112+ Best Bobby Knight Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Robert Montgomery Knight is a former American basketball coach. Nicknamed “the General”, his 902 career National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) coaching victories are among the most in men’s basketball history. Profoundly inspirational Bobby Knight quotes will get you through anything when the going gets tough and help you succeed in every aspect of life.

Famous Bobby Knight Quotes

The will to succeed is important, but what’s more important is the will to prepare. – Bobby Knight

My dad was a very quiet person, and unbelievably tough. But my grandmother gave me my first look at negative thinking to bring about positive results. When I was just a little guy, anytime I came to my grandmother and said I wish for this or that, Grandma would say, ‘If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.’ – Bobby Knight

Discipline is knowing what to do. Knowing when to do it. Doing it to the best of your abilities. Doing it that way every single time. – Bobby Knight

The will to succeed is important, but what’s more important is the will to prepare. – Bobby Knight

Everybody hears, but few listen. – Bobby Knight

Passing is your best weapon against man to man. Dribble penetration is your best weapon against zone. – Bobby Knight

As I’ve said, basketball has been, I think, a real cooperative venture. There have been a lot of people that have been involved in it: coaches, administrators – not recently – fans and nobody, nobody any more so than students over the years. – Bobby Knight

Victory favors the team making the fewest mistakes. – Bobby Knight

Son, my name isn’t Knight to you, it’s coach Knight or it’s Mr. Knight. I don’t call people by their last name and neither should you. – Bobby Knight

What is the best thing you can do in a close game? Drive to the basket and put pressure on the defense! Not jack up jump shots – Bobby Knight

I’ve always felt that, you know, the Almighty has a lot of things to do other than help my basketball team. – Bobby Knight

I hate casual shooting. Every shot is preceded by working to get open and catch and shoot under game like conditions – Bobby Knight

Basketball is a full court game, so every drill must be done full court. – Bobby Knight

I was worried about losing until I looked down the floor and saw Dale Brown. Then I knew we had a chance. – Bobby Knight

People want national championship banners. People want to talk about Indiana being competitive. How do we get there? We don’t get there with milk and cookies. – Bobby Knight

If you’re not careful, you can get a grossly over-inflated opinion about your popularity. – Bobby Knight

The single most important aspect of coaching is running effective practices – Bobby Knight

I think the ability to motivate might be interpreted as the ability to lead, or to show people their goals or, perhaps more important, what their potential is – as a person as well as a player. You’ve got to show players that being part of a team will carry over to the experience of becoming part of society. – Bobby Knight

There are times when my passion for basketball led me into confrontations that I could have handled a lot better. I’ve always been too confrontational, especially when I know I’m right. – Bobby Knight

You are never going to be driven anywhere worthwhile, but you sure as hell drive yourself to a lot of great places. It is up to you to drive yourself there. – Bobby Knight

I’d probably be better off without trying to satisfy me, with my sense of humor. There are things that I have said that are funny to me, but they weren’t to somebody in the press. So that hasn’t worked to my benefit. – Bobby Knight

I sit and wonder why no one uses the shot fake. The shot fake, when used correctly, can eliminate a defender – Bobby Knight

You don’t play against opponents; you play against the game of basketball. – Bobby Knight

I’m not sure that an athlete is prepared to be a role model. He has a lot of attention paid to him that he shouldn’t have, and then the athletes tend to think of themselves as better than they are. – Bobby Knight

As coaches we talk about two things: offense and defense. There is a third phase we neglect, which is more important. It’s conversion from offense to defense and defense to offense. – Bobby Knight

I have always maintained that in basketball the importance of the mental to the physical is about four to one. – Bobby Knight

I always designed my practice plans the night before and then made tweaks a few hours before practice began – Bobby Knight

Learn to do things right and then do them right every time. – Bobby Knight

And I would be the first to admit that probably, in a lot of press conferences over the time that I have been in coaching, indulging my own sense of humor at press conferences has not been greatly to my benefit. – Bobby Knight

The red I wear is Indiana’s red, not Moscow’s red. Indiana was here long before communism. – Bobby Knight

I think that to stop an offense, you must go to the heart of that offense. If it is a particular move, a screen, the break, an outstanding scorer, whatever it is that they like to do and rely on, you have to work in your plans on taking that completely or as much as possible away from them. – Bobby Knight

Players must be able to carry out simple instructions from the bench to the court. If they can’t, then they can’t play – Bobby Knight

I think that it’s perhaps harder to learn from victory than it is from defeat. I think that we don’t want defeat. We don’t want defeat in sport. We don’t want defeat in life. How are we going to be beaten? All right. We have to deal with those things. What’s going to cause us to lose the game, whatever the game might be? – Bobby Knight

All the years I coached, we sent a card to every professor for each kid I had, and I was able to keep track on a daily basis who cut class or who was dropping a grade average. What I did was bring that kid in at 5:00 in the morning, and he would run the stairs from the bottom to the top until I told him to quit. – Bobby Knight

