90 Wayne Gretzky Quotes on Family, Teamwork, and Sports

We’ve compiled a list of some great Wayne Gretzky quotes for all ice hockey fans out there!

Wayne Douglas Gretzky is regarded as one of Canada’s most valuable hockey players. His talent and hard work earned him the well-deserved nickname, “The Great One.”

Gretzky has a lot of wisdom to share that goes beyond hockey. So, if you want to learn more, read and reflect on his positive messages and exciting ideas! Make sure you add this list to your must-reads.

Let’s get started.

Best Wayne Gretzky Quotes

1. “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”

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

3. “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

4. “Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.”

5. “I’m not a big risk-taker. I stay away from things I don’t know anything about.”

6. “When you win, say nothing, when you lose, say less.”

7. “Only one thing is ever guaranteed, that is that you will definitely not achieve the goal if you don’t take the shot.”

8. “If you surround yourself with quality people and great friends, the sky’s the limit.”

9. “Competitive spirit is still at a premium. The more you win, the better you play, the more money you make, so they all have that in mind.”

10. “The highest compliment that you can pay me is to say that I work hard every day, that I never do it.”

11. “I think the greatest thing about playing obviously is winning, and you can’t replace that experience with anything.”

12. “The day I stop learning is the day I stop growing.”

13. “It’s easier to lose than to win.”

14. “I think it’s essentially a matter of taking care of what takes care of you.”

15. “No matter who you are, we’re creatures of habit. The better your habits are, the better they will be in pressure situations.”

Inspirational Wayne Gretzky Quotes

16. “I don’t think any one person will ever be bigger than the game.”

17. “I couldn’t beat people with my strength; I don’t have a hard shot; I’m not the quickest skater in the league. My eyes and my mind have to do most of the work.”

18. “Maybe it wasn’t the talent the Lord gave me—maybe it was the passion.”

19. “Not doing it is certainly the best way to not getting it.”

20. “When you’re playing an exhibition, you’re kind of letting everyone get an opportunity.”

21. “The day I stop giving is the day I stop receiving.”

22. “Hockey is a unique sport in the sense that you need each and every guy helping each other and pulling in the same direction to be successful.”

23. “You’ll never catch me bragging about goals, but I’ll talk all you want about my assists.”

24. “It doesn’t matter what I think. It doesn’t matter what other people think. You have to get on the ice and participate and play and the best team wins.”

25. “It really doesn’t matter or concern me what people are saying or who thinks who is the favorite. The bottom line is you have to play.”

26. “But I don’t think you should force your kid to become a professional athlete.”

27. “There is so much parity in the game, there are so many teams that are stronger, and it is much tougher to get 400 wins now. There is such a fine line between winning and losing, so to accomplish something like that in this era is pretty special.”

28. “You get this creativity and this imagination that comes from within, just having fun on the pond.”

29. “I’m probably the only guy in hockey who can win a scoring title and everybody is saying I had a bad year. I don’t worry about it.”

30. “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.”

Wayne Gretzky Quotes on Ice Hockey and Sports

31. “Ninety percent of hockey is mental and the other half is physical.”

32. “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.”

33. “When I was five years old, I played against eleven-year-olds, who were bigger, stronger, and faster. I just had to figure out a way to play with them.”

34. “People talk about skating, puck handling, and shooting, but the whole sport is angles and caroms, forgetting the straight direction the puck is going, calculating where it will be directed, factoring in all the interruptions. Basically, my whole game is angles.”

35. “I love everything about hockey.”

36. “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.”

37. “There’s no perfect coach in the world. Coaches are human, too. Mistakes are made. But, fundamentally, if you’re sound, you eliminate as many mistakes as possible.”

38. “I grew up such a fan. It was my life. Everything I did was hockey-related and everything I have is because of hockey and the NHL.”

39. “Skating alone is an art. Doing it on a substance? I don’t know. That’s got to be tough.”

40. “I can’t remember the last time I went to a game and there was a fight. I think they fight more in baseball now than they do in hockey.”

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

42. “Listen, everything I have in my life is because of the NHL and because of hockey, and I love the game and I loved every minute of being a player, I loved coaching, I loved being involved in the NHL.”

43. “One of the key qualities that you need to be a great hockey player is fantastic anticipation and feel for the game—if you know where the puck is going before it is hit, that is half the battle.”

44. “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.”

45. “Sometimes people ask, ‘Are hockey fights real?’ I say, ‘If they weren’t, I’d get in more of them.’”

Wayne Gretzky Quotes About Winning, Playing, and Being Competitive

46. “It’s just amazing how many companies suddenly want you to hold up their products after you’ve held up the Stanley Cup.”

47. “And people who know me would tell you that away from hockey I’m really not that competitive.”

48. “People, in general, want to build somebody up and then try to knock them down. They always root for the underdog.”

49. “It’s an honor and a thrill and a privilege just to play in the NHL.”

50. “In one sense we are a favorite because we won a gold medal in 2002.”

51. “You know, I’ve held women and babies and jewels and money, but nothing will ever feel as good as holding that Cup.”

52. “That’s the hardest part of this whole process. The best part is picking the players and the worst part is telling basically five players they are not going to play tonight.”

53. “We know what we have with Boucher, and we know Curtis is a tremendous goalie and got a year off to get healthy. We expect it to be a competitive battle between both of them. I’d like to see one of them jump up and grab that starting position.”

