Great sports movies about coaching

This blog is part of: Sports Coaching – The Ultimate Guide

Which great sports movies about coaching?

There are a lot of great sports movies and documentaries out there. There are also enough online lists where you can find top quality sports movies. However, there aren’t a lot lists for great sports movies about coaching. That gave me the reason to create this list. You might see some familiar ones in there but if you don’t, good news, there is still tons of great content for you to check out. 

Movies (I’ll try not to spoil it too much)

Remember the Titans

This movie is about two schools in suburban Virginia. They have been segregated for generations until eventually the white and black schools are forced together after both their institutes have to integrate under federal mandate. The European American head coach of the white school is replaced by an African American coach from North Carolina who is played by Denzel Washington. 

Throughout a journey wherein the team is letting go of the differences among each other, the town is in conflict because of the forced desegregation. This causes for the necessary drama. Of course the movie has a good ending, but how exactly is yours to find out. 

Coach Carter

One of my personal favorites for sure. 

The movie plays out in 1999, in the area of Richmond, California. Ken Carter (played by Samuel L Jackson) accepts a job as coach for his old high school. Carter is bringing in a change after seeing the bad attitudes and poor playing performance of the players in the team. He goes about implementing a strict regime which leads to an improved team performance. However, due to sub-optimal academic performance, coach Carter imposes new strict rules to ensure this is being handled. The effect of these rules are regarded outrageous by the players, schools and community. Make sure to check out the movie to find out how the story develops. 

This is one of my favorite because it’s about setting rules and expectations which everyone in the team has to follow. It’s a wonderful lesson about discipline and values which every kid should learn in life and sports. 


This movie is based on a true story of a small-town Indiana basketball team that made the state finals in 1954. It is a classic tale about redemption as it includes a former star player turned alcoholic who is leading the Indiana basketball team to an incredible run for the high school championship game. The coach is forced to attend multiple problems which puts the team’s position in danger. How the alcoholic coach makes it happen is there for you to find out. 

Any given sunday

When two star players of a football team get injured in the same game. A young and inexperienced player is called in to replace him. The underappreciated new quarterback Willie Beaman who has been ridden by bad luck is out to proof himself on the field. His greater than expected performance forces the coach Tony D’amato to re-evaluate his tactics and values. 

The coach receives more pressure to win because the team’s deceased owner is replaced by his daughter which is out to prove her place as owner. She is focused on the marketing and business side of football which causes the necessary conflict between her and the coach. 

The way back (2020)

A very recent movie which has been getting some positive reactions. I haven’t seen the movie myself yet but I put it in this list because of its recent release. 

The story is about Jack Cunningham (played by Ben Affleck), a formed basketball phenom who walked away from the game due the pressure of his father. His athletic days are long gone but not forgotten as the highschool he used to play for asks him to become the new head coach of their struggling basketball team. After acceptance, the coach and team face certain challenges but eventually discover new greatness throughout the season. 

Noticable mention:

Although the following movie isn’t about coaching, I consider it to be one of the best ones out there. 

Hoop dreams

The 1994 American documentary follows the story of two African-American high school student in Chicago. Their dream is to become a professional basketball player in the NBA. The two boys have true potential of becoming very good and throughout the documentary they are followed for multiple years in which you can see how they work on their skills while having to face the struggles of life. Injuries and the battle to keep their grades high enough are set out to influence their dream, but through it all, they try to maintain to eventually reach the ultimate goal.

Definitely an amazing documentary. It is actually considered to be the best sports documentary of all time. So if you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you do so. 

What do you think?

All these movies are pretty great. Although most of them are quite old, I think they aged quite well. What do you think about the selected list? Did you see most of the movies already? Make sure to let me know on Facebook or LinkedIn. 

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This blog is part of: Sports Coaching – The Ultimate Guide

Cheers – Max de Klerk

The co-founder, Max de Klerk, standing in front of a wall

One Comment

  1. Natalie

    Sports movies are tough to throw up some of the great scenes, because the entire movie is actually moving towards that point, in a lot of the cases. I would hate to ruin that moment for people. You did a good job of avoiding that with your clips.

    Hoosiers would be on my list. I’m a bit of a sucker for baseball movies though.

    Costner’s body breaking down in Perfect Game.
    Pitt staring down the scouts in Moneyball.
    A train going across the field in Brewster’s Millions.
    Costner trash talking in Bull Durham.
    Selleck telling his pitcher to stand up in Mr. Baseball.
    Quaid walking onto the diamond in the Rookie.
    Redford taking batting practice in The Natural.
    Anything in Major League.

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