only upon ability, not only upon capacity; having the capacity to lead is not enough. The leader must be willing to use it. His leadership is then based on truth and character. There must be truth in the purpose and will power in the character.”

“Leadership is based on a spiritual quality; the power to inspire, the power to inspire others to follow.”

“Leadership is not just one quality, but rather a blend of many qualities; and while no one individual possesses all of the needed talents that go into leadership, each man can develop a combination to make him a leader.”

“The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”

“The leader can never close the gap between himself and the group. If he does, he is no longer what he must be. He must walk a tightrope between the consent he must win and the control he must exert.”

“It is essential to understand that battles are primarily won in the hearts of men. Men respond to leadership in a most remarkable way and once you have won his heart, he will follow you anywhere.”

“Build for your team a feeling of oneness, of dependence on one another, and of strength to be derived by unity.”

“Teamwork is what the Green Bay Packers were all about. They didn’t do it for individual glory. They did it because they loved one another.”

“They call it coaching but it is teaching. You do not just tell them…you show them the reasons.”

“No leader, however great, can long continue unless he wins battles. The battle decides all.”

Vince Lombardi Quotes to Encourage Hard Work and Motivation

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”

“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.”

“There is no substitute for work.”

“Once a man has made a commitment to a way of life, he puts the greatest strength in the world behind him. It’s something we call heart power. Once a man has made this commitment, nothing will stop him short of success.”

“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.”

“Success is like anything worthwhile. It has a price. You have to pay the price to win and you have to pay the price to get to the point where success is possible. Most important, you must pay the price to stay there.”

“To achieve success, whatever the job we have, we must pay a price.”

“We run to win, not just to be in the race.”

“I’ve never known a man worth his salt who, in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline.”

“There is only one kind of discipline, and that is the perfect discipline. As a leader, you must enforce and maintain that discipline; otherwise, you will fail at your job.”

“There is something good in men that really yearn for discipline.”

“The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything. It’s your mind you have to convince.”

“There’s only one way to succeed in anything, and that is to give it everything. I do, and I demand that my players do.”

Vince Lombardi Quotes on Growth and Facing Adversity

“The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That’s real glory. That’s the essence of it.”

“A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive, and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.”

“It’s easy to have faith in yourself and have discipline when you’re a winner, when you’re number one. What you’ve got to have is faith and discipline when you’re not yet a winner.”

“We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time.”

“The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.”

“If you can’t shrug off a loss, you can’t be a winner.”

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”

“To the winner, there is 100-percent elation, 100-percent fun, 100-percent laughter; and yet the only thing left to the loser is resolution and determination.”

“Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later, the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.”

“If you can accept losing you can’t win. If you can walk you can run. No one is ever hurt. Hurt is in your mind.”

“Once you agree upon the price you and your family must pay for success, it enables you to ignore the minor hurts, the opponent’s pressure, and the temporary failures.”

“We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible.”

“Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off of the goal.”

“If you’ll not settle for anything less than your best, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in your lives.”

“Inches make champions.”

“The difference between men is in energy, in the strong will, in the settled purpose, and in the invincible determination.”

“Second place is meaningless. You can’t always be first, but you have to believe that you should have been– that you were never beaten– that time just ran out on you.”

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”

“In great attempts, it is glorious even to fail.”

Wise Vince Lombardi Quotes on Life and Football

“Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult to explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self-denial. Also, most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in. It’s a state of mind– you could call it character in action.”

“Football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication, and respect for authority.”

“I would say that the quality of each man’s life is the full measure of that man’s commitment of excellence and victory – whether it be football, whether it be business, whether it be politics or government or what have you.”

“They’d better be physically tough when they start pulling on their football pants.”

“Go back through football, and you will see that the team with the best defense wins.”

“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle, victorious.”

“The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.”

“It is and has always been an American zeal to be first in everything we do, and to win…”

“I’ve never been with a losing team in my life, and I don’t think I’ll start now.”

“Some people try to find things in this game that don’t exist but football is only two things– blocking and tackling.”

“Winning is not a sometime thing, it is an all the time thing. You don’t do things right once in a while… you do them right all the time.”

“I’m not afraid to die– it’s just that I had so much left to do in this world.”

“Nobody wants to give up on good players.”

“People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”

“Morally, the life of the organization must be of exemplary nature. This is one phase where the organization must not have criticism.”

