The Best Sports Documentaries on Netflix
Love sports? Enjoy watching Netflix? Why don’t you combine the two and discover some of the very best sports documentaries Netflix has to offer? These films reveal the highs and lows of being at the top of your game. From tennis superstardom to junior college football, there’s something for everyone.
Our Top List of The Best Sports Documentaries on Netflix UK
Our list of the best sports documentaries on Netflix UK shows that there’s a lot more to competitive sport than just the final score. Sit back, relax and enjoy these captivating sports documentaries. If surfing is more your thing, check out our favourite surf documentaries here.
1. The Last Dance (2020)
Following the last season of basketball pro Michael Jordan’s career in 1997 to 1998, this documentary showcases life on and off the court. This award-winning documentary is directed by Jason Hehir and revolves around Jordan’s life at The Chicago Bulls. Often named as one of the best documentaries on Netflix, this is one not to miss.
2. Naomi Osaka (2021)
Discover the life of tennis ace, Naomi Osaka. This three-part documentary series allows viewers direct behind-the-scenes access to one of the best contemporary players in women’s tennis. Viewers will see Osaka mourning the loss of her mentor, Kobe Bryant, as well as dealing with personal challenges on and off the tennis court.
3. The Dawn Wall (2017)
The Dawn Wall tells the story of two US rock climbers; Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson and their mission to climb ‘The Dawn Wall’ – a rock face that is 3000 feet in height. More than simply a climb, this journey symbolises their personal struggles, including being taken hostage and a failing marriage.
4. Last Chance U (2016 – current)
This documentary series follows athletes who are aiming to get one more shot at the top by competing in US college football. Netflix brings you several seasons with each focusing on a different American football team.
5. Icarus (2017)
If you’re searching for the best sports documentary on Netflix that is more left of the field, then Icarus may be the film for you. This documentary focuses on filmmaker, Bryan Fogel, and his test to see whether he can take part in doping without being detected. With a nod to one of the biggest doping scandals in sports history, this is an interesting look at the darker side of elite sports.
6. Undefeated (2012)
This academy award-winning documentary film features a high school football team called The Manassas Tigers. On a losing streak until the appointment of coach, Bill Courtney, this film follows their hard work and dedication on and off the field.
7. The Battered Bastards of Baseball (2014)
The story of minor league baseball team, the Portland Mavericks, is definitely one to watch. This 2014 documentary heads back to the seventies when Hollywood actor Kurt Russell was part of the team. Managed by his father and Jim Bouton, this is a tale of how the team earned their famous name, as well as how coach Bouton was led into retirement.
8. The Playbook (2020)
While many sports documentaries centre around the stars of the game, The Playbook takes a look at some of the most famous coaches in the world. In this documentary, you’ll hear tales from Jill Ellis; FIFA world-cup winning coach, as well as former Premier League manager Jose Mourinho. There’s also an episode with Doc Rivers as he coaches the Philadelphia 76ers.
9. Rising Phoenix (2020)
This sports documentary provides a feel-good look at the Paralympic Games. It sheds a light on the competitors who have overcome life-changing obstacles and secured their position as Paralympic champions. Inspiring stories of those who have prevailed in the face of adversity makes Rising Phoenix one of the most mesmerising documentaries on Netflix.
10. Losers (2019)
Many documentary series pay attention to winning or overcoming difficulties to triumph. In Losers, each episode centres on some of the biggest sporting failures, including French skater Surya Bonaly and her illegal backflip, and British boxing star Michael Bentt’s losing match. Viewers will discover how athletes conquer their losses and pick themselves back up to become successful.
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Indie Bornhoft is a personal trainer and watersports coach, who encourages her clients to make movement their mantra. She has coached every ability in wakeboarding, paddleboarding, SUP fitness, and windsurfing for over ten years, and is highly qualified in all disciplines. Discover more about her drive to just keep moving and be inspired to connect to the raw power of body & spirit through fitness.