Director: Gabe Polsky

Cast: Wayne Gretzky, Jerry Rice, Pelé, Ken Robinson, David Epstein

Runtime:  80 minutes

Synopsis: IN SEARCH OF GREATNESS is a groundbreaking feature documentary revealing the evidence for nature and nurture in the making of the greatest athletes of all time. Through a series of interviews and archive footage, Director Gabe Polsky leads viewers on an entertaining, thrilling, and inspiring cinematic journey into the secrets of genius.


In Search of Greatness, from writer/director Gabe Polsky [Red Army (2014)], is a feature documentary exploring the role of nature and nurture in the making of some of the greatest athletes of all time, such as Canadian hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, footballing giant Pelé, and NFL star Jerry Rice, with commentary from renowned thought leaders Sir Ken Robinson and David Epstein. Its themes resonate beyond the world of sport to the realms of self-expression, attitude, and human nature.

Key evidence comes from interviews with Gretzky, Rice and Pele who talk about their commitment to excellence in their field of sport, through the three driving factors that the documentary sets out – problem solving, determination and love for their sport.

The film’s conclusions involve paying tribute to factors such as vision, innovation and knowledge as more important than technique and training, and encouraging imagination as more relevant for children than honing specific sports skills.

Gabe Polsky’s persuasive documentary makes a strong case for its intriguing thesis and is full of refreshing insights into some of the world’s most admired athletes.

In Search of Greatness is a sports documentary that examines what – beyond physical factors – goes into making someone a champion. It doesn’t focus on techniques, strategies, or how to do things. Rather, by sharing interviews with and stories of athletic legends, the documentary looks at what kinds of training environments and contexts cultivate success. The most important takeaway is that passion, perseverance, and parents play key roles.

A documentary, although aimed primarily at sports fans, is surprisingly packed with more general self-help tropes for everyone – which is probably especially relevant right now.

Available on: YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, NOW TV

Images courtesy of: Gabriel Polsky Productions