Sports is many things, but an inspiration to artists can seem like a stretch. After all, sports is about competing in a zero-sum game that is increasingly becoming data-oriented. But athletes and artists are still both human and several Netflix sports documentaries flesh this out.
Busy online Super Bowl betting proves not even a pandemic can slow down people’s hunger for sports. It goes beyond just entertainment as sports has several themes that touch people.
That’s why there is no shortage of Netflix sports documentaries that highlight how sports brings out the best in humans in terms of passion, grit, and artistry. Picking just five was tough.
Watch these 5 Sports Docus on Netflix to get Inspired
There are hundreds of documentaries on Netflix and most of them will leave you feeling touched, horrified, or inspired. Likewise, these five sports documentaries will do the same plus appeal to the artist inside you.
- The Speed Cubers (2020)
This isn’t just a look into the exciting world of speedcubing. This is also a story about the moving friendship between Max Park and Feliks Zemdegs, the two fastest speedcubers in the world.
Speed Cubers has everything you want in a feelgood documentary: an autistic kid in Park who grows up to become one of the best speedcubers in the world, a true blue bromance between him and Zemdegs, and themes on the power of passion.
At just 40 minutes long (shorter than an episode in many Netflix original series), this is a must-watch whenever you need a “pick me up.”
- A Kid From Coney Island (2020)
The colorful life and NBA career of two-time NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury is brought to light in this documentary produced by Kevin Durant.
“I went from making $20 million a year to zero.”
Marbury went from rags to riches to rags and was the poster child of the troubled star athlete. Often misunderstood, A Kid From Coney Island finally digs into Marbury’s life and goes beyond his exploits on the hardwood.
For many athletes like “Starbury”, it was more than just basketball. And like Marbury, plenty of artists often find themselves at odds with society and its rules and conventions. You can empathize with Marbury in this poignant doc.
- Losers (2019)
If history was written by the victors, where did the stories of the losers go? This eight-part docu-series explores this other side of the story and interviews athletes and their inner network about their tales of loss and how they turned these into something positive.
Sports culture is equal parts inspirational and equal parts toxic. There is a near-oppressive belief that winning is everything and losing is unacceptable.
But some of life’s most beautiful moments can only be born after experiencing suffering and defeat. Similarly, many artists face constant defeat either from their own self-doubts to rejection from their prospective clients.
Losers gets the right idea by exploring how we can overcome defeat and turn it into something bigger. Something inspirational.
- Home Game (2020)
You’ve heard of football, soccer, and eSports. But have you heard of Kok Boru? Home Game explores the stories of some of the world’s unique sports, most of which most of us are only finding out today.
This Netflix docuseries, which features eight episodes at 30 minutes in length, features these obscure sports and how they impact their local regions.
If anything, you can get your creative juices flowing as many of these sports will blow your mind. Just when you think society stomps out the crazy and the unique, think again.
- Last Chance U (2016-20)
As its title suggests, Last Chance U is a show chronicling the lives of once-promising football prospects who have lost their spot at a major program due to off-field antics, poor academic performance, or a combination of both.
Last Chance U has plenty to unpack from the problematic backgrounds of these athletes to the systemic injustices placed upon them. It’s also about learning to overcome your greatest enemy: yourself.
Academic advisor Brittany Wagner plays a major role in the show as she guides these young players through their semesters hoping to keep them engaged in school while staying out of trouble away from it.
While sports and art can seem like worlds apart, the inner turbulence and economic challenges faced here are subjects both athletes looking to the big leagues and starving artists can relate to.
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