Seeing these young men playing their hearts out and knowing that behind each kid is a story of personal triumph reminds me of the film Coach Carter. In the film, coach Carter is played by Samuel L. Jackson who does a great job of portraying the fierce high school basketball coach who requires his players sign written contracts in order to play. The guys have to agree to respectful behavior, a dress code, and maintaining good grades to stay on the team. When the team’s grades dropped below the contract level, he benches the whole undefeated team, locking up the gym and even missing critical games. In the face of an angry mob of parents and school officials, he stands his ground and holds on to his values about the importance of education for his players.
Coach Carter and many films like it point us all to a powerful lesson about men being man-makers of boys that is still very relevant today. The film is based on the true story of Ken Carter who, in 1999, was a sporting goods store owner that took on the job of basketball coach for his old high school in a poor area of Richmond, CA.
Have you had an experience like that on a team? What lessons did you learn?
Do you have a favorite film about how being on a team with a good coach can turn young males into young men with self-respect and strong and positive values?
I have listed some films for young guys on the resources page of the Man-Making website, but I’d like to hear about your favorites. You can post them in the comments section of this post or send them to me and I’ll add them to the blog and website.