If you’re interested in ice hockey, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the legend that is Wayne Gretzky.
Gretzky boasts a 20-year hockey career with 60 NHL records under his belt. No wonder Sports Illustrated named him the “hockey player of the century”.
A MasterClass from Gretzky teaching you how to attain the mindset he used to become hockey’s greatest player seems too good to be true; and before I started the course, I was worried it might be. No one can doubt Gretzky’s credentials, but being a great athlete doesn’t necessarily make you a great teacher, especially when talking about a subject like mindset, which a lot of athletes take for granted.
Can the Wayne Gretzky MasterClass really live up to its billing? Or is it just a chance for Wayne to ramble about the good old days?
In this Wayne Gretzky MasterClass review, we’re going to cover everything you need to know to help you decide if it's right for you. As a sport science graduate myself, I’ve got a few thoughts.
In this Wayne Gretzky MasterClass Review, I’ll discuss the course content, the quality, the originality, and if it's actually worth the price.
But first, here’s the highlights:
You will learn:
- Wayne Gretzky’s story: From junior hockey in a small town in Ontario to the NHL’s greatest player
- How to have a champion’s mindset
- The right way to deal with tough decisions
- Ways to cope with losses and learn from your mistakes
- How to increase your longevity as an athlete
- Set attainable goals that will lead you to success
- The importance of gaining respect from your peers and how to do it
- Exclusive insight from Wayne Gretzky
- Gretzky is an engaging speaker with a clear passion for sports
- Accompanying footage from Gretzky’s games helps bring the stories to life
- Lesson content is easy to digest and never overwhelming
- Strong focus on fundamentals – more appropriate for beginners
- Light on technical content – majority of content is given to Gretzky’s stories
- Some information is very specific to ice hockey – less useful for athletes not competing in a team setting
Length of course: 19 videos totalling 2 hours and 7 minutes of content (average lesson length 6 mins)
Best for: Early career athletes who want to learn more about mindset; sports hobbyists; Wayne Gretzky fans; any and all Ice hockey enthusiasts!
Overall: A hugely inspirational course that’ll make you want to run out and train as soon as you’re finished with it. Gretzky is a fantastic storyteller and there’s plenty you can learn from him. An absolute must watch for any ice hockey fan!
Now that's out of the way, here’s what we’ll cover in this review:
- About Wayne Gretzky
- About MasterClass
- A sneak peek at what’s inside
- What I liked about Wayne Gretzky’s MasterClass
- What could be improved
- Who this class is for and how much it costs
- What the alternatives are
- Whether the content is really unique
- What you’ll need to take part
And finally, is the Wayne Gretzky MasterClass really worth it?
About Wayne Gretzky
There's a good reason why Wayne “the great one” Gretzky is one of the best known stars in ice hockey. Put simply, he’s the best to ever play it.
Starting his career playing for the Indianapolis Racers, Gretzky was then traded to the Edmonton Oilers in 1979, who he led to win the Stanley Cup four times throughout his stay there. In 1988 Gretzky was traded again, this time to the Los Angeles Kings. Just like that, a previously unsuccessful team was spearheaded all the way to the Stanley Cup finals for the very first time.
Gretzky is also credited with popularising ice hockey in California during his time there, and today continues to support the game. He currently runs the Gretzky hockey school, helping get kids from all over the US and Canada into hockey.
Throughout his career, Gretzky has proved himself again and again to be the best. He’s received commendations from legendary players like Gordie Howe, publications like Forbes and Sports Illustrated, and even the NHL itself!
If there’s anyone on earth who knows the importance of a hard working mindset, it's Wayne Gretzky.
If you’ve read this far and haven’t seen the trailer for the Wayne Gretzky MasterClass, I highly recommend you give it a watch!
Masterclass is an online learning platform that offers courses from world-class experts in a variety of subjects.
Having taken a number of MasterClass courses myself, I can report that many are fantastic, and give you a great insight into their chosen subjects. That being said, some are better than others, and it's important to do your research beforehand to make sure the course you’re choosing is the right one for you.
Inside Wayne Gretzky's MasterClass
Wayne Gretzky’s MasterClass consists of:
- 19 video lessons totalling 2 hours and 7 minutes of content (average lesson length is about 6 minutes)
- A 21 page workbook featuring summaries of the stages of Gretzky’s career, and the lessons that can be learned from them
Overall, Gretzky’s course consists of a recap of his career, starting with his childhood and how he first got into hockey, and ending with his retirement and career ventures post-hockey.
