140 Lou Holtz Quotes on Teamwork and Leadership

If you are searching for the best Lou Holtz quotes to help you tackle losing and winning a game, you’ve just come to the right place.

In this collection, we’ve compiled 140 of his inspirational and motivational quotes.

We hope that you’ll learn a lot from these famous lines about teamwork, leadership, success and more.

Louis Leo Holtz, also known as Lou Holtz was an American football player, coach, and analyst.

He was the lead football coach of different universities, one of them was the University of Notre Dame.

He is also the only coach to guide 4 different programs to the final top 20 rankings and as well as to lead 6 different programs to bowl games. 

Let’s check the full list here.

Best Lou Holtz Quotes

1. “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”

2. “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”

3. “We can all be successful and make money, but when we die, that ends. But when you are significant is when you help other people be successful. That lasts many a lifetime.”

4. “Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.”

5. “When all is said and done, more is said than done.”

6. “I never learn anything talking. I only learn things when I ask questions.”

7. “My philosophy in life is, ‘Decide what you want to do. You have to have something to hope for.’”

8. “You’re never as good as everyone tells you when you win, and you’re never as bad as they say when you lose.”

9. “Don’t be a spectator, don’t let life pass you by.”

10. “Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.”

11. “I can’t believe that God put us on this earth to be ordinary.”

12. “Don’t tell your problems to people. Eighty percent don’t care, and the other twenty percent are glad you have them.”

13. “Remember. Every day, some ordinary person does something extraordinary. Today, it’s your turn.”

14. “I follow three rules—do the right thing, do the best you can, and always show people you care.”

Famous Lou Holtz Quotes

15. “Do right. Do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated.”

16. “If what you did yesterday seems big, you haven’t done anything today.”

17. “There’s nothing in this world more instinctively abhorrent to me than finding myself in agreement with my fellow-humans.”

18. “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.”

19. “In life, be a participant, not a spectator.”

20. “If you burn your neighbors house down, it doesn’t make your house look any better.”

21. “No one has ever drowned in sweat.”

22. “I think that we have opportunities all around us. Sometimes, we just don’t recognize them.”

23. “I just have an enthusiasm for life.”

24. “Everyone goes through adversity in life, but what matters is how you learn from it.”

Inspirational Lou Holtz Quotes

25. “You’ll never get ahead of anyone as long as you try to get even with him.”

26. “Don’t ever promise more than you can deliver, but always deliver more than you promise.”

27. “Nothing on this earth is standing still. It’s either growing or it’s dying. No matter if it’s a tree or a human being.”

28. “God answers prayers, but he doesn’t always answer it your way.”

29. “You were not born a winner, and you were not born a loser. You are what you make yourself be.”

30. “Don’t run if you can walk. Don’t walk if you can stand. Don’t stand if you can sit. Don’t sit if you can lie down.”

31. “Winners embrace hard work. They love the discipline of it, the trade-off they’re making to win. Losers, on the other hand, see it as punishment. And that’s the difference.”

32. “Virtually nothing is impossible in this world if you just put your mind to it and maintain a positive attitude.”

33. “I think that everybody needs four things in life. Everybody needs something to do regardless of age. Everybody needs someone to love. Everybody needs something to hope for. And of course, everybody needs someone to believe in.”

34. “Successful people will always tell you that you can do something. It’s the people who have never accomplished anything who will always discourage you from trying to achieve excellent things.”

35. “Making a big life change is pretty scary. But you know what’s even scarier? Regret.”

36. “If you’re bored with life, you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things. You don’t have enough goals.”

37. “The greatest power God gave us is the power to choose. We have the opportunity to choose whether we’re going to act or procrastinate, believe or doubt, pray or curse, help or heal. We also choose whether we’re going to be happy or whether we’re going to be sad.”

38. “No matter what happens on the field, getting an education makes you a winner.”

39. “The answers to these questions will determine your success or failure. ‘1. Can people trust me to do what’s right? 2. Am I committed to doing my best? 3. Do I care about other people and show it?’ If the answers to these questions are yes, there is no way you can fail.”

Lou Holtz Quotes on Attitude, Discipline and Success

40. “Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period.”

