A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 22, 2015
“Play like you’re in first; train like you’re in second”

American track and field sprinter Maurice Greene said in 1997:

“To be number one you must train like you’re number two. Because if you train like you’re number one, you have no place to go.”

“Play like you’re in first. Train like you’re in second” was cited in print in 2006. The saying has been printed on T-shirts and posters.


Wikipedia: Maurice Greene (athlete)
Maurice Greene (born July 23, 1974) is a retired American track and field sprinter who specialized in the 100 meters and 200 meters. He is a former 100 m world record holder with a time of 9.79 seconds. During the height of his career (1997–2004) he won four Olympic medals and was a five-time World Champion. This included three golds at the 1999 World Championships, a feat which had previously only been done by Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson and has since been equaled by three others.

Google Books
Creating Commitment:
How to Attract and Retain Talented Employees by Building Relationships that Last

By Michael O’Malley
New York, NY: Wiley
2000
Pg. 100:
They adopt a position similar to the one I heard espoused by the great sprinter, Maurice Greene: “Think like you’re number one, but train like you’re number two.”

Rice University Owls
Just For Kicks!
Katlyn Ferguson
Oct. 4, 2006
(...)
The best soccer advice I ever had: Play like you’re in first. Train like you’re in second.

MotivateUs.com
“MOTIVATION”
NOVEMBER 2006
November 20, 2006
“To be number one you must train like you’re number two. Because if you train like you’re number one, you have no place to go.”
Copyright © 1998 Maurice Greene - Olympic Champion
I made this up in 1998 after I won the world championships that were in Greece. So I can stay on top, I worked by this saying.

Google News Archive
23 April 2007, Woodinville (WA) Weekly, pg. 15, col. 4 ad:
Play like you’re in first.
Train like you’re in second.

(Velocity Sports Performance.—ed.)

Big Ten
Rapid Recovery
For any athlete, winning three Big Ten titles would be an incredible accomplishment. But scoring his third gold in the 60-meter hurdles at the 2007 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships in February was about more than making it to the podium for Purdue’s Rickey Pinkney. It was about being alive.

May 4, 2007
(...)
It has been a break-out season for Hopkins, who had garnered Athlete of the Week honors three times this spring, but his teammate’s success just pushes Pinkney even more. After all, it was international track star Maurice Green who said “To be No. 1, you have to train like you’re No. 2.”

Cool Running
daniel6mileman
posted Jun-30-2007 12:00 AM
To be number one, you have to train like you’re number two.

WorldGolf
April 21, 2008
Susan Choi chasing her long-shot LPGA dreams on The Golf Channel’s Big Break Kaanapali
By Chris Baldwin, Contributor
(...)
This is someone who picked up the motivational saying she tries to follow - “Play like you’re in first, train like you’re in second” - from the wall of an UNO’s pizzeria.

Twitter
Josh Morgan
‏@joshdmorg
play like you’re in first, train like you’re in second. I think this is the strategy the Reps are using.
2:29 AM - 5 Sep 2008

Twitter
Nancy Perez
‏@NancyPerez
Love this quote: “Play like you’re in first, but train like you’re in second. ~ Unknown (thank you 4 posting @ResilientMichae)
2:10 PM - 14 May 2009

Twitter
Irod NYC
‏@Irod_NYC
“Play like you’re in first, but train like you’re in second”.
4:01 PM - 8 Jul 2009

WBUR (Boston, MA)
May 12, 2010
Hampered Gardner Kicks On, Still Makes Champions
BY DAVID BOERI
(...)
“We have a motto here at our practices,” he says. “Race like you’re No. 1, but train like you’re No. 2.”

Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI)
Prep Profile: Alexa Kelsey, Monona Grove
November 19, 2013 4:00 am • By Dennis Semrau | Wisconsin State Journal
(...)
Words to live by: “Play like you’re number one, train like you’re number two.”

The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Australia)
Will Genia is primed to remind Wallabies what they’re missing when he returns for Brisbane
DAMIEN STANNARD THE COURIER-MAIL SEPTEMBER 02, 2014 10:30PM
(...)
“My attitude is train like you’re number two and play like you’re number one.

“I’ll always work hard for it.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityExercise/Running/Health Clubs • Friday, May 22, 2015 • Permalink