A boy who saw “In Search of Greatness” recently was inspired to replicate the Gretzky method while watching a Premier League soccer game between West Ham and Tottenham. His father took a picture of the end result and sent it to Gabe Pol sky, the film’s director, who in turn forwarded the flow chart to some other sports fans.
In a way, you could almost blame it on Gretzky, whose peculiar talents weren’t replicable enough to model, and whose trade to the Los Angeles Kings, in 1988, was meant to herald a boom in hockey fandom across the Sun Belt. Teams sprouted in Tampa and San Jose and Anaheim, and northern franchises relocated to Dallas and Phoenix and Raleigh.
Defensive traps and opportunistic counterattacking proved effective in negating talent advantages, and a semblance of parity was achieved. Looking at today’s trends of early specialization, tiger parenting, and the obscene costs of travelling programs and private lessons in youth sports across the board, Pol sky sees understandable reason for concern.
There’s a scene in the film when, as Gretzky is getting prepped to officially sit for an interview, Pol sky wonders aloud if he’d like to hear some questions and topics he’ll be bringing up. That sort of freedom to read and react, Pol sky argues with the film, is an essential key to greatness and is cultivated not through repeated drills but free-flowing, unstructured play meeting unfettered passion.
Pol sky built the film carefully, working systematically toward a conclusion that should be obvious even to those who, in his mind, rely too much on systemic training methods and conformity. His story may be about greatness and the uncomplicated joy it can bring, but it is also more than that, as his efforts to recruit youth teams to see the film shows; he has a very clear message he feels should be heard.
You can’t help but see all the ways we’re extinguishing the possibility of play blossoming into greatness, and how damaging the maw of youth sports has become. A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject.
It may require cleanup to comply with Wikipedia's content policies, particularly neutral point of view. Featuring original interviews with famous sporting-world figures Wayne Gretzky, Jerry Rice, and Pelé, In Search of Greatness explores the role of creativity in the careers of the world's greatest athletes, both historical and contemporary.
The movie also features interviews with authors and creativity experts Ken Robinson and David Epstein. During an April 2018 interview with Sports Illustrated Now discussing what inspired the film, Pol sky said “Every boy and girl has their own variables, their own creative abilities.
That's your competitive advantage... Kids who have potential are often put to the side, and we leave a lot on the table.” ^ Pol sky, Gabe, In Search of Greatness, Wayne Gretzky, Jerry Rice, Pelé, retrieved 2018-04-20 ^ “Oscars: 'In Search of Greatness,' Early Doc Contender, Releases First Trailer (Exclusive)”.
^ “New documentary asks how sports legends achieved greatness”. According to NowT his, each 5-7 minute video utilized unused footage from the doc to help explore how Pele rose to soccer royalty, what Jerry Rice believes makes a complete player, and what Wayne Gretzky considers as the true meaning of greatness.
This groundbreaking feature documentary reveals the secrets of how ‘genius’ works through a series of intimate conversations with sporting greats including Wayne Gretzky, Pelé, Jerry Rice, Muhammad Ali, Venus & Serena Williams and Michael Jordan. Writer/Director Gabe Pol sky brings an original and playful eye to a film that explores everything from upbringing, coaching and genetics to psychology and philosophy and in doing so champions the idea that it is the journey and not the destination which truly counts.
Kids’ sports teams running through the joint in the afternoons, looking at the memorabilia and reliving their parents’ past; tourists of all ages wanting to see what the fuss is about; groups congregating on the rooftop patio or the back room watching whatever big game was going on at the time. A communal meeting place like few others in the downtown core and none that have survived and thrived.
This might have been the essence of Gretzky’s for the normal folks who wanted to bask in his life, see his memorabilia, be around the brand. It was a winter night, snow falling and temperatures dropping, no one really venturing out but a couple of tourist families, hockey fans no doubt, who had to see what all the fuss was about.
“ Wayne was in town, and he was still playing, he was playing the Leafs the next night,” Tom Bite, Gretzky’s partner for all these years and still a hands-on operator of the space today as managing partner, recalls over a glass of water at the bar. “It was like, not many people here, it was a cold winter night … probably didn’t have 25 customers in the entire place and Wayne and I were literally at the front of the bar.
“The girls say, ‘Do you think Wayne Gretzky will be here?’ The guys are like, ‘No way, they just sell their names to these places, they never show up. It was an era before cellphones and the ubiquitous social media and if someone famous went to a bar, he or she could probably count on some peace and quiet and not be worried about some unflattering picture showing up on some Instagram post or Twitter feed.
Gretzky’s has provided touchstone moments for Toronto sports fans like few other bars. It opened in 1993 just before the Blue Jays won the second of their two World Series, it was a hub for downtown sports fans through FIFA World Cups and was electrified during Olympic men’s hockey gold-medal games.
Bite says the 2002 win at the Salt Lake City Games was astonishing and Sidney Crosby’s golden goal to end the 2010 Vancouver Olympics was a seminal moment in the bar’s history. “I was up on the rooftop patio for the Raptors when they won, it was amazing,” bartender Jamie Hart recalls.
It’s right in the heart of the downtown core, so we actually turned the sound off after the game, and we just listened to everyone screaming and cheering. It was a well-written letter about how his shadow would never darken the entrance of the restaurant because of what Wayne did to Doug Gilmour, and he should have been thrown out of the game.
There have been memories created that will last lifetimes, and the financial benefits are obvious because of how long Gretzky’s has existed. After so many parties, so many moments, so many memories, closing quietly amid a global pandemic robs everyone of one last big-time blowout bash.