41. “It’s good to be successful but it’s great to be significant.”

42. “Only the unprepared are overcome by pressure.”

43. “How you respond to the challenge in the second half will determine what you become after the game, whether you are a winner or a loser.”

44. “I’ve never known anybody to achieve anything without overcoming adversity.”

45. “Everyone wants to win on Saturday afternoon when the game is played. It’s what you do the other six days that decides the outcome.”

46. “Everybody is looking for instant success, but it doesn’t work that way. You build a successful life one day at a time.”

47. “Remember that adversity presents us with numerous possibilities for success, if we are just willing to see them.”

48. “You aren’t going to find anybody that’s going to be successful without making a sacrifice and without perseverance.”

49. “In a successful organization, no detail is too small to escape close attention.”

Motivational Lou Holtz Quotes

50. “Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated.”

51. “You’ve got to make a sincere attempt to have the right goals to begin with, then go after them with appropriate effort, and remember that you can’t really achieve anything great without the help of others.”

52. “Don’t tell me how rocky the sea is, just bring the darn ship in.”

53. “You must have dreams and goals if you are ever going to achieve anything in this world.”

54. “Never settle for second when first is available.”

55. “Whenever you give up something, you must replace it with something.”

56. “You might not be able to outthink, outmarket or outspend your competition. But you can outwork them.”

57. “If you try to fight the course, it will beat you.”

58. “It’s always better to face the truth, no matter how uncomfortable than to continue coddling a lie.”

59. “For victory in life, we’ve got to keep focused on the goal, and the goal is Heaven.”

Lou Holtz Quotes on Teamwork, Leadership, and Coaching

60. “Teamwork is the foundation of success. The three universal questions that an individual asks of his coach, player, employee, employer are—can I trust you? Are you committed to excellence? And, do you care about me?”

61. “On this team, we’re all united in a common goal—to keep my job.”

62. “I won’t accept anything less than the best a player’s capable of doing, and he has the right to expect the best that I can do for him and the team!”

63. “You’ve got to have great athletes to win, I don’t care who the coach is. You can’t win without good athletes but you can lose with them. This is where coaching makes the difference.”

64. “The standards you establish for others must reflect the standards you set for yourself. No one will follow a hypocrite.”

65. “Football coaches don’t have real problems.”

66. “A lifetime contract for a coach means if you’re ahead in the third quarter and moving the ball, they can’t fire you.”

67. “I do think coaches need to get away from the game more, though. It’s good for them.”

68. “Coaching is nothing more than eliminating mistakes before you get fired.”

69. “As a coach, one thing that used to frustrate me was, one player would make a bad decision, and that’s all you would read about in the papers all over the country. We have so many athletes do so many wonderful things for other people, and you never read about it.”

70. “Had I been a great athlete, I’m not sure I would have even gone into coaching. I may have turned out feeling that my life ended when my athletic career ended, as happens so many times with various athletes.”

71. “With his optimism and with the new enthusiasm that a new coach always brings, I think he can take it to the championship level, and I will be surprised if he doesn’t win the championship. Not that it will be easy, but he’s a very talented individual.”

Lou Holtz Quotes About Problems and Life

72. “Remember, if you have a problem, it’s your problem. Solve it. Don’t blame other people. Don’t burden people with your complaints.”

73. “When people need love and understanding and support the most is when they deserve it the least.”

74. “The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely the one who dropped it.”

75. “It is a fine thing to have the ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test.”

76. “Winners and losers aren’t born, they are the products of how they think.”

77. “The problem with having a sense of humor is often that people you use it on aren’t in a very good mood.”

78. “Adversity is another way to measure the greatness of individuals. I never had a crisis that didn’t make me stronger.”

79. “You will never be indecisive if you know your purpose.”

80. “Nothing is as good as it seems, and nothing is as bad as it seems. Somewhere in between lies reality.”

81. “Everybody wants to talk about their rights and privileges. Twenty-five years ago, people talked about their obligations and responsibilities.”

82. “We aren’t where we want to be. We aren’t where we ought to be. But thank goodness we aren’t where we used to be.”

83. “I think everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career. You learn a lot from it.”

