Often I use scenes from movies to explain a point on the tennis court. I have often talked about certain scenes from certain movies over and ove again because they are so profound and moving. Here is my list of Top 10 Sports movies and in some cases the scene in particular to pay close attention to for some super sports motivation and inspiration, or in some cases; good old entertainment.
4 Special Mentions
Not certain you can count Blackjack as a sport, but this movie starring Kevin Spacey has one scene in it where the character played by Spacey scolds one of his students for gambling instead of counting cards. He talks about decision making not being emotional, and once it becomes emotional you have lost. I use this one a lot to compare good high percentage choices in a tennis match.
The main character is on a school campus and it hits him that there is constantly something going on. Its a moment of awakening, he truly becomes aware and connected to all things
Surf movie. Two moments. 1) A kid in a surf shop tells Keanu Reeves "Surfing's the source dude, it'll change your life." and I just love that part. Again its about connecting to nature, to the source. Like the movie Finding Nemo and the turtles who talk about being in the stream, and lettting go, allowing it to happen instead of fighting it. 2) About to rob a bank, in back of getaway van and Patrick Swayze says "Fear causes hesitation and hesitation causes your worst fears to come true" Love it, and it answers what happens in tennis (all sports)
One of the funniest sports movies I have ever seen. Bill Murray's masterpiece
I wanted to add Youngblood to my list of hockey movies but had to pick Slapshot ahead of it. Never have I laughed so hard as in this movie. Classic.
#9 Bad News Bears (70's version)
Funny, and worth watching over and over again. In fact I think I will watch it tonight, again.
#8 The Power of One
About a boxer from South Africa, adapted from one of my favorite books, and favorite authors Bryce Courtney
#7 Tin Cup
Kevin Costner is the sports movie god, and he is so good in this one.
#6 Over the Top
I get a lot of flack for picking this one because it really isn't a top ten movie, but for me it was pretty awesome. I love the part when he is describing how when he turns his hat around backwards he turns into a machine. It's something I have told many players should happen when they step on the court.
#5 8 Seconds
Bull Riding movie, man is this one good. Watch it
#4 Field of Dreams
Again Kevin Costner nails it with the adaptation of another favorite author W.P. Kinsella. Its just a beautiful film in so many ways
#3 Remember the Titans
You want inspiration, this is your movie, it will blow you away, and its true
Funny, touching and so inspirational. Never has there been a movie about never giving up on your dreams as good as this one. It will make you want to find a dream and never stop reaching for it.
#1A Million Dollar Baby
Ok, so on so many levels is the best sports movie I have even seen. It is a great example of how a sport can be a lifeline, something to keep a person from giving up on life. Its also a beautiful film due to the many subtle details that Director Clint Eastwood inserts. Be prepared to cry.
Of course Balboa is tops on my list. The trick was picking which one from the fantastic series. My #1 is Rocky II, then III, then IV, then it gets tricky, a toss up between I, Balboa and Creed. The only one in the series that is truly terrible is V. Best scenes would be when Adrian wakes up in the hospital (II) and tells Rocky "WIN, ROCKY, WIN" the scene in Balboa when Rocky gives his son a pep talk in the street and when he asks Adrian to marry him in the original. Hands down the best sports movies of all time.
There are so many more like McFarlane, Draft Day, Jerry McGuire, Bull Durham...