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Wayne Gretzky: The Great One

Popularly known as the Great One, Wayne Gretzky stands as an unparalleled legend in the world of hockey. From a young age, Gretzky showed incredible talent and skill, and continued to break records, achieve the impossible, and maintain a humble attitude throughout his entire career. Above all, however, Gretzky is admired for his mentality.

You may have heard the famous quote, “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.” Wayne Gretzky was the one who said that – and the unmatched legacy he left behind has proven that it was much more than an empty statement for show. Reading through Inspiration Feed’s compilation of Wayne Gretzky quotes revealed to us that his mindset aligns with several aspects of the Pro Mindset® as described by veteran NFL agent Craig Domann. Let’s find out what we can learn from this comparison.


“Everything I did in hockey I worked for.”

Wayne Gretzky’s talent was evident from a very young age. At age five, he was already exceptional at ice skating, showing greater skill than other players more than double his age. The following year, he joined the Brantford Atom League. By age ten, he had already scored 378 goals and 120 assists throughout the course of 85 games. With the incredible success he saw as a ten-year-old, however, the effort Gretzky put into the game of hockey was often minimized to “natural talent.”

Gretzky, however, disagrees. As he said in the quote above, all of his accomplishments are a result of the effort he put into perfecting his game. Gretzky was the kid that would stay behind after practice to work a little more. He knew he was shorter than the other players, but he didn’t use that as an excuse to play at a lower level. Instead, he put more effort and time into training. He worked harder, practiced longer, and sacrificed more.

Training is one of the seven keys to the Pro Mindset. How you practice during training determines how you play during the game. Gretzky understood the importance of training. Although he built up his skill level faster than many of his colleagues, he never took training lightly.


“I can remember hockey. It was my life, my passion. It’s what I love the most.”

Gretzky’s passion for the game of hockey is worthy of equal admiration to his talent. At the age when most kids would prefer to play with their friends or watch TV, ten-year-old Gretzky was at the ice rink, building up the skills that would form the foundation of his athletic career.

His passion didn’t wane as he grew older. At age 17, Gretzky joined the Indianapolis Racers in the World Hockey Association, becoming the youngest athlete to join a major league sport. A couple years later, Gretzky broke the NHL scoring record.

It’s important to note that this is far more than just a list of Gretzky’s accomplishments. His accolades are a reflection of his passion. Breaking these records at such a young age means that he was sacrificing much of the normal experience of growing up. Without doing so, it would’ve been impossible for him to have had an adequate amount of time to train. Though it was likely very difficult to sacrifice that experience, he was able to do so because of the passion he had for hockey. Likewise, the continued success Gretzky saw throughout the rest of his career serves as a testament to his undying passion for the sport of hockey.

Craig Domann says, “If you don’t have passion for what you do, you’re not going to be very good at it.” Passion is a core aspect of the Pro Mindset, and it’s pretty evident that it is a significant part of Gretzky’s mentality as well. Without his passion for the sport, Gretzky wouldn’t have been able to become the legend he is today. His passion drove him to sacrifice, train, and ultimately, break records.

Two of the seven keys of the Pro Mindset, training and passion, are crucial aspects of Gretzky’s mentality for success. To learn more about the Pro Mindset and how you can apply it for success in your own life, check out Pro Mindset Podcast here.

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