Sports movies can inspire youth

By Jacob Onak

In sports we see a lot of magical moments that can inspire us, but one of the ways I believe athletes get inspired is through sports movies.

The most recent movie I watched was “42,” which is about the Jackie Robinson story. The struggles Robinson goes through and the way he realizes the situation is more than just about him makes the movie really enjoyable. It even made me want to go out and play baseball a little. Most of all, the movie inspired me.

Being a ’90s kid I was around for all of the classic kid sports movies, whether it be the Mighty Ducks trilogy, “The Sandlot” or “Space Jam.” Getting older I saw more movies like “Invincible,” “A League of Their Own,” “Field of Dreams,” “Remember the Titans” and one of my favorite movies of all time, “Miracle.”

There are many more great movies I could list, but the bottom line is these movies made me want to be a better athlete. They gave me so many goose bumps during the big scenes that it made me want to give people goose bumps of my greatness.

Who wouldn’t want to score a hug goal like Mike Eruzione in “Miracle?” How amazing would it feel if a team stood up for you like in “Rudy?” Wouldn’t you want to have the will and the fight like Rocky did?

Movies like these, they inspire. Sure, a lot of it is because of the Hollywood effect, but sports documentaries can also open your eyes.

ESPN has done a great job bringing you behind the scenes in its “30 for 30” series and now with its “Nine for IX” series.

HBO’s “The Crash Reel” is the story of former snowboarder Kevin Pearce, who at one time was challenging Shaun White for first place trophies.

Before the 2010 Winter Olympics, Pearce took a nasty fall during a half-pipe practice run and suffered a traumatic brain injury. The movie was about Pearce’s recovery process and how he ultimately figured out on his own that he would never be the athlete he once was.

The inspiring part was that even though the brain injury was one of the most devastating things in his life, Pearce turned it into something that could help people.

Throughout the movie Pearce visited brain injury patients and spoke to others about his injuries. He became an advocate and showed the good of the human spirit.

Sports movies, whether documentaries, true story movies or even just a regular fictional movie, can inspire young athletes to greatness. They inspire kids to dream, to want the cheers, to overcome the hardships, and they teach them the meaning of hard work.

Whether you are an athlete or not, movies can give you a feeling where you just want to be great, much like watching the Blackhawks score those two goals to win the Stanley Cup.

Real life moments like the Blackhawks had are like the movies: moments that inspire.