Documentaries That Shed Light on Various Sports

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Have you ever found yourself wondering about what’s happening outside of the field or stadium of the sports you love so much? Have you ever thought about the inner lives of the athletes when they’re not donning their jerseys and not being cheered on by the crowd? Surely, the life of an athlete is not easy. But we don’t truly understand why it’s not easy.

To unfold the secrets behind various types of sports, here are some documentary movies and TV shows that you can watch.

Racecar Driving: Formula 1: Drive to Survive (2019 to present)

We know very well that the cars in this TV show can cause a police speed gun to alarm. But it’s all right because the drivers who are going well above the speed limit if they’re on the public highway are doing this for sport.

Formula 1: Drive to Survive is an ongoing TV show that’s made by Netflix and Formula One. It gives Formula 1 fans a glimpse of the lives and the drivers when they’re not on the road. The show tells various behind-the-scenes stories about the sport. The first season covered the 2018 World Championship. The second season, on the other hand, covered the 2019 World Championship.

English Football: Kicking & Screaming (1995)

English football is one of the most-watched sports in the world. Its fans are notorious for being very attached and invested in their teams. This makes football a very intriguing sport. You could just feel that it has rich and interesting stories that happen outside of the field.

Kicking & Screaming is one of the pinnacle documentaries that would help people understand football more. It’s a six-part mini-series released by BBC. It covers the history of football in the United Kingdom. It shows how the English began football as an inter-village activity. From there, it blossomed into the Premier League and became a national phenomenon.

Basketball: Hoop Dreams (1994)

If the people of the U.K. have football, then the U.S. have basketball. The sport has captured the attention of basketball fans all over the country and the world season after season. With this wide a fanbase, it’s only right that we have an array of basketball documentaries to choose from. But Steve James’ Hoop Dreams stand above the rest of them.

It’s a three-hour film that documented five years’ worth of stories from two young basketball prospects. The film covers their school days until they made their mark in the history of the sport. If you’re a fan of the sport, it’s crucial that you watch this. Roger Ebert, one of the most well-known movie critics, called this “the greatest American documentary” back in 2009. That may still ring true today.


Cheerleading: Cheer (2020 to present)

When you think of cheerleading, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? You’re probably thinking of the It Girls at your high school. They’re donning their cheerleading outfits and carrying their pompoms around the school. But that’s not what Cheer is about. Not at all.

This six-part documentary series shook its viewers because it’s a candid and unapologetic look into the lives of cheerleading champions from Navarro College in Texas. It reveals to the world all of the struggles and hardships that they go through. They power through intensive training. They risk their lives with every heart-stopping jump into the air several feet off the ground. They make us remember to never ever underestimate cheerleaders ever again.

American Football: QB1: Beyond the Lights (2017 to present)

Once a year, the whole country gathers on the first Sunday of February to watch the Super Bowl. Everyone is invested in the star players of the National Football League. But we often forget that these players started somewhere. And that somewhere is high school football.

This crucial stage in a football player’s life is the focus of QB1: Beyond the Lights. It captures the struggle that student-athletes daily in high school. They juggled schoolwork, social lives, and their athletic duties. It’s understandable that this documentary TV series captures their stories so well. It’s because the series is directed by Peter Berg. He created Friday Night Lights, which is a fictional drama that’s also about high school football players.

Watching sports on a Sunday afternoon with our families. We’re huddled on the couch, focused on the TV screen. There’s a plate of buffalo wings on the coffee table. Beside it is a plate of nachos. Adults are holding cold bottles of beer. This is the perfect Sunday for many of us. We love the thrill of watching sports games. And it’s better when we’re dedicated fans of the team that’s playing. But it’s even better when, at the end of it, our team wins.

But if there isn’t a live game going on, then you can always opt for these documentaries instead.

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