Remarkable and inspirational — stream the stories behind your favourite sports with these incredible documentaries!
Sports documentaries are more than just tales of winning and losing: they are stories of passion, perseverance, triumph and tragedy. They can inspire, challenge, entertain, and educate us about the most world-stopping moments in some of our favourite sports, all captured on camera. From historical events to personal journeys, scandals to miracles, we’ve taken a shot at finding the 10 best sports documentaries that you can stream right now on various platforms.
Whether that be on Netflix, Stan, Binge, or Disney+, there are plenty of timeless documentaries to reinvigorate your passion for the sports you love, right from the comfort of your couch. Regardless of your chosen sport, grab some popcorn and get ready for some of the most motivational sports documentaries to watch now!
The Last Dance, 2020
Available to stream on Netflix, The Last Dance follows the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s — the most dominant team in all of NBA history — and their search to solidify their legacy against criticism. While the story of the Bulls as a whole is captivating and emotionally engaging, there is no denying this is really a documentary about Michael Jordan. Countless behind-the-scenes footage sheds light on Jordan’s intensity and his personal vendettas that motivated him to be the best is what makes this truly fascinating. Also making our list one of the Best Netflix Originals Documentaries to Watch in 2023, this 10-part series is a must-watch for every basketball fan.
The Test: A New Era for Australia’s Team
Test cricket is polarising. Either sending people into a yawning frenzy or spoken of as if only gods themselves could play such a gracious game. This documentary is staunchly for the latter and follows the Australian Men’s Cricket Team — historically the most successful test nation — and their lowest ever point following the ball-tampering scandal of 2018. The Test is beautifully demonstrative of how the players represent Australia and how they make sure to care to uphold the values we hold dear as a nation. Stream this powerful documentary on Amazon Prime to get in the mood for the upcoming cricket season.
All or Nothing: Manchester City
Sporting fans often feel left in the dark with the inner workings of their beloved English Premier League (EPL) clubs with all the media training and positive spins players present in interviews. The global phenomenon of the EPL is no different. This mini-series is as unfiltered as it gets and shows the no holds barred approach that Manchester City F.C. coach, Pep Guardiola, uses to get the most out of his talented roster of soccer players. One of the best short sport documentaries, see what it takes to be one of the best soccer teams in the world with All or Nothing, streaming on Amazon Prime.
The Final Quarter
Released in 2019 by Australian documentary filmmaker Ian Darling, The Final Quarter examines the unceremonious departure of Adam Goodes from the AFL — one of the most decorated players to ever play the game. Marred by blatant racism and media scrutiny, Goodes’ final years of his career speak an uncomfortable truth about Australian sport. Highlighted by endurance, be sure to watch this sport documentary on Netflix or Stan tonight!
Cheerleading may not get the same respect as other sports, but that may change after watching this thrilling documentary series on Netflix. Ready to stream now, Cheer follows athletes from Navarro College in their preparation for the National Cheerleader Championships in Dayton. Creator Greg Whiteley manages to elicit a certain vulnerability from these ambitious cheerleaders, and their reactions to personal struggles make for a compelling watch. With their skills described as being remarkable, be sure to start streaming this two-series sport documentary right now!
One of the best documentaries of all time, this thrilling look into the life-threatening extreme sport of free soloing. What is free soloing? Essentially, it is climbing a mountain without any harness fallbacks — if you fall, that’s it. A National Geographic documentary and directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Free Solo follows rock climber Alex Honnold as he attempts to free climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, along the way questioning the mindset of the people who pursues such a risky sport, as well as how it impacts the people around them. Equal parts shocking and captivating, climb on over to Disney+ to watch one of the most audacious sports documentaries ever committed to film.
Director Bryan Fogel takes us into the secretive world of professional cycling, exposing the role that doping plays in modern sports. Winning an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2018, Icarus is also considered as one of the best sport documentaries on Netflix. Detailing perseverance in a thrilling manner, Icarus looks into how athletes have gone to the extreme lengths to win gold. Featured in our list of one of the Best Netflix Originals Documentaries, Icarus is a revealing look into the world of cycling and something that everyone should watch sooner rather than later!
O.J.: Made in America
O.J.: Made in America is a 2016 American documentary, produced and directed by Ezra Edelman for ESPN Films and their 30 for 30 series. This Disney+ documentary explores race and celebrity through the life of O. J. Simpson, from his emerging football career at the University of Southern California, to his fame and popularity as an actor and television personality, to his trial for the murders of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson, subsequent acquittal and, finally his incarceration in 2007 for robbery. A tale of highs and lows, explore the human tale of one of the most controversial sportsmen tonight at O.J.: Made in America.
Last Chance U
This Netflix documentary trades in the classic explorations of career peaks and utter domination for journeys of redemption, failure and personal growth. Young stars see East Mississippi Community College as their last shot at their dream of playing in the NFL and, interestingly, by the end of this Netflix sports documentary, you’ll find yourself rooting for each small success that comes the way of these student-athletes. Available to stream now!
Seeking to go deeper into the life of champion Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher? Then motivational sport documentary Schumacher is a tour de force that shows a new side to international racing. This German sports documentary, released in 2021, features rare interviews and previously undisclosed archival footage, drawing a very sensitive yet critical portrait of the seven-time World Champion. One of the best racing documentaries of all time, race to see Schumacher on Netflix as soon as you can.
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