Recommendations for sports documentaries about kids?
September 28, 2016 8:17 AM   Subscribe

I've been enjoying watching sports documentaries about kids and the obscure activities they choose to be good at. Can you recommend any others I should check out? Not limited to sports, just anything kids are good at.

There must be some documentaries about dance, hip hop, chess, etc that I've missed.

I've watched:
Hoop Dreams (basketball)
First Position (ballet)
The Short Game (golf)
Top Spin (ping pong)
Louder than a Bomb (poetry slam)

I'm looking at:
State of Play: Trophy Kids
posted by just.good.enough to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (18 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Spellbound (spelling bees)
posted by cider at 8:19 AM on September 28, 2016 [4 favorites]

Also Mad Hot Ballroom (ballroom dancing) -- though I watched it a while ago and I'm not sure if the kids were really good (i.e., expert level) or beginners who improved over the course of the documentary.
posted by cider at 8:20 AM on September 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

Maidentrip (sailing)
posted by Sassyfras at 8:26 AM on September 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

It's not an obscure activity, but Little Big Men about the Little League World Series was very enjoyable.
posted by lindseyg at 8:28 AM on September 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: All of these are great, thank you.
posted by just.good.enough at 8:50 AM on September 28, 2016

Broadway or Bust is about highschool musical competitions.
posted by brookeb at 8:57 AM on September 28, 2016

Magic Camp (like stage magic) is on Hulu right now! It's about this place.
posted by fiercecupcake at 9:30 AM on September 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Not so much hobby-type skills, but on kids being really, really good at going to school: On the Way to School (about kids' everyday commutes in Kenya, Morocco, Argentina, and India). Also Etre et Avoir (To Be and To Have) about young elementary students in rural France. Both are amazingly entertaining and inspiring.
posted by witchen at 9:41 AM on September 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

I liked Sounds Like Teen Spirit, about the Junior Eurovision contest.
posted by cpatterson at 9:46 AM on September 28, 2016

Not a full documentary, but Vice's profile of rock climbing phenom Ashima Shiraishi is inspirational.
posted by bluecore at 10:09 AM on September 28, 2016

Jig - Irish dance

IIRC, it wasn't 100% about kids - follows several participants and at least one was an adult I think. It's been a few years since I watched it. Really entertaining though.
posted by COD at 10:10 AM on September 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

I always have a morbid fascination for things like Jesus Camp.
posted by Melismata at 10:54 AM on September 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Dragon Girls is excellent (residential Shaolin Kung Fu training). Full documentary on YouTube
posted by alicat at 12:22 PM on September 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Came in to say Spellbound and Mad Hot ballroom - glad to see them in first positions. I will add the really fun Please Vote For Me (politics is a sport, right?)
posted by Mchelly at 12:50 PM on September 28, 2016

A State of Mind: "A British documentary that follows two young North Korean girls as they prepare for the Mass Games, the world's largest choreographed gymnastics performance."
posted by jrobin276 at 1:12 PM on September 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Vite Parallele, about italian young gymnasts'. It's a series.
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 11:21 PM on September 28, 2016

Brooklyn Castle is about about a talented group of junior high chess players from a public school.
posted by eisforcool at 5:38 AM on September 29, 2016

Somewhere else on the spectrum of kids leading interesting lives is Approaching the Elephant. It's filmed during the first year of a free school and how the students and teachers try to make no set curriculum and democratic rule-making work.
posted by eisforcool at 5:51 AM on September 29, 2016

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