The Most Inspirational Sports Movies You Should Watch

Sports movies have been around for a long time, with some being considered classics while others are regarded as flops. A few of the best sports movies ever produced not only have great characters and cinematography but also inspiring stories that will definitely encourage you to do what you want to do in order to achieve your goals.

If you want inspiration or motivation for trying to achieve goals, like playing in a tournament, betting on crucial games at, or simply accomplishing a difficult task, then watching inspirational movies will surely get you motivated. Here is a list of the most inspirational movies that you should watch.

Rudy (1993)

American football

First on the list is Rudy, a biographical sports film that was released in 1993 and was directed by David Anspaugh, who would later direct another sports movie titled The Game of Their Lives (2005). The story of Rudy follows an account of the life of Daniel Ruettiger, better known as “Rudy,” who faced hardships as he tried to achieve his dream of playing football at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Interestingly, it was the first film since 1940 that the Notre Dame admins allowed a film to be shot on campus grounds. In the film, Rudy Ruettiger is played by Sean Astin, an actor who is more known for playing the hobbit Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001 to 2003).

The story of Rudy Ruettiger has inspired many people to achieve their dreams despite the setbacks. So, even those that aren’t fans of football will be able to appreciate Rudy Ruettiger’s story of dedication and perseverance. Rudy was named by ESPN as one of the 25 best sports movies of the last 25 years. Moreover, the American Film Institute named Rudy as the 54th-most inspiring film of all time.

Hoosiers (1986)

Another inspirational film directed by David Anspaugh is Hoosiers, a sports drama film released in 1986 and written by Angelo Pizzo, who is also the writer for Rudy. Hoosiers, which is David Anspaugh’s directorial debut, stars Gene Hackman as Norman Dale, a newly hired head coach for a high school basketball team. However, Norman Dale has a dark past that is unknown to his colleagues and players at the school. The story focuses on resolving Norman Dale’s past while also allowing Dale to inspire the players of his team to focus on their goals. So, the plot of the movie revolves around Dale inspiring his players while his players inspire him.

Hoosiers is considered by many critics and publications to be one of the best sports films in the history of filmmaking. In addition, the film is also ranked in many lists as one of the most inspiring movies ever made. In 2001, Hoosiers was selected by the US Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry because of its significance in the history and culture of the United States.

The Rookie (2002)


The Rookie is a sports drama movie that was produced by Walt Disney Pictures and directed by John Lee Hancock, the director of another sports film titled The Blind Side (2009). The Rookie revolves around the true story of Jim Morris, a baseball player who debuted in Major League Baseball, or MLB at the age of 35, which is considered quite an old age for a rookie.

The film is inspirational due to how it was able to portray Jim Morris’s dedication and triumph in getting to the MLB despite being considered too old to be playing for the first time in the said league. The Rookie would go on to inspire many people at the age of 30 and above to pursue their dreams and never give up, even if there are people that bring them down.

The Mighty Ducks (1992)

The Mighty Ducks is a sports comedy-drama film that was directed by Stephen Herek (known for directing Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure which was released in 1989) and released in 1992. The story of Mighty Ducks focuses on the players of the titular fictional hockey team as they do their best to win games while also navigating life as kids. The Mighty Ducks became an inspirational and motivational movie for many kids who want to try playing hockey.

The film became so popular in the 1990s that it spawned two sequels, namely D2: The Mighty Ducks (1994) and D3: The Mighty Ducks (1996). There was also an animated TV series that originally aired in 1996 and featured anthropomorphic ducks as the protagonists of the show. In the year after the first movie’s release, Disney (the distributor of the film) founded an NHL hockey team called the “Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.”

Coach Carter (2005)

outdoor basketball hoop

Coach Carter is a biographical sports drama film that was directed by Thomas Carter (director of Swing Kids in 1993 and Save the Last Dance in 2001) and stars Samuel L. Jackson as the titular character who is based on the real-life basketball coach named Ken Carter, who became known for suspending his undefeated Richmond High School basketball team because of the players’ poor academic performance. The film explores the issues of teenage athletes when it comes to balancing sports and academics, as well as maintaining professionalism at a young age.

The film received positive reviews from critics, who praised the story and the performance of Samuel L. Jackson as coach Ken Carter. The movie also has a fairly good showing at the box office, as it was able to earn $76.7 million against its $30 million budget.

So, these are five of the most inspirational sports movies that you should watch during your alone time or with friends and family members. If you want to get extra inspiration or motivation to move forward in life, you should try to watch these movies, as they will definitely get you pumped up to keep on going.