Would you like to know how to become a personal trainer and start training budding athletes today?

In terms of personal training, you probably already have your specialisation worked out.

Do you know how to become a good teacher? Can you motivate your clients and roll with the punches?

Thanks to streaming on Netflix and other movie streaming services, it's never been easier to watch the best sports movies, documentaries, and TV shows. While sitting down and watching movies on Netflix isn't the best way to get fit, there are a number of inspirational sports movies that are just the trick when you don't feel like getting off the sofa. Here are Superprof’s 6 best movies to motivate personal trainers and athletes alike.

The Rocky Films: The Ultimate Motivator for Strength Training

How could you forget Rocky? From the first “Rocky” movie about the boxer in 1976 to “Creed” (2016), there have been 7 Rocky films made. When it comes to boxing movies, the Rocky films are in a league of their own.

These films aren’t just for budding boxers, either. Everyone can take inspiration from the eponymous boxer and the challenges he overcomes.

What are the best films to watch before training?
Rocky's a great film to make you want to train. (Source: pixabay.com)

If you’re looking to motivate your clients and improve their well-being or just become a personal trainer yourself, Rocky is a film you should be watching.

Whether for physical or mental training, you have a choice of 7 different films you can watch to get you pumped up for working out or just make you feel that you can achieve anything.

You don’t need to make your clients copy scenes from the movie, though. However, if they want to run up a massive flight of stairs and jump triumphantly at the end, good for them! All athletes love a creative coach.

Sadly, the Rocky movies have all been taken off Netflix but you can find the original Rocky to watch on DVD for under £5.

Coach Carter:

While not the most famous film ever, Coach Carter (2005) quickly became a hit amongst basketball fans and has since gained a bit of a cult following. The film tells the tale of a high school in Richmond, California, whose basketball team, though undefeated, are performing poorly academically.

What's the best basketball film of all time?
Basketball is a demanding sport. Even more so when your coach makes you pass exams! (Source: pixabay.com)

Coach Carter, played by Samuel L. Jackson, arrives at the school and ensures that his basketball team adopts a disciplined approach to both basketball and their school. In order to do this, he benches players who are not performing well in their other classes and only plays those who follow his rules. He even makes the students sign contracts outlining what's expected of them and a code of conduct that they must adhere to.

Without saying too much, he’s pretty strict. Obviously, a personal trainer needn’t draw up these types of contracts with their own clients. However, it is a good idea to get your goals and objectives in writing and there are also plenty of other things that can be learned from Coach Carter's approach and applied to a variety of coaching regimes (strength training, fitness, weight loss, etc.).

It’s about finding the perfect mix of tough love while understanding the psychology of your clients. Coach Carter teaches us that we need to know our students, their strengths and weaknesses in order to get the best out of them in any type of training! A personal trainer needs to know how to work with what they’ve got. Just like Samuel L. Jackson who somehow manages to get the impossible out of his players both on and off the court...

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Remember the Titans: Teamwork Above All Else

Remember the Titans explores racial segregation as coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) attempts to integrate both black and white football players in a Virginian high school. The hiring of Boone as the head coach triggers tensions in both the town and the dressing room.

Boone does everything he can to bring the team together despite the fervent racial tensions at the heart of the team. While a difficult challenge, he starts to make progress.

Which is the best film for sports coaching?
Team sports require different preparation. (Source: pixabay.com)

Although the film takes place in 1971, its lessons still apply today. Personal trainers all over the world can take inspiration from both the film directed by Boaz Yakin and the true story that inspired it. The film’s lessons are particularly applicable to those training for team sports and working on dressing room harmony and chemistry.

After all, that’s the job of the personal trainer, to get the best out of their athletes by fostering an environment of trust whereby their students can give their all.

Without ignoring the racial aspects of the film, the trust built between players and their coach is inevitably what leads to the success of the coaching programme. Denzel Washington in the main role is uncompromising in the face of complaints as he lets his results do the talking. This makes you hope that everyone can find the right coach for their needs.

Moneyball: Sport Film by Numbers

Here we have another film based on a true story and probably one of the best baseball movies of all time (sorry, Field of Dreams). Directors seem to love these kinds of tales, after all. Moneyball, which was directed by Bennett Miller in 2011, stars Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.

What are the best baseball films of all time?
It turns out that statistics can help you perform better. (Source: pixabay.com)

The film covers the story of the Oakland Athletics new manager trying to assemble a baseball team with a limited budget. Things look bad for the team until the new manager decides to take a different approach to putting his team together.

No money?

No problem. Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) hires a statistician (Jonah Hill) to draft players based on their stats rather than the recommendations of scouts. The goal is to put together a statistically successful team!

Based on a true story, the film Moneyball focuses on the art of strategy in sport. You can’t ignore stats in personal training, either.

How can you train someone without evaluating their strengths and weaknesses? After all, strength training, weight loss, and fitness training all include stats to some degree!

Even when it comes nutrition, you’re going to need to look at the numbers. You’ll need to keep an eye on how many calories each meal contains as well as its nutritional value. You need to carefully work out intake and how much energy is being used in order to safely calculate weight loss. And a potential client is going to look into a prospective trainer's certification and stats when trying to find a personal trainer online.

Science and statistics are therefore an integral part of sport and training.

Any Given Sunday: The Art of the Speech

Another sports film with a legendary actor. Any Given Sunday (1999), directed by Oliver Stone and starring Al Pacino, tells the story of an ageing coach who’s out of touch with modern American Football, ill-disciplined players, and undiplomatic managment. In the film, Pacino plays the role of Tony D’Amato, the coach of the Miami Sharks (not to be confused with the Miami Dolphins, the team in the NFL).

What are the best ways to motivate students?
It can be very important what your coach says. (Source: pixabay.com)

The film starts with the team’s star quarterback (Dennis Quaid) getting injured and being replaced by a young unknown quarterback (Jamie Foxx). Cameron Diaz plays the young ambitious president of the Sharks who’s uncompromising with her coach.

Any Given Sunday covers the difficulties encountered in coaching unfocused athletes unwilling to listen to advice. Above all, Any Given Sunday includes a scene of one of the best pre-game speeches you’ll ever see. 4 minutes of inspirational cinematic wonder.

Is there any better motivation than seeing a student pick themselves back up? As a personal trainer, you’ll know that what you say can be hugely important and inspiring and encouraging your trainees is integral to the job. This is the biggest advantage to hiring a personal trainer rather than simply going to the gym.

When their confidence is low, it’s up to you as the coach to say a few words of encouragement to get them back on their feet on back on task.

Million Dollar Baby

Last but not least... Million Dollar Baby. Just like Rocky, this film also won the Oscar for Best Picture.

With Million Dollar Baby also winning Best Director, Hillary Swank winning Best Actress, and Morgan Freeman winning Best Supporting Actor, the film had a great team.

How much does a personal trainer cost?
Boxing seems to be a great sport for cinema. (Source: pixabay.com)

Again like Rocky, the film is about darker side of boxing: motivation, solitude, poverty, and giving your all for a sport... In short, Million Dollar Baby is synonymous with never giving up and believing in yourself.

Moving, funny, and tragic, the film teaches us that a coach should never let their athletes give up. They have to keep going!

It’s time for you to find your coaching style! Once you have, you can sign up to Superprof and start finding clients.

There’s a high demand for personal trainers, especially for weight loss, getting fit, nutritional advice, toning, and cardio training. With Superprof you can even become an online personal trainer as well as providing training face to face.

So which are you going to watch first? Rocky or Coach Carter?

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Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.