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200 Inspirational Swimming Quotes for Those Who Love Water and Sports

Last Updated: August 17, 2022 by Team

These swimming quotes will have you ready to dive into the water!

Swimming is an excellent hobby and a great way to stay in shape. Whether you dive into the ocean or wade into a pool, the essential aspect of swimming is that you have fun. Even if you’re a competitive swimmer who trains every day, there are still ways you can find joy and beauty in swimming.

There is nothing like some inspirational swimming quotes to fire you up when you feel like your swimming is going nowhere. When the going seems challenging, some powerful words can be just the motivation you need.

If you’re a swimmer, you’ll love these inspirational quotes about diving straight into the water. Whether you’re a coach, a team member, or a hobbyist, it’s important to remember never to give up.

200 Swimming Quotes on Water Sports

Top 10 Swimming Quotes

“Tonight was not about winning, it was about focusing on myself and what I was aiming to do. It’s the reason why I was able to swim so well.” – Libby Lenton

“To me, the sea is like a person – like a child that I’ve known a long time. It sounds crazy, I know, but when I swim in the sea, I talk to it. I never feel alone when I’m out there.” – Gertrude Ederle

“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead, you relax, and float.” – Alan Watts

“To give yourself the best possible chance of playing to your potential, you must prepare for every eventuality…” – Seve Ballesteros

“To achieve fitness one need not hit the gym. One can always opt for any sport: yoga, jog, swimming, and much more. The idea is to do something that not only burns calories but relieves stress as well.” – Milind Soman

“This life is like a swimming pool. You dive into the water, but you can’t see how deep it is.” – Dennis Rodman

“Things won’t go perfect. It’s all about how you adapt from those things and learn from mistakes.” – Michael Phelps

“There’s just something about that cold rush that I know I hate and a lot of other swimmers hate.” – Natalie Coughlin

“There is no substitute for hard work.” – Thomas Edison

“There are younger, stronger swimmers… I can’t influence what they do… I know how greedy I am to defend my title.” – Kirsty Coventry


Inspirational Swimming Quotes

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

“The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.”

“The brilliant thing about swimming is that, while you’re doing it, there’s nothing else you could be getting on with, like the ironing or sorting out the children. My mind goes into free-float mode; some of the best ideas for plots come into my head while I’m ploughing up and down the pool.” – Sophie Hannah

“The body does what the mind prefers.” – Lenny Krayzelburg

“The best swimmers are the ones that almost don’t try the most… It’s just about relaxing and enjoying it.” – Cate Campbell

“The best swimmers are the ones that almost don’t try the most… It’s just about relaxing and enjoying it.” – Cate Campbell

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.”

“Swimming was the opposite of panic attack. Fluid and calm and quiet.” – John Corey Whaley

“Swimming took up so much of my faculties, and for so long, I was willing to give it everything.” – Aaron Peirsol

“Swimming isn’t everything – winning is.” – Mark Spitz

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” – Missy Franklin

“You must stay focused on the end result to achieve your goals.” – Catherine Pulsifer

“You don’t want to line up on the blocks and know you have not done everything you possibly can.” – Stephanie Rice

“You don’t have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move.” – Alexandr Popov

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” – C.G. Jung

“You are always racing against the other swimmers, but I always try to just focus on what I’m doing and how I want to swim my races.” – Katie Ledecky

“Work hard in silence. Let your success make the noise.”

“Without goals, training has no direction.” – Natalie Coughlin

“Wins and losses come a dime a dozen. But effort, nobody can judge effort. Because effort is between you and you.” – Ray Lewis

“Winners see what they want to have happened…” – Grant Hackett

“While we are here we should set goals and achieve them, make the best of things, make others feel good about themselves, and be happy with what we are and what we are doing.” – Janet Evans

“While I’m swimming, I sing songs in my mind.” – Alexandr Popov

“Whether being battered by the surf or swimming through the gentle undulating surface of lakes, I find inspiration in the movement of water. Sometimes I think about the journey the water has traveled, reconnecting me to the larger cycles of nature.” – Janet Echelman

“When you’re racing you can’t hear anyone and you’re just in your head. It’s pretty cool to know that everything is just you and it’s just a mental game.” – Penny Oleksiak

“When you truly sing, you sing yourself free. When you truly dance, you dance yourself free. When you walk in the mountains or swim in the sea, again, you set yourself free.” – Jay Woodman

“I know I’ve made huge gains in my confidence and knowing more about my racing and myself as a person. That has made me a better athlete.” – Libby Lenton