84. “I think life is a matter of choices and that wherever we are, good or bad, is because of choices we make.

85. “Underconfidence breeds underachievement.”

86 .“There are certain things in this world we all have in common such as time. Everybody has 60 seconds to a minute, 60 minutes to an hour, 24 hours to a day. The difference is what we do with that time and how we use it.”

Funny Lou Holtz Quotes

87. “We were at a beach one summer, and I had a bathing suit on. My wife looked at me and said, ‘Boy, you are skinny, aren’t you?’ I said, ‘Honey, I’d like to remind you that it was minor defects like this that kept me from getting a better wife.’”

88. “I look like I have beriberi and scurvy.”

89. “When the bank asks me about my assets, I include my friendship with Regis Philbin.”

Lou Holtz Quotes on God

90. “God knows what’s best for us, though, so there’s no need to worry when things don’t go how we originally wanted them to go.”

91. “The key to winning is choosing to do God’s will and loving others with all you’ve got.”

92. “Sacrifice, discipline, and prayer are essential. We gain strength through God’s word. We receive grace from the sacrament. And when we fumble due to sin—and it’s gonna happen, confession puts us back on the field.”

93. “God looks after children, animals and idiots.”

94. “I feel that God wants me to coach; otherwise, he wouldn’t have put the desire in me.”

95. “The Sisters of Notre Dame at St. Aloysius Grade School influenced my life tremendously. This was due to the fact that they encouraged you always to make sure that God is the focus of your life, and they didn’t allow you to do anything except to the very best of your ability.”

96. “I used to pray that God would make me a great athlete, and He never did.”

Lou Holtz Quotes About Notre Dame and Football

97. “You don’t go to Notre Dame to learn something, you go to Notre Dame to be somebody.”

98. “Notre Dame is the one school that has a national recruiting base, from Florida to Texas to California.”

99. “I’m an old man, and all my life I’ve said that Notre Dame should remain independent because it’s a national school.”

100. “The University of Notre Dame does not redshirt, and I endorse that policy completely. I am very much in favor of redshirting, but not at Notre Dame. But there’s no doubt about it. It puts us at a huge disadvantage.”

101. “If you look at the history of Notre Dame, if you hire a coach who’s been successful at another college program, they’re going to be ultra successful at Notre Dame because the talent will always be there.”

102. “I truly believe the things Notre Dame stands for.”

103. “In football, it’s the job of the player to play, the coach to coach, the official to officiate. Each guy is charged with upholding his end, nothing more. In golf, the player, coach, and official are rolled into one, and they overlap completely. Golf really is the best microcosm of life—or at least the way life should be.”

104. “If Tiger Woods had played football, he would have been a quarterback.”

105. “I don’t think there’s been anything in the game of football in my lifetime that has changed college football more than redshirting.”

106. “If he’s got golf clubs in his truck or a camper in his driveway, I don’t hire him.”

107. “An agent won’t help you get drafted higher, won’t make you win more games, and won’t make you faster or stronger.”

108. “All an agent is going to do is buy things for a player, damage his eligibility, and make the player dependent on them.”

109. “If you made me the national commissioner of football, I’d tell you one thing that I would mandate. The second Saturday in September, we’re going to have a conference day. Everybody from the SEC plays a Big 12 team. Everybody from the Big Ten is going to play the ACC. Everybody from the Big East is going to play the Pac-10.”

110. “I haven’t seen anything that would compare to the anxiety of the game.”

Lou Holtz Quotes About His Life, Wife, and Family

111. “I’m so old, I don’t buy green bananas any more.”

112. “I don’t drink water, I haven’t drank water in 40 years.”

113. “When I left the University of Notre Dame, I honestly felt I would never coach again.”

114. “At age nine, I got a paper route. Sixty-six papers had to be delivered to sixty-six families every day. I also had to collect thirty cents a week from each customer. I owed the paper twenty cents per customer per week and got to keep the rest. When I didn’t collect, the balance came out of my profit. My average income was six dollars a week.”

115. “At home, I have a copy of the April 21, 1986, issue of ‘Sports Illustrated.’ I’m on the cover with the blurb, ‘Can Lou Do It?’ I’d just arrived at Notre Dame, and with spring football underway, I was the focal point of that week’s coverage.”

