Lou Holtz is considered one of the greatest college football coaches of all times. ESPN ranked him 23rd on a list of the greatest 150 college coaches in history.[1] Having transformed multiple floundering football programs into championship teams, most notably Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish into a national champions, it’s safe to say that Holtz knows a thing or two about success and achievement. As such, we’ve rounded some of the most insightful and motivating Lou Holtz quotes.

Our hope is that these quotes will serve you in a similar way as Holtz’s wise words and coaching has served his players in becoming their best over the years. So, if you’re looking for a bit of inspiration or a slight nudge to get after it, you’ll enjoy these Lou Holtz quotes:


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.” – Lou Holtz

2. “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.” – Lou Holtz

3. “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.” – Lou Holtz

4. “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.” – Lou Holtz

5. “Remember. Every day, some ordinary person does something extraordinary. Today, it’s your turn.” – Lou Holtz

6. “All great accomplishments start with a dream. Dreams fuel your enthusiasm and vision. They give you a burning desire to get up in the morning and achieve.” – Lou Holtz

7. “I follow three rules: Do the right thing, do the best you can, and always show people you care.” – Lou Holtz

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

9. “I think life is a matter of choices and that wherever we are, good or bad, is because of choices we make.” – Lou Holtz

10. “It’s not the load that breaks you down; it’s the way you carry it.” – Lou Holtz

lou holtz quotes about attitude

11. “If what you did yesterday seems big, you haven’t done anything today.” – Lou Holtz

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

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

14. “The most important thing in any organization is the leadership, and that’s you.” – Lou Holtz

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

16. “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.” – Lou Holtz

17. “I think that we have opportunities all around us. Sometimes we just don’t recognize them.” – Lou Holtz 

18. “The more complicated something becomes the less chance it has of being successful.” – Lou Holtz

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

20. “Without self-discipline, success is impossible. Period.” – Lou Holtz

21. “I think attitude is the most important decision you make. God gave you the power to love, and to think, and to create, and to imagine, and to plan. But the greatest power is the attitude you choose.” – Lou Holtz

22. “What we have to do to be successful, is you have to have a passion to win… a passion to win. You can’t pay people to excel, you can pay them to perform, but there has to be something deep down inside.” – Lou Holtz

23. “Do right. Do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated.” – Lou Holtz

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

25. “You were not born a winner, you were not born a loser. You are what you make yourself to be.” – Lou Holtz

26. “Don’t be a spectator, don’t let life pass you by.” – Lou Holtz

27. “God answers prayers, but he doesn’t always answer it your way.” – Lou Holtz

28. “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.” – Lou Holtz

29. “Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.” – Lou Holtz

30. “As long as you have excuses why you can’t succeed, you don’t have a chance.” – Lou Holtz

31. “The person that isn’t will to sacrifice will never be able to achieve a great deal of things.” – Lou Holtz

32. “Underconfidence breeds underachievement.” – Lou Holtz

33. “I think you have to be a dreamer. I don’t think anything great happens until somebody has a dream.” – Lou Holtz

34. “Success is obtained by uncommon people, it’s obtained by uncommon people who are willing to do the things that an average person won’t do, because the average person is basically lazy.” – Lou Holtz

35. “Never settle for second when first is available.” – Lou Holtz

Bonus Lou Holtz Quote

Bonus: Alright, here is one of our favorite quotes by Lou Holtz. We added it as bonus, because we stand behind it, and believe it to be 100% true here at The STRIVE. Enjoy!

“It’s The Extra Effort After You Have Done Your Best That Creates Victory.”

– lou holtz –


Great job making it through these insightful and inspirational Lou Holtz quotes. We hope they gave you a good glimpse into the attitude and mindset that has helped Holtz lead multiple organizations to victory over the span of his career.

No doubt, his words and philosophy can help you turn things around. Because his wisdom is not just limited to the game of football, his philosophy also works well for winning the game of life. So, take note and heed his advice and see what happens.

Till you reach your aims,


PS – If you enjoyed these Lou Holtz quotes then we have a hunch you’ll also appreciate these Vince Lombardi quotes.

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