2. The Underdog Story Component Is Familiar
If you've watched any sports movie in, well, ever, then you'll get the gist of the sports element in The Way Back. Jack is an unorthodox candidate for the head coaching position with this team that is, at the moment, not very good. However, through his improper ways and an effective ability to bring the team together (despite their personal differences), he reveals the playoff team that was within them all along.
It's undoubtedly familiar and doesn't really go in any direction you won't see coming. That being said, there's a reason why this formula is continually used. The underdog story structure is tried and true, as The Way Back only confirms.
Once again, the underdog story works to great effect here. As a viewer, you're firmly on the side of Bishop to stick it to the tougher teams and earn some respect. You also are rooting for Jack to find that passion within himself and for him to get a long-overdue win after a rough couple of years. It's not original, but still well-utilized.