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Untold: Breaking Point

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    Untold: Breaking Point  documents the struggle that American tennis player Mardy Fish had with anxiety and mental health. Mardy excelled at a young age, but really blossomed once he began training with fellow American Andy Roddick . During their professional careers, both were under extraordinary pressure to become the future of men's tennis...and then Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic happened. Once Mardy finally became the highest ranked American male player, the pressure was ratcheted up even further, culminating in constant anxiety. Released 2021; Runtime 79 minutes Concepts Anxiety & Stress, Mental Health Issues : Towards the end of his career, Mardy develops an anxiety disorder. He explains how he felt while he was anxious, how he tried to cope with it, and the toll it took on him, as it eventually forced him to retire. He decided to open up about his anxiety disorder to bring awareness to mental health issues in tennis. Commitment : At one point, Mardy decides that he re

More Mental Toughness Documentaries

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Photo by adpowers on Foter.com Dr. Rob Bell compiled another set of 10 documentaries where mental toughness is on display. The documentaries span a variety of performance domains, from music to running to coaching to 9/11 families and first responders. You are sure to find something both inspiring and informative on the list! Check out his new post here , and if you want more recommendations, his previous list of mental toughness documentaries is still up. And while you're there,  be sure to explore the rest of his website for even more resources and information on developing mental toughness.

Untold: Malice at the Palace

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     Untold: Malice at the Palace  recounts the infamous 2004 Pacers-Pistons brawl that spilled into the stands and led to players and fans fighting each other. The documentary includes extensive interviews with the players involved (namely Jermaine O'Neal, Metta World Peace [Ron Artest], and Stephen Jackson), plus Reggie Miller, Ben Wallace, Donnie Walsh (Pacers team president), police officers, a fan, and one of the referees, amongst others. The documentary follows the events preceding the brawl, the brawl itself, and the aftermath. Released 2021; Runtime 68 minutes Concepts Aggression & Violence : A hard foul leads to a brawl between the Pacers and Pistons, and just as it is wrapping up, one fan made it worse, which led to members of the Pacers jumping into the stands and attacking the fans. Mental Health Issues : Metta World Peace explains some of the mental health struggles he was having in the year or two leading up to the brawl, how he was trying to manage his emotions,

Rush

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    Rush  is based on the real life rivalry of Niki Lauda and James Hunt , two legendary F1 drivers who competed in the 1970s. Despite their rivalry and opposing personalities, the two respected each other and pushed the other to perform at their very best, culminating in an incredible battle for the 1976 F1 championship. But that battle almost never happened as Lauda experienced a horrific accident that nearly killed him. His remarkable recovery only fed into the drama that would unfold the rest of the championship year. Released 2013; Runtime 123 minutes Concepts Imagery : James Hunt uses imagery to help him prepare for upcoming races. The movie depicts him using imagery, intersplicing Hunt practicing with his steering wheel at home while speaking what he would do at each stage of the race with visuals of what he would be imagining. Hunt credits this as an important form of preparation. Injury & Illness : While racing under poor conditions, Niki Lauda is injured in a crash, resu

Athlete A

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   Athlete A  is a documentary about the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal that rocked the entire world. Hundreds of young female gymnasts were sexually abused, but the leadership at USA Gymnastics turned a blind eye to what was happening. The documentary recounts what it took to end this abuse by interviewing survivors - particularly Maggie Nichols (Athlete A) and Rachel Denhollander - their families, former gymnasts, and reporters from The Indianapolis Star who helped to  expose the abuse  and hold the enablers accountable. The documentary also touches on the toxic culture of elite-level gymnastics and how it harms young girls. Released 2020; Runtime 103 minutes Concepts Sexual Abuse : The documentary explores how one person could spend decades sexually abusing hundreds of girls and get away with it for so long. Due to his status, power, and connections, any complaints that were brought against him could be quietly deflected or buried. Combine that with a toxic culture that prized w

