≡ Menu

Billie Jean King Quotes

Billie Jean King Pose

Billie Jean King quotes: the former tennis superstar’s quotes on self-awareness, integrity, and life lessons.

“When people tell you not to believe in your dreams, and they say ‘Why?’, say ‘Why not?'”

“It’s about learning your craft.  That’s a wonderful thing – especially with today’s consumerism and instant gratification.  You can’t buy that.  It’s about making decisions, corrections, choices.  I don’t think it’s so much about becoming a tennis player.  It’s about becoming a person.”

“That is where the power, opportunity, and choice come from – when you have money.  Money equals opportunity.  There is no question.”

“People say, ‘Do you know how much a million dollars is?’  I don’t have a clue.  ‘How many Big Macs will it buy me?'”

“Don’t go into debt and don’t spend a lot.  It’s not how much money you make, it’s how much you spend.”

“Don’t let anyone define you.  You define yourself.”

“I always think it’s best to pretend you’re in a tenuous position.  Just as a player, you always want to stay in the now and work hard but also have goals for the future.  There’s no promises in any entrepreneurial business.  You have to really work hard every year and also try to envision where you want to go in the future at the same time.”

“Winning is very tangible, it’s very exciting, it’s very pleasing, but it’s momentary.  If you can do things that last, that each generation can build upon, then that’s when you’re cooking.”

“Winning comes down to who can execute under pressure.”

“A champion is afraid of losing.  Everyone else is afraid of winning.”

“Champions keep playing until they get it right.”

“Champions take responsibility.”

“Champions adjust and pressure is a privilege.”

“I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion.”

“Natural talent only determines the limits of your athletic potential.  It’s dedication and a willingness to discipline your life that makes you great.”

“You have got to want to be the best before you can even begin to reach for that goal, and you have got to be prepared to sacrifice a lot to get there.”

“In business, everything starts with integrity.  Otherwise it falls apart, though it does take time to find out who has integrity.”

“I like entrepreneurial people; I like people who take risks.”

“The most important words that have helped me in life, when things have gone right or when things have gone wrong are:  accept responsibility.”

“When they take surveys of women in business, of the Fortune 500, the successful women, 80% of them, say they were in sports as a young woman.”

“I knew after my first lesson what I wanted to do with my life.”

“Ever since that day when I was 11 years old, and I wasn’t allowed in a photo because I wasn’t wearing a tennis skirt, I knew that I wanted to change the sport.”

“I like putting money back into what made my life, and tennis has been great to me.”

“I will tell you King’s First Law of Recognition: you never get it when you want it, and then when it comes, you get too much.”

“Tennis taught me so many lessons in life.  One of the things it taught me is that every ball that comes to me, I have to make a decision.  I have to accept responsibility for the consequences every time I hit a ball.”

“No matter how tough, no matter what kind of outside pressure, no matter how many bad breaks along the way, I must keep my sights on the final goal, to win, win, win – and with more love and passion than the world has ever witnessed in any performance.”

“I didn’t really care if I had a coach that much, me personally, because I was brought up to think for myself.”

“It is very hard to be a female leader.  While it is assumed that any man, no matter how tough, has a soft side… and a female leader is assumed to be one-dimensional.”

“Victory is fleeting.  Losing is forever.”

“Be bold.  If you’re going to make an error, make a doozy, and don’t be afraid to hit the ball.”

“For me, losing a tennis match isn’t failure, it’s research.”

“The main thing is not a matter of wanting to win; the main thing is being scared to lose.”

“I try to perfect my strong points and make my weaknesses adequate.”

“Reputation is what others think about you.  What’s far more important is character, because that is what you think about yourself.”

“Trust and respect is something you earn, not something that is given.”

“Pressure is a privilege – it only comes to those who earn it.”

“Sports teaches you character, it teaches you to play by the rules, it teaches you to know what it feels like to win and lose, it teaches you about life.”

“The trouble with being number one in the world – in anything – is that it takes a certain mentality to attain that position, and that is something of a driving, perfectionist attitude, so that once you do achieve number one, you don’t relax and enjoy it.”

“Tennis is a perfect combination of violent action taking
place in an atmosphere of total tranquility.”

“I would just never out anybody.  I think everyone has to find it in their own way and their own time.”

“I wanted to use sports for social change.”

“I have a lot to say, and if I’m not number one, I can’t say it.”

“No one changes the world who isn’t obsessed.”

“The main thing is to care.  Care very hard, even if it is only a game you are playing.”

“Create your legacy, and pass the baton.”

You’d probably enjoy Serena Williams quotes too, ya know.

Cory Johnson: your momma’s neighbor’s side chick’s last Uber Eats delivery guy’s third-favorite blogger. Here’s how he makes millions of dollars blogging without being bothered.