Even if you’re not into sports, K-dramas do a great job of making it interesting. With a mix of romance, heartfelt OSTs, and eye candy, even the sports-themed K-dramas are able to win your heart over. Here are nine sports related K-dramas to add to your watch list!
1. “Stove League”
Namgoong Min stars as Baek Seung Soo, a new general manager who must do his best to overturn the losing streak that the baseball team Dreams has had to endure for far too long. They are in last place, and Seung Soo is hired to try and improve their team, but he does far more than this. He challenges the higher-ups and pushes them to make decisions in order to create the perfect team that can win a championship. The series also stars Park Eun Bin as Lee Se Young, the operations manager who has devoted her life to the team.
There is something so nostalgic and heartwarming about watching baseball flicks and shows, which is probably why “Stove League” really hits it home. The script also does a great job of drawing viewers in from the first minute of the series – apparently, a script based solely on a manager trying to better his baseball team can be very entertaining! The fact that it won Best Drama at the 2020 Baeksang Arts Awards proves just how much this drama shines. Even without the love story aspect, “Stove League” is a drama that will win your heart.
Start watching “Stove League”:
2. “Racket Boys”
Starring Tang Jun Sang, Son Sang Yeon, Choi Hyun Wook, Oh Na Ra, and Bang Yoon Dam, “Racket Boys” is a series about young students living in a small town, dreaming of becoming successful badminton players. In order to fulfill their dreams, the boys train hard to compete on a national level while also going through the pangs of growing up.
It’s super easy to get invested into this cast and their story. You’ll be paying attention to their games, cheering for the hilarious kids to win, and celebrating when they do. The actors all received special training from an expert coach for more than half a year in order for their performances as badminton players to be as realistic as possible, which only makes this series that much more worth the watch!
“Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo” is about a weightlifting female lead named Kim Bok Joo, played by the lovely Lee Sung Kyung. She ends up falling in love with a swimmer named Jung Joon Hyung (Nam Joo Hyuk), who she had met when they were kids. The two form a romance and become a campus couple. They deal with a lot of obstacles and stress that many college students go through, but they find comfort in leaning on one another.
Much like the title implies, “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo” focuses on Bok Joo and her journey as an athlete. She tries hard to continue on with her dream by training, eating lots of delicious food, and spending time with her friends. The love story between her and Joon Hyung, both being athletes, is also very sweet to see. They try and balance their relationship along with the hardships of being athletes. You’ll love their commitment and their very adorable romance!
Start watching the drama below:
4. “Twenty Five, Twenty One”
“Twenty Five, Twenty One” is the new tvN series starring Nam Joo Hyuk and Kim Tae Ri. Nam Joo Hyuk plays Baek Yi Jin, a university student who had to drop out as a result of a national financial crisis that hit his family. He hits rock bottom and struggles to make ends meet. He meets Na Hee Do (Kim Tae Ri), who is positive and works hard to achieve her dreams of becoming a national fencer.
This series is all heart, and it’s based on fencing. What really makes it so lovable and exciting is seeing Kim Tae Ri play a character who is so passionate and driven to become the best fencer the world has ever seen. The excitement in which she shows this sport is infectious and even makes Baek Yi Jin want to be a better person. The relationship between her and Baek Yi Jin is bound to tug at your heartstrings, making this a must-watch series.
5. “Fight My Way”
“Fight My Way” stars Park Seo Joon and Kim Ji Won as two childhood friends who’ve experienced all the pangs of growing up together. These two are pretty much inseparable and consider the other as basically a sibling, that is, until Park Seo Joon’s character Go Dong Man realizes his deeper feelings for his female best friend Choi Ae Ra (Kim Ji Won).
Although the sport of mixed martial arts may seem a bit violent to watch, “Fight My Way” does a great job of balancing the sport with the feelings of nostalgia and longing for that first love. Seeing Choi Ae Ra and Go Dong Man be there for each other during their respective hardships is so sweet. Their love for each other is on another level, especially because they’ve known each other for such a significant portion of their lives. You’ll also love the bickering and when they poke fun at each other!
Start watching “Fight My Way”:
6. “To the Beautiful You”
“To the Beautiful You” stars SHINee’s Minho, Lee Hyun Woo, and Kang Ha Neul, who all go to school alongside Sulli‘s character Gu Jae Hee. Jae Hee has had a crush on Tae Joon (Minho), who is a high jumper. Their story is adorable, and there’s a lot to be jealous about when it comes to Gu Jae Hee as she is caught in a love triangle between the flower boys.
This series stars a lot of very popular and good-looking idols. When all put in one drama, it’s bound to be a fun and entertaining watch! Minho grabbing this as his first starring role could not have gone any better for him as he is known to be pretty athletic in real life. Although there aren’t too many scenes of him actually high jumping, it’s still an exciting setting and an atmosphere that viewers will thoroughly enjoy!
Start watching “To the Beautiful You”:
7. “King of High School”
Seo In Guk plays Lee Min Seok, a high school student who is an all-star on his ice hockey team. He looks identical to his older brother, who is the director of a company. Min Seok must pretend to be his older brother after he disappears, and he ends up meeting Jung Soo Young (Lee Ha Na), who also works at the company.
There really isn’t too much hockey playing going on in this series, but it’s still a fun aspect. Hockey isn’t a sport that is shown too often in K-dramas, but seeing Seo In Guk in his hockey gear makes it very entertaining. The series is able to show the pressures and hardships he goes through in being an athlete and a student. And on top of all of these responsibilities, he falls in love for the first time, which makes the series even more delightful to watch!
8. “Run On”
In “Run On,” Im Siwan plays a former track runner named Ki Sun Kyum who decides to retire as a result of no longer finding happiness in the sport. He meets Oh Min Joo (Shin Se Kyung), a free-spirited subtitle translator for foreign films. Despite being very different, Sun Kyum takes a strong liking to Mi Joo, and they start to fall in love.
The best part about this couple is that they have a realistic relationship. They only fall in love after getting to know each other and understanding their struggles and dreams. The metaphors and dialogue that are used in connection with being a track runner are so enlightening and healing at the same time. Their conversations are not superficial but very deep, which makes for a healing journey!
9. “Prison Playbook”
“Prison Playbook” stars Park Hae Soo as Kim Je Hyuk, Jung Kyung Ho as Lee Joon Ho, and Krystal as Kim Ji Ho. Je Hyuk is a famous baseball player who beats up a man who was abusing his little sister. He gets sentenced to prison despite what the other man did, and the series delves into his prison life and the people he meets. Jung Kyung Ho’s character comes into play as he is a friend of Je Hyuk and also happens to work at the same prison that Je Hyuk is locked up in.
The series does a great job of integrating baseball into the whole series as Je Hyuk continues to practice in hopes of carrying on with his baseball dreams after being released from prison. With the setting being the confines of a correctional facility, it seems far from being your typical K-drama, but “Prison Playbook” tugs at the heartstrings with its ability to make viewers sympathize with the prisoners and their individual stories.
Hey Soompiers, any other sports K-dramas to add? Let me know in the comments below!
binahearts is a Soompi writer whose ultimate biases are Song Joong Ki and BIGBANG but has lately been seen obsessing over Hwang In Yeop. Make sure you follow binahearts on Instagram as she journeys through her latest Korean crazes!
Currently watching: “Thirty-Nine,” “A Business Proposal,” “Forecasting Love and Weather,” and “Twenty Five, Twenty One”
All-time favorite drama: “Secret Garden” and “Star In My Heart”
Looking forward to: Won Bin‘s return to the small screen