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Bobby Orr Bobby Orr > Quotes


Bobby Orr quotes Showing 1-29 of 29

“There are no environments where you're only going to win, because life just isn't like that.”
Bobby Orr
“Forget about style; worry about results. ”
Bobby Orr
“Developing better people should be the number one goal for any coach when dealing with kids. In trying to develop better people, we are going to develop more and better pros.”
Bobby Orr
“Always remember that those who are closest to you will be affected by your dreams. Somewhere along the way, they will undoubtedly have to sacrifice something in order to help you realize your goals.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“You never know how a single interaction with a person might affect their life, so you must constantly try to be at your best.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“We probably all had the dream, back then, that one day our talent would take us to the big time, and there was nothing wrong with dreaming that dream. That’s what fuels every game of shinny or back-lot baseball in the world. Of course, as you move along in your hockey career, reality begins to set in for most people. The dream begins to slowly fade away with the understanding that you will probably never be playing under the bright lights. But that’s beside the point—that’s not what childhood games are about, anyway. The life lessons we learned about competing remained with us even into adulthood. The types of competitions you engage in as an adult might be different from those you participated in when you were a child, but the rules from childhood still apply. What you learn on the frozen bays and ball fields doesn’t become less relevant, no matter where you end up.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“I’m not trying to tell anyone not to watch TV, but if you’ve ever spent a long winter afternoon playing shinny with the whole neighborhood, or a summer evening playing softball with anyone who shows up at the diamond, you will know that kids who don’t have the chance to organize themselves and solve their own problems and feel the exhilaration of sport for its own sake are missing out on something irreplaceable. In those days, we rarely waited for an adult to organize our social time or sports experiences. We took that upon ourselves. We were the ones who decided which game to play, where to play it, when to assemble, and who would be on whose team.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“Passion is a key word for any athlete, regardless of the sport. It’s important in any profession, for that matter.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“Firing pucks at your garage door is probably something that young hockey players have always done.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“If you have any reason for coaching other than wanting to develop better people through minor sports, you should probably step aside. And”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“The most skilled coaches will always find a way for players to have fun, even if that trophy is nowhere in sight. Creating little victories within the bigger defeats is a mark of excellent coaching, and to those who follow that path, I applaud you. W”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“Parents today might be surprised to discover what kids can do if they are left to their own devices. We certainly learned to figure things out for ourselves. We had to take the initiative, because the odds were that no parent would be available to shovel off the bay or the rink or a stretch of road. If we wanted to play, we had to do the work to make it happen. We also learned how to give as well as take, because we were all in it together, and it was important to interact with everybody in the group even if they weren’t your closest friends. If there is no one there to tell you to play nice, you figure out pretty quickly that there really is a code, and kids naturally respect it.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“Every once in a while, tempers would flare, but we figured out how to settle those disputes as well—after all, there was no referee to decide the outcome. You would stand up for yourself on some occasions if you had to. One way or another, every kid who laces up a pair of skates in a shinny game learns that backing down almost never helps. But it also doesn’t take long to figure out that if you play by the spirit of the rules, there is usually not much trouble.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“Sports in general, and hockey specifically, forced those lessons on us all, and they stuck with us for a lifetime. No coaches to tell you what to do. No parents to tell you how to behave. No referees to tell you what’s fair. And no linesmen to break up trouble if someone loses his temper. Yes, that’s freedom. But it’s also responsibility—we had to figure things out for ourselves or there wouldn’t have been those day-long games we loved so much. Unfortunately, in many respects those long-ago days are a world removed from what we see today.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“My first hockey games seem so distant now. So much of modern sports is scripted for our kids, and that’s not the way it was when I was young. That is one way that the pure joy of participating may, to my way of thinking, be diminished for some children. Today, we see entire leagues being owned by a single person or company, and elite or travel-level players often have most of the advantages when it comes to ice time, whether that is at practice or game opportunities. Yet most of the kids who want to participate aren’t elite at all—by definition, they can’t all be elite. Most kids are average. That’s what average means.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“Consistency in coaching styles is, I think, very important, and something I wish more coaches would consider, regardless of the level at which they find themselves coaching.