54. “By no means could I play at the level of these kids who play in the NHL now but as 50-year-olds go, I feel really good and I feel blessed that I’m still healthy.”

55. “If we’re going to change the game it has to start at 8, 9, 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.”

56. “I’m very proud of our NHL players. I think they all handle themselves extremely well and they all work really hard.”

57. “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.”

58. “It’s kind of ironic—when I broke in at 17, I was told I was too small, too slow and I wouldn’t make the NHL.”

59. “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.”

60. “Hopefully, they can come up with a compromise that everyone’s happy with because it would be great to see us keep playing hockey.”

Wayne Gretzky Quotes That Zoom in on Teamwork

61. “I get a feeling about where a teammate is going to be. A lot of times, I can turn and pass without even looking.”

62. “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.”

63. “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.”

64. “We know that this country wants gold and nothing else is good enough. That’s the expectation for Canada when it comes to hockey and we know that. We aren’t kidding ourselves. We know we have to win the gold. We don’t have anything else on our minds.”

Interesting Wayne Gretzky Quotes to Know More About His Life, Family, and Personality

65. “Growing up, I was always the small guy.”

66. “We’re in a tough situation because of teenage children, and then we have a two-year-old and a five-year-old, so my family and my responsibilities are sort of a juggle.”

67. “My kids are no different than anyone else’s—they tend to disagree with everything I say!”

68. “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.”

69. “The success of Team Canada got me interested in teaching again which is something I really enjoy doing.”

70. “I have absolutely no complaints about my life. But people think I got handed everything, all this kind of fell in my lap, that I was just God-gifted with all this talent. I wanted people to realize it’s a lot tougher than just waking up one day and you’re in the NHL.”

Wayne Gretzky Quotes That Will Bring You Into His World

71. “The only way a kid is going to practice is if it’s total fun for him—and it was for me.”

72. “My answer is, why not? It’s what I love, it’s what I know.”

73. “He brings something special. I don’t know what it is, but if you ask him, you couldn’t understand his answer.”

74. “At the end of the day, everybody lost. We almost crippled our industry. It was very disappointing what happened.”

75. “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.”

76. “We’re going to get a lot of calls over the next four weeks. Obviously, we’ll listen.”

77. “The Power of WHO provides great lessons about how to succeed in business and in life.”

78. “The biggest difference between L.A. and Edmonton was that instead of people looking at me I was looking at them.”

79. “When emotions are high, things are said, things are done. Ultimately, these players want to play. I know too many of them love the game too much.”

80. “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’s part of your responsibility, and you learn that’s what makes it exciting. That’s what makes it fun!”

81. “It’s a big game, it’s on Hockey Night in Canada and he’s been outstanding all year.”

82. “He works harder than any athlete I’ve ever been around as far as off-season conditioning goes. He’s a maniac. I see him playing another three years no question. He could be our Julio Franco.”

83. “And, most importantly, I don’t care how good you are, if you don’t have a work ethic, it doesn’t matter. There’s no question that each and every game, he’s one of the hardest-working guys on the ice. In my mind, he’s the best player in the game today.”

84. “When Mess came into the league from the WHA at 17 he was kind of raw.”

85. “If I bet on sports? I would never embarrass Team Canada or the country or hockey? I would phone Gary Bettman and Bob Nicholson right now and say you know what, I resign, it’s over, even if I made a one-dollar bet.”

More Wayne Gretzky Quotes You’ll Love

86. “Hullie’s a lot like a garbage can. You step on the pedal with your foot and the top opens up.”

87. “Most people marry their mother. I married my father.”

88. “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 practiced two hours a day. He’d skate in them for three weeks then ship them back.”

89. “If I had to pick three players to start a franchise, I’d choose Hasek, Peter Forsberg, and Eric Lindros.”

90. “Eight days ago, we were the toast of the town. Eight days later we’re Thanksgiving turkeys.”

What Did These Wayne Gretzky Quotes Teach You About Teamwork, Success, and Sports?

Wayne Gretzky is widely considered to be one of the greatest ice hockey players of all time. He honed his skills at a backyard rink and played minor hockey regularly.

Since 2016, Gretzky’s been a partner and Vice President of the Oilers Entertainment group. He also wrote several books, including Playing With Fire, 99: Stories of the Game, and Gretzky.

Wayne Gretzky mastered the art of incorporating abilities with cleverness. He is living proof that you can achieve greatness if you put your heart and soul into something you enjoy. We hope this list was able to inspire you to keep working and honing the skills you need to have to achieve your dreams.

Did you feel motivated to hone your talent and pursue your passion? Which quotes are your favorites? Share your thoughts below.

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Karen Danao

Hi, I’m Karen, a content curator and writer for Quote Ambition; I’m also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, I’m someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics I love writing about! However, my true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

With the many places I’ve been to, I found that love, inspiration, and happiness are some things that bring people together. No matter how different we are on the outside, I’m a true believer that our emotions don’t lie; if you dig deep into our psyche, we’re all the same inside.

This belief was further amplified when I joined Quote Ambition. Through the quotes I’ve read, collected, organized, and written about, I found that humans are resilient, creative, and compassionate.

We take from each others’ hearts and courage, and it’s through our individual experiences that we learn how to rise above our challenges and pain. In so many ways, Quote Ambition is a platform that allows people from all over the world to gain the inspiration they need anytime, anywhere!

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