The 10 toughest sports in the world, and movies made about them


Among the innumerable sports played in today’s world, which are the toughest ones? Deciding which sport is the toughest is very difficult, simply because of the number of ways toughness can be defined. In making this list, different people will consider different characteristics. After devoting a lot of time and research – ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the toughest sports in the world and along with it some great movies about these sports for your entertainment. Now, let the drum roll begin:

NOTE: If you do not see your sport in the list, just leave a comment and say why you think a different sport should be up here. (Now relax and enjoy the show)

(1) Gymnastics: Gymnastics for me is the toughest sports in the world and, probably, one of the most dangerous too. It’s an incredibly demanding sport and has arguably one of the hardest conditioning process known to man. The sport itself requires great balance and coordination along with great mental strength. It will make you cry every now and then, break your bones very easily, and can lead to death too if you are not careful while practicing the sport.

Best movies about Gymnastics: My personal favourite (don’t miss it!) – “Peaceful Warrior (2006)” and errrr….that’s about it.

(2) Boxing: Boxing is a sport which you try once and then quit it immediately simply because it too hard. In boxing, you push your limit as far as it can go through rigorous conditioning and spending long hours at training, and then once you reach that limit, you push some more. The beat down and the suffering which a boxer suffers can’t be paralleled to any other sport.

Best movies about boxing: “Raging Bull (1980), Cinderella Man (2005), Million Dollar Baby (2004) and the Rocky series (1976 – 2006)”.

(3) Swimming: A swimmer has to be at his peak, both, physically and mentally. Every inch of the muscle is used in swimming and unless you try your hardest and physically wear out yourself, you cannot compete. Even a 0.1 second delay is crucial and you have to put more than 100% both physically and mentally to compete and what is worse is that in spite of all the hard work – if you fail, the blame lies entirely on you.

Best movies about swimming: “Swimming upstream (2003) and Pride (2007)”.

(4) Ice Hockey: Ice Hockey is probably the most difficult sport to play professionally simply because, first, one has to learn how to Ice-skate which itself is quite tricky before even thinking of playing Ice-hockey and secondly, it’s quite a physical sport with players blistering in to hit you at every possible opportunity. Don’t believe me? Just watch some videos of Ice-hockey on YouTube!

Best movies about Ice Hockey: “Miracle (2004) and The Rocket: The Legend of Rocket Richard (2005)”.

(5) Mixed Martial Arts (MMA): In MMA, fighters need to sustain an unmatched level of physical and mental watchfulness to steer clear of being a casualty to a technically perfect knock-out swipe from an opponent. It requires implausible displays of full-body strength, quickness, training, conditioning and endurance to be a MMA fighter. You can train ceaselessly and, yet, get the crap beat out of you.

Best movies about MMA: “Warrior (2011), Never back down (2008) and Never back down 2 (2011)”.

(6) Rugby: Rugby is a frantic contact sport – you have to face a person running full speed into you while running the length of the field nonstop. The sheer size of the players tells you all you need to know about the sport. These guys chug away with no breaks in play, no change of teams, even the kicker has to play the entire game and intervene with tackling.

Best movies about Rugby: “Invictus (2009) and Forever Strong (2008)”.

(7) American football: There is player-to-player contact on every play and it has got to be the most physical sport in the current era. Players have hard conditioning and training methods and hit the gym to increase their strength at every possible opportunity. Although there is stoppage of play almost every second and the players wear protective equipment, its sheer physicality is enough to make the list.

Best movies about American football: “The Blind Side (2009), Gridiron Gang (2006), We are Marshall (2006) and Remember the Titans (2000)”.

(8) Surfing : Take into account all the dangers involved in surfing – drowning, collisions, marine life, RIP currents and we have got one hell of a sport here! Surfing requires a lot of guts and on top of that great balance along with great physical and mental strength and probably has the longest learning curve out of any other sport.

Best movies about Surfing: “Soul Surfer (2011), Surf’s up (2007) and Point Break (1991)”.

(9) Track and Field (Pole Vaulting): How many people do you know that can jump 18 feet high? It’s arguably the toughest sport in track and field. You need tremendous endurance, speed and guts to even think about Pole Vaulting. After Pole Vaulting, high jump, triple jump and running are the hardest respectively.

Best movies about Track and field: “Without limits (1998), Saint Ralph (2004) and Run, fatboy, run (2007)”.

(10) Football: You need exceptional stamina, speed, skill, agility, decision making, bravery, confidence, mental toughness and lots and lots of practice to play football if running around the whole field for 90 mins is not enough. It’s tough to do the training which footballers do almost every day and football is certainly the sport which tests your abilities the most.

Best movies about Football: “The Damned United (2009), Goal (2005) and Bend it like Beckham (2002)”.

Special mentions:

  • Water Polo: Water Polo is derived from swimming but certainly does deserve a mention as its one of the hardest sports out there. You have to swim back and forth and shoot the ball when you have the chance while getting kicked and punched underneath the water and do all this while swimming the whole time! Definitely, it’s the sport which you don’t ever want to try unless you’re confident of your skills.

Best movies about Water Polo: “Children of Glory (2006)”.

  • Figure skating: Figure skating is a half brother (or sister) of Ice hockey. First, you have to move really quickly on ice and then execute various moves which seem almost impossible to perform. Even to facilitate a straightforward footwork, you need to check whether your arms, hips, legs, head, edge, are in the proper position. As far as jumps and spins go….. It takes thousands of tries to perform them precisely.

Best movies about Figure skating: “Cutting Edge (1992) and Blades of Glory (2007)”.

  • Wrestling: You got to practice and wrestle as much as the body will let you. You got to have the technical skill to apply all kinds of moves which you learned during hard training, maintain weight to fit in the different weight classes, and finally have a pain barrier during matches because ultimately this sport is about two things only – impact and pain.

Best movies about Wrestling: “Vision Quest (1985) and Legendary (2010)”.

  • Lacrosse: Not every one of you would have heard about Lacrosse. Basically, you are beaten by huge defenders and two and a half pound ball is constantly hurled at over 100 mph using a six foot pole and you have no safeguard other than a helmet. You will emerge in some kind of discomfort after every match and there more than 95% chance of the match getting bloody.

Best movies about Lacrosse: Nothing to be found here!




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