American tennis player (1943-1993)

Arthur Ashe quote

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

ARTHUR ASHE, attributed, Putting Our Differences to Work


Every time you win, it diminishes the fear a little bit. You never really cancel the fear of losing; you keep challenging it.

ARTHUR ASHE, attributed, The Art of Living with Intent


Tags: winning

Always have the situation under control, even if losing. Never betray an inward sense of defeat.

ARTHUR ASHE, attributed, Arthur Ashe on Tennis: Strokes, Strategy, Traditions, Players, Psychology, and Wisdom


Tags: losing, defeat

There were times when I asked myself whether I was being principled or simply a coward.... I was wrapped in the cocoon of tennis early in life, mainly by blacks like my most powerful mentor, Dr. Robert Walter Johnson of Lynchburg, Virginia. They insisted that I be unfailingly polite on the court, unfalteringly calm and detached, so that whites could never accuse me of meanness. I learned well. I look at photographs of the skinny, frail, little black boy that I was in the early 1950s, and I see that I was my tennis racquet and my tennis racquet was me. It was my rod and my staff.

ARTHUR ASHE, Days of Grace


I wish more of us could understand that our increasing isolation, no matter how much it seems to express pride and self-affirmation, is not the answer to our problems. Rather, the answer is a revival of our ancient commitment to God, who rules over all the peoples of the world and exalts no one over any other, and to the moral and spiritual values which were once legendary in America. We must reach out our hand in friendship both to those who would befriend us and those who would be our enemy.

ARTHUR ASHE, Days of Grace


The ideal attitude is to be physically loose and mentally tight.

ARTHUR ASHE, attributed, Winning Words: Classic Quotes from the World of Sports


From what we get, we can make a living. What we give, however, makes a life.

ARTHUR ASHE, attributed, Arthur Ashe: Tennis Great & Civil Rights Leader


Tags: giving

I would like to flood South Africa with black personages of all sorts of persuasions: writers, educators, businessmen, you name it. If you are black and have any clout at all, I would like to see you go to South Africa and look for yourself and come back and try to use the tools that you have at your command to try and help the brothers down there.

ARTHUR ASHE, The Black Scholar, Nov. 1975


True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.

ARTHUR ASHE, attributed, Worth Repeating


Tags: heroism

I sometimes feel angry and disappointed when, because of stereotypes about the competence of people of color, some worthy man or woman is passed over for a position, just as I am frustrated when an unworthy person cries out about racism the moment he or she is denied a position or a prize.... My classmates and I were reminded every day that we had to resist the worst temptation facing us: despair. If racism was so pervasive, why should we try to do our best at anything? Why study hard? I tell you ... racism and sexism will never be an excuse for not doing your best. Racism and sexism will probably always exist, but you must always try to rise above them.

ARTHUR ASHE, Days of Grace


Tags: racism

Success is a journey not a destination. The doing is usually more important than the outcome. Not everyone can be Number 1.

ARTHUR ASHE, attributed, Get Motivated!: Daily Psych-Ups


Tags: success

Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner. Even if you're behind, a sustained look of control and confidence can give you a mental edge that results in victory.

ARTHUR ASHE, attributed, Flashpoint: Seven Core Strategies for Rapid Fire Business Growth