“I knew I had all kinds of work to do and I left no stone unturned. But on the day I actually got to the Olympics there was this incredible, overwhelming, feeling that someone has to win this race and why not me?” – Mark Tewksbury

“I just felt like I can try to do something special.” – Chad Le Clos

“I don’t know if I practiced more than anybody, but I sure practiced enough. I still wonder if somebody — somewhere — was practicing more than me.” – Larry Bird

“I concentrate on preparing to swim my race and let the other swimmers think about me, not me about them.” – Amanda Beard

“I can’t imagine what I would be doing if I wasn’t swimming. It is what I want to do now; it is what I want to do in the foreseeable future, and that is what I’m focusing on.” – Cate Campbell

“I can’t control what everyone else swims but if all goes well I know there are no limits.” – Leisl Jones

“I am a firm believer that you don’t achieve greatness on your own. There is always someone there to lend a hand.” – Greg Louganis

“I always tell people, I’m a better swimmer because I’m a mom and a better mom because I’m a swimmer.” – Amanda Beard

“I actually love swimming but I just hate jumping in the water.” – Natalie Coughlin

“Have fun, because that’s what life is about.” – Ryan Lochte

“Great things never come from comfort zones.” – Penny Oleksiak

“Forever is composed of nows.” – Emily Dickinson

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” – Aristotle

“For myself, losing is not coming second. It’s getting out of the water knowing you could have done better. For myself, I have won every race I’ve been in.” – Ian Thorpe

“Focusing is about saying ‘No.’” – Steve Jobs

“Focus on the possibilities for success, not on the potential for failure.” – Napoleon Hill


Motivational Swimming Quotes

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“I have been visualizing myself every night for the past four years standing on the podium having the gold placed around my neck.” – Megan Quann

“There are days when I don’t feel motivated and I don’t want to get up to go to practice. I’m a very goal-oriented person, so I set short-term goals and try to reach those goals. And when I have those days, I think about those goals, and it gets me motivated.” – Dara Torres

“There are a lot of people that are very talented. But just don’t work at it. It’s a waste of talent if you don’t work at it and improve.” – Tracy Caulkins

“The water is your friend…you don’t have to fight the water, just share the same spirit as the water and it will help you move.” – Alexandr Popov

“The water is your friend. You don’t have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move.” – Alexander Popov

“The water doesn’t know your age.” – Dara Torres

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” – Bruce Lee

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates

“The reason swimming is one of the hardest sports is because you have to be in the pool by yourself every day, making that sacrifice…” – Chad le Clos

“The reason swimming is one of the hardest sports is because you have to be in the pool by yourself every day, making that sacrifice. There’s no time to do anything else.” – Chad le Clos

“The price of excellence is discipline. The cost of mediocrity is disappointment.”

“The only difference between try and triumph is a little umph.”

“The only difference between try and and triumph is a little umph.”

“The most risky day in the world will be the day the bird will decide to swim and the fish will decide to fly. Stay glued to what you can do.” – Israelmore Ayivor

“The most important lesson I’ve learned from sports is how to be not only a gracious winner, but a good loser as well. Not everyone wins all the time, as a matter of fact, no one wins all the time. Winning is the easy part, losing is really tough. But, you learn more from one loss than you do from a million wins. You learn a lot about sportsmanship.” – Amy Van Dyken

“The more you believe in yourself, the faster you’re going to get.” – Adam Peaty

“The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it.” – Woodrow Wilson

“Swimming is my passion and something that I love.” – Natalie du Toit

“Swimming is more than a once-every-four-years sport. My goal is to bring attention to swimming – to give it some personality.” – Michael Phelps

“Swimming is a confusing sport, because sometimes you do it for fun, and other times you do it to not die. And when I’m swimming, sometimes I’m not sure which one it is.” – Demetri Martin

“Swimming has its educational value – mental, moral, and physical – in giving you a sense of mastery over an element, and of power of saving life, and in the development of wind and limb.” – Robert Baden-Powell

“Swimming has an educational value – mental, moral and physical – in giving you a sense of mastery over an element, and the power of saving life, and in the development of wind and limb.” – Robert Baden-Powell

“Swimming gave me my start, but my pal Tarzan did the real work. He set me up nicely.” – Johnny Weissmuller

“Swimmers provide much healthier role models for teenagers than the catwalk.” – Clare Balding

“On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock. – I can’t really do the running on hard ground that I used to do. Instead, I go swimming as often as possible.” – Jamie Dornan

“Nothing is impossible. With so many people saying it couldn’t be done, all it takes is an imagination.” – Michael Phelps

“Not everyone wins all the time… Winning is the easy part, losing is really tough.” – Amy Van Dyken

“No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch.”

