6 tips for writing sports essays

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Essays on sports appear in all sorts of formats and publications. Academic essays, magazine essays, even long-form ‘literary’ essays can tackle the voluminous subject that is sports. To start with considering that, by the best guess, there are 8000 sports in play around the world.


As an essay writer, picking a sport from this endless array of sports is easier when you consider the most popular. Which probably numbers around 25. The study of obscure sports and games also has a draw to them though, providing anthropological insight as much as the most popular ones.


Here are our top tips for writing the best sports essays you possibly can, some are general while others are more specific.


1)  Read widely

The background to sports is, as we covered in the introduction, infinite. They’re a microcosmic rendering of society and community. The way we play says a lot about us. Sports fans are known to be some of the craziest people on the planet, with this ‘notion’ of crazy extending from boundless memorabilia collections and deep statistical or event-based knowledge to extreme violence and organized crime.


Understanding the development of sports from multiple perspectives will give you lots to draw upon when writing an essay on contemporary events, like the drafting process used in some American sports. You should be able to conjure up pieces of evidence showing coincidences and trends that can set you apart as an insightful sports writer.


2)  Get the facts right

As a sports essay writer, you have an endless array of data to analyze. Some sportswriters and fans may find the analytical nature of this work tiresome or dull. Even if you reside in this camp with the internet at your disposal there is no room for making careless mistakes with your facts. Sport is one of the most analyzed and annotated activities on the planet with numerous databases and archives to dive through, some are behind paywalls while some are not.


Essay writer free resources are invaluable; thankfully in the realm of sports, statistics and data are easily accessible. Sports have more and more come to depend on statistical analysis, academics and those journalists writing sports articles have played their part in that development.

3)  Can you get a quote on that?

Social media and sports are another inseparable pairing, much like sports and data. Previously fandom might have organized itself around autograph hunting. Nowadays players come to the fans, and they’re wildly popular. The most followed sports account on Instagram belongs to soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, with Leo Messi also in the top 10.


While it might be hard to slide into Ronald’o’s DMs and get a great quote many other athletes and sports people can now be contacted – without the help of an agent or press team. Your essay could stand out if you’re able to go direct to the source and secure an interview with a player.


4)  Study psychology

Aside from the act of winning, shooting, scoring, and so on, the mindset involved in sports is a subject that provides endless fascination and inspiration. A great essay on sports might examine this mindset in the context of new psychological paradigms, or it could tell a qualitative story based on the experiences and motivations of a particular player.


No matter how you use it in your essay psychology influences sports and the outcomes of games. The most cutting edge ideas include visualization, as well as motivation and awareness.


5)  Think financially

Amateur sports like those featured in the Olympics are done for love, not money, though we’re generally more familiar with the stars making millions by licensing their image and by playing on the biggest stages in the world.


Financial and sport is a contentious area, making it an excellent subject matter for an essay. If you’re a sports fan but studying economics or business, choosing a sporting club as your focus is a fun way to combine your passion and your profession.

6)  Keep it structured

A sports essay, if written for academic purposes, should present its argument clearly and concisely at the beginning. Along with introducing the general problem at hand. The thesis is then explored and explained, with anti-thesis or critical remarks following that. Depending on the length of your essay those criticisms could also then be refuted, and a conclusion will follow.

Tangentially related to structure is your referencing system, do the right thing and reference right the first time. Don’t store your citations on haphazardly placed pieces of paper, make a dedicated field or use a dedicated page in a notebook.


Essays that might feature in a magazine or are less academic in nature can be looser with format and structure. Make the reader wait a little for the pay off, but still write your introduction with a strong hook.


All in all, sports writing is one of the most desired gigs in writing (if you’re a sports fan). The chance to get up close and become part of the while circus is very appealing to many young writers. If you consider these tips and work hard to develop your skills you could be ringside, or pitchside, or poolside, at the next big event.