12 Most Inspiring Sports Movies – Ever
In my last “12 Most Post”, I said we all need inspiration – and sometimes it comes in the form of schlocky, yet highly inspiring, sports movies.
Don’t believe me? Take a day when you’re not your normal positive self, lacking in motivation – and download one of these movies on Netflix. I guarantee you’ll come away ready to conquer the world… or at least knock some items off the “honey-do list”. Who knows? You might even be tempted to dust off that baseball glove and play catch with your kids.
One disclaimer: please note these are not my “12 Best Sports Movies” ever – but most inspiring sports movies. “Bull Durham” and “Raging Bull” are incredibly good movies about sports, perhaps the best. Ultimately, however, they don’t inspire so much as entertain – so they don’t make the cut here. Neither does any movie by Adam Sandler; only because I really don’t like him (and even if I did, goofball sports movies like “CaddyShack” and “Slap Shot” would make this list well before “Happy Gilmore”).
While I’m still unable to forgive the dreadful sequels, this movie – and the accompanying music – is the single best method of getting you, and everyone around you, fired up. Exciting, humble and even cute at times, Rocky is the winner of this bout.
Despite the lack of a thrilling “hero wins” crescendo, this movie is inspiring for all the right reasons. For just a couple hours, the movie helps us focus less on work, business and money matters… and more on family and doing what’s right. “Hey Dad! Wanna’ have a catch?”
Okay, so maybe Robert Redford was almost 50 when he played the lead in this baseball movie… who cares? Everything else about this movie is authentic as it gets. Great acting. Great build-up. The perfectly inspirational ending, complete with faux fireworks.
The best “David vs. Goliath” sports movie ever… period. Throw in morals and lessons learned about second chances, and this is a real winner. If nothing else, we all need the poise and confidence Jimmy displays in the climactic scene when he calmly says in the courtside huddle: “I’ll make it”.
I imagine you won’t find this one on too many “best” lists. However, Dennis Quaid’s “Rookie” inspires anyone that could have been, should have been – and, by following his gut and passion (and with the right support system in place)… eventually was.
The film itself is perhaps just adequate – but the real-life story, team-building story is pure inspiration. Feeling nothing they would learn on the court that day could be more powerful, as a coach I once cancelled practice of my varsity basketball team – and drove them all to the theater to watch.
Set amongst desegregation – and featuring some terrific on-field football footage – this film stands out among many similar movies for keeping a sense of humor while showing both sides of several tough societal issues, on the field and off.
We know a common theme throughout most sports movies is the underdog status of the main character. In Rudy, the pint-sized, real-life, walk-on football player for Notre Dame, it just doesn’t get any more underdog. Or inspiring.
Okay, so maybe horse racing isn’t a typical “sport”… but both these movies are inspiring on several levels, from the races themselves to the underdog status of the equines and humans. Well worth a place on your “must watch” list.
A little movie with a bunch of (then) nobody actors, about an unimportant bicycle race in a town that doesn’t matter – and we love every single minute of it. From the opening sequence to the ending, this movie’s a good ride.
While not well-liked by the critics at the time (or now) this “guy” movie has it all: plot holes big enough to drive a truck through, racing, family conflict, good villains and an “ultimate sacrifice” message. Great way to kill an unmotivated Sunday morning.
Risky starting a “sports” list with a “chick flick”, I know. But for about half our population this movie does what some sports movies just can’t: it inspires them to be something they couldn’t have been had they lived in a different era. Besides, “There’s no crying in baseball!” is one of the best lines ever in a sport movie.
Don’t have 24 hours to watch movies for inspiration? Cheat! When you feel a little less than motivated… go to YouTube, find videos of Rocky’s first fight or James Earl Jones goose-bump inducing speech (“Ray… People will come, Ray…”). Reinvent your day, and your attitude – with instant inspiration, courtesy of the movies!
That’s my “12 Most” post for this week. What are your 12 Most Inspiring Sports Movies… and why were they inspirational to you?
Featured image courtesy of crazypete04 licensed via creative commons.