Throughout, Gretzky highlights the decisions he made that led to his success and translates them into advice viewers can act upon in their own pursuits.
For the purpose of this review, I’ve broken down the course into four key sections:
- Gretzky’s younger years
- Playing in the NHL
- Wayne’s Championship reign
- Gretzky post-hockey and closing thoughts
Part 1: Lessons 2-7: Gretzky’s younger years
In the first 7 lessons, Gretzky takes you through his beginnings as a hockey player, shooting pucks in his backyard at just 4 years old, and how his passion for hockey developed as he grew.
These sessions set the tone for the rest of the course, consisting of Gretzky giving an endearing sit-down talk about stories from his childhood, interspersed with graphics and footage of a young Gretzky practising and competing for the first time.
It’s a genuinely charming segment that gives the viewer a behind the scenes peek at Gretzky’s upbringing, and how his childhood moulded his character into the athlete superstar he would go on to become.
At the end of each of his stories, Gretzky will give the viewer advice based on his own experiences.
In this segment, the viewer will learn:
- How to find your passion
- Why you don’t need fancy equipment to be successful
- What a good idol is and how they should inspire you
- The importance of playing above your level
- Why creativity is more important than structure
- How to deal with tough decisions
Part 2: Lessons 8-12: Playing in the NHL
This section of the course focuses on Gretzky’s early days in the NHL: his brief stint with the Indianapolis Racers; being traded to the Edmonton Oilers; and his growth as a player during that time period.
Continuing on from the previous section, these lessons feature the same sit-down talk style, this time interspersed with playback footage from many of Gretzky’s early games in the WHA and NHL.
In this section you’ll learn:
- How to set attainable goals
- The importance of professionalism
- How to find your place
- “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” and what that really means
- What makes a championship team
Part 3: Lessons 13-16: Wayne’s championship reign
Coming into lesson 13, we move on to the height of Gretzky’s career: his multiple Stanley cup victories with the Edmonton Oilers; his emotional departure from the team to join the Los Angeles Kings; and the transitioning of the Kings from a previously unheard of team to serious Stanley cup contenders.
Whilst the stories remain engaging, it’s at this point that Gretzky’s insights start to become a bit less relevant to the average sportsman. Most of the advice given here is in specific relation to how to act as a world champion, interesting to hear, but probably not that applicable for most viewers.
For hockey fans though, this might well be the highlight of the course. Gretzky tells stories about some of his most famous career highlights, and he does a great job of getting viewers just as excited about his accomplishments as he is.
Not the most applicable section, but definitely a treat for the fans.
In this section you’ll learn:
- How to have a Champion’s mindset
- Why you should never rest on your laurels
- Expecting the unexpected
- How to earn the respect of your peers
Part 4: Lessons 17-19: Gretzky post-hockey and closing thoughts
The final lessons of the course touch on Gretzky’s exit from the NHL and his ventures post-hockey, including the Gretzky Hockey School, a summer camp for kids in the US and Canada that teaches (what else?) the fundamentals of ice hockey and organises youth competitions.
In this segment you’ll learn:
- How keeping healthy increases your longevity as an athlete
- How to walk the walk
- The importance of playing it forwards
What I liked about Wayne Gretzky's MasterClass
An engaging and passionate speaker
As I’ve said before, Gretzky is a great speaker, and does a fantastic job of making his stories engaging and exciting.
The whole course has a casual and conversational tone, which occasionally turns more serious in a “father teaches son” kind of way when Gretzky talks about the lessons to extrapolate from his stories.
Whilst the conversational tone may put some viewers off, especially anyone who was hoping for a more academic/sport psychology style course, it suits the intent of the course. Gretzky’s delivery feels personal and genuinely emotional, and makes it really feel like he's talking to you, as opposed to a teleprompter.
Unique insight into the man himself
Beyond “teaching the athlete’s mindset”, it feels like the primary purpose of this course is to give Gretzky an opportunity to talk openly about his rise to fame and give insight into his struggles and successes. In this respect, the course is second to none.
The MasterClass format gives Gretzky a lot of freedom to dictate the course how he likes, and the result is a series of emotionally engaging tales that you can tell he’s excited to share.
Rather than focusing just on the big events in Gretzky’s career, the MasterClass takes time to highlight things like Wayne’s relationship with his father, his friendship with Gordie Howe, and his love for sports outside of hockey, including his fascination with baseball.
Giving time to these subjects gives a unique insight into Wayne Gretzky as a person and does a lot to help the viewer connect with the speaker.
