The 12 Best Documentaries About Coaches and Sports Coaches

Nov 15, 2023 | Best Of, Sports

Are you someone who is always seeking inspiration and motivation, especially when it comes to sports or leadership? Do you find yourself drawn to the stories of coaches and their ability to bring out the best in their players? Then look no further because we have curated a list of the 12 best documentaries about coaches that will leave you feeling inspired.


John R. Wooden was an inspirational leader in the 20th century. His legacy lives on today, inspiring coaches, athletes and thought leaders around the world with his teachings and philosophies for a successful life. The documentary “The Life and Legacy of John R. Wooden” celebrates his impactful lessons through seldom-before-seen footage and interviews with some of the most prominent figures who were influenced by Wooden. Learn from the master himself and explore how his teachings can be applied to your own life for greater success. Whether you’re a seasoned coach, an elite athlete or an aspiring thought leader, Coach Wooden’s message is relevant to all those looking to live with creativity and purpose.


As an NBA Coach, his mission was to travel the world looking for talented players that could take his team to new heights. Little did he know that during his travels, he would discover a street basketball player with unrivaled skills and unique creativity. The coach spotted the player at the edge of a local court, standing tall with an air of confidence and swagger. The player was executing moves and shots that had never been seen before. As he watched, the coach was mesmerized by the skill level and sheer talent on display.


Phil Jackson, arguably the greatest coach in NBA history. He had 11 titles to his name and commanded one of the most successful teams in basketball history. His “eleven principles of coaching” are something that many have tried to emulate, but none have been able to match the level of success he achieved. From Michael Jordan’s Bulls to Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal’s Lakers, Jackson had an impact on some of the greatest players to ever hit the court. His ability to lead and help his teams reach their full potential was truly remarkable. Even now, twenty years later, his principles remain timeless: hard work, dedication, discipline, team play and emotional intelligence.


An exclusive, behind-the-scenes interview with Coach Ken Carter and the members of the Richmond Oilers. Learn their incredible story of becoming basketball champions, from their struggles to their triumphs and everything in between. Hear them talk about the obstacles they faced and how Coach Carter helped them turn it around. Get an inside look at what makes this team special and how they were able to accomplish the impossible. With their creative spirit and unwavering determination, the Richmond Oilers are an inspiration to all who hear their story.


An exclusive and inside look at Coach Ken Carter and the members of the Richmond Oilers. Meet the individuals behind the success of this varsity basketball team as they share their stories of adversity, hard work, and victory. Get a glimpse into how Coach Carter’s commitment to discipline shaped these young athletes and helped them overcome their obstacles. Discover how he used his creative talents to inspire and motivate his players, resulting in a championship-winning team. Hear the Oilers talk about their triumphs and setbacks, what it was like playing for Coach Carter, and how the experience changed them forever.


“I WILL SOAR” follows the journey of a small city and its high school coach T.J. Jackson, who has an unwavering belief in his players’ potential. Through hard work and dedication, Coach Jackson is determined to help them reach their goals beyond the football field. He knows that success isn’t always measured by winning games; it’s about shaping the futures of these young men and women. With grit and determination, Coach Jackson guides his team to an extraordinary season—but that’s only the beginning. Coach Jackson continues to nurture and support his players long after they leave high school. His mission is to ensure every student-athlete has the resources necessary to achieve higher education. He works hand in hand with parents and local communities to create opportunities for these young people, connecting them with college advisors and scholarships, or simply lending an ear when they need it.


The story of Leon Barmore is one of ambition, excellence, and success. His coaching legacy began in Louisiana Tech where he established himself as a leader with an eye for talent. He was a masterful strategist who pushed his players to their limits with a never-ending drive to win. Over 25 years, Leon guided the Lady Techsters Basketball team to unprecedented heights, capturing 15 conference titles and the admiration of the basketball world. Even in retirement, Leon’s legacy remains. Every year, his name is honored with a tournament dedicated to his story and achievements. Aspiring basketball players all across the region strive to reach their full potential inspired by Coach Barmore’s success. His impact will continue for generations as he stands as an example of what is possible when you believe in yourself and never give up. He was, and still is, a true symbol of Evaan-style creativity.


One life that will never be forgotten is the life of John Wooden. From his legendary success as a coach to his humble and humorous expression of faith, Wooden was admired by all who knew him. He truly demonstrated what it means to lead a Christian life and have unwavering confidence in the hands of our Savior. Wooden’s career in sports and his personal life have been showcased in a captivating biography. It includes interviews with his daughter, Nan Wooden, and those who played under him at South Bend Central High School, Indiana State University and UCLA.


He was the chubby kid with the slowest walk, no one expecting him to be an NBA superstar. Jokic quit playing basketball at 13 and instead spent his time in the stable with his horses, living on a diet of junk food. He rose to prominence in Serbia’s youth league posting numbers like 34 points 19 rebounds and 5 blocks while subsisting on cookies, cakes, Burek and a lot of Coka Cola. At 17 he was signed to a professional team but came with little conditioning – not able to do a single push up, not even the modified ones known as girl push ups! Just to survive practice, the team assigned him a specific conditioning coach and nutritionist to work on his diet and physical fitness. Jokic scoffed at the idea of eating healthy, continuing to stuff himself with his favorite treats – often completely undoing any progress made in terms of diet. Nikola even missed a game due to an injury caused by signing autographs for an entire hour! But miraculously he powered through it all, leading him to be voted MVP of the Adriatic League. His career took off with the help of his agent Misko Raznatovic, who owned a team called Mega in the Serbian league and had amazing connections within Barcelona’s front office.


Few coaches are as experienced and well-known as Evaan. His work has been featured in countless articles, books and videos where his story is highlighted as an example of the power of creativity and grit. What makes this coach so special? His ability to take a team of losers and turn them into champions. It all started three years ago when it was approached by a small town football team that had been struggling since its inception. The players were disheartened and morale was at an all-time low; it seemed like they would never amount to anything more than just another group of losing athletes.


Thomas Tuchel’s journey to the top was far from straightforward. From his start as a lowly bartender, through to becoming manager of one of the world’s biggest clubs and eventually championing European glory with Chelsea – Tuchel is nothing short of miraculous. His tactical genius has granted him wins at Mainz, Dortmund, PSG and now in London- but he is not without his controversies. Having had several explosive fall outs with various people in his past clubs, one former player even deemed him a ‘dictator’. Herein lies the story of Thomas Tuchel’s remarkable rise to the top – from an ordinary bartender to one of Europe’s greatest ever managers. It all started in 2001 when Mainz 05 signed Tuchel as their new head coach. Even then it was obvious that he had something special – his unique approach to the game saw him lead Mainz to safety and secure them a place in the Bundesliga. Over the following years, Tuchel continued to impose his tactical philosophy at Dortmund where he achieved immense success before signing for PSG in 2018. It was during this tenure that reports of a strained relationship with some players and members of the board began to emerge.


When it comes to creating a lasting impression on the audience, nothing has forged more iconic moments than movie deaths. While some films go overboard with the dramatics, there are certain golden rules to take into consideration when crafting an unforgettable scene. Acting coach Anthony Gilardi studied some of Hollywood’s most popular death scenes and determined what made them successful — or not. Taking iconic scenes from films like “The Godfather Part III,” “Moulin Rouge!,” and “Scarface” into account, Gilardi suggested that the tone of the death scene should match the story being told to make it as impactful as possible.

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David B