Stories on coaching success are always inspiring and invite people to apply their rules and strategies to their own lives. The Playbook is a docuseries launched by Netflix and focuses on the journey of five athletes-turned-coaches that went on to become champions through their love and dedication for their sport. They share what has defined them as coaches and what were the biggest lessons during their career and it has appealed to many fans everywhere, leaving admirers craving more.
But however great The Playbook is, it is certainly not the only docuseries that shines the spotlight on some of the biggest names in the sports world. Whether the main topic is about coaches, individual players or even entire teams, there are several solid TV shows to watch after wrapping up this one.
Called a Netflix’s “megahit” by critics, Cheer is a docuseries that follows a competitive cheer squad as they train for the 2019 national championships in Daytona. Released earlier this year, it has become one of the best sports content related TV shows ever. Though the premise of watching the behind-the-scenes of a nationally ranked cheer team doesn’t seem all that heartening at first, it is actually pretty interesting to learn how the 40-member Navarro College Bulldogs Cheer Team from Texas prepared for competition.
Cheer also strongly highlights the talented direction of the team’s fearless leader and coach: Monica Aldama. Her cheerleaders call her a “queen” but Monica also proves to be a real-life legend in her own right, as she has won 14 NCA junior college division national championships and five grand national titles in her career.
9 The Last Dance
Another widely acclaimed docuseries, this one chronicles the rise of the one and only Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls. The Last Dance also includes footage that was never released to the public regarding a very intense 1997-98 season. This is a 10-part documentary where viewers get to know intimate details about Jordan’s story, but also the other major faces of this basketball team.
Currently, this TV show can be watched on Netflix, but it was previously launched on ESPN. After a challenging year like 2020, where people witnessed many sports activities being put on hold, good sports documentaries like this one are more satisfying than ever for die-hard basketball fans to watch.
8 Boca Juniors Confidential
A Netflix Original released in 2018, Boca Juniors Confidential is a docuseries that talks about the soccer powerhouse Boca Juniors and the people who are a part of it. Featuring the players, fans and staff who work for Argentina’s legendary club, viewers have access to the behind-the-scenes of how things work inside the locker room of one of the most inspiring football teams ever.
Comprising four exceptional episodes, this docuseries is mainly focused on the team’s championship journey. The audience sees the ups and downs that come with a team getting ready for a new season: the players’ injuries, the conditioning and nutrition plans, the private and family lives of those who stand by these players, and much more.
This is a must-watch due to the originality of its content. While people tend to feel attracted to stories of champions who faced hurdles time and time again and end up reaching their “first place,” whatever that looks like in their sport, the Losers docuseries is equally as interesting because it shows the lives of those athletes who finished second or third. In a society where success is expected in pretty much any endeavor one pursues, in Losers, the spectator gets to reflect on the concept of failure and what it represents for the people interviewed.
Considered one of the best docuseries of 2019, this out-of-the-box docuseries dives into the worlds of golf, curling, boxing, endurance running and figure skating, in an eight-part series that looks to understand how athletes move on with their lives after a big sports loss.
6 Home Game
Added to Netflix’s menu in June of this year, Home Game is a sports documentary series that profiles unusual sports around the world, while getting to know the communities where they came to exist.
Narrated by the talented and versatile British actor Mark Strong, it unapologetically showcases some of the most intriguing sports ever. While some look just weird and odd, others are extremely violent and may even make viewers question the sanity of the participants. Still, one should definitely not skip watching this docuseries because it is as bizarre as it is fascinating.
5 Sunderland ‘Til I Die
A classic sports documentary series, Sunderland ‘Til I Die is probably one of the longest docuseries viewers can watch. Launched in 2018 on Netflix, this show has two seasons and 14 episodes in total. Its target is soccer and the players who live for it – their faith and their failures.
Sunderland may not be an elite team, but that didn’t stop fans from praising the quality of this production, resulting in one of the most detailed and comprehensive inside looks on a soccer’s club story. This is another example of athletes whose stories are so encouraging that they totally deserved Netflix’s attention.
4 UCLA Gymnastics: The New Era
Moving on from Netflix for a second, there are also plenty of interesting docuseries on YouTube which are worth mentioning. One of them is UCLA Gymnastics: The New Era, published in 2019. As the title suggests, this production’s theme surrounds gymnastics. Fans who enjoy this topic and would like a behind-the-scenes look at one of the biggest gymnatics teams in the world will certainly like this one.
An interesting aspect of this docuseries is that it highlights Chris Waller’s important role, the head coach of this team, as the UCLA Gymnastic enters a new era.
The name of this docuseries says it all. Tiger Woods is clearly the star of Tiger, an upcoming production that will be launched on HBO in December of this year. While this is not a biopic of the best golf player in the U.S., fans will be able to watch Wood’s real journey through success, scandal, injuries and one of the most memorable comebacks in sports history.
In a two-part series, Tiger seems promising, as it will portray an icon that has been so criticized (and perhaps misunderstood in some key moments) during his career. Nonetheless, he is undoubtedly one of the greatest sportsmen ever and fans cannot wait to see what the end result will look like.
2 Greatness Code
While the pandemic prevents many sports events from taking place in 2020, Apple TV+ was smart enough to put out the Greatness Code docuseries. In short, this is a production that involved Lebron James and Tom Brady and it tells stories of sports excellence. As exclusive content from this emerging platform, its purpose is to allow sports fans to hear the untold stories of seven of the greatest athletes in the world.
In each five-to-eight-minute episode, an athlete details a pivotal moment that defined his career and changed his life forever. But that not’s all: this docuseries stands out because of the creative ways it includes animation and special effects in a sports documentary setting.
1 Eat. Race. Win
Available on Amazon Prime, Eat. Race. Win. premiered in 2018 and focuses on the biggest annual sporting event on the planet: the Tour de France. Through Chef Hannah Grant’s narration, the woman who is also called the “Queen Of Performance Cooking,” viewers go behind-the-scenes on an adventure with Hannah as she prepares all the meals for Australia’s pro cycling team.
But fueling top athletes high-performing bodies is no easy task and Hannah explains how her nutrition supports these men to stay focused and achieve great race results.
NEXT: 5 Best Sports Movie Climaxes Ever (& 5 Worst)
Once Upon A Time: Recommending The Best Christmas Movies For Each Main Character
About The Author