As we flip the pages in our calendars to May, it can only mean one thing: overall chaos for students. With temperatures increasing and motivation decreasing, you might find yourself daydreaming about summer plans, wanting to just watch some Netflix, or feeling the inevitable Senioritis that comes with graduating soon. However, Netflix can serve as a motivational tool in the sense that watching a couple inspirational movies on the service may be the jumpstart you need to finish off the semester. Here are some films to consider streaming for a spark of motivation:
The Benchwarmers (2006)
The Benchwarmers follows the lives of three middle-aged guys, Clark Reedy, Ritchie Goodman, and Gus Matthews, all of whom were picked on as kids. The trio knows how difficult their young lives were and intervene when they witness three kids not being able to practice alongside a baseball team. The lifelong underdogs step up for the young underdogs and the father of one of the kids, Mel Carmichael, proposes a tournament for the three heroic gentlemen to participate in. With Carmichael having loads of money, the tournament is large, and consists of the trio versus the mean kids on various baseball teams in a fight to the finish. The winner would receive playing rights in a baseball stadium that was to be built by Carmichael. The men play as a team of three to win the stadium rights and grant them to all kids who are not given opportunities to play ball on regular fields. The triad plays hard, and although Goodman and Reedy are not the best players (putting that lightly), Matthews is essentially a one-man team, plowing the way to give every kid the right to play ball and not be a benchwarmer.
The Waterboy (1998)
In one of his earlier films, Adam Sandler delivers a terrific performance as Bobby Boucher, a dedicated waterboy living with his mama, but not getting the respect he deserves from the football team he serves water to. Upon being angrily instigated by a player, Boucher lashes out his anger in the form of brutal tackling, and it doesn’t go unnoticed by the coach and players. The team coach, Coach Klein, is instantly impressed and convinces Boucher to play for the team and bring a laughingstock of a team to recognition. Once mocked for his actions, Boucher becomes a machine on the football field, with his most vicious tackles coming when angered. Being a maligned waterboy becomes a thing of the distant past, as Boucher becomes a staple of the team with his otherworldly tackling abilities and leads his team to new heights.
The Longshots (2008)
Based on a true story, The Longshots follows Curtis Plummer, a former football player who notices his niece, Jasmine Plummer, has what it takes to play football for her school’s team. In a male dominated sport, J. Plummer’s placement on the team is unfamiliar territory and initially frowned upon, but when given the chance, Plummer proves she can blossom. With her uncle as her guide, the female quarterback sets her sights on being successful in a male dominant sport. It goes to show the anything is possible with the right mindset.
There are several other films to watch for inspiration as well, such as Seven Pounds, Burnt, and Lion, all of which can rejuvenate any lost motivation. With your newfound inspiration, you too may need a glass of water after you happily conquer those perceived “longshot” exams in a similar fashion to the way Bobby Boucher tackles his opponents.
Rishi Patel is a senior majoring in Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. He has written as an intern for SPORTalk and Study Breaks Magazine. He also loves to write fiction, non-fiction, and poetry as a hobby to expand his writing prowess. He hopes to work as a writer/editor when he graduates.