Althea

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  Althea  is about the life and career of Althea Gibson , the first African-American to win a Grand Slam title. While she was one of the most dominant players of her time, a combination of racism and a lack of funding caused her to leave the sport just as she was reaching her peak. (This led her to take up golf, where she became the first African-American to compete professionally on the woman's tour). Despite her trailblazing successes, she was largely forgotten by the tennis world shortly after she retired. But she was not forgotten by everyone, and her friends and allies ensured that her legacy would be remembered. Released 2014; Runtime 83 minutes Concepts Cultural Differences : Althea was raised in Harlem, and raised to be tough and never back down. This was in stark contrast to many in the tennis world, who were not used to have an aggressive, attacking opponent. Economic Issues : Althea grew up poor, and while she was a successful tennis player, prize money was much, much sm

Uppity: The Willy T. Ribbs Story

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   Uppity: The Willy T. Ribbs Story  chronicles the racing career of  Willy T. Ribbs , the first African-American male to drive in the Indianapolis 500. Despite being an immensely talented driver, participating in the rich white sport of auto racing meant that he would have to deal with racism and the ugly side of sport fandom. But Willy was not one to back down. Willy would give his critics and racist detractors something to really hate him for: being the best. (Content Warning: Racial slurs are used several times throughout the documentary). Released 2020; Runtime 109 minutes Concepts Career & Economic Issues : While driving skill is an important part of being successful in each type of auto racing, participating in said races costs a great deal of money. Coming from limited means and being African-American meant that finding sponsorship was difficult, which in turn meant that Willy often competed with second-rate equipment or could not afford to enter races, which limited his su

Brittany Runs a Marathon

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   Brittany Runs a Marathon  is about Brittany, an aimless twenty-something-year-old, who spends her time partying and bouncing from job to job. When she visits her doctor, he tells her that she needs to get healthy and lose weight. What follows is a deeply personal journey as Brittany uses exercise to discover more about the type of person she is and wants to be, culminating with setting a once unthinkable goal: running the New York City marathon. Released 2019; Runtime 104 minutes Concepts Body Image : Throughout the movie, Brittany struggles with how she looks. Because she is overweight, she struggles to believe that she - and other overweight women - can be happy. She is also very self-conscious when she first goes out to exercise, acutely aware that she will stand out. Commitment : Although she is hesitant to start running, step by step and day by day, she slowly starts to become a runner and commits herself to a healthier lifestyle. There are setbacks that test her resolve along

Lindsey Vonn: The Final Season

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Lindsey Vonn: The Final Season is about the last few months of Lindsey Vonn's incredible career. She enters into her last season needing 5 World Cup wins to move past Ingemar Stenmark for sole possession of the most World Cup wins of all time. But she only has 13 competitions to go and is coming off her latest set of injuries. Can she overcome the pain, set the record, and retire the way she has always wanted? Released 2019; Runtime 89 minutes Concepts Injury & Illness : Vonn suffered numerous injuries throughout her career from crashing and they have finally caught up to her; In order to even have a chance at competing, she needs to rehabilitate constantly; Dealing with pain is part of her daily routine. Career Issues : Vonn is about to transition from being a competitive athlete to being retired; She talks about wanting to leave the sport in a certain way on her terms; She questions her commitment to participating in the entire final season due to injuries.

Free Solo

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Free Solo is about Alex Honnold and his death-defying, gravity-defying, mind-blowing free climb of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Free climbing is rock climbing, but without the use of protective equipment, meaning it is just you and the mountain. This documentary extensively interviews Alex and follows his months of preparation and training leading up to his exhilarating ascent and is one of the most impressive feats you will ever see. Released 2018; Runtime 100 minutes Concepts Confidence : Alex does not undertake major climbs without first feeling completely confident in his training, preparation, and fitness; He regularly talks about practicing over and over and over again until he knows every little rock and edge of the path he is going to climb. Attention & Focus : A huge part of being able to climb the way he does is by blocking out distractions and focusing only on what he needs to, including during training. Anxiety & Stress : Alex appears to be