15 Best Sports Documentaries On Netflix – Game On

Richard Williamson

Best Sports Documentaries On Netflix

Are you ready to dive into the thrilling world of sports? Look no further than Netflix, where a treasure trove of captivating sports documentaries awaits.

With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to find the best ones that will keep you on the edge of your seat. But fear not, because we have curated a list of the 15 best sports documentaries on Netflix just for you.

In these gripping films, you’ll witness the triumphs and tribulations of legendary athletes as they push their limits and defy all odds. From heart-pounding action on the field to inspiring tales of perseverance off it, these documentaries will take you on an incredible journey through the world of sports.

So grab your popcorn and get ready to immerse yourself in stories that will not only entertain but also ignite your passion for athleticism.

With each documentary carefully selected for its compelling storytelling and riveting visuals, this list promises to provide you with hours of exhilarating entertainment.

Get ready to be inspired by real-life heroes who embody determination, teamwork, and unwavering spirit – all from the comfort and safety of your own home.

15 Best Sports Documentaries On Netflix – Game On

If you’re a sports fan looking for some gripping documentaries to watch on Netflix, then you’ll definitely want to check out Last Chance U: Basketball. It takes you behind the scenes of a junior college basketball team as they strive to overcome obstacles and make it to the next level.

CounterPunch explores the world of boxing and the personal stories of fighters who are trying to make their mark in the sport.

Icarus delves into the dark side of Olympic sports and uncovers a major doping scandal.

The Battered Bastards of Baseball tells the inspiring story of an independent baseball team that defied all odds.

And Team Foxcatcher examines the tragic events surrounding Olympic wrestling champion Mark Schultz and his relationship with wealthy sponsor John du Pont.

1. Last Chance U: Basketball

Immerse yourself in the intense world of East Los Angeles basketball as you witness the relentless drive and unwavering determination of Coach John Mosley and his team on Last Chance U: Basketball.

This gripping documentary series follows a group of young men who are hoping to fulfill their potential and secure a spot in major college basketball programs. With Coach Mosley at the helm, these players have a last chance to prove themselves on the court and overcome any obstacles that stand in their way.

The series takes you deep into the heart of East Los Angeles, where basketball is more than just a game – it’s a lifeline for these players. You’ll witness the struggles they face both on and off the court, from financial hardships to personal setbacks.

But through it all, Coach Mosley remains a pillar of strength, pushing his team to achieve greatness and showing them what it truly means to be part of something bigger than themselves.

As you watch Last Chance U: Basketball, you’ll find yourself captivated by the raw emotion and inspiring stories that unfold before your eyes. It’s a testament to the power of sports and how they can transform lives.

So strap in for an emotional rollercoaster ride as you cheer on these underdogs and marvel at their incredible journey toward success.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary Series
  • Follows East Los Angeles basketball team’s journey
  • Focuses on Coach John Mosley and players’ determination
  • Explores challenges on and off the court

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2. CounterPunch

Prepare to be inspired as you witness the powerful journey of a young boxer from the wrong side of the tracks in CounterPunch, where dreams collide with resilience and redemption.

This gripping sports documentary takes you on a thrilling ride as it follows the life of a determined fighter who has his sights set on winning the Golden Gloves boxing championship. Despite facing numerous obstacles, including being locked up, this boxer refuses to let his circumstances define him.

CounterPunch not only showcases the physical challenges that this young athlete faces but also delves into the emotional and mental struggles that come with pursuing his dreams.

As you watch this film, you’ll find yourself rooting for him every step of the way, feeling his pain and celebrating his victories. The combination of action-packed boxing scenes and heartfelt moments creates a truly captivating viewing experience.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Follows young boxer’s journey
  • Explores themes of resilience and redemption
  • Offers insights into the world of professional boxing

3. Icarus

Get ready to soar through the gripping and treacherous world of professional sports as Icarus takes you on a thrilling journey that will leave you breathless. This riveting documentary dives deep into the dark underbelly of doping in sports, uncovering shocking revelations along the way.