It is better to anticipate than to react. – Bobby Knight

I recognize that I have a problem with my temper. For those times it has ever caused me to do anything that gave anyone understandable and justifiable reason to be upset, I am sincerely sorry. – Bobby Knight

A coach should never be afraid to ask questions of anyone he could learn from. – Bobby Knight

I don’t have to wait until the next morning to regret something I did that was kinda dumb. – Bobby Knight

Your biggest opponent isn’t the other guy. It’s human nature. – Bobby Knight

Defense is all about helping. No one can guard a good dribbler, You have to walk kids through how to help and then how to help the helper – Bobby Knight

To be as good as it can be, a team has to buy into what you as the coach are doing. They have to feel you’re a part of them and they’re a part of you. – Bobby Knight

I would rather be thought of as a teacher than a coach. – Bobby Knight

Mental toughness is to physical as four is to one. – Bobby Knight

I also believe that when something negative comes out about you in the media, that’s only one person’s opinion. These guys sometimes believe they’ve been ordained from on high to give the general opinion of the populace, and that just isn’t the case. – Bobby Knight

All of us learn to write in the second grade. Most of us go on to greater things. – Bobby Knight

A quick way for any player to make himself better is to think about what he himself doesn’t like to play against – Bobby Knight

Superiority and success doesn’t favor good effort or self-esteem… The mentally precise and physically fit win, while the mediocre and obtuse take solace in hopeful cliches. – Bobby Knight

As his team prepares, a coach’s entire being must be concentrated on winning games. – Bobby Knight

I just love the game of basketball so much. The game! I don’t need the 18,000 people screaming and all the peripheral things. To me, the most enjoyable part is the practice and preparation. – Bobby Knight

Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win. – Bobby Knight

It has always been my thought that the most important single ingredient to success in athletics or life is discipline. I have many times felt that this word is the most ill-defined in all of our language. My definition isas follows: 1. Do what has to be done; 2. When it has to be done; 3. As well as it can be done; and 4. Do it it that way all the time. – Bobby Knight

Everybody wants to be on a championship team, but nobody wants to come to practice. – Bobby Knight

In order to achieve to achieve positive results, one must work for them, not hope for them – Bobby Knight

Don’t fight the rabbits. If you fight the rabbits, the elephants are going to kill you. – Bobby Knight

I’ve never felt my job was to win basketball games – rather, that the essence of my job as a coach was to do everything I could to give my players the background necessary to succeed in life. – Bobby Knight

Offense at Indiana is not equal opportunity. Those players who shoot best are going to shoot most. It is important that every player know his offensive limitations. It is also important that a player know who the best shooter is on the team. When a passer has the option of passing to two players, I expect him to get the ball to the best shooter. I continually stop practice and ask players who the best shooter is and I expect them to know. It is important that you get the ball to your best shooter. – Bobby Knight

Do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done the best way it can be done and do it that way every time. – Bobby Knight

Failure, to me, is not having the desire to try. Having the desire to try is in it own way success. – Bobby Knight

Positive wish: ‘The sun will come out tomorrow.’ Negative reality: ‘Yeah, and it will flash brand-new daylight on the same old mess unless something is done to clean it up. – Bobby Knight

BS is just what it stands for, an MS is More of the Same, and a PhD is Piled Higher and Deeper. – Bobby Knight

We should not have to push you to work hard, you should work hard because you want to be a great player. – Bobby Knight

I don’t believe in luck; I believe in preparation. – Bobby Knight

I’ve always had an a$$-to-the-brain theory. When a player’s a$$ gets put on the bench, a message goes straight to the brain saying, Get me off of here. – Bobby Knight

You play ball against yourself; your opponent is your potential. – Bobby Knight

Practice structure determines success. – Bobby Knight

Perform drills that force your players to think – Bobby Knight

When we’re playing a good scoring center, we tell our team that it is not our defensive man’s job to stop the center. It’s the responsibility of our perimeter people to stop the ball from going inside. – Bobby Knight

I think that we as a people are always prone to think about, well, tomorrow will be a better day. Well, why will it be a better day? And I think the more that we believe in doing things better, doing the right thing rather than hoping that that’s going to happen, let’s make it happen. – Bobby Knight

Good planning avoids the need for fixing up a project that plowed ahead without thought… about potential pitfalls. – Bobby Knight

If I were involved with the NBA, I wouldn’t want a 19-year-old or a 20-year-old kid to bring into all the travel and all the problems that exist in the NBA. I would want a much more mature kid. I would want a kid that maybe I’ve been watching on another team, and now he’s 21, 22 years old instead of 18 or 19, and I might trade for that kid. – Bobby Knight

When my time on earth is gone, and my activities here are passed, I want they bury me upside down, and my critics can kiss my ass! – Bobby Knight

People change over the years, and that changes situations for good and for bad. – Bobby Knight

I watched the guy that hits a home run, and he comes across the plate and he points skyward, like thanking for the help from the Almighty to hit the home run. And as he does that, I say to myself, ‘God screwed the pitcher.’ And I don’t know how else you look at it. – Bobby Knight

