For decades, sports have been an almost indispensable part of our lives. Combine that love for sports with a well planned out movie, and you have the perfect mix. There have been several movies and documentaries based on true events from lives of major players and coaches and here, we have a list that talks about out top 10 picks of movies from the sports genre that not only fill you with energy, determination and motivation, but also can leave you feeling sentimental and emotional.

1. Rocky (1976)


A classic boxing movie, Rocky, is a story of an underdog, small time boxer Rocky Balboa who gets a chance to fight a mighty heavyweight champion by the name Apollo Creed. Full of drive to earn respect and glory in the field, Rocky gets into the ring, ready to fight, totally unaware of the situations and tasks that await him. This Sylvester Stallone starrer movie was not only a blockbuster, but also went on to win the Academy Award for the Best Picture.

2. Pride of the Yankees (1942)


This 1942 film is one of the most popular baseball films ever made. This Gary Cooper starrer heroic story is about the Yankee’s first baseman Lou Gehrig and how he dreams to become a great professional ball player. He goes on to become a star athlete in his college years and after being signed by the New York Yankees, he is a great sensation, until in the year 1939, he discovers that he is suffering from ALS, a fatal neurological disease.

3. Ali (2001)


This 2001 biographic drama, starring Will Smith, is based on the story of the life of heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali. It starts with depicting the champion’s early days when he went with the name Cassius Clay and how he worked hard and rose in the field of sports and politics, which also included his controversial infamous refusal to participate in the Vietnam War and also his discredited comebacks in the fights against Joe Frazier and George Foreman.

4. The Sandlot (1993)


This nostalgic movie, based in the 1960’s, is a family drama comedy sports film that is a coming of age story of a small group of young boys who live in California in the year 1962. A newcomer into the neighbourhood, Scotty, is a shy boy who feels disheartened on being rejected by the other boys only because he did not know how to play baseball. Over time, he learns how to play the game and joins the group of young boys, who play in the local sandlot.

5. Remember the Titans (2000)

Based on a true story of events that happened in 1971, a white- dominated high school in the south is merged with black students that were from a nearby school. A newly appointed African American coach is supposed to head both the teams of the now integrated school, which leaves the white coach of the other high school filled with animosity, when he is asked to be an assistant, that too under a black man.

6. Hoosiers (1986)

A movie known to adhere to the sports underdog formula and concept and nominated for not one but two Academy Awards, Hoosiers is hailed as one of the best sports movies. It is a story about a coach with a disoriented past and a drunk and how they train a small town basketball team of high school students to compete in the state championship, which makes it filled with suspense and excitement.

7. Miracle (2004)

Based on the true story of the life of Herb Brooks, who is a player turned coach, Miracle is an inspiring movie about a team that kept up the spirit of its sport and also succeeded in uniting a nation, by giving people a newfound sense of hope. In the year 1980, coach Herb Brooks led his United States Ice Hockey team, a squad of college kids against the legendary star players of the Soviet Union at the Olympic game. Fighting all odds, the team rose to the occasion and became the pride of the nation.

8. A League of their Own (1992) 


This movie is built on solid performances delivered by a thoroughly charming cast. While most men from America were busy fighting the World War in distant parts of Europe and Asia, the women back home founded the All American Girl’s Professional Baseball League in the year 1943. When the men returned post the World war, their league was reduced to oblivion until the girls go to Chicago for try outs and the team’s owner picks a one time champion, Jimmy Dugan, as their coach, who had turned into a broken down alcoholic. After having sobered up, Jimmy trains the team of promising girls and by the end of the season; they compete in the World Series.

9. When We Were Kings (1996)


When We Were Kings is an extremely engrossing documentary about probably the most important heavyweight boxing championship match between challenger Muhammad Ali and the champion George Foreman, which took place in Kinasha, Zaire, on October 30 in the year 1974. This documentary also goes beyond just this sport and penetrates into the Black Power era and the relationship between the African continent and the African Americans in terms of both international politics, as well as, popular culture.

10. Rudy  (1993)


Rudy is an uplifting and sentimental movie about spirit, hard work and determination. As a little boy, Rudy always dreamt about the University of Notre Dame and its great football team. However, accepting his family’s reality he goes ahead to work in a steel power mill. After working hard, he gets the college of his dreams, and also tries desperately to be a part of the football team, starting in his junior year. By the end of his senior year, all his teammates grow really fond of him and the coach allows Rudy to suit up and lead the team. Based on the true of Rudy Ruttinger, this movie will surely leave you pumped up and also feeling emotional at the same time.

There are many more movies that glorify the hard work and the struggles of famous players and coaches. Do let us know if we missed out any of your favourites!

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