Friday, May 1, 2020

Documentary Review: In Search of Greatness - Secrets of Genius, by Director-Writer Gabe Polsky (Tennis and the Coronavirus Lockdown)

DVD/Streaming (1 hour 19 Minutes)
Director-Writer Gabe Polsky
(Amazon Prime

This riveting sports documentary explores the question of: what makes for greatness in champions? What are the secrets of athletic genius? Do they include: hard work, motivation, adversity, coaching, practice, passion, luck, genetics, family environment and drive?

And what roles do "nature"and "nurture" play? And what about talent and creativity 
versus training and learning? 

What do sports icons such as Pele, Gretzky, Jordan, Federer, Ali, Marciano, Brady, Jerry Rice, Serena 
and Venus Williams and others in their league have in common? What sets apart the Great Ones from the rest of us mere mortals? 

Director Polsky seeks to find out by extensively interviewing some of the greats (Pele, Gretsky, Jerry Rice 
and others such as noted Sports Writer David Epstein and acclaimed Educationist Sir Ken Robinson). He reviews clips and commentary from many other sports legends ranging from Michael Jordan to Red Auerbach to John McEnroe, and even cultural icons outside of sports, including the Beatles and David Bowie. 

From this cinematic journey, we glean a few of the takeaways about Greatness:
  • The Great Ones have gained a body of mastery over their craft but don't accept their limitations or that of their craft. 
  • They possess exquisite body awareness and precision movement.
  • They show a higher level of speed than their peers - a web of sheer invisible anticipation
  • They develop their own style and flair in defiance of paradigms.
  • They constantly utilize visualization techniques, but raise it to the level of Vision (a heightened image of themselves performing their craft at a supreme level).
  • They are always on a process of unbounded personal discovery about the sport, the ball, the body and everything related to their craft.
  • They strive for excellence  - not for results or money, but for self-satisfaction and fun.
  • They use some of their time to engage in "unstructured" practice and play to continuously expand and grow.
  • They show no fear, and demonstrate a supreme desire to exhibit excellence - elevated to almost a happy showmanship.
  • They see themselves ultimately as a Master Artist striving for perfection.
Insightful and inspiring, this documentary offers perceptive lessons not only for the sports world, but also for business and industry, and the arts and culture. Indeed, teachers in all fields will benefit as well as the wider public community. 

Courtesy: Movieclips Indie

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