When I first started coaching, one of the worst things that I think I heard was ‘It will be O.K.’ I would wonder, ‘How the hell is it going to be O.K.?’ The worst word in the English language is ‘hope.’ – Bobby Knight

Walking has been ridiculous in college basketball the past 15 years. – Bobby Knight

During my 40-year coaching career at West Point, Indiana and Texas Tech, my teams reached the Final Four on five occasions, winning the national championship three times. – Bobby Knight

I’ve never predicted anything. All I have ever said is, that we will do the very best we can. – Bobby Knight

The key is not the will to win… everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important. – Bobby Knight

Why talk now when so many things have been said without ever giving me a chance to talk? – Bobby Knight

Major League Baseball has the best idea of all. Three years before they’ll take a kid out of college, then they have a minor league system that they put the kids in. I’m sure that if the NBA followed the same thing, there would be a lot of kids in a minor league system that still were not good enough to play in the major NBA. – Bobby Knight

I don’t think I have ever been out of control. – Bobby Knight

If I came in to recruit your son, I would tell you, your wife, and your son, that I will be the most demanding coach your son can play for. – Bobby Knight

Well, I think it’s pretty much established that I just didn’t have any interest in coaching in the pros. – Bobby Knight

I enjoyed needling the press. If I didn’t enjoy it, I wouldn’t have done it. Writers have rarely played, so as a coach, you have antagonistic feelings about some guy writing up the story of the game who’s never even attempted to play it. – Bobby Knight

I’m an unemployed teacher right now and I’m looking for a place to teach. – Bobby Knight

We’ve gotten into this situation where integrity is really lacking and that’s why I’m glad I’m not coaching. You see we’ve got a coach at Kentucky who put two schools on probation and he’s still coaching. I really don’t understand that. – Bobby Knight

If universities want to save a little money, they ought to make some cutbacks in administration and in faculty people who teach one class a week. – Bobby Knight

Basketball may have been invented in Massachusetts, but it was made for Indiana. – Bobby Knight

Pat has been instrumental in what we’ve done here so far and the most selfish thing for me is that I want to see what we’ve done placed in the hands of the most competent person, and that’s Pat. No one would come close to being able to continue to build on what we’ve done here so far like he will. – Bobby Knight

If I were in charge I’d drug test all you sons of bes, not just the athletes. – Bobby Knight

If my primary purpose here at Indiana is to go out and win ballgames, I can probably do that as well as anybody can. I would just cheat, get some money from a lot of people around Indianapolis who want to run the operation that way, and just go out and get the best basketball players I can. Then we’d beat everybody. – Bobby Knight

I tell you what really fries my ass. When somebody gets on me for the way I look. Fat. Overweight. Well, I may be overweight. But I’m sure not fat. And I guarantee you, I’m a better athlete than any fg body writing. To this day, they don’t want to play tennis with me. The don’t want to play me in golf. They don’t want to f**g run with me – Bobby Knight

You remember when you were a kid growing up, and believed in Santa Claus? There’s not much difference between Santa Claus and me today, you know. We’re two overweight lovable guys that kids really enjoy. – Bobby Knight

A great way to test the conditioning of your team is the two-mile run. – Bobby Knight

I don’t intend to retire. – Bobby Knight

A primary goal of teaching anything is the advantage that learning gives to people over their competitors who haven’t been as well taught. – Bobby Knight

To me, the most enjoyable part is the practice and preparation – Bobby Knight

Competitive drills enhance quickness. – Bobby Knight

For me to get an award from the press, I know there’s been no favoritism. – Bobby Knight

So when I hear a guy after a game-winning home run say or gesture that God was on his side, I think to myself, ‘He’s saying God screwed the pitcher. – Bobby Knight

My overall point is that ‘one and dones’ are not healthy for college basketball. I should not have made it personal to Kentucky and its players and I apologize. – Bobby Knight

America has the greatest reputation in the world for helping others whenever and wherever disaster strikes. Now, more than ever, it’s important for us to contribute to those who are in need. Your assistance is really beneficial and will be greatly welcomed and appreciated. – Bobby Knight

This is like the town council just hired a new marshal to clean up the town, I guarantee you, if I stay here long enough, they’ll get rid of me, too. – Bobby Knight

We just got our ass beat by a much better team. It happens once in a while. Does every team win every game? – Bobby Knight

My practices were not set up to be easy or enjoyed. – Bobby Knight

The goal is to make practice more difficult, physically/mentally, than anything your players will face during a game. – Bobby Knight

The biggest difficulty in getting to the top of the ladder is getting through the crowd at the bottom. – Bobby Knight

Good basketball always starts with good defense! – Bobby Knight

At one point, I said to the officials that you guys haven’t called walking for 20 years, now you don’t know what it is. When you call walking, you’re about half right. – Bobby Knight

I, fortunately, have never worried about irritating people. – Bobby Knight

The structure of your practice is the main reason for your success or lack of success as a coach. – Bobby Knight

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