7 Sports K-dramas to add to watchlist: Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, Prison Playbook, Racket Boys and more

Here are the best 7 sports K-dramas to make you fall in love with athletics, like Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, Prison Playbook, Racket Boys, and more. Check the full list here.

Updated on Jun 14, 2024  |  07:23 PM IST |  54.6K
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, Prison Playbook, Racket Boys Image Courtesy: MBC, tvN, SBS
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, Prison Playbook, Racket Boys Image Courtesy: MBC, tvN, SBS

Sports K-dramas are a genre that can make its audience a part of the inspiring journey, even making them want to play themselves. K-dramas with a touching sports theme and storyline tend to do the trick and bring you loads of energy by depicting the struggle, the sweat and pain, practice, winning, and even failure. 

Top 7 Sports K-dramas that will fill you with loads of energy 

 

1. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

  • Cast: Lee Sung Kyung, Nam Joo Hyuk, Lee Jae Yoon, Kyung Soo Jin
  • Director: Oh Hyun Jong
  • Runtime: 60 minutes
  • Seasons: 1
  • Genre: Sports, Romantic comedy 
  • Release Date: November 16, 2016

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo is a sports drama that needs to be on your watchlist without any doubts. The drama brings about a beautiful amalgamation of sports, romance, and friendship in the most perfect way. 

This story follows the ambitious Kim Bok Joo, who chases her dream of becoming the best weightlifter while enrolled in an athletics school. She finds her way in the world with the help of her best friend, who is a swimmer, Jung Joon Hyung, and their group of friends.


2. Prison Playbook

  • Cast: Park Hae Soo, Jung Kyung Ho
  • Director: Shin Won Ho
  • Runtime: 90 minutes
  • Seasons: 1
  • Genre: Black Comedy 
  • Release Date: November 22, 2017
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Love for sports might not be better described than in this show, where a gifted baseball player, Kim Je Hyuk, gets the chance to join a baseball team in the US. However, his dreams take the worst hit when, overnight, he is arrested and thrown in prison for protecting her sister against assault. 

This sports K-drama is a close and captivating study of convicts behind bars and the officers who work in these facilities. The power of sports is depicted perfectly in how Kim Je Hyuk does not leave his baseball behind even when behind bars.

3. Racket Boys 

  • Cast: Kim Sang Kyung, Oh Na Ra, Tang Jun Sang, Kim Kang Hoon, Lee Jae In
  • Director: Lee Hyung Min, Choi Sung Bum
  • Runtime: 60-86 minutes
  • Seasons: 1
  • Genre: Sports, Drama
  • Release Date: May 31, 2021

Racket Boys will bring back your love for the sport of Badminton. The story follows a coach who is given the task of saving and bringing back a ragged middle school badminton players team that is almost at their end. 

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He used to be a star player once but left the game; he and his son found their roots back in Badminton. The drama follows the story of badminton players getting back on their feet and growing into better players and persons. 


4. Run On

  • Cast: Ahn Jae Hyun, Ji Jin Hee, Koo Hye Sun, Son Soo Hyun
  • Director: Ki Min-soo, Lee Jae Hoon
  • Runtime: 65 minutes
  • Seasons: 1
  • Genre: Medical drama, Fantasy, Vampire, Thriller, Romance 
  • Release Date: February 16, 2015

Run On is one of the rare Sports K-dramas that talk about the harsh lives and mentally excruciating parts of being in this line. It tries to tackle problems like bullying, toxic parental relationships, pressure on performance, and same-gender love.

Ki Seon Gyeom, a national-level sprinter, leaves his sports career behind and becomes a sports agent as he never actually enjoyed being a sprinter. When he meets Oh Mi Joo, a hardworking film translator, he understands the meaning of being vocal about one’s feelings.

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5. Hot Stove League

  • Cast: Namkoong Min, Park Eun Bin, Oh Jung Se, Jo Byeong Kyu
  • Director: Jung Dong Yoon
  • Runtime: 63 minutes
  • Seasons: 1
  • Genre: Sports Drama
  • Release Date: December 13, 2019

Hot Stove League is a Korean sports drama that can not be missed. The drama will fill you with energy as you follow the engaging story of the remaking of a Korean professional baseball team that have been coming last for four seasons. 

When a new general manager joins this team, he plans to change them into a championship-winning team even though he does not have any knowledge of baseball with the help of the operations manager. 


6. Mental Coach Jegal

  • Cast: Jung Woo, Lee Yoo Mi, Kwon Yul, Park Se Young
  • Director: Son Jeong Hyun
  • Runtime: 63 minutes
  • Seasons: 1
  • Genre: Sports, Drama
  • Release Date: September 12, 2022

Mental Coach Jegal is a moving story of a former Taekwondo national player, Je Ga Il, who is banned from playing again after an unlucky incident. He becomes a mental coach for players in a slump or retired athletes and helps them get back on the field. He helps a gold medalist speed skater get out of her slump and becomes her support through her journey.


7. Twenty-Five Twenty-One

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  • Cast: Kim Tae Ri, Nam Joo Hyuk, Kim Ji Yeon, Choi Hyun Wook, Lee Joo Myung
  • Director: Jung Ji Hyun
  • Runtime: 80 minutes
  • Seasons: 1
  • Genre: Sports, Romance, Coming of age
  • Release Date: February 12, 2022


Twenty-Five Twenty-One brings a beautiful story about sports, romance, friendships, and dreams. It follows the story of Na Hee Do, who dreams of becoming a fencing champion. However, being in a time of financial crisis, it is much harder to achieve the dream, even though she never loses hope. She finally made the national fencing team.

She meets a hardworking man who is trying to build up his life from the beginning as his once-rich family goes bankrupt. The drama takes you on their story of achieving what they dream of while fighting various obstacles.

Get ready to binge-watch these sports K-dramas and get your own spunk of athletics. Feel energized and inspired by these touching stories of those who try to make it big in their sports career and life by fighting everything that comes their way.

ALSO READ: Bite into 7 best vampire K-dramas for fun: Ok Taecyeon’s Heartbeat, Lee Joon Gi’s Scholar Who Walks The Night, more

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About The Author

Tanya, on this side of the screen, probably with a Bangtan Bomb and my K-pop playlist on the play.

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Credits: MBC, tvN, SBS
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