As an eager intern at a prestigious sporting event, you’ll witness firsthand the lengths athletes will go to gain a competitive edge and the dangerous consequences that follow.

From its opening moments, Icarus grabs hold of your attention and never lets go. The film begins with filmmaker Bryan Fogel embarking on a personal experiment to expose the flaws in anti-doping testing.

Little does he know, his investigation will lead him down a rabbit hole of deceit, corruption, and international espionage. As you follow Fogel’s pursuit for truth, you’ll be captivated by the intricate web of lies and cover-ups that permeate the world of professional sports.

In this thrilling documentary, Icarus sheds light on some hard-hitting truths about the world of sports doping. The stunning revelation that Russia orchestrated state-sponsored doping programs during major international competitions.

The dangerous health risks athletes subject themselves to when using performance-enhancing drugs. The systemic failures within anti-doping organizations allowed widespread cheating to occur.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Delves into doping in sports
  • Uncovers major doping scandal
  • Reveals Russia’s state-sponsored doping programs

4. The Battered Bastards of Baseball

Step into the world of independent baseball with The Battered Bastards of Baseball, where a group of misfit players defy the odds and prove that passion and determination can triumph over adversity.

This captivating documentary takes you back to 1973 when Bing Russell, a baseball enthusiast and actor, decides to start his own single-A team composed of players that no one else wanted. With an underdog spirit and a love for the game, this ragtag group known as the Portland Mavericks not only challenges the established norms of professional baseball but also captures the hearts of fans across America.

As you delve into The Battered Bastards of Baseball, you’ll witness Bing Russell’s unwavering dedication to creating a team that stands out from the rest.

Through interviews with former players and archival footage, you’ll gain insight into their unconventional approach to the game. From their wild antics on and off the field to their fierce competition against well-funded minor league teams, these ‘bastards’ make it clear that they won’t be defined by society’s expectations.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Tells story of independent baseball team
  • Defies odds and challenges norms
  • Captures team’s unconventional approach

By immersing yourself in The Battered Bastards of Baseball, you’ll witness firsthand how this incredible team challenged conventional wisdom and left an indelible mark on baseball history. Whether you’re a die-hard sports fan or simply appreciate stories about resilience and passion, this documentary will leave you feeling inspired and reminded that sometimes it’s those who are told they don’t belong who end up making the biggest impact.

5. Team Foxcatcher

Immerse yourself in the gripping world of Team Foxcatcher, where ambition and obsession collide, leading to a shocking and tragic outcome. This compelling documentary takes you inside the life of millionaire John E. DuPont as he becomes entangled with the world of wrestling and creates his own team, known as Team Foxcatcher.

As you watch, you’ll be drawn into the intense relationships between DuPont and his wrestlers, including Olympic gold medalist Mark Schultz.

The film explores the dark side of DuPont’s personality, showcasing his need for power and control over others.

With its mix of interviews, archival footage, and reenactments, Team Foxcatcher offers a unique perspective on this chilling true story.

Movie Information

  • Explores relationship between John E. DuPont and wrestlers
  • Examines tragedy and obsession in Olympic wrestling
  • Uses interviews, archival footage, and reenactments

6. The Playbook

Now that you’ve learned about the gripping story of Team Foxcatcher, it’s time to dive into another captivating sports documentary on Netflix. Get ready to be inspired and motivated as we explore ‘The Playbook.’

‘The Playbook’ is a docuseries that takes you behind the scenes with some of the world’s most successful coaches in various sports. Each episode focuses on a different coach, showcasing their journey, strategies, and philosophy that have led them to greatness.

From basketball to soccer, these coaches share their personal stories and offer valuable insights into what it takes to achieve success on and off the field.

In this series, you’ll witness firsthand how these legendary coaches have shaped not only their teams but also the lives of their players.

Their dedication, resilience, and unwavering belief in themselves and their athletes serve as a powerful reminder that anything is possible with hard work and determination.

