Sports & Gaming

Walk the Walk

Wayne Gretzky

Lesson time 05:14 min

Wayne holds more records than anyone in the history of the NHL and is widely known as the best hockey player who’s ever lived, but rather than talk about it, he is a big believer in leading by example and letting hard work speak for itself.

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

Topics include: Leave on Your Own Terms · If You’re Good, You Don’t Need to Tell People


[MUSIC PLAYING] - There's a couple role models as far as athletes go. There's one route to go about it is to talk about it, and teach, and stand there, and tell people things. My way of doing it was to walk the walk and not talk the talk. And by that, I mean be at practice early, be prepared to practice hard, practice hard. Prepare to get ready to play. Play hard. And you know, it always goes back to, it doesn't matter how good you think you are. There is somebody out there better than you. But work ethic is such a big factor. It's always been a big part of my life. Maybe it comes from my grandparents emigrating from Europe and Belarus and Poland, and having to start a new life all over again. Maybe that's where sort of that groundwork came from my work ethic. But I'm much more proud when people say to me, gosh, I watched you play. And I didn't realize how hard you worked every game, than I am if somebody comes up to me and says, oh, you got 92 goals one year. Statistics are statistics, and that's great. And I'm very proud of it. But I feel much more accomplished when young players, or people, or fans come up and say, I didn't realize how hard you worked. And that's a great compliment to me. Well, I think that as a player, as an athlete, the one thing that is always nice to hear is, you know, when someone says, you know, you could have played one more year. And from my point of view, that's when I knew I was getting out at the right time. I knew I was retiring at the right moment. As a kid, my dad drove me to every practice and every game. I thought it would be the biggest thrill in my life that he drove me to my first game, and that I would drive with him to my last game. So driving to the arena, it was fun. It was a memory that I'll never forget. My wife, Janet, asked me about the right after the game. And I told her, it wasn't quite what I anticipated. My dad spent the whole ride to Madison Square Garden reminding me that I could probably play one more year. So I knew I was retiring at the right time once I got to the arena. People say to me all the time, do you miss hockey? Do you miss playing? And I always say the same thing. Of course I do. I wish I could play tomorrow. It was my life. It was my entire life. Everybody I got to meet, and every place I went, and all my memories is because of hockey. And as I said, that first escalator ride up to our seats in Maple Leaf Gardens, it seems like yesterday for me. Well, you know, legacies are something that I let other people sit around and talk about. I honestly I don't ever sit down and say, well, I accomplished this, or I did that. That was really never what I set out to do. What I really set out to do was play a game I love playing, and play in the National Hockey League, and show people that I belonged. The history, and the records and the things that went with that, and the championships, and the friendships, that's for other peopl...

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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