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“I realize I’ve been celebrating all the things we kids did on our own back then, but the fact is we were surrounded by people who cared about us and helped us along. I thought of them only as “coach” or “sir” or “ma’am.” I couldn’t have realized then just how important they would be in my development, both on and off the ice. I can’t name them all, of course—so many of them come in and out of a kid’s life, maybe helping out in small ways, maybe doing bigger things. There must have been many I wasn’t even aware of. Neighbors, volunteers, family members—these people are always contributing in ways kids just take for granted.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“And now there was this statue—I don’t know how many pounds of gleaming bronze—telling the same story. It is a beautiful piece of art, don’t get me wrong. But I was struck by what the statue didn’t say. By capturing a single moment, it had to leave out the moments before and after. By depicting a single person, it left out all the people who won the Cup that year, and all the people who helped us win it—and also the fans who shared in that victory. It would have meant a lot less to score that goal in an empty Boston Garden, just as it would have been absurd to be the only person at the unveiling of the statue. These aren’t things that happen to anyone alone.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“Sometimes you do everything right and the puck bounces the wrong way. Sometimes you play poorly and get lucky. But on the whole, if you play the game right, you’ll get the results you are looking for. The guys in the room all knew that. And if on occasion we forgot how to be honest with ourselves, there were leaders with us who would sort us out. The coaching staff was always more than willing to bring us back to reality in a hurry, too. I mean no disrespect to sportswriters by any of this, but no amount of information provided by any writer was going to alter our view of the game.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“Call me old-fashioned, but when I was growing up, and especially playing sports, we learned that you don’t throw someone under the bus. Mind you, I have no problem sharing the truth when it comes to a particular topic or event, as you are about to see. But telling the truth and piling on are two different things entirely.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“If this book were just about nostalgia, or highlights from my career, it would just reinforce a version of the story I never found particularly interesting. The trophies, the scoring titles, the Stanley Cups—that’s all in the history books now. But like that famous photo, or the statue outside the TD Garden, they don’t tell you much. They don’t speak to values or to motivation. They don’t explain inspiration, or add asterisks for the people who helped me (or pushed me). They record, in the simplest way, what happened on the ice, not how I got there, or who I met along the way and what I learned from them.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“Of course, the final piece of the puzzle is passion. Without it, the hard work is just too hard.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“The years pass, and a lifetime seems to go by in an instant. I’m told that the young boy is a grandfather now. He has lived a life that should be an example for everyone who achieves greatness of how to be humble and unselfish and how to treat others. It was a joy to be able to coach him for that season and the next year as well, to get to know him as a person as well as player, and it is a great honor to be asked to reminisce about him now.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“They all helped make me a more confident player, and with more confidence comes the desire to try different and more creative things on the ice. That lesson in building a player’s confidence is something all coaches need to learn. It worked back then, and it still works for today’s players.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“I still have trouble imagining the coach of a group of eight- or nine-year-old players actually wasting time teaching systems. The greatest system any coach can pass along is allowing kids to create and refine skills. Systems need to come into play only much later, if ever.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“I can’t remember any of those coaches ever telling me to chip the puck off the boards when things got tough in our own end. We were allowed to try things, creative moves that could get us out of jams on the ice (or into them). That kind of coaching would show itself in the way I played as a professional years later. Without that background of guidance from my minor hockey coaches, I doubt I could ever have become the player I did.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“Bucko allowed me to go with my first instinct on the ice: never get rid of the puck when you can control it. Hold on to it, and let the play open up in front of you. And again, it keeps coming back to those days on outdoor rinks or rivers or bays, where we simply skated and handled the puck for hours on end. That training allowed me to do the things I did as a player, and my coaches in turn allowed those skills to develop.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“That was the way we learned how to play the game, and you develop your skills pretty quickly in a pitched battle on that scale. After all, if you wanted to spend any amount of time with the puck on your stick, you had to learn how to stickhandle through ten opponents. That’s a great environment for kids to develop skills while at the same time having a ton of fun.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story
“It’s safe to say that everyone loved to win when they played those games, and I was no different, but to me playing hockey and baseball really wasn’t just about winning. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we shouldn’t have competition. Even my harshest critics over the years couldn’t complain that I didn’t want to win badly enough. I do believe, however, that learning to handle both winning and losing is the most important part of competition. Coming to grips with the idea that the outcome doesn’t always go your way is a life lesson, not just a lesson in sport. Sometimes we kept score, sometimes we didn’t. But our games were primarily about the sheer joy of play, of being able to go outside with your buddies and simply have a good time.”
Bobby Orr, Orr: My Story


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