How does one get a name like “The Great One”? Well, it takes passion, intense focus, and practice, practice, practice. These are all traits that Gretzky had growing up which molded him into an iconic hockey legend that will never be forgotten.
Born: January 26, 1961 Brantford, Ontario, Canada
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
Net Worth: $200 Million (estimated)
Successful For: NHL Hockey Legend
“Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.”
Keys to Success:
- BE CONFIDENT YOU WILL SUCCEED: Wayne Gretzky’s confidence for the game far outweighed any other player in the NHL. Young Gretzky joined his first team at the age of 6, while all of the other players were 10 and even though he only scored one goal that year, he came back the following year at the top of the ranks. This affected his NHL years since he was so used to playing with players faster, and stronger than he was but used his intelligence to outsmart them.
- TURN EVERY NEGATIVE INTO A POSITIVE: By the time Gretzky was 13, he had scored over 1000 goals. Being so talented at the game, his teammates and other parents would boo him because of all the attention he would attract, and his family and he were even forced to move to a different city. Gretzky didn’t let his outer circumstances affect him, but used them as motivation. This did not stop number 99 from achieving his dream and breaking records in the NHL. Perception is reality, and when hit with adversity you can either sink or swim.
- GET “IN THE MOMENT” THAT’S WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS:When on the ice, he lived in the moment, not letting anything throw his focus off the game. “Ninety percent of hockey is mental and the other half is physical.” The great one was known for his amazing ability to read the goalie, and know precisely when to execute. He was so in the zone he would know where the puck would end up and know exactly how to get there the quickest way possible.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Did You Know?
Wayne Gretzky aka “the great one” is not only one of the greatest hockey players to ever play the sport, he is also single-handedly the reason the NHL has created many new rules throughout the years. Shockingly, Gretzky has never had a hockey player “stature”; he was never known for his speed or strength, but rather for his intelligence of the game, Gretzky quotes “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been”, this is what made him an elite player. The NHL no longer let’s anyone wear jersey number 99, and for good reason.
Road to Success:
Growing up, Wayne Gretzky had a close relationship with his grandparents who contributed massively to his success. At the young age of 2, Gretzky was already trying to score goals against his grandma using a souvenir hockey stick.
The 2 P’s: Passion & Practice:
His passion grew for hockey when he and his family watched Hockey Night in Canada at his grandparents’ house on a regular basis. His grandparents also owned a 25 acre farm which would freeze into ice during the winter and this farm was where Gretzky skated on ice for the very first time. By the time he hit 6, Gretzky was playing for hockey leagues above his age which sparked confidence in the young player. Although he scored only one goal playing in his first league against 10 year olds, he began to practice day in and day out determined to be the best. Gretzky would soon be known for his unbounded intelligence and reading of the game. He was able to dodge checks from opposing players, and could consistently anticipate where the puck was going to be.
Haters Along The Road:
At 14 years old, with great success came adversity as other players and the parents of the players would become jealous enabling them to do whatever it took to bring the young Gretzky’s self-esteem down. He was eventually forced to move to Toronto with his family where he kept playing great hockey.
Selecting Jersey #99:
At 16, he joined the OHA where he chose the number 9 for his jersey, but a senior player had already taken the number and ironically, Gretzky was stuck with 99, a jersey number that would be remembered for years to come. That year, he was also the face of Canada in the World Junior Championship and took the tournament by storm leading all players in most points.
Quest to Be The Best:
Gretzky was so ambitious to join the NHL; however he was too young to be drafted at 20 years old, and instead joined the Indianapolis Racers in the WHA (World Hockey Association). He would eventually be sold off to the Edmonton Oilers where he broke records in the NHL. Gretzky continued on to be labelled as the greatest hockey player to ever play in the NHL.
“I wasn’t naturally gifted in terms of size and speed; everything I did in hockey I worked for, and that’s the way I’ll be as a coach.”
Gretzky holds and shares an astounding 61 NHL records: 40 for the regular season, 15 for the Stanley Cup Playoffs and six for the NHL All-Star Game. Some of these records include being the only player in the NHL to ever total over 200 points in one season, having the most assists in hockey history, the most goals in hockey history, and many others. In his career, he’s won 9 Hart Trophies (MVP’s), 10 Art Ross Trophies (most points), and has held the Stanley Cup 4 times.
Gretzky has been named “the greatest hockey player ever” by many sportswriters, hockey players, and even NHL officials. Gretzky’s jersey number (#99) has become a symbol of greatness, and as a result, has been retired from every team in the NHL. The great one continues to bring his flare to the sports industry as he lit the torch for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, BC, and is currently coaching the Phoenix Coyotes in the NHL.
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