“No event in strongman competitions lasts longer than 40 seconds, so by swimming in fast bursts, my body is conditioned for the level of speed and power it needs.” – Eddie Hall

“Never worry about what anyone else is doing…Just swim your own race.” – Dara Torres

“Never put an age limit on your dreams.” – Dara Torres

“My whole swimming career was about training to beat Michael Phelps in any race I possibly could.” – Chad le Clos

“I’ve swum for my country… I decided this time I was going to swim for myself.” – Janet Evans

“I’ve swum for my country, I’ve swum for my coaches and my schools and my teams. I decided this time I was going to swim for myself.” – Janet Evans

“I’ve learned so much over the last few years, I’ve had ups and downs but I feel more motivated than ever to be the best person and athlete I can be.” – Penny Oleksiak

“I’ve just been enjoying the training a bit more… just went out there to have a bit of fun tonight.” – Sophie Edington

“I’ve just been enjoying the training a bit more. I’ve put too much pressure on myself in the past. Just relax and let it come. I just went out there to have a bit of fun tonight.” – Sophie Edington

“I’m trying to do the best I can. I’m not concerned with tomorrow, but with what goes on today.” – Mark Spitz

“I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.” – Michael Phelps

“I think about my goals when I wake up and what I have to do that day. Then, at the end of the day, I do a recap and think about what I did well and what I could have improved.” – James Magnussen

“I swam the race like I trained to swim it. It is not mathematical. I just let my body do it. It is a lot easier if you let your body do what it is trained for.” – Ian Thorpe

“I Only Fear Not Trying.”

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

“Excellence eliminates doubt.” – Anne Ottenbrite

“Enjoy the journey, enjoy every moment and stop worrying about winning and losing.” – Matt Biondi

“Enjoy swimming for swimming’s sake. We have to spend far too much time in the water to not enjoy the process of challenging yourself of moving through the water.” – Jeff Rouse

“Dreams do come true… never stop believing.”

“Don’t wait for your ship to come in. Swim out to it.” – Steve Southerland

“Don’t be a fish; be a frog. Swim in the water and jump when you hit the ground.” – Kim Young-ha

“Do activities you’re passionate about – which make your heart and soul feel perky – including things like working out, cooking, painting, writing, yoga, hiking, walking, swimming, being in nature, being around art, or reading inspiring books.” – Karen Salmansohn

“By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.”

“Believe in yourself, not only in swimming but in life itself. You always have to have fun. You have to have an open mind. If you’re not enjoying it, don’t do it. Life’s too short.” – Debbie Meyer

“Being your best is not so much about overcoming the barriers other people place in front of you as it is about overcoming the barriers we place in front of ourselves…But it does have everything to do with having the vision to dream, the courage to recover from adversity and the determination never to be shifted from your goal.” – Kieran Perkins

“Being happy outside the pool means fast swimming in the pool.” – Eric Shanteau

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” – Steve Jobs

“At the start of each day, I remind myself, my toughest opponent is in the mirror.” – Ryan Lochte

“All good writing is swimming underwater and holding your breath.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

“A true champion knows how to overcome doubts and manage those doubts and turn them into motivation.” – Misty Hyman


Funny Swimming Quotes

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“Remember, a dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream.” – W. C. Fields

“Remember to do the things you enjoy away from swimming, regularly.” – Ian Thorpe

“Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder.”

“Practice only makes for improvement.” – Les Brown

“Practice like you’re not good enough to win. Race like you’re too good to lose.” – Katie Ledecky

“Practice is the hardest part of learning, and training is the essence of transformation.” – Ann Voskamp

“Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice reduces imperfection.” – Toba Beta

“Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.” – Matt Biondi

“Perfect preparation prevents poor performance, the five P’s.” – Sue Rolph

“People who swim very well in troubled waters are respected and celebrated than those who swim excellently in calm waters.” – Israelmore Ayivor

“People ask me ‘what was going through your mind in the race?’ and I don’t know. I try and let my body do what it knows.” – Ian Thorpe

“Peak performance is meditation in motion.” – Greg Louganis

“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” – Warren Buffett

“When you prepare for something, it’s like jumping into cold water, but you’re prepared. You jump in. And you start swimming, or if you don’t swim, you drown.” – Rza