116. “I was raised in a religious environment, and my wife is one of the more religious people that I have ever known.”

117. “Our cellar home had a kitchen and a combination bedroom and half bath, which meant we had a sink next to the bed. We had no refrigerator, no shower or tub, and no privacy. My parents shared the bedroom with my sister and me.”

118. “My wife doesn’t even want to spend 2 hours with me.”

119. “I was born January 6, 1937—eight years after Wall Street crashed and two years before  John Steinbeck published The Grapes of Wrath, his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the plight of a family during the Great Depression.”

120. “My first assistant-coaching job in football was at William & Mary in 1961. The pay wasn’t much, so to get $300 more per year, I agreed to coach the golf team. I didn’t even know how to keep score, and really, my main job was not to wreck the van on the way to tournaments.”

121. “One thing about me is I try to be honest.”

122. “I was raised as a Catholic on both sides of the family. I went to a Catholic grade school and thought everybody in the country was Catholic because that’s all I ever was associated with.”

123. “I have to admit, I sometimes wonder how much more successful I would have been as a coach had it not been for my spending summers on the golf course. I could have watched more films, that’s for sure. One advantage Joe Paterno had over me was that he didn’t play golf.”

124. “I’m proud to be part of the Dr. Pepper Scholarship Giveaway. It’s a great program that gives me the chance to brighten the day for some lucky college students with free tuition.”

125. “I have no desire at all to become the winningest coach at Notre Dame. The record belongs to Knute Rockne or some other coach in the future.”

More Lou Holtz Quotes

126. “How do you know what it’s like to be stupid if you’ve never been smart?” 

127.  “I’ll assure you this—I will have nothing to do with politics.”

128. “If you’ve been there, no explanation is necessary. If you haven’t, none is adequate.”

129. “I don’t play well enough to be allowed to throw my clubs.”

130. “The only people who aren’t going to be criticized are those who do absolutely nothing.”

131. “I give opinions, not advice.”

132. “I’m not a disciplinarian. I simply enforce other people’s decisions.”

133. “To win a national championship, you’ve got to be a little lucky.”

134. “I believe that having a spiritual life is so important in everybody’s life.”

135. “I believe we all pay taxes. I’m happy to pay it, but I hate to have it abused, money wasted, no accountability. That’s going to bother you.”

136. “I don’t exercise.”

137. “When I work a game as an analyst, all I do is look at the game like a coach.”

138. “I believe in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.”

139. “I look at athletes in all sports and try to picture what kind of football player they’d be, what position they’d play and so on.”

140. “When I die, and people realize that I will not be resurrected in three days, they will forget me. That is the way it should be.”

Did Lou Holtz Teach You How to Become a Winner?

In every success that a person achieves, there is a humble beginning. Most of us started in small beginnings before we arrived at the peak.

At the beginning of his coaching career, Lou Holtz worked as a graduate assistant at Iowa. After winning a national championship with his help, he was then hired as a head coach by the College of William and Mary. His longest stay as a coach was at the University of Notre Dame for ten years and in 2008, Holtz was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

Lou Holtz’s coaching career taught us that it’s fine if we start at the beginning—not just in our career, but in all aspects of our life. In the long run, we gain experience that will help us become masters of what we do, making us an expert.

Do you have something to add from Lou Holtz? Which of these quotes is your favorite? Please add them in the comment section.

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Karen Danao

Hi, I’m Karen, a content curator and writer for Quote Ambition; I’m also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, I’m someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics I love writing about! However, my true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

With the many places I’ve been to, I found that love, inspiration, and happiness are some things that bring people together. No matter how different we are on the outside, I’m a true believer that our emotions don’t lie; if you dig deep into our psyche, we’re all the same inside.

This belief was further amplified when I joined Quote Ambition. Through the quotes I’ve read, collected, organized, and written about, I found that humans are resilient, creative, and compassionate.

We take from each others’ hearts and courage, and it’s through our individual experiences that we learn how to rise above our challenges and pain. In so many ways, Quote Ambition is a platform that allows people from all over the world to gain the inspiration they need anytime, anywhere!

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