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Jock Reads and Flicks

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Ironman cover

Just as the music CD Jock Jams inspired a generation to "Move It, Move It," many books and movies that focus on sports can be motivational, even if the reader or viewer is not interested in that particular activity.

Chris Crutcher's books, like Ironman, concern teens training for sports but often revolve around their interpersonal relationships and issues like anger management.

Iceman and Shadow Boxer by Chris Lynch deal with similar subject matter.

Mike Lupica's YA novels focus on football, baseball, and basketball, and are enjoyable reads for fans of those sports.

Walter Dean Myers has written Hoops, Game, Slam! and Kick, among his prolific offerings.

There are even manga about sports, such as Takehiko Inoue's Slam Dunk series and The Prince of Tennis by Takeshi Konomi.

We Are Marshall is definitely a football movie, but it begins with a tragic accident that leaves a West Virginia varsity team bereft of many of its members and forced to rally and cope.

Disney's Miracle is another fictionalized true story, this time of the 1980 Olympic ice hockey team defeating the Soviet Union. Disney has several other sports movies they've released.

In The Mighty Macs, Carla Gugino's character becomes a somewhat unlikely choice of basketball coach at an all-girls Catholic college in the '70s.

Win Win cover

Girl Wrestler is a documentary from 2003 that still has resonance today. Tara's interest in the sport of wrestling is limited by cultural expectations. Since there are so few girls involved in wrestling, Tara must wrestle boys. The coaches express their feelings about the federal Title IX Statute.

Win Win is another wrestling movie you may have missed. Actor Paul Giamatti is outstanding as the coach and the characters and ending are complex and different from what one might expect from a typical feel good sports movie.

Chasing Mavericks is another true story with a tragic twist, about Jay Moriarty and the surfing lessons he receives from local surfing legend Frosty Hesson.

Clearly, this a just a small sampling of the sports films that are out there and doesn't include films like Moneyball, The Karate Kid, Rocky, The Blind Side, etc. These are books and films that one doesn't have to be a fan of the particular sport featured to enjoy, and that may have been overlooked. Here are some other lists of sports films:

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