“Skate to where the puck is going, not to where it has been.”
I was watching Master Class last week and they have a new series with Wayne Gretzky. I was fortunate, I grew up where he played the first decade of his career in Edmonton. He is one of hockey’s greatest players, if not the greatest, depending on your view.
When asked why he was so good at the game of hockey, he famously said: “I skated to where the puck was going, not to where it had been.”
He was talking about anticipation. Perhaps his greatest asset. People used to say he had eyes in the back of his head.
In an episode in Master Class which I highly recommend (for hockey fans this series is worth the cost alone!), he talks about how his father Walter was ahead of his time in thinking about the game.
“I remember I was watching hockey on Saturday nights and my dad would say, I want you to watch the play, and draw where the puck is going all period, but don’t look down at your paper. You need to be able to see the play and have your head up. I would then analyze where the puck had been and it was surprising. I kept doing this over and over again until it transferred onto the ice.”
Anticipation. One of Gretzky’s greatest assets.
How are you anticipating where the puck is going in your life? Are you putting in the work to be world-class?