High quality production and memorable footage
MasterClass has set a standard for production quality in the online learning sphere, and this course is no exception.
The lighting, camerawork, and soundtrack all work together beautifully to create a professional feel to the course.
The choice of footage throughout also helps bring many of Gretzky’s stories to life. Not only does it feature game footage from many of his most famous matches, but also includes home videos from Gretzky’s childhood days that are sure to give a pang of nostalgia to anyone who still remembers recording onto VHS tapes.
What I thought could be improved
Lack of technical content
The main disappointment of this MasterClass for me was undoubtedly, the lack of technical content. Whilst the course does deliver on some aspects, the amount of actionable advice in the course is surprisingly scant, and what is given tends to be fairly basic, especially for the price.
Of course, for those of you who are more interested in learning about Wayne Gretzky than in taking a generic sport psychology course, the focus on Gretzky’s story will be a bonus.
Additionally, whilst many of the lessons may seem basic, they may be useful for young/new athletes who are starting from a blank slate.
However, people who come into this course as already intermediate/advanced athletes in their respective sports may be disappointed when the extent of some of the advice Gretzky gives is “work very hard and learn from your mistakes”.
Occasionally a bit too specific
Naturally, Gretzky’s MasterClass is going to be most applicable for ice hockey players, and does provide some insight that would be specifically beneficial to athletes trying to make a career in team sports, such as his perspectives on player trading between teams.
However, for folks competing in a less team-oriented sport, a few of the lessons won’t be particularly relevant. For example, lesson 12 covers how to build a championship team, and focuses on the necessary traits a sports team needs for success; great for an aspiring NHL team, less useful for an aspiring boxing champion.
Workbook is a bit lacking
Whilst the workbook is nicely animated and reader-friendly, it doesn’t really add much to the course. The writeups of Gretzky’s stories are well written, but there’s not much point in reading them when you could just listen to Gretzky tell them himself.
In fairness, the nature of this course being closer to an interview means there’s not really a lot to work with in terms of creating a workbook. And credit should be given to the MasterClass team that the graphic design is fun and appealing and the articles are very readable.
However, it would’ve been nice to use the workbook to expand on the material in the courses rather than simply reiterate it. If, for example, there were practical suggestions on how to implement Gretzky’s advice it might be worth looking through.
As it stands it's more or less just a print version of the video course content that’s a lot less interesting to go through.
Who is the Wayne Gretzky MasterClass for?
As much as I really enjoyed this course, it's important to make sure that the course content matches up with what you’re looking for.
Gretzky covers a lot of fundamental principles when it comes to having a good mindset, but it's clear that the heart of the content here is getting an insight into who Gretzky is as a hockey player.
In my opinion, the Wayne Gretzky MasterClass is for:
- Beginner athletes who want to start learning about how to improve their mindset
- Hobbyists who want to learn more about the Champion’s mindset
- Athletes looking for a motivational course to push them to work harder
- Fans of ice hockey who want to learn more about the hockey player lifestyle
- Fans of Wayne Gretzky who want to learn about his story as an athlete
How much does the Wayne Gretzky MasterClass cost?
At time of writing, a MasterClass subscription costs $120 per year, or $10 a month. With the subscription, you have access to all the 200+ courses on MasterClass.
The great thing about this offering is that the more classes you take, the less the effective cost per class is. For example, if you’re able to find at least 4-6 classes you like, it means you’re effectively paying $20-$30 per course.
Bearing in mind that these classes are taught by world experts the value is second to none. What’s more, MasterClass also offers a 30 day refund if you’re unhappy with your purchase.
Alternatives to Wayne Gretzky's MasterClass
In terms of alternatives, there are four I can recommend you check out:
MasterClass itself has another great class on the winning mindset led by none other than Lewis Hamilton.
It's a solid MasterClass with a lot of great content. The personal lessons are heartfelt and sincere, the lessons about Hamilton’s training are engaging for anyone with an interest in F1 or sport in general. And there’s an abundance of applicable mindset advice to start integrating into your day to day activities.
The Skills is a brand new online learning platform that provides online courses taught by sporting greats and qualified exercise coaches.
Unlike MasterClass, The Skills specializes in sport-based courses, and currently offers instructional courses in sports like soccer, football, swimming, etc. as well as more general wellness courses covering topics like mobility, confidence and motivation.
Sport Mindset institute:
A site devoted to mental training for athletes, if you’re looking for more technical sport psychology, then this is definitely worth checking out. Under their program, you’ll work with a qualified sport psychologist to develop a mental training regime for a number of needs such as goal setting, conquering anxiety and many more.
