Several months ago, All Pro Dad held a survey to find out the greatest sports movie ending of all time. After a considerable amount of votes, the overall winner was Remember the Titans. It is a great movie with a triumphant ending and a terrific message. There are many great sports movies to choose from and, given my profession, you might think that my favorite would be about football. However, when I was recently asked what my favorite of sports movie is the first that came to mind is Coach Carter.
It is a true story about a high school basketball coach in inner city Richmond, California played by Samuel L. Jackson. The coach came into a difficult situation and had to be tough with the kids to affect change. When several of his players were failing in the classroom, Coach Carter chose to cancel basketball activities until all of his players were passing. I took my son Eric to see it and we discussed the important lessons that can be learned from it. Here are those lessons and why Coach Carter stands out to me.
Education Over Athletics
Coach Carter locked the gym and had his players report to the library until everyone on the team was in good academic standing. That sends a message that education is more important than athletics. Sports are a constructive way to spend time and can provide some with a career path, but a person will go only so far without an education.
Teamwork Over Individual Achievement
There were only a few players that weren’t meeting the academic eligibility standards, but the coach decided to suspend the entire team. It was a bold move that emphasized to the team that they needed to help one another and hold each other accountable. If one person on the team is suffering, then we all suffer together. That is something I always tried to communicate to my players when I was coaching as well.