Netflix is home to thousands of series, movies, and documentaries, but if sports are your thing, how about combining Netflix’s impressive documentary library, with some of the greatest athletes, sporting events, or teams? You can bet that one of these is sure to inspire you.
Last Chance U
Last Chance U focuses on the lives and struggles of young American Football players trying to get their name into the hat for the college draft. It isn’t just about playing football either, but about the real life problems these young men face.
Whether it be disciplinary issues, struggling in school, a disruptive home life, or anything in between, they are part of the program to not only be potential college players, but also better men and people.
You follow players as they play under coach Buddy Stephens at the junior college level, improving their game and hopefully becoming good enough to make it in the college draft, and play Division 1 football. This isn’t a documentary per se, but rather a series that follows these young men on their journey.
Allen Iverson is one of the most recognisable names in basketball, as well as American sport in general. This documentary follows the life of one of the most famous players to ever step onto the court.
Allen Iverson started life in severe poverty in Virginia, and made his way to become an 11 time NBA all star, as well as a player who is universally regarded as one of the best ever. You follow his journey, from being arrested at the age of 17, going to prison, and then having his conviction overturned, to being the number 1 pick in the draft a year later.
Even if basketball isn’t the sport for you, this documentary epitomises the rags to riches story, proving that it doesn’t matter how you start life, and what curveballs get thrown your way, the only thing that matters is your drive to become great, a living legend.
On the surface, Losers doesn’t look like an inspirational documentary, but the lessons it provides can definitely help you take a step forward. It follows numerous athletes across different sporting disciplines, and how their failures changed them.
This series is more about how to deal with failure than success, and how even though these individuals suffered failure and defeat that would make some give up, they used them as a stepping stone to improve themselves, and show that losing doesn’t mean you actually lost, it just gives you the chance to learn and improve.
Undefeated follows the Manassas Tigers high school football team, and their journey from being a team who could never put together a winning season, to being turned around on and off the field.
Coach Bill Courtney comes in to help the highly underprivileged team from Memphis, and not only transforms the team’s on-field performances, but also in the classroom, giving these previously underperforming youngsters a chance to make something of themselves, whether it be on or off the pitch. This is a real feel-good documentary and a true-life underdog story.
The Dawn Wall
The Dawn Wall is a 3000 foot rock face located in the Yosemite National Park. This documentary follows two climbers, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson, as they attempt the impossible and free climb the rock face.
Caldwell is an experienced climber, but has suffered numerous setbacks. From being taken hostage by rebels in Kyrgyzstan, losing a finger, and using his devastating divorce as fuel to motivate himself to do the climb.
Watch as the climbers prepare for the ascent, something that took 6 years of meticulous planning and deciding on routes, and the eventual climb, where they lived and breathed the mountain, having to live in suspended tents for weeks on end.
The Great Alone
The Great Alone is a documentary about one of the harshest and longest races on earth, the Iditarod. The iditarod is a race that takes dog sledders across thousands of miles across Alaska’s cold and deadly landscape, and Lance Mackey is one, if not the most famous champions.
Not only has his family been closely tied to the race for generations, Lance is also a man who has had to overcome homelessness, addiction, and throat cancer, all so he could make his way back onto the sled and do what he loves the most, race in the most difficult race on the planet.
Ayrton Senna is still regarded as one of the best drivers in Formula 1 history, and Senna documents his life from the start of his F1 career, through his many wins, his infamous rivalry with fellow driver Alain Prost, up until his untimely death at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
The documentary relies heavily on racing footage, and pays particular attention to his Alain Prost rivalry. There are also many home video clips, giving you a peek into the life of a champion who was taken far too soon.
Considering the current state of the world, with the current pandemic putting everybody on edge, these Netflix documentaries will have you feeling good, positive, and even inspired to push forward.