I myself haven’t taken any of their paid courses and cannot comment on their quality but I have taken their free mini-course, and I was impressed with what I got. The online Q&A was well handled and whilst the regime I received was fairly basic (to be expected for a free course), it was well made and was something I could immediately apply to my own sports practice.
If you’re at all interested, I suggest you check out their free course!
Udemy: offers their own sport psychology course – “Sport psychology – develop the champion mindset”. I have not taken the course myself, however, looking over it, it's produced by a qualified sport psychologist and covers a number of important sports mental training principles such as motivation, concentration and self-confidence.
The course is also cheaper than the MasterClass course, at around $80. It’s currently reviewed at 4.5 stars out of 5 on their site, so may be well worth checking out.
And on the off chance that you might be considering learning a martial art online, check out our article: Can you really learn Martial Arts online first!
What others have said about Wayne Gretzky's MasterClass
As part of this review, I've trawled the web to see what others thought of the class.
It has to be said that it's divided opinion across the internet. A number of commentators on YouTube and Reddit claimed that the course didn’t say anything profound and was overall a waste of money.
Whilst I think that’s a little extreme, I can understand why some people may feel this way, one Redditor put it best:
“Some MasterClasses seem useful, but there’s some courses where it seems like you’re paying just to watch an interview with a famous person”.
I think this comment alone sums up the issues with this MasterClass, as far as an interview with a sports legend goes, the course is fantastic. But as an instructional course to make you a better athlete, the course is just too light on information.
It has to be said though that on the MasterClass site itself, the course has been praised by a number of students:
“...this is so much more than a course, it’s a lesson on life”
“This was one of the best classes I’ve taken so far, and now I’m a big Gretzky fan!”.
This is a good example of why it's important to do your research before reaching judgement on an online course you’re considering taking, although the Wayne Gretzky MasterClass didn’t go down well with the Reddit crowd, there’s no way of knowing which commenters were genuine and which never took the course and just assumed it was bad.
How unique is the course content?
It is and it isn’t.
The interview aspect of the course is certainly unique, and it's nice to get to hear Gretzky in such a casual, conversational context. It definitely sets itself apart from many other sports interviews with how freely Gretzky is able to talk, and you get the sense he’s telling these stories in the way he wants to tell them.
However, the teaching aspect of the course is, sadly, not unique. As stated before, many of the points given throughout this course are basic points you could find in any motivational speech. They may still have value for a beginner, I’ve definitely found from coaching myself that what may seem obvious to an experienced sports practitioner may not be obvious to an absolute beginner.
It’s also worth mentioning that whilst a lot of the information found in this course could be found on YouTube, the advantage of MasterClass is receiving a carefully curated program, focussing on the lessons Gretzky feels are most important. By taking this course you’re cutting out potential hours of scrolling through youtube or similar sites to get the best information delivered straight to you.
Is the Wayne Gretzky MasterClass worth it?
Let me expand on that. The course definitely has some great content and was very enjoyable to watch. But you need to be aware of what you’re getting into before you take the plunge.
If you’re an intermediate/advanced athlete looking for an instructional course on how to improve your mindset, this MasterClass is most likely not for you. Although the course covers some really interesting topics for an athlete, like improving longevity and learning from your mistakes, there’s just not enough technical information in any of them for it to be worth your time.
However, if you’re a beginner athlete looking to learn the basic fundamentals of mindset, this course has a lot of valuable information to offer.
As well, if you’re a Gretzy fan or ice hockey enthusiast, it's definitely worth a try. Gretzky is a charismatic speaker with some heart-warming stories to tell about a fantastic moment in hockey history.
Plus, viewing this on an all-access pass gives you fantastic value for money, as you’ll still have over 100 other high-quality courses to check out after this one. Including classes from other sporting greats such as Steph Curry, Simone Biles and Alex Honnold & Tommy Caldwell.
MasterClass even offers a 30-day money back guarantee, so what’ve you got to lose?
Frequently asked questions
A MasterClass all-access-pass costs $120 a year ($10 a month). This gives you access to Wayne Gretzky’s class, alongside 200+ other courses.
Wayne Gretzky’s MasterClass is 2 hours and 7 minutes long, broken up into 19 videos.
Unfortunately you can’t get the Wayne Gretzky MasterClass for free. But MasterClass has a range of purchasing options and offers refunds if you’re not happy.
Yes, MasterClass operates a 30 day refund policy if you purchase directly through them. If you purchase through other providers, their returns policy may apply.