So get ready to be inspired by ‘The Playbook’ as it delves into the minds of these extraordinary coaches who have left an indelible mark on the sports world. Whether you’re a fan of sports or simply looking for some motivation in your own life, this docuseries is sure to leave you feeling empowered and ready to tackle any challenge that comes your way.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Docuseries
  • Profiles successful coaches in various sports
  • Explores their journeys, strategies, and philosophy
  • Inspires with stories of dedication and resilience

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7. The Speed Cubers

Prepare to be amazed as you witness the lightning-fast hands of Max Park and Feliks Zemdegs, two Rubik’s Cube-solving champions who will leave you in awe with their incredible speed and precision.

In the documentary ‘The Speed Cubers,’ directed by Sue Kim, you’ll dive into the extraordinary journeys of these two talented individuals and discover the twists and turns they encounter along the way.

As you watch ‘The Speed Cubers,’ you’ll be captivated by the dedication and passion that Max Park and Feliks Zemdegs bring to their craft. Their fingers move at a blur as they solve complex Rubik’s Cubes in mere seconds, showcasing an astonishing level of skill that seems almost impossible.

But it’s not just their speed that will impress you; it’s also their precision. Every twist and turn of the cube is executed with pinpoint accuracy, leaving no room for error.

‘The Speed Cubers’ is a gripping documentary that combines thrilling competition footage with emotional storytelling. You’ll witness intense rivalries between Max Park and Feliks Zemdegs as they push each other to new heights in their quest for dominance. Beyond the battles on the competition stage, this film also delves into the personal lives of these champions, revealing their struggles, triumphs, and deep friendship.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Showcases Rubik’s Cube-solving champions
  • Astonishing speed and precision demonstrated
  • Highlights Max Park and Feliks Zemdegs’ rivalry

8. Formula 1: Drive To Survive

Get ready to experience the adrenaline-fueled world of Formula 1 like never before as you dive into the intense battles and personal stories of the drivers, managers, and team owners who live life in the fast lane.

Formula 1: Drive to Survive‘ takes you behind the scenes of one of the world’s greatest racing competitions. It reveals the true story of this high-octane sport and goes beyond just the fight to be number one on the track. 

The docuseries delves into the heart, soul, and direction of this multibillion-dollar business.

In ‘Formula 1: Drive to Survive,’ you’ll witness firsthand how a team undergoes significant changes after an ownership change. 

The pressures felt by drivers to outperform their rivals are palpable, adding another layer of excitement and intensity to every race.

The series provides intimate access to some of Formula 1’s biggest stars, including Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Valtteri Bottas, and Marcus Ericsson. You’ll get a unique perspective on their lives both on and off the track.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Docuseries
  • Takes you behind the scenes of Formula 1 racing
  • Explores lives of drivers, managers, and team owners
  • Reveals the heart, soul, and business of Formula 1

Executive producers James Gay-Rees and Paul Martin bring this thrilling documentary series to life on Netflix. So buckle up and get ready for a front-row seat into the captivating world of Formula 1 with ‘Formula 1: Drive to Survive.’

9. The Short Game

Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of competitive junior golf as you witness the young prodigies’ unwavering dedication and relentless pursuit of excellence in ‘The Short Game.’ This captivating documentary takes you on a journey to Pinehurst, N.C., where the best 7-year-old golfers from around the globe come together to compete in the World Championships of Junior Golf.

Through this film, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the immense pressure these young athletes face and the sacrifices they make to pursue their dreams.

‘The Short Game’ offers an intimate look into the lives of these extraordinary children, showcasing their talent, determination, and passion for golf.

From early morning practice sessions to intense competitions, you’ll witness their impressive skills on the course and discover what drives them to succeed at such a tender age.

