Best Rowing QuotesI always believe it helps to post rowing quotes on your wall or erg to remind yourself to push harder while training!

There are plenty of days you will feel down and need a little extra boost of motivation to get you through the day.

Posting quotes on your desk or laptop will help remind you why you are training so hard and to not give up!

I’ve searched the internet for some of the best rowing quotes I could find about motivation, inspiration, teamwork, etc.! I hope you enjoy them and find them useful during your training.

If you find any quotes or sayings you would like to share, please leave them in the comment section below!

Inspirational & Motivational Rowing Quotes

Below are some great motivational and inspirational rowing quotes. Some quotes are not related to rowing but are inspirational sayings by famous endurance athletes.

I’ve always found reading quotes to be super uplifting. They are great to read when you are feeling lazy or don’t feel like putting in some sets on your Concept2 Rower!


“There is a moment, right before a person blacks out, when their vision blurs and their hearing falters. At that point most people would stop whatever they’re doing. Rowers keep erging, keep running, keep lifting. They ignore the warning signs and keep destroying the piece.”

“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” – Steve Prefontaine

Inspirational Rowing Quotes

“The only good race pace is a suicide pace, and today looks like a good day to die.” – Steve Prefontaine

I love Steve Prefontaine quotes and find them super motivational! If you haven’t watched any of the movies or documentaries about him, I highly recommend them!

“Don’t Quite. You’re already in pain. You’re already hurt. Get a reward from it.”

“Rowing is perhaps the toughest of sports. Once the race starts, there are no timeouts, no substitutions. It calls upon the limits of human endurance. The coach must therefor impart the secrets of the special kind of endurance that comes from the mind, heart, and body. – George Pocock

“When your legs scream stop and your lungs are bursting. That’s when it starts. That’s the hurt locker. Winners love it there.”

“I don’t deserve anything, I have to earn my seat everyday.”

Motivational Rowing Sayings

“In order to win you have to do something that the boat next to you isn’t willing to do.”

“Rowers…can do it all, and they can do it well. Joining the rowing team will be the greatest decision you will ever make, if you choose to accept the harsh realities of the sport. By doing so, you will understand the incalculable value of an indomitable spirit – and you will learn, above all, that your achievements in life are limited only by the magnitude of your drive to achieve them.” – Amy Yao

“You don’t want to look back and know you could have done better.”


I found most of these quotes on Pinterest, which I’ve found to be one of the best places for quotes and sayings!

You can visit the my Rowing Quotes Board here.

Famous Rowing Quotes

I’m not really sure what classifies as a “famous rowing quote”, but I figured I’d make a section of sayings by famous people who mention rowing (including famous rowers and coaches).


No member of a crew is praised for the rugged individuality of his rowing.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Eight hearts must beat as one in an eight oared shell or you don’t have a crew!”- George Pocock

“All were merged into one smoothly working machine; they were in fact, a poem of motion, a symphony of swinging blades.” – Boys in the Boat

Famous Rowing Quotes

“In rowing, as in life, there are competitors and there are racers. The competitor works hard and rows to his limit. The racer does not think of limits, only the race.” – Jim Dietz

“Rowing is a sport for dreamers. As long as you put in the work, you can own the dream. When the work stops, the dream disappears.” – Jim Dietz

“On race day, there’s tremendous anxiety. Leading up to the stake boat, I distinctly remember saying to myself, ‘I can’t wait till this is over.’”- Frank Shields

“When one rows, it is not the rowing which moves the ship, rowing is only a magical ceremony by means of which one compels a demon to move the ship” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Rowing Sayings and Quotes

“If anyone here is secretly dreaming of making the Olympics, I can tell you exactly how to do it, two words: Sustained Obsession. The obsession isn’t so hard. But keeping it sustained is a tough nut to crack. A heart-felt enemy can go a long way to sustaining your obsession. Love your enemy.” – Brad Alan Lewis

“Rowing is such a fine sport. Everyone goes backward, and the leader can see his opponents as they struggle in vain.” – Brad Alan Lewis

“In rowing I found a sport that demanded some skill, granted, but placed a much higher premium on plain hard work and persistence.” – Harry Parker

Rowing Boat Quotes (Coxswain & Teamwork)

What would an article full of quotes be without a few sayings about teamwork? Many people believe the relationships they formed while rowing are their best memories!

