In Search of Greatness

Planes are great places to see films that might not have crossed your path before. I watched In Search of Greatness this past week and am still thinking about it.

There are several athletes who are highlighted in this film but Wayne Gretzky and Jerry Rice are the two main voices. Everyone of these athletes success came from passion first, physical abilities second and when those two collide it is magical. It is also about thinking outside the box.

None of these athletes were in constant sports programs that catapulted them into stardom, it was a mixture of things. They not only played their sport they played other sports. They were kids at one point and allowed to be a kid. They were given the freedom to think about how to succeed in the sport they loved. None of them were tall enough, heavy enough, fast enough, or any of the data you read about to be the ultimate athlete in each sport. It generally is the outsider that become the best in their field by figuring out how to be number one with the body they were given.

This can easily be an analogy for a successful entrepreneur. The ones that don’t listen to the white noise, who play their own game, who just have a nose for what is going to work, the ones that understand that nothing is standard and are able to control their own destiny.

I might have to go back and watch the film again.

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Yup.Been spending time with my grand daughter.What a women.Was a competitive gymnist, injured, moved on.Then a competitive kickboxer, same.Now competitive snowboarder and though deeply interest in marine biology decided to attend a mountain college first and give her dream of being an athlete another shot now. (While designing women’s urban ju jitsu clothing on the side if you can believe it.)Her dad agreed.Anti fragile women and generation and maybe an athlete of the future.Gives me great hope and teaches me to not just hear but listen to what people want and let them chart their own course.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Charting their own course. Not always easy for parents on their children. Grandchildren is definitely easier.

      1. awaldstein

        Agree completely as I raised one.I choose to have this one step removed relationship with her as I am not her parent and respect that distance.My only insistence was that she get to know my mom when alive no matter how inconvenient as that relationship is something I insisted on making happen. Feel very good about that. Both were lucky for that. So cool honestly.

  2. Semil Shah

    When you wrote the word “greatness,” I had two thoughts come to mind:1/ This is a speech of a famous NFL player at his Hall of Fame induction:…2/ In this year’s NBA Playoffs, Draymond Green went on a great rant about what “greatness” means to him:

    1. Gotham Gal

      That’s great.

    2. Ken Pretchem

      The Warriors are not done. Even without Durant and with Klay Hurt. Steph is going to win MVP this year. And they will find a way to compete.

  3. Bob Labarre

    Hi Joann– I didn’t see the Movie, and I appreciate your good judgment on many issues. I am not sure that one can say that everyone of these athletes’ success came from passion first and physical abilities second. Personally, I think the opposite is true; it is easier to become dedicated and obsessed at being real good at something, when it is clear to all that you have a natural ability and gift for the given endeavor. From a raw ‘math’ standpoint, consider that there are several hundred NBA basketball players, drawn from almost One Billion men worldwide who are age- eligible and would want to play NBA if given the chance. The Math on these Odds for success (NBA participation) are therefore very tiny, maybe One in a Million. Now consider that of the total number of 7’0″ (or greater) men in the United States, ONE-SIXTH play in the NBA (Source: Sports Illustrated Magazine). ‘Extreme Physical ability’ (in this case HEIGHT) instantly changes the odds for great success from One in Million, to One in Six. I don’t think that pure passion could ever enable that much of a leap.— Bob Labarre

    1. Gotham Gal

      Fair enough. Having the physical ability definitely makes a difference. Jerry Rice did not play football until 11th grade.

  4. angela sum

    I’m not a sports girl at all but I really really admire some athletes’ determination and passion. Sometime ago, I kept youtubing Muggsy Bogues the 5’3″ basketball player. He used his short height to his advantage, sneaking behind and around other players they had no idea where he came from. It’s those stories that keeps me focused on trying to follow my passion and staying true to it as I find my path. Going to have to watch this movie~ You should google Muggsy Bogues’ youtube videos… they are amazing!