If you want to learn from and be inspired by real athletes, sports documentaries are a good place to start. The difference between sports films and documentaries lies in their concreteness: documentaries give a glimpse into the lives of real athletes.
Sports films are great and can be a powerful motivator for aspiring or discouraged athletes. The best sports films have inspired people to take up sports and become the best at their craft.
But sports documentaries are about real athletes, even if they don’t always have a happy ending. From sports documentaries you can learn a lot about the life of your favorite athlete, regardless of the genre.
Watching sports documentaries is especially recommended if you want to become a professional athlete. They’re also good if you want to learn a little about a sports betting, visit here because you can see the pros play up close. If you’re ready to get started, here are ten sports documentaries that all athletes and sports fans should watch.
This 2023 documentary about the USWNT (U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team) is an award-winning documentary. It features interviews with several prominent female athletes, including Christen Press and Megan Rapinoe. This is a very interesting documentary worth watching, it shows the dedication put by female soccer players all around the world and the great challenges they face.
It documents the USWNT’s struggle for respect in a field hostile to women, especially when the USSF claims that men’s soccer is more complicated than ECS T10. Fortunately, both unions came to an agreement in February 2023 and men and women will now have the same revenue.
In 2017’s Icarus, director Bryan Fogel tries to prove that doping controls in sports are not enough. He meets Grigory Rodchenkov, a Russian scientist, who gives him an idea of how to test his theory.
The two work together to expose the scandal and try to protect Grigory from the Russian government. The country has been partially barred from the 2016 and 2018 Olympics, and Grigory is still living under witness protection. This documentary shows us the reach of corruption in sports in a very interesting way, it was a very controversial content in its origin country.
Hoop Dreams is a three-hour documentary from 1994, one of those sports documentaries that documentary filmmakers use as inspiration. The story is about two black teenagers who go on to play basketball in an elite program at a white-dominated school in Chicago.
The documentary follows the boys during their four years in high school and describes, among other things, how they dealt with their injuries. A very harsh documentary showing the racism problem that exists even in sports, these two boys battle against prejudice to follow their dream.
The Last Dance
The Last Dance premiered in April 2020 and was a huge success. The ten-episode series follows Michael Jordan’s attempts to win his sixth championship in the Chicago Bulls’ final season.
Must-see footage of the Bulls on the court and Carmen Electra reminisces about the time she hid from Jordan during a Vegas vacation. No doubt an amazing documentary about the biggest legend in the NBA history
Free Solo is one of the best sports documentaries about climbing without ropes or harnesses. The documentary focuses on the dangerous sport of free soloing and follows Alex Honnold, an experienced climber. The film chronicles Alex’s attempt to climb the 3,000 meter El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. This documentary is highly emotional and exciting, the risk the climbers face is perfectly portrayed in it. Free solo gives us a glimpse of all the effort and bravery shown in this extreme sport.
The Athlete A gripping thriller by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk about the slow disintegration of the USAG. USA Gymnastics has been accused of sexual misconduct by several young women against Larry Nassar, the team doctor, who worked for them for 20 years before his betrayal was revealed. Sexism is an important problem that affects female athletes from any place, and the way The Athlete shows us this problem is just heartbreaking.
Although not quite a documentary, Exra Edelman’s award-winning film spends a lot of time on the career of O.J. Simpson. O.J.: Made in America covers Simpson’s fame at USC and his record-breaking tenure with the Buffalo Bills. The book also covers the star’s murder trial, acquittal, and subsequent life.
Beyond the Mat
Beyond the Mat is a 1999 documentary in which the sport is enjoyed by people who know nothing about wrestling. The film documents the various stages of the careers of three wrestlers, Terry Funk, Mick Foley and “The Snake” Roberts. Wrestling has a reputation for being staged or fake, but this documentary was real enough to be shown on a WWF show.
The Price of Gold
This 2014 documentary series documents the lead-up to Nancy Kerrigan’s assault before the 1994 Olympics. It includes an in-depth interview with Tonya Harding, the producer of the series, which is far more complicated than the media portrays. While the film’s impact may be diminished by the absence of Nancy Kerrigan, it is still a must-see for fans – or enthusiasts – of figure skating.
The documentary Senna follows the life of Brazilian champion Ayrton Senna, who died at the age of 34. The documentary paints an impressionistic picture of a man who loved the sport and ultimately gave his life for it. Although the film does not have a happy ending, Senna is a sports documentary that should not be missed.
Watching fictional athletes in sports movies is fun, but nothing is more satisfying than watching the real thing. Over the years, many excellent sports documentaries have been made, including Free Solo and The Last Dance. Sports documentaries help us understand the secrets behind the achievements of great athletes. They help us understand what drives athletes to do what they do, the struggle they face, and all the pain behind becoming a legend.