12 Quotes that Encourage Excellence
Excellence is sometimes confused with perfection. In my opinion, perfection does not exist in the human realm. Instead of focusing on the "perfect" we need to focus on being the best version of ourselves that we can possibly be. This is going to be different for each one of us and may even vary from day to day. However, the more we push ourselves toward greatness, the sooner we will arrive.
Here are twelve quotes that encourage excellence. From ancient philosophers and tenured coaches, to today's stars, excellence is believed to be an ongoing process that is attainable through hard work and constant discipline.
1. John Wooden
"It takes time to create excellence. If it could be done quickly, more people would do it."
"Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives - choice, not chance, determines your destiny."
3. Vince Lombardi
"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."
4. Simone Biles
"You make your own luck. You make it in training."
5. Deepak Chopra
"I often say 'pursue excellence, ignore success.' Success is a by-product of excellence."
6. Walter Payton
"When you're good at something, you'll tell everyone. When you're great at something, they'll tell you."
7. Michael Jordan
"Excellence isn't a one-week or one-year ideal. It is constant."
8. Maya Angelou
"Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it."
9. Jerry Rice
"Today do what others won't so tomorrow you can accomplish what others can't."
10. John Wooden
"Make each day your masterpiece."
11. John W Gardner
"Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well."
12. Ralph Marston
"Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude."
Tips for Teaching Excellence
Excellence is a continuous process with no ending destination. It is a mindset - one that is achieved through belief in the Growth Mindset. When we introduce our athletes to both concepts, they are really nothing more than that - ideas. However, if we start at a young age, the pursuit of excellence becomes engrained.
1. Point out that hard work pays off.
Have you had a student study for a spelling test and come home with a 100%? What about an athlete that has been struggling to learn a new skill or technique that finally gets it? Pointing out that it is the child's hard work that allowed them to accomplish their goal teaches the growth mindset. Now, take it one step further and help them set another goal that has to do with improving their first success. Teaching that success is never final instills the importance of excellence.
2. Reward best effort.
Excellence looks different to each individual and will look different on your team, in your classroom, and even at home. Each person needs to learn to push himself toward greatness. Eliminating comparisons to others and instead focusing on self-improvement will encourage the concept of excellence.
3. Have high expectations in all areas
Excellence is not just about standing out in one area. Make it a part of every day life. Set high expectations at home and teach children to take pride in the little things. From using nice handwriting on homework to making the bed neatly, striving for excellence in all areas helps bring up performance as a whole.