Wayne Gretzky is a celebrated Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach. Gretzky is nicknamed as ‘The Great One’ and is considered to be the unrivalled player the game has ever produced. His career spanned for approximately two decades during which he played for four separate teams. He holds the position of being the player with the most number of goals. He also held 61 NHL records at the time of his retiral. Immediately after he announced his retirement, he was inducted in the ‘Hockey Hall Of Fame’. Till date the legend holds sixty of the sixty-one records that he made during his glorious career at the ‘National Hockey League’. Wayne Gretzky was a hockey prodigy who had it all. We bring to you a corpus of some of the most notable thoughts and opinions that the renowned player shared both on-field and off-field. Let us see what we can learn from the sayings and quotes by Wayne Gretzky.
I think sports for kids is the greatest thing in the world because it teaches you how to share, about winning and losing and pressure. But I don't think you should force your kid to become a professional athlete.
When I broke into professional hockey at 17 I was told that I was too small and too slow and I wouldn't make the NHL. Now it's kind of flip-flopped and the sense is I can't be a good coach because I was a great athlete.
I knew at a young age, whether I was playing baseball or hockey or lacrosse, that my teammates were counting on me, whether it be to strike the last batter out in a baseball game or score a big goal in a hockey game.
I don't like my hockey sticks touching other sticks, and I don't like them crossing one another, and I kind of have them hidden in the corner. I put baby powder on the ends. I think it's essentially a matter of taking care of what takes care of you.
I think that from the time you start playing sports as a child you see that your responsibility to your team is to play the best that you can play as an individual... and yet, not take anything away from being part of a team.
If we're going to change the game it has to start at eight, nine and 10 years old. When we were that age we'd go to the pond or backyard rink and throw a puck on the ice and play five on five, or seven on seven. You get this creativity and this imagination that comes from within, just having fun on the pond. Now kids are so focused on team play, and the coaches are so focused on positioning. You can't change it at the NHL level.
I'm not sure Mario is going to get accolafes he deserves, especially from outside the game. But from within, the players, the people who follow closely, realize exactly what he's broughtto the table, exactly what he has done. People tend to forget... hockey was dying in Pittsburgh before he got there. I played there. It was almost dead. I'm sorry, but the NHL would not have a franchise in Pittsburgh today had Mario not come along. Think about it, no hockey in Pittsburgh.
As a player, you have one responsibility, to focus yourself and be ready for the game. As a coach, your responsibility is to get 20 guys ready and have them all on the same page. If you can't get every guy ready every night, you're going to struggle.
Thankfully, in my youth I had the best financial advisor a son could ask for: my dad Walter. When I got that first signing bonus in 1978, Dad took my cheque, announced, 'This is what we're going to do,' and bought an annuity with it.
I played everything. I played lacrosse, baseball, hockey, soccer, track and field. I was a big believer that you played hockey in the winter and when the season was over you hung up your skates and you played something else.
What you want to do with your best players is, it doesn't matter how many goals and assists they get, but when they get goals and assists. The best players get them at the most important times, and that's when we need those guys to come through.
I get a lot of parents coming up to me, telling me they are grooming their kids to be professional athletes. I'm really against that. I think it's a great life, and yeah, you can lead them in that direction. I think a lot of parents live their lives through the kids. Because they didn't make it, they want their kids to make it. It puts a lot of undue pressure on the kids.
When I played in a 21-team league, there were six or seven goalies who were just average, and the equipment and pads were smaller. I came in the right era. I played for the right team. It was all speed, and creativity and imagination.
My best friend had a hockey scholarship at Ohio State, so I would get a couple of pairs at the beginning of the season and send them down to him. They practised two hours a day. He'd skate in them for three weeks then ship them back.
Look at guys like Larry Bird and George Brett and John McEnroe; that's what they did in their careers. They all wanted to be the guy under the microscope late in the game or late in the match. So you just take on that know-how that that's part of your responsibility, and you learn that's what makes it exciting. That's what makes it fun!