A film review
Hoosiers is a film about second chances. Redemption is given to a short tempered coach, who was issued a lifetime suspension by the NCAA for physically assaulting a player, and a former star player- turned town drunk. These two defeat their odds by taking a small town high school basketball team from being just 15 and 10, all the way to the state championship. In my review, I’ll attempt to explain how this coach matches up against Kouzes and Posner’s “Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership.”
Our setting is rural Indiana in a town called Hickory. It’s a place that’s resistant to change. Hickory is a place where, according to Myra Fleener, a character in the film, “basketball heroes are treated like gods”. This town takes their basketball seriously, a setting where the new basketball coach faces the obstacle of sleuth of second-guessing fathers.
Norman Dale is the main character, the volatile coach who has spent the last ten years serving in the Navy after being let go from his position from Ithaca College. Shooter is the town drunk, father of one of the players, whom Norman gives a shot at sobriety by letting him be his assistant as long as he can remain clean. Another main character is Miss Fleener, another one of Coach Dale’s obstacles. She is a feisty teacher, a firm believer that there is more to life than basketball and the one who tries to keep the star player, Jimmy, from rejoining the team after he quit playing because of his previous coach’s death.
The leadership issue presented in the film is the lack of belief in the leader-that he can accomplish better than what has already taken place. In the beginning, the only person who thought much of Coach Dale was the man who hired him, Principal Cletus. Norman didn’t receive a warm welcome nor have the trust of the fathers of the sons on the team, the town, or the team itself. Coach Dale had to earn the trust and respect in order to lead the group of undisciplined individuals...
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