Blog Olympics #1: You Call That A Sports Novel?!


We have arrived at the first discussion post of the inaugural Blog Olympics.  Blog Olympics is hosted by Books, Tea and A Onesie and Always Opinionated Girl.

Disclaimer: I am not a “real” sports fan. I’m just a teenager who eats popcorn while screaming at high school basketball games. The only sport I play is badminton. And I’m one who is a little adverse to the Hunky Dory Adonis on the front cover. That being said, these are just opinions and observations, with no actual basis on any sports novels. (Because it’s a joke to call them that, lol.) No offense to the readers of these types of novels; this is just my interpretation of what marketers must be thinking.


Come on, the first thing you see picking up a “sports” novel is a picture of a guy with photoshopped abs. Marketers were clearly thinking that it would get mouths drooling and wallets opening. I’ve yet to see an actual YA with legitimate training that’s labeled as a “sports” novel.

There are books like Rites of Passage with intense training; but that’s not a sports novel. There are books like None of The Above where the primary focus isn’t sports; but yet has more accurate portrayals of a training athlete than I’ve seen mentioned.

I suppose I understand. No one really
wants to read about Johnny hard core training and learning to get his shooting angle right in Prospect Park till midnight. No one wants to read about all the work it takes to maintain a good body with conditioning; unless it’s going to pertain to development of the actual relationship between the athlete and their partner. (Because we all know that’s the main focus here.)

But if you’re not going to be realistic, why call it a sports novel? That’s incredibly aggravating to those who are actually looking for an accurate portrayal of their “struggle”. Something they’re interested in; and can actually relate to.

So, when someone is talking about a book being in the genre of sports nowadays…I see yet another pair of photoshopped abs. I think heavy, choking romance. I see a story about a guy (or girl, I’m not discriminating here) that’s supposedly involved in hockey basketball, soccer or any other sport–but really is just focused on the girl he’s only known for two days. And, I think that’s an embarrassment. A shame to portray people as depending too much on another’s validation rather than their own desire to reach their goal.

If you’re going to label it sports, why not…I don’t know…actually include the struggles of training, conditioning, and the process? Make it worthy to be fitted that label?

What are your thoughts? Disagree or agree? Why?

Here’s Books, Tea and A Onesie’s post for Blog Olympics DAY 1!

About The Blogger

Wesaun is a teen book lion. She’s also an art enthusiast: poetry, theater, and fan art, as well as paintings/drawings. She loves to be overenthusiastic over books and authors.

You can find her at her Twitter: @epicbooklover.
You can also try her business


8 thoughts on “Blog Olympics #1: You Call That A Sports Novel?!

  1. You made some really great points in your blog post! I had never really thought about it like that, but after reading what you said, I completely agree! Usually in all of the books branded “sports novel” the main focus won’t be sports themselves but rather a love interest, some bully, or a different form of adversity that the main character is trying to overcome. I’m definitely going to keep my eyes open for sports novels that seem to be truly worthy of the label “sport novel”. Great post!


  2. This is such an interesting feature, I didn’t know about it, I’m sad I can’t participate now!
    I have to admit, I feel the same what that you do about sports novels. When I think about it, I just picture an awful cover with a guy, and obviously a girl in the background (or vice versa, why not!), and the whole story is just focused on romance, with a little sport in the background. Like you, I think there would be way more interesting ways to do sport “sports novel”, as they’re called…and actually FOCUS on sports, the conditions, the dilemma, the goals, the pressure and everything going with it. I can’t say I’ve read many books with sports in it, whether it’s in the background or actually at the heart of the story. But I would love to encounter more novels with sports actually being the main focus. I think it would be really, really interesting! πŸ™‚
    Wow sorry for the long comment, your discussions always inspire me I guess πŸ˜€


  3. Hmmmm you know, I’ve actually read a sports novel with a swoony looking guy in the cover with a pretty girl wrapped around his back. Really, this was why I bought it. And because it was ROMANCE and all that lovey dovey stuff. Hehe but you’re right, in that they try to attract readers by slapping a sexy guy on the front. If I am to be for real here, Wesaun, I would say those types of books I sometimes flock to but then other times….meh. if my comment makes any sense at all because I feel like I’m blabbering at this point. 0_o


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