Sports & Gaming

Creativity Over Structure

Wayne Gretzky

Lesson time 06:22 min

Wayne believes that the freedom of an unstructured style of play on the ice and playing multiple sports in his youth gave him the advantages of creativity and versatility.

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Topics include: Cross-Train


[MUSIC PLAYING] - I participated in a lot of sports. I love sports. I played soccer at school, played box lacrosse, track and field, baseball. And I really believe that we have this sense now of so much structure. And we've taken out so much of the creativity in the sport. I'm not a professor of sports or a psychologist of sports, but I believe that nine-year-old kids in baseball should try every position. Some kid should try first base, and then pitcher, and then center field, and move around. I believe in hockey should play defense, you should play center, right wing. That's how you're going to learn to understand the entire sport, the game itself-- not just the position that my dad says I should be the third baseman, or my dad says I should be a center. I played defense for two years of my hockey career at the age of nine and 10. I think it made me a better hockey player. So I love the creativity. I love kids going out there and challenging themselves to learn a new position and do something differently. And the structure thing will happen in time. I just don't like seeing it at such a young age. So on that first travel team I joined when I was six years old, there were five of us that made the NHL. Part of that was just luck of having that many talented kids on the same team. But I really think it was also because the coaches let us be creative and didn't force us to learn a system. As I think through it, we were a town of, at that time, 60,000 people. Most of the boys who played on the hockey team played on the baseball team or the lacrosse team. Kind of all intertwined. What was unique about that team was we would always seem to do very well and get to the finals or championship game of a tournament. I remember there was always this one team-- and it was a city called Oshawa, which was a town of about 200,000 people. And so they had more kids to draw from and probably a stronger talent pool than what our smaller town had. But we were always competitive. We would always lose in overtime, 3-3 or 4-3. And I can remember one day driving back from the term with my dad. My dad made one of the most incredible quotes I'd ever heard as a 10-year-old. And I remember sitting there saying to him, I can't believe we lost to that team again. I can't believe we didn't win. And he goes-- I'll never forget, my dad looked at me and he said, you can't worry about that. He goes, that team is so well coached and they're so systematic, that not one player from that team will ever play in the NHL. And you have five kids on your team I guarantee you one day will play in the NHL. And, my gosh, nine years later he was so right. We had five kids that made the NHL from that team. Not one kid from that other team made the National Hockey League. But he felt that even at that time creativity was so much more important than structure at the age of 10. And it was something that I would never forget. I would go on the rest of my life I ...

About the Instructor

Over his 21-year career, Wayne Gretzky not only rewrote the NHL record book, he also set himself apart as one of the most accomplished professional athletes of all time. Now “The Great One” shares the moments and mindset that made him successful so you can aim for greatness in your own life. Learn the power of an athlete’s mindset and tap into passion, motivation, and dedication. Get ready to take your biggest shot yet.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Wayne Gretzky

NHL star Wayne Gretzky shares his journey and his approach to a winning mindset, from tapping into your true passion to committing to success every day.

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