“When you are learning swimming, try to swim like a fish! Target the best so that you can always easily reach good and better!” – Mehmet Murat ildan

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Goethe

“Well, me don’t swim too tough so me don’t go in the water too deep.” – Bob Marley

“We’ve seen, time and again, when people focus on the outcome rather than what needs to be done to achieve a desirable result, then the wheels fall off.” – Cate Campbell

“Water was something he loved, something he respected. He understood its beauty and its dangers. He talked about swimming as if it were a way of life.” – Benjamin Alire Sáenz

“Water for me is so essential, like swimming.” – Nastassja Kinski

“My preference is swimming in the sea. I find the sea is more liberating, wild and good fun rather than plodding up and down a pool.” – Jo Brand

“Most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragement – and we will make the goal.” – Jerry Fleishman

“Make yourself an example, achieve it, but don’t hurt anyone on the way up.” – Dawn Fraser

“Make each day your masterpiece.” – John Wooden

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A huge part of swimming for me is I love it, and it is so much fun.” – Missy Franklin

“… You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – A.A. Milne

“… only perfect practice makes perfect.” – Vince Lombardi

“… even the best people in the world, at whatever they do, they’re still nervous.” – Leisl Jones


Keep Swimming Quotes

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“When you stay focused and keep a commitment, you create momentum, and momentum creates momentum.” – Rich Fettke

“There is no single way to train… You have to keep thinking, keep doing things.” – Alexander Dale Oen

“Stay focused, go after your dreams and keep moving toward your goals.” – LL Cool J

“Many people cycle or swim to keep trim. But if swimming is so good for the figure, how do you explain whales?” – Charles Saatchi

“Mainly, I like to have fun. Swimming is all about having fun, and I am a firm believer that you should keep swimming as long as you are having fun, but I can say that it becomes much more fun as you get older and learn more about the sport, life, and especially more about yourself.” – Scott Goldblatt

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

“I’ve enjoyed training again, I’ve enjoyed pushing myself in the pool and I’ll keep on swimming until I feel I cannot get any more out of myself.” – Ian Thorpe

“I have stayed active. I do keep moving. But I should start swimming more. Great exercise.” – Marv Levy

“I do keep moving. But I should start swimming more. Great exercise.” – Marv Levy

“Swimming is simply moving meditation.” – Cesar Nikko Caharian

“Swimming is one of the hardest sports.” – Stephanie Rice

“Swimming is normal for me. I’m relaxed. I’m comfortable, and I know my surroundings. It’s my home.” – Michael Phelps

“Swimmers do not get a lot of telly time so you are not dealing with a lot of egos.” – Helen Skelton

“Success isn’t final, failure isn’t fatal, it’s courage that counts.” – Alicia Coutts

“Sometimes we complain, but there is something beautiful about waking up before everyone to get better at what we love.” – Missy Franklin

“Somehow I kept my head above water. I relied on the discipline, character, and strength that I had started to develop as that little girl in her first swimming pool.” – Esther Williams

“Some fish love to swim upstream. Some people love to overcome challenges.” – Amit Ray

“So many people along the way, whatever it is you aspire to do, will tell you it can’t be done. But all it takes is imagination…dream…plan…” – Michael Phelps

“She’s a little person who couldn’t even make a final at a state meet – coming and showing the world… determination you can do anything you want!” – Dick Caine

“We shall not be happy unless we live like good animals, unless we enjoy the exercise of the ordinary functions of life: eating, sleeping, loving, walking, running, swimming, riding, sailing.” – William Morris

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

“Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.” – Anton Chekhov

“Just because it isn’t happening at this moment, doesn’t mean it never will.”

“Jump in and lose yourself.”

“It’s so hard to express yourself, because swimmers are pretty much paying attention to a black line for hours out of a day.” – Ryan Lochte

“It’s always great to see young swimmers and their excitement and the joy that they have in the water.” – Katie Ledecky

“It’s what you do with the rough patches that will define the athlete that you’ll become.” – Dana Vollmer

“It’s unbelievable I’m swimming so fast. I went in with no expectations. I just went out hoping to get a personal best. I went out there with a smile, just to have fun and see what would happen.” – Jade Edmistone

“It’s not who’s put up the fastest time in the world that year, or who’s put up the fastest time in the previous four years, but who can get their hand on the wall first today.”

