Super U Podcast | 7 Super Tips with Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky, former professional ice hockey player, and four-time Stanley Cup winner gives us insight into his childhood and how he became “the Great One.”
5x #1 Bestselling Author and Motivational Speaker Erik Qualman has performed in over 55 countries and reached over 50 million people this past decade. He was voted the 2nd Most Likable Author in the World behind Harry Potter’s J.K. Rowling.
Need a sneak peek? Below are the main takeaways from the episode.
Super U Podcast | 7 Super Tips with Wayne Gretzky:
[2:21] Tip #1
“Well, listen, first of all, you can’t cover the National Hockey League in one book, because there’s been so many great teams and so many wonderful players and great arenas like Maple Leaf Gardens and Montreal forum and the Boston Garden. But I just kind of sat there and I wanted to write something for kids that they could read and learn about the National Hockey League and how great of a game it is and how wonderful it has been personally to me, but so many other people. I want you know, I had a dream to play in the NHL, and I want kids to have that same dream. Not everyone makes the NHL, but we can all dream about it because it’s a great life. It’s wonderful. It’s an honor to play in the league and it’s something very positive.”
[3:17] Tip #2
“Nila Fleur I followed around in 1981, at Canada Cup and I went everywhere he went, I was just like a little puppy dog because I idolized him so much. And he was so good to me. And he used to go to the games at one o’clock. And I said to him one time, “Why would you go to the rink at one o’clock for 7:30 game?” He said, “When I walk in the locker room when I get in the arena, that’s my sanctuary. And nobody can call me, nobody can talk to me.” And so I started going to the games at 2:30, quarter to three. So when you walk into the arena, that’s all you think about is hockey and you sit there you start thinking about the game you start talking about the game. It’s the greatest life in the world and you want to just soak it up and be there as much as you can.”
[4:46] Tip #3
“I grew up in a house my dad made $30,000 a year and we slept four boys to one-bedroom and he borrowed money from my grandparents to be able to put me through baseball and ice hockey and lacrosse. Like every other family in North America, just a normal, typical family. And he used to say to me every day, I don’t know why the good Lord bless you, but don’t blow it. And so when I look back at it, I always say, you know what I thank goodness, I had a love for the sport, and I had great people around me great guidance. And, you know, I’m like everybody else, you know, we every now and then it’s nice to be at home and maybe try to brag about something and you get knocked over the head by your kids and your wife that Calm down, you weren’t that good. So I feel blessed, you know, and I played with so many great players. And like your business, it’s a team, and it’s a team sport. And I was lucky I played with six or seven other Hall of Famers. And you know what I wouldn’t trade my life in for anything, I got to travel the world, got to meet a lot of great people, a lot of interesting people. And hopefully, unfortunately, I think, through hockey that we’ve all tried to help people less fortunate and been a part of that, which a lot of athletes are.”
[6:53] Tip #4
“At 2 years old, I started skating ice hockey, I got a pair of skates like this that I still have. So my dad used to take me to in those days where I grew up, the river and the parks would freeze in the wintertime, skate for hours and hours and hours. He built an ice rink in the backyard. So he could sit in the kitchen and wouldn’t freeze and watch me in the backyard. Many a night, when I was four and five years old, would go to bed and forget I was in the backyard still skating and my mom would have to grab them and tell them to go get me and bring me back in. But it’s what I love to do. I never thought like I was missing anything. And I was lucky. 10 years old, I met my hero, who was Gordie Howe. And a lot of times when we meet our heroes, I mean, everybody has bad days. And you go well, it was okay. And yeah, he wasn’t that nice, or she wasn’t that nice. And when I met Gordie Howe, he was bigger and better and nicer than I ever imagined. And so I developed this bond and this friendship not only with Gordy but with our families, and through his guidance, and my course my parents guidance, I was lucky enough to keep that passion that I had for the sport and continue on and the game was great to me.”
[8:35] Tip #5
“There was a lot of kids that 13 1415 there was good or better than I was partly because of the size I was small. When I turned pro at 17, I weighed 148 pounds, and I played against men. My teammates were pretty worried for me, that I might get hurt. And my theory was that fear was a good thing because it made you skate really fast. And my dad always said, if you’re moving target, you’re hard to hit. If you’re sitting still you’re gonna you’re a dead duck. So, you know, I learned to play a style. When I was six years old, I played against 11-year-olds. And at 14 I played against 20-year-olds, and then at 17, I turned pro, so I was able to sort of hone my skills and every level that I played him. I can name three or four guys that get nice today, but they never made it and I would I see them and I wrote I just wrote a book. A year ago when I talk about these kids that I said this kid was 12 years old. My dad told me after the game, that’s the best 12-year old I’ve ever seen. And so these kids will write me letters and say I was really nice. My kids thought it was great that you wrote that. So you know it was a healthy competition that made me realize, gosh, I got to get as good as that kid. It was a compliment. I didn’t I think one of the worst things in life is jealousy. It’s it’s cancerous. And you can’t be jealous, you got to praise people. And you got to look to people and say, Wow, look how hard that person works.”
[11:11] Tip #6
“Well, it is my dad was always a really strong thinker of the game. I remember when I was four, and five, and six, he used to have me do these stickhandling drills and in and out of pylons, and all that kind of stuff. But he had me doing it for hours on hours with tennis balls, and his theory was that the tennis ball would bounce a little bit more than the puck. So if you could control the tennis ball, you’re going to be so much more comfortable and be so much more at ease, stick and lean and carrying the puck. So for hours and hours, I would skate and do drills and tennis balls at a young age. And then watching the games he used to say to me Look, you know, what you should do is take out a big diagram, build the rink, and you should watch the game. And by watching the game and not looking down, you’re going to create some more peripheral vision and you’re going to grow your sense of where the puck is on the ice at all times. And so I would sit there every game basically when I was a youngster and follow the puck without looking down onto the sheet and as time went on, obviously I got better and better at it. Probably was drawn on the floor half the time in the beginning. But as time went on, I sort of mastered it pretty well.”
[13:26] Tip #7
“As kids, we all dreamed of one day playing and Maple Leaf Gardens. It was like our sort of church, it was our everything if you’re a hockey player. My first game ever went to 1968 or 69. I was with my grandmother. And we sat in the very last row of Maple Leaf Gardens. And we got there at seven o’clock. And watch the warm-up. I watched the game I watched the three stars and I just kept thinking how great it was in a wonderful way. And yet we sat in the very last row. But I still loved every second of it and can remember it was like it was yesterday. And so that really those kinds of things really inspired me to one day dream big of wanting to play in the NHL. And so my whole belief was that I had a love and a passion. I mean, I truly enjoyed just skating by myself in the backyard for hours on hours. And I never looked at it as like I was practicing or I was becoming a better player. I looked at it that that was my thrill. And that was my fun that I really truly could just skate out there by myself for hours and hours and for whatever reason. Nobody could understand it. But that was my fun.”
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The Super U Podcast is hosted by #1 bestselling author and Motivational Speaker Erik Qualman.