Teamwork quotes are also great for coxswains to place in the boathouse, locker rooms, or at the end of team emails!


“Glory is in the team not the individual.” – Sean Sullivan

“For the rest of your life, you will always be able to say I was a member of a very special team whose whole was greater than the sum of its parts, and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life.”

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Rowing Quotes Teamwork

“Normal people do not have blisters on their hands. They can sleep as long as they want on the weekends. They do not have to erg. They do not have to feel the pain we go through during a race. But they do not have a crew. They aren’t as fit as we are. They will never experience the feeling we have after finishing a race. They will never prove how far they can go. They will never race. And they will never row.”

“No one guy can make the boat go faster by himself.” – Harry Parker

Olympic Rowing Quotes

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to obtain uncommon results.”

“Rowing is a funny thing. It’s not just a sport. It’s an outlet for pain through pain. It’s a teacher of discipline and determination. It takes you to your breaking point, and teaches you to bend rather than snap. It marries grace and power. It makes you strong. It give you family. It’s your psychologist and your second home. On occasion, it’s been known to save someone from themselves. Yes. Rowing is a funny thing.”

Funny Rowing Quotes

I wanted to post some funny rowing quotes here as well. With all these serious quotes, I figured we could use a laugh!


“Crew: a sport practiced in rowing boats where the participants willfully awake before dawn and run to practice where they spend one to two hours sitting on a hard wood seat and pull on oars to such a level as to cause their bodies to go into oxygen debt, resulting in formation of lactic acid in their blood, which causes substantial pain and discomfort in all major muscle groups. This activity is usually performed twice a day in the name of fun, and is conducted under the demonic supervision of a person called “Coach”, with the help of his trained servant named “coxswain”.

“The road to hell is 8 lanes wide and 2K long.”

Funny Rowing Quotes

“Crew is like crack. It interferes with your sleep. It destroys your body. It introduces you to totally weird people. It’s expensive. It takes you away from the real world and into a fantasy land. You start doing it way too much, as you build up a tolerance. You can’t stop. You love it, but you know that you shouldn’t. You stick with it because you have this bizarre idea that life would just not be the same without it.

“If I pass out, please note my time.”

Funny Rowing Captions


When reading different funny rowing rowing quotes, I found a ton of great memes! I’ll most likely create a separate post to display the best memes I found.

Sayings & Quotes: Honorable Mentions

When doing my research, I came across some good rowing quotes that I felt were worth mentioning.

I’d love for you to add more quotes to the comment section below!


“Rowers do more before 8am than most people do all day.”

“The oars gave me power, but also taught me humility.”

“For me, becoming the best you can be in something that you love, like rowing, is incredibly challenging, and what you learn about yourself, the sense of satisfaction as you get older and move on, you’ll never forget that. It’s huge.” – Tyler Winklevoss

“I will say that rowing in the first Olympics was probably one of the most proud moments in my life. What I enjoy about the sport is that it’s definitive. Nobody can take away from the fact that you’re an Olympian. It’s indisputable. You get there on merit and merit alone.” – Cameron Winklevoss

“Winning medals is good, racing is better, loving the sport is best!”

“The pain in your legs is a hell of a long way from your heart.”

“Real athletes row. Everyone else just plays games.”

“Rowing is a simple sport stuffed up by experts.” – Roger Moore

Final Thoughts

So that’s all for my ultimate list of rowing quotes! I’d love to continue adding to this list, so please let me know your thoughts or your favorite quotes!

I think some of these are great to have with a background, which is why I started creating Pinterest boards with the different quotes.

If you are looking for some great motivation, make sure to check out Pinterest and YouTube!

Have a great day and happy rowing!

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