54 Wayne Gretzky Quotes That Transcend Hockey

“The Great One”, as he is affectionately called within the hockey circle, has a lot of famous sayings about life, hockey, and teamwork.

These 50 Wayne Gretzky quotes apply to hockey and so much more!

Wayne Gretzky is a Canadian hockey player who played in the NHL from 1979-1999.

He was also a Head Coach for the Phoenix Coyotes until their bankruptcy in 2009.

Gretzky has been a partner and Vice President of the Oilers Entertainment group since 2016.

Wayne Gretzky is also the author of several books, including Playing With Fire, 99: Stories of the Game, and Gretzky.

If you have read them, then you likely already know that Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Keep reading these Wayne Gretzky quotes for some other inspirational gems from one of hockey’s greatest players!

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration. 

Our inspirational quotes category page has all of our motivational quotes for all the different areas of life.

Wayne Gretzky quotes about winning and being competitive

1. “When you win, say nothing, when you lose say less.” – Wayne Gretzky

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2. “It’s easier to lose than to win.” – Wayne Gretzky

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

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

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

6. “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.” – Wayne Gretzky

7. “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.” – Wayne Gretzky

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

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Wayne Gretzky quotes about teamwork

9. “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.” – Wayne Gretzky
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10. “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.” – Wayne Gretzky

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11. “When I was 5 and playing against 11-year-olds, who were bigger, stronger, faster, I just had to figure out a way to play with them.” – Wayne Gretzky

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

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

14. “I don’t think any, one person will ever be bigger than the game.” – Wayne Gretzky

15. “When you’re playing an exhibition, you’re kind of letting everyone get an opportunity.” – Wayne Gretzky

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

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Wayne Gretzky quotes on life lessons learned from hockey

17. “Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.” – Wayne Gretzky

18. “The highest compliment that you can pay me is to say that I work hard every day, that I never dog it. – Wayne Gretzky

19. “The day I stop giving is the day I stop receiving. The day I stop learning is the day I stop growing.” – Wayne Gretzky

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

21. “The only way a kid is going to practice is if it’s total fun for him… and it was for me.” – Wayne Gretzky

22. “If you surround yourself with quality people and great friends, the sky’s the limit.” – Wayne Gretzky

23. “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” – Wayne Gretzky

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

25. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

26. “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. I think it’s essentially a matter of taking care of what takes care of you.” – Wayne Gretzky

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27. “Not doing it is certainly the best way to not getting it.” – Wayne Gretzky

28. “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.” – Wayne Gretzky

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

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

Wayne Gretzky quotes on hockey and the NHL

31. “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.” – Wayne Gretzky

32. “Maybe it wasn’t the talent the Lord gave me – maybe it was the passion.” – Wayne Gretzky

33. “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” – Wayne Gretzky

34. “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.” – Wayne Gretzky

35. “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.” – Wayne Gretzky
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36. “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”. – Wayne Gretzky

37. “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.” – Wayne Gretzky

38. “Ninety percent of hockey is mental and the other half is physical.” – Wayne Gretzky

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

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.” – Wayne Gretzky

41. “I love everything about hockey.” – Wayne Gretzky

42. “In one sense we are a favorite because we won a gold medal in 2002.” – Wayne Gretzky

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

44. “It’s an honor and a thrill and a privilege just to play in the NHL.” – Wayne Gretzky

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More Wayne Gretzky quotes to inspire you

45. “Most people marry their mother. I married my father.” – Wayne Gretzky

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

47. “My kids are no different than anyone else’s – they tend to disagree with everything I say!” – Wayne Gretzky

48. “Growing up, I was always the small guy.” – Wayne Gretzky

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

50. “…But I don’t think you should force your kid to become a professional athlete.” – Wayne Gretzky

51. “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.” – Wayne Gretzky

52. “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.” – Wayne Gretzky

53. “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.” – Wayne Gretzky

54. “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.” – Wayne Gretzky

Which of these Wayne Gretzky quotes is your favorite?

Gretzky has a lot of wisdom to offer about more than just hockey.

I will admit that I am not a fan of hockey, but nearly every one of these quotes could apply to living life in general!

He clearly has the heart of a winner and is someone who was determined to live their best life, before that was cool.

One that stuck with me is, “It’s easier to lose than win.”

It’s a simple quote with so much truth.

The things we say we want the most, often require the most work, and it can be tempting to get in our own way. 

Which of these quotes did you find the most motivating?

Do you have any other wise Wayne Gretzky quotes to add?

Drop them in the comment section below!

Check out Wayne Gretzky on MasterClass where he teaches the Athlete’s Mindset.

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