“It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.” – Missy Franklin

“It’s not really about counting medals for me. It’s just about getting better every day.” – Caeleb Dressel

“It’s easy to forget when you’re an elite athlete that everyone else gets nervous as well. Even the best people in the world, at whatever they do, they’re still nervous.” – Leisl Jones

“I’m so used to swimming with the piranhas. And they’re really not that bad.” – Brie Larson

“I’m just a simple guy swimming in a sea of sharks.” – Don Johnson

“I wouldn’t say anything is impossible. I think that everything is possible as long as you put your mind to it and put the work and time into it.” – Michael Phelps

“I was so relaxed in the water, it felt amazing.” – Pieter van den Hoogenband

“I want to test my maximum and see how much I can do. And I want to change the world of swimming.” – Michael Phelps

“I want people to see the passion I have for swimming and become more involved in the sport.” – Ryan Lochte

“I try to separate my personal life from swimming.” – Michael Phelps

“I try to make the good days great and take something positive from the days I’m not feeling good—work on technique or something like that.” – Katie Ledecky

“I try to make the good days great and take something positive from the days I’m not feeling good – work on technique or something like that.” – Katie Ledecky

“I told myself there was no way I was going to let this training go to waste. It was my time, and I was ready to go.” – Katie Hoff

“I think that everything is possible if you put your mind to it and you put the work and time into it. I think your mind really controls everything.” – Michael Phelps

“I think that everything is possible as long as you put your mind to it and put the work and time into it.” – Michael Phelps

When life gets you down, do you wanna know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming.

Summer Swimming Quotes

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“The things you learn from sports – setting goals, being part of a team, confidence – that’s invaluable. It’s not about trophies and ribbons. It’s about being on time for practice, accepting challenges.” – Summer Sanders

“Swimming is great because there are levels of goals. First, when I was four, it was making it to the other end and overcoming the fear of standing up in front of everybody at a swim meet because I was such a shy kid.” – Summer Sanders

“It’s a beautiful thing, diving into the cool crisp water and then just sort of being able to pull your body through the water and the water opening up for you.” – Dawn Fraser

“In training, I always brought my attention back to how I wanted to feel in my races. If I need to work on my body position at the end of my races, then I would push myself in practice to the point of exhaustion then work on my body position when exhausted.” – Natalie Coughlin

“In training everyone focuses on 90% physical and 10% mental, but in the races its 90% mental because there’s very little that separates us physically at the elite level.” – Elka Graham

“In most sports, they have a physical effect on your performance, in swimming only psychological. If you worry about what your rival is doing, you take your mind off what you are doing and so fail to concentrate on your performance.” – Bachrach

“In most sports they have a physical effect on your performance, in swimming only psychological. If you worry about what your rival is doing, you take your mind off what you are doing and so fail to concentrate on your performance.” – Louis Fabian Bachrach

“In Athens I was 17 and I didn’t have any expectations. I was just swimming fast and racing everybody.” – Laure Manaudou

“If you’re scared to lose rather than excited to win, then that’s the wrong way to approach a race.” – Cate Campbell

“If you want to learn to swim, jump into the water. On dry land, no frame of mind is ever going to help you.” – Bruce Lee

“If you want me to swim fast, you have to let me enjoy my life.” – Amanda Beard

“If there is a dream or a goal that you want you have to go for it 100%.” – Alia Atkinson

“If it’s important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.”

“If I have one message to young swimmers about taking care of their bodies, it’s definitely – take care of your shoulders.” – Eric Shanteau

“Identify your personal limits and then push past them… again, and again.” – Nicole Haislett

“I love to watch the movement of light on water, and I love to play in rivers and lakes, swimming or canoeing. I am fascinated by people who work with water – fishermen, boatmen – and by a way of life that is dominated by water.” – Berlie Doherty

“I love to exercise outside in the fresh air and sun: hiking, swimming, stand-up paddleboarding, and jogging.” – Colbie Caillat

“I love sailing and water sports; whether it’s water skiing, body boarding or surfing or simply swimming in the ocean.” – Karolina Kurkova

“I love going to the beach and swimming in the ocean. I think it’s so relaxing. It’s also a great form of active recovery. It’s perfect for those rest days when you still want to move a little bit.” – Eugenie Bouchard

“Getting to the Olympics was, has always been, my swimming dream since I was 8 or 9 years old. You know, right after I started swimming it was, ‘I want to make an Olympic team. That’s where I want to be.’” – Eric Shanteau

“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.” – Arthur Ashe

Swimming is normal for me. I'm relaxed. I'm comfortable, and I know my surroundings. It's my home. Michael phelps

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