The film also delves into the emotional aspects of being a young athlete, highlighting moments of triumph and defeat that shape their character.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Rating: PG (Some Language)
  • Original Language: English
  • Director: Josh Greenbaum
  • Producer: Josh Greenbaum, Chris Leggett, Rafael Marmor
  • Release Date (Theaters): Sep 20, 2013 Limited
  • Release Date (Streaming): Sep 9, 2014
  • Box Office (Gross USA): $38.9K
  • Runtime: 1h 35m
  • Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Company
  • Production Co: Samuel Goldwyn Films

10. The Dawn Wall

Now that you’ve learned about ‘The Short Game,’ a captivating sports documentary on Netflix, let’s dive into another thrilling film that will keep you on the edge of your seat – ‘The Dawn Wall.’

This documentary follows the legendary free climber Tommy Caldwell as he attempts to conquer the seemingly impossible task of scaling the Dawn Wall of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.

Imagine standing at the base of a towering 3,000-foot wall of sheer granite. The air is crisp and cool as you look up, feeling a mix of awe and excitement.

You’re about to witness one man’s incredible journey to overcome heartbreak and push himself beyond his limits. Tommy Caldwell’s determination is palpable as he navigates this treacherous terrain, using only his bare hands and an indomitable spirit.

As you watch ‘The Dawn Wall,’ you’ll find yourself holding your breath with each precarious move Tommy makes. You’ll feel his triumphs and setbacks as if they were your own. 

This film showcases the physical challenges of climbing and delves into the emotional toll it takes on an individual. It explores themes of perseverance, resilience, and the unyielding human spirit.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Original Language: English
  • Director: Josh Lowell, Peter Mortimer
  • Producer: Josh Lowell, Philipp Manderla, Peter Mortimer
  • Release Date (Theaters): Sep 14, 2018 Limited
  • Release Date (Streaming): Nov 22, 2018
  • Box Office (Gross USA): $784.0K
  • Runtime: 1h 40m
  • Distributor: The Orchard
  • Production Co: Red Bull Media House, The Orchard

Engaging Style for an audience with a subconscious desire for safety

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11. Pelé

Prepare to be captivated by the extraordinary story of Pele, the legendary footballer who became a national hero and three-time World Cup champion during Brazil’s radical and turbulent era.

This documentary feature provides unprecedented interview access to Pele himself, allowing viewers to delve into his quest for perfection and the mythical status he attained.

Through astounding archive footage and interviews with his iconic former teammates such as Zagallo, Jairzinho, and Rivellino, this film offers a comprehensive look at Pele remarkable journey.

The story takes us back to the 12-year period from 1958 to 1970, where Pele rose from being a young superstar to a revered figure in Brazilian history. As the only man in history to win three World Cup titles, he left an indelible mark on football.

The film not only showcases his unparalleled skills on the field but also explores Brazil’s socio-political climate during that time. It captures the essence of a nation in flux and how Pele’s achievements brought hope and unity amidst turbulent times.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary, Biography, Sports & fitness
  • Original Language: English
  • Directors: Ben Nicholas, David Tryhorn
  • Release Date (Streaming): Feb 23, 2021
  • Runtime: 1h 49m
  • Production Co: Pitch Productions

12. Losers

Despite their failures and setbacks, the individuals depicted in ‘Losers‘ find resilience and redemption through their unwavering determination and refusal to give up.

This gripping sports documentary series on Netflix takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions as it explores the stories of athletes who faced defeat but ultimately found victory in their own unique ways.

From ice hockey to boxing, each episode delves into a different sport and introduces you to athletes who have experienced heartbreak and disappointment on the biggest stages.

Through intimate interviews, captivating footage, and expert storytelling, ‘Losers’ sheds light on the human side of sports.

