Wayne Gretzky's Masterclass

19 Jun 2021

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

~ Wayne Gretzky

We’ve all heard this. If you don’t try, you don’t succeed. I was unaware of who said this, until I came across Wayne Gretzky’s masterclass. As a former athlete and professional ice hockey player, Wayne Gretzky had a lot to share - but what I found most interesting was that most of his thoughts and lessons were applicable not only to sports (which I was less interested in), but also to excelling at anything, in general.

Here are my top takeaways from his class:

  • Find your idols and start following them; it is important to learn about the history of how hard they worked to get there. The lesson here is that you excel at something because you are committed to getting better at it everyday.

  • “Play above your level”: always push your limits and “strive to best your best”.

  • You need to diversify your skills because creativity is so much more important than structure.

  • The only rule Wayne Gretzky’s dad insisted upon was that if you start the season, you have to finish the season; we can generalize this to mean that we must finish any important project we embark upon

  • He realized that he needed to prepare for every single game in the same way, no matter how big or small, because, as his dad mentioned, “people will come to watch you play”. Similarly, everything we do is worth doing well.

  • Everyone can and should learn everyday. Everything is teachable. You can make your goals attainable one step at a time. You can be better tomorrow.

  • Fear is a necessary factor for success.

  • Respect is earned, not given. It doesn’t come overnight.

  • You don’t need to tell people if you’re good - it becomes apparent.

  • “Show up, work hard and be as unselfish as possible”.

  • It is important to maintain your physical and mental health, because that allows you to be at your best, and winning requires being present at your best everyday.

  • Let kids be kids.

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