Lucy Draper (Kathy Ireland) | Necessary Roughness (1991)
Lucy Draper went from the women’s soccer team to the men’s football team for the Texas State University Fightin’ Armadillos, aka the worst team in college football history. At first the team is all “Pfffft, seriously? A girl is going to be our kicker?” And then Draper blasts some serious foot, refusing to be intimidated by any dude on the field — including lineman the size of busses.
Lesson: Screw the naysayers and have confidence in yourself
Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis) | A League of Their Own (1992)
Dottie was recruited to play pro baseball while the boys were fighting in World War II. She could hit, catch, and lead the team — even when it meant standing up to her drunken skeeve of a manager Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks).
Lesson: Strong women who speak their minds are sometimes going to catch the label of the B word, but so long as there’s a line between being a good role model and doing the right thing, so B it.
Kate Moseley (Moira Kelly) | The Cutting Edge (1992)
Yeah, Kate had an attitude problem — okay, she was a total jerk — but Mosley came around and let her guard down which told us two things: 1) sometimes when you’re better than someone else at something you need to exercise patience; and 2) who you were yesterday isn’t necessarily who you have to be today.
Lesson: Letting your guard down around your teammates allows them to connect with you.
Maggie Fitzgerald (Hillary Swank) | Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Fitzgerald is driven to change her life — which is something sports can do for us all. It does, and although the story doesn’t exactly have a happy ending, it does go to show that determination and grit can overcome doubt and naysayers.
Lesson: If you want something bad enough nothing will stand in your way. If sometimes does become a roadblock, you didn’t really want it that bad anyway.
Connie Moreau (Marguerite Moreau) | The Mighty Ducks (1992)
Moreau is nicknamed “the velvet hammer” and is one of the first to welcome Coach Gordon Bombay when he arrives. Her loyalty to the Ducks demonstrates how a team member must view her squad in order to excel.
Lesson: Loyalty is on par with heart.
Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) | The Hunger Games (2012)
Okay, so it’s not a sport in the traditional sense, but hunting “The Most Dangerous Game” counts. Everdeen emerges as a butt-kicking leading lady that’s, eventually, capable of leading a revolution.