Creating a Sports Show – Part 1 of 3 – The Premise

So you want to make a sports show?

Sports show

Sports Anime

I hope by now you’re a regular reader. To which I say, thank you. If you are a regular reader, you appreciate my love for animation in all its variety. It’s a passion that did not leave me.

You want your children to feel like they can achieve anything? Let them watch a sports show. In my time growing up I’ve seen a lot of sports animated series. All were anime (Japanese Animation), but these shows always left me feeling that with practice, came success!

And the more I’ve seen to this day, the more I understood its formula that motivates the viewer so much.

It follows a method of storytelling that is different from the standard action, fighting shows like Power Rangers, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spider-Man or Anime Shounen like Dragon Ball Z or One Piece.

Whether you’re into animation or not, if you like sport and know you or your children would watch or create a TV series in like manner, then read on. This is for you.

Though this will be more aimed at those writers who may want to create a story within the sports genre.

There are plenty of other anime which follow the same format, and some which don’t. And that’s okay. But to keep things brief, let me refer to just these shows which are some of my favourite sports series. I’ll be providing a back bone to these series, broken down by each stage, to make it easier for you to understand.

From this point on, it will contain spoilers, you have been warned. We’ll be splitting this up into three parts. The premise, the story, and the second tournament.

The premise

Unfamiliar Setting

Sports show

Oozora Tsubasa from Captain Tsubasa

The protagonist must be placed in a new environment, where no one knows him or their talents at first. A new school, a new town, a new country or even he or she has no knowledge of said sport. Oozora Tsubasa (or Oliver Atton is the Spanish) moved to a new town. Shouyo Hinata moved to a new school. Kuroko from Kuroko no basket moved to a new school also.

Gifted Protagonist

Your protagonist has a skill that is critical for the new team to win. Hinata can jump high in Volleyball, Kuroko is from the Generation of Miracles, Oonoda from Yowamushi Pedal is a cycle uphill.

They may have this skill already, aware of the sport. They may not have it at first, but desire it and train with the team. They may not even care about the sport at first, but an event of feeling of playing persuades them to join.

Particular Team member with great synergy

Hinata and Kageyama -Sports show

Kageyama and Hinata from Haikyuu

In the team, there will be a particular player whom the protagonist will synergise with, achieving combo plays. Think of this as the sidekick of the protagonist. The setter to your spiker. The quarterback to your running back, or the 1-2 pass combo. This adds value to teamwork and the idea that alone, nothing will be accomplish. Most often it will only be one player, but this can vary.

This will normally be the factor of growth and the decider of victory for the team.

Struggling team/ Unknown Team

This team is not well known in the country. They may have been champions a few years ago, but are currently in the bottom of the barrel. They may have no regular, dedicated team players, and borrowed from other school sports teams. If it’s an one-man-sport, the player will not be well known. A good example is Baby Steps’s Maruo, who enters his first tournament

Final Year

In the team, it is almost essential that there are players, which only have this last opportunity of success.  These characters must be lovable and engaging. Boring senior players take our worry of success. This provides depth, a sense of danger, and pressure for our hero’s success.

The Coach

You may choose whether the team starts with or without a coach in the beginning. However, the team must learn to work as a team, rather than being told by the coach.



Fig. 1 – Screenshot from (https://)
Fig. 2 – Screenshot from Captain Tsubasa J
Fig. 3 – Screenshot from Haikyuu

Shows Mentioned

Captain Tsubasa
Yowamushi Pedal
Baby Steps
Kuroko no Basket
Hajime no Ippo
Eyeshield 21
Diamond no Ace
Prince of Tennis

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