Sports & Gaming

Great Expectations

Wayne Gretzky

Lesson time 10:21 min

Sometimes, in order to do what’s best for your career, it’s necessary to make tough decisions that take you well out of your comfort zone. For Wayne, that meant moving away from his hometown at age 14 and living with families in other cities.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Play the Best You Can Play—Every Single Game · A “Normal” Kid · Don’t Be Afraid of Difficult Decisions · Making Sacrifices


[MUSIC PLAYING] WAYNE GRETZKY: Nobody said being great would be easy. Long before I turned pro, I learned that even my biggest triumphs came with challenges. One of the great stories that I remember that was a teaching story for life for me was my fifth year on the team that I made when I was six. By the fifth year, I was pretty good. I had 378 goals. And the season ended, and I couldn't wait to get home. I couldn't wait to get my baseball stuff out and get ready for baseball. Anyway, I had a coach that came over and said that there was a hockey team that wanted to play an exhibition game the following Saturday, a week after I was done. And he said to me and my dad, we can't play this game unless Wayne wants to play. And, of course, I didn't want to disappoint the other team. I didn't want to disappoint some of my teammates. And I said, okay, I'll play. And they packed 1,200 people into this little arena. I think they were hanging on rafters. And I remember we got beat 8 to 1. And I remember I got in the car after the game, and I was sitting in the car. My dad hadn't said a word. And, about 10 minutes into the drive, he said, how do you think that was today? And I said, well, what do you want me to do? We got beat 8 to 1. Who cares? It's the end of the year. It didn't matter. It's an exhibition game. And I remember he stopped the car, and he turned to me. And he goes, I don't know why, and I don't know how come, but people are going to pay to come watch you play. And, when they come pay and watch you play, you have to play the best you can play every single game. And I remember he looked at me, and he said, you just ruined the whole year. I remember, I looked at my mom. And I said, I ruined the whole year? But it was an incredible lesson because, when I turned pro-- and, in those days, we played 14 exhibition games and Stanley Cup Finals. I'd play games in Dallas and Miami and San Antonio, places that didn't have NHL franchises. And they would sell out. I remember from that game when I was 10 years old that people were coming to pay to watch me play. So every single game by me was approached the exact same way, whether it was an exhibition game in September or the Stanley Cup game 7 in May. But it was such a valuable lesson to me. And, as I tell people all the time, I've had a lot of bad games. But what I learned from that particular day was I've got to prepare the best I can prepare for each and every game. And that's just the way it's going to be for the rest of my life. So it was a great, valuable lesson for me. [MUSIC PLAYING] The five years that I spent on the one team sort of honing my craft, so to speak, by the time I got to my fifth year, you know, I was better than most of the other kids because I'd played there for five years. And the experience of playing with better players and, you know, the practice time and the coaching I had, I became a good player a...

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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