“All right Mister, let me tell you what winning means… you’re willing to go longer, work harder, give more than anyone else.”

“Winning isn’t everything– it’s the only thing.”

“Character is just another word for having a perfectly disciplined and educated will. A person can make his own character by blending these elements with an intense desire to achieve excellence. Everyone is different in what I will call magnitude, but the capacity to achieve character is still the same.”

“I’ll put the Packers’ best players on defense. It’s best for a team and good for its morale.”

“There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game and that is first place. I have finished second twice in my time at Green Bay and I never want to finish second again.”

“A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall.”

“To be successful, a man must exert an effective influence upon his brothers and upon his associates, and the degree in which he accomplishes this depends on the personality of the man. The incandescence of which he is capable. The flame of fire that burns inside of him. The magnetism which draws the heart of other men to him.”

“Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”

“Getting to the final is everything, and winning is icing on the cake.”

“Success is based upon a spiritual quality, a power to inspire others.”

“Mental toughness is essential to success.”

“Winning is not everything– but making the effort to win is.”

“Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”

“Coaches who can outline plays on a blackboard are a dime a dozen. The ones who win get inside their player and motivate.”

“Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of organization…”

“After all 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 after all the pomp and fanfare have faded, the enduring thing that is left is the dedication to doing with our lives the very best we can to make the world a better place in which to live.”

“Success demands singleness of purpose.”

“Every time a football player goes to ply his trade he’s got to play from the ground up — from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That’s okay. You’ve got to be smart to be number one in any business, but more importantly, you’ve got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you’re lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he’s never going to come off the field second.”

“Unless a man believes in himself and makes a total commitment to his career and puts everything he has into it– his mind, his body, his heart– what’s life worth to him?”

“The spirit, the will to win and the will to excel– these are the things what will endure and these are the qualities that are so much more important than any of the events themselves.”

“Most important of all, to be successful in life demands that a man make a personal commitment to excellence and to victory, even though the ultimate victory can never be completely won. Yet that victory might be pursued and wooed with every fiber of our body, with every bit of our might and all our effort. And each week, there is a new encounter; each day, there is a new challenge.”

“Confidence is contagious; so is lack of confidence.”

“Don’t succumb to excuses. Go back to the job of making the corrections and forming the habits that will make your goal possible.”

“Winning is a habit. Watch your thoughts, they become your beliefs. Watch your beliefs, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character.”

“You defeat defeatism with confidence.”

“Confidence is contagious and so is lack of confidence, and a customer will recognize both.”

“Football is a great deal like life in that it teaches that work, sacrifice, perseverance, competitive drive, selflessness and respect for authority is the price that each and every one of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”

“Brains without competitive hearts are rudderless.”

“Before I can embrace freedom, I should be aware of what duties I have.”

“Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!”

“Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.”

“The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur.”

“You never win a game unless you beat the guy in front of you. The score on the board doesn’t mean a thing. That’s for the fans. You’ve got to win the war with the man in front of you. You’ve got to get your man.”

“If you don’t think you’re a winner, you don’t belong here.”

“If it doesn’t matter who wins or loses, then why do they keep score?”

“The objective is to win: fairly, squarely, decently, win by the rules, but still win.”

“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.”

“If you aren’t fired up with enthusiasm, you’ll be fired with enthusiasm.”

“Teams do not go physically flat, they go mentally stale.”

“A team that thinks it’s going to lose is going to lose.”

“At many a moment on many a day, I am convinced that pro football must be a game for madmen, and I must be one of them.”

“Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.”

“Winners never quit and quitters never win.”

“Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will be judged by only one thing: the result.”

“Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”

“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.”

Vince Lombardi Quotes on Faith and Religion

“I believe in God.”

“I derived my strength from daily mass and communion.”

“When we place our dependence in God, we are unencumbered, and we have no worry. In fact, we may even be reckless, insofar as our part in the production is concerned. This confidence, this sureness of action, is both contagious and an aid to the perfect action. The rest is in the hands of God – and this is the same God, gentlemen, who has won all His battles up to now.”

“There are three things that are important to every man in this locker room. His God, his family, and the Green Bay Packers. In that order.”

“Faithfulness and truth are the most sacred excellences and endowments of the human mind.”

More Quotes:

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Katee is a lover of language and is in awe of the power it holds. Read more articles from Katee on Thought Catalog.

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