Dream of being a Hall of Famer? Here’s advice from best

Hockey Hall of Famer Brett Hull shares starry advice with LSY! sports editor Hailey Rose Gattuso on the red carpet leading into the Hall of Fame inductions in Toronto.

Hockey Hall of Famer Brett Hull shares starry advice with LSY! sports editor Hailey Rose Gattuso on the red carpet leading into the Hall of Fame inductions in Toronto.

This was the celebration of men who pursued what they loved, and chased that dream until they could take it no further.

And take it far, they did: the Hockey Hall of Fame. So few stars make it to so high a level, which leaves the rest of us to wonder, How did they do it?

When you are young especially, you see those people, and then you see yourself. Whether they’re athletes, entertainers or world-class professionals, they’ve achieved a dream that would you’d love to have for yourself.

From the red carpet of the 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame inductions in Toronto, I got some advice from all of us by asking these superstars how they reached the top of their game:

• Make sure this is really what you want to do. If it is, do it with every bit of energy you have.  “Most really great players totally committed themselves to their profession and that’s why they are so good,” said 2004 inductee Cliff Fletcher who, as a hockey executive, was in charge of finding and hiring the best players for his teams.

• Let your teammates (or castmates, for you aspiring entertainers) be your support system. You don’t do it by yourself,” said Doug Gilmour, Hockey Hall of Famer class of 2011. “You do it with your teammates.”

• Build a reputation as a star performer AND as a great person. “Be good at school, practice hard, and listen to your coach,” said Igor Larionov, class of 2008. “Have some fun, and be creative when you play the game. Express yourself and enjoy yourself as much as you can.”

• Get smart about what you do. “Have an understanding of the game,” said Lanny McDonald, class of 1992. “See it way better than anyone else. Watch the game. Love the game. Study the history of the game.  Then play the game at a different level.”

• Be willing to do it for a LONG time — and don’t expect to be a superstar right away. “Longevity,” said Mike Gartner, class of 2001. “You have to be able to sustain a certain level of play for a long period of time and you have to be very fortunate to play with really great players along the way.”

• Be patient — few people become instant stars. “Forty-one years in the business — it took me that long to get here,” said broadcaster Rick Jeanneret, a member of the 2012 class. “But it was well worth it.”

Stay focused on your goal. “You have to be mentally prepared each and every night,” Gilmour said.

• Aim for greatness everyday – don’t take a day off from it. “To be consistent, that is the difference between great and good players,” Larionov said.

• Have fun! Pursuing stardom can be challenging, but it shouldn’t be miserable. “More than anything it is longevity, the love of the game, and enjoying what they do each and every day,” McDonald said.

• When you want to quit, keep pushing through. “Overcome all your adversities with mental strength,” said Brett Hull, class of 2009. “When you do that, everything else will fall into place.”

• NEVER forget – this is supposed to be fun! “Have fun,” Hull said. “No matter what it is, it’s a game. Have fun. Enjoy it.”

— Hailey Rose Gatusso
LSY! Sports Editor, Mount St. Mary Academy

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