It showcases the immense pressure these athletes face and how they deal with adversity both on and off the field. Whether it’s Michael Bentt’s journey from becoming a heavyweight champion boxer to finding his true calling as an actor or Surya Bonaly’s defiance of traditional figure skating norms, each story is filled with raw emotion that will leave you inspired.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary Series
  • Profiles athletes who faced defeat and found redemption
  • Explores different sports and personal struggles

13. A Kid From Coney Island

Stephon Marbury, a former NBA basketball player, overcame the odds and rose to stardom from his humble beginnings in Coney Island, Brooklyn. Growing up in a neighborhood plagued by poverty and crime, Marbury’s journey to success was not an easy one. However, he used his passion for basketball as a means of escape and worked tirelessly to turn his dreams into reality.

One interesting statistic is that Marbury became an Olympic bronze medalist with the USA basketball team in 2004. This achievement further solidified his status as one of the top athletes in the world. 

Throughout his career, Marbury played for several NBA teams including the Minnesota Timberwolves, New Jersey Nets, Phoenix Suns, and New York Knicks. He showcased exceptional skills on the court and gained recognition for his ability to score points consistently.

A Kid From Coney Island‘ sheds light on Marbury’s life both on and off the court. The documentary delves into the challenges he faced growing up in Coney Island and how he used basketball as a way to overcome adversity. 

It also explores his controversial decision to leave the NBA at the height of his career and pursue opportunities overseas, particularly in China, where he succeeded in playing for the Beijing Ducks.

With interviews from family members, teammates, and coaches, ‘A Kid From Coney Island’ provides an intimate look into Marbury’s journey toward becoming a basketball legend.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Original Language: English
  • Director: Chike Ozah
  • Producer: Nina Yang Bongiovi
  • Release Date (Streaming): Apr 6, 2020
  • Runtime: 1h 35m
  • Production Co: Forest Whitaker’s Significant Productions
  • Aspect Ratio: Flat (1.85:1)

14. Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez

From NFL star to convicted killer, Aaron Hernandez’s shocking transformation is examined in the docuseries ‘Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez‘ as it delves deep into his dark journey.

This gripping documentary takes viewers on a chilling exploration of Hernandez’s life, from his rise to fame as a talented football player to his descent into violence and crime.

Through interviews with friends, players, and insiders, ‘Killer Inside’ uncovers the complex factors that contributed to Hernandez’s downfall. It explores the impact of childhood trauma, his struggles with sexual identity, and the effects of brain injuries sustained during his football career.

The series paints a haunting portrait of a man whose inner demons ultimately led him down a path of destruction.

As you watch ‘Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez,’ prepare to be captivated by its powerful storytelling and compelling interviews.

This docuseries not only sheds light on one man’s tragic story but also raises important questions about the dark side of professional sports and the pressures faced by athletes in the public eye.

Brace yourself for an emotional rollercoaster as you witness how an NFL star’s life took a devastating turn, leaving behind a legacy stained by violence and murder.

Movie Information

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Examines life and transformation of NFL player Aaron Hernandez
  • Explores factors leading to downfall and violence

15. Untold 

Untold is a compelling docuseries that delves deep into the transformation of Aaron Hernandez, tracing his journey from an NFL star to a convicted killer.

Through candid interviews with friends, fellow players, and insiders, this series unravels the complex factors that led to his shocking downfall, providing unprecedented insights into his life’s dramatic shifts.

Movie Information

  • TV Network: Netflix
  • Premiere Date: Jan 15, 2020
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Executive Producers: Angus Wall, Christina Douglas, Dan Wetzel, Kevin Armstrong, Shawn De Clair, L. Jon Wertheim, Geno McDermott

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Final Thoughts

Netflix offers a wide array of captivating sports documentaries that are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

From the heartwarming stories of underdogs overcoming immense obstacles to the thrilling accounts of legendary athletes pushing their limits, these films provide an intimate and inspiring look into the world of sports.

Just like a skilled athlete executing a perfect play, these documentaries deliver powerful emotions that’ll leave you breathless.

Whether you’re a die-hard sports fan or simply looking for some riveting entertainment, these films are sure to hook you in with their gripping narratives and stunning visuals.

So sit back, relax, and let yourself be transported into the exhilarating world of sports through the lens of these incredible documentaries. Game on!

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