Sports & Gaming

Play Above Your Level

Wayne Gretzky

Lesson time 04:02 min

Wayne was six when he joined his first organized team, which was full of 10-year-olds. He continued playing with older age groups until turning pro at age 17. He says that competing against advanced players made him better.

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Topics include: Earn Your Ice Time


[MUSIC PLAYING] - I would say that my earliest real recollection of what I remember at a really young age was I was five years old. I tried out, and I actually made the team. And when the coach looked at my birth certificate and saw that I was five years old, he didn't know what to say. And I remember thinking, wow, what happened? And he told me that I was too young, I couldn't play. A five-year-old couldn't play on that team. So I didn't play the whole year. We waited till the next year. And at the age of six, I went back and made the team again. But that's really my first recollection of being in organized hockey or being in organized sports. And I can remember it like it was yesterday. What I remember most from the first year was I was such a baby. I just turned six, and I was playing a team with most 11 year olds. People think it was a superstition that I tucked my jersey in. But the reality was, in those days, the jerseys were made for kids who were 10, 11 years old. And it was tucked in only for one reason, so I wouldn't look so small. Because the jersey would go down over my knees. And I remember being so excited I made the team. I wasn't very good at that time, but that was okay. I got to practice with better players, I got to understand what it was like to be part of a team. It made me a better player, because the players on my team were much better than I was. I didn't play a whole lot that year. I scored 1 goal. I remember thinking, wow, 1 goal. Played on that team for five years. Each and every year, I got better and progressed as time went on. By the fifth year, our team was really good. And I remember the coaches that I had were wonderful to me. And I was very fortunate to make that team when I was six years old, and that started my career. [MUSIC PLAYING] We always had the same feeling in our family-- you earn that. You earn your time. You earn your ice time. Nothing in life is given to you. Just because you believe you should have something doesn't mean that's going to happen. And my dad was really unique, in that he was always so upbeat. There were times after games that I thought I played really well, and we'd sit and talk about the game, because we would always talk about the game on the way home. It was always, you know, this is good for you. You're learning a lot. You're seeing how good these guys are, and it's going to make you a better athlete. It's going to make you a better player. He never got into the car and said, oh, I wish you were playing more. He never went to a coach and complained about ice time. There was times where he'd say, well, I didn't think you were very good today, or you weren't as good as you should have been today. And then there was games and days where I wasn't, in my mind, as good as I thought I could be. And he would be the exact opposite-- like, that was such a good start, and that was such a good game. And that's what's going to make you a b...

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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