Life Values I Learned from Coach Carter

 Just last week, I got the luxury of time to watch a really inspirational movie about discipline, motivation, and passion for one’s craft.  While my hubby and son are both fast asleep, there I was awake until twelve midnight watching the movie on my mobile phone.  So, what’s so intriguing about this movie.
 
 
The Story
Coach Carter was released in year 2005.  The story started when Ken Carter took over the coaching job for the Oilers basketball team at Richmond Highschool, where he used to study and play, with unbeaten records, during his younger years.  The team members lack discipline, motivation, and self-respect which is evident on their constant losses.  Ken did not just mentored them on the sports he love, but coached them also on life – living a life of purpose and with decency.  At the start of his coaching job, he offered them a contract that spells a lot of requirements such as the players should sit in front of the class, maintain decent grades and render time for community service apart from the strenuous basketball practice.
 
  
 
 
Essential Values in Life
Throughout the story, he taught five important values that changed the lives of his students forever:  Discipline, Respect, Teamwork, Courage, and Humility.
 
Value #1:  Discipline
Ken Carter stood firm despite the objections of everyone (e.g. parents, school staff) on how harsh his rules are.  Even if a lot of people misunderstood him, he still insisted on getting the progress reports of the players to ensure that they do not flounder academically.  Aside from that Ken, imposed on “suicide” and “push-up” to penalize those who report late for practice and those with rude behaviors. A suicide is a running drill while touching down the court in intervals until the exercise is completed on both sides of the court.  While push-up “is a conditioning exercise performed in a prone position by raising and lowering the body with the straightening and bending of the arms while keeping the back straight and supporting the body on the hands and toes” according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
 
Value #2:  Respect
When Ken Carter first met the players, he called them “Sir” which is too unusual as they are not used to being called “Sir.”  With their recent losses, they have low self-esteem as much as they have low self-respect and respect with their teammates.  However, according to Ken, he will call them “Sir” as long as they have not lost his respect for them.  Later in the story, the players developed a sense of self-respect and earned the respect of other people around them.
 
Value #3:  Teamwork
When Timo Cruz decided to rejoin the team, he was penalized with unreasonable numbers of suicides and push-ups on the courtside while his teammates are practicing.  The entire team witnessed how he persevered and pushed himself to the limits that they volunteered to do the other push-ups and suicides just to have him on the team again.
 
Value #4:  Courage
What is your deepest fear?  This is the question Ken Carter often asks his players.  The question that irritates most of the proud players.  At the climax of the story, when gym’s lockout was ended, Ken Carter found the players studying at the basketball court. Here, Timo Cruz answered the question their often asks them.
 
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
 
A scene at the gym, from the movie “Coach Carter”
 
Value #5:  Humility
Drowned with constant winnings on their basketball games, the players became too proud that they started trash talking during their games.  Such attitude was immediately corrected by Ken Carter.  Though the movie did not end the way typical a storybook ends, Ken Carter’s message to the team is moving:.
 
“…you men played like champions.  You never gave up.  And champions hold their heads high.  What you achieved goes way beyond the win-loss column or what’s gonna be written on the front page of the sports section tomorrow.  You’ve achieved something that some people spend their whole lives trying to find.  What you achieved is that ever-elusive victory within.  And, gentlemen… I am so proud of you.  Four months ago, when I took the job at Richmond, I had a plan.  That plan failed.  I came to coach basketball players, and you became students.  I came to teach boys, and you became men.  And for that, I thank you:.
 
It’s Not All About Winning
At the end of every battle, of every game, of every story, there is a realization that winning is not the highest peak of our lives.  Indeed, the victory, the win, the reward motivates us through the challenges in our journey.  It is the journey itself – the realization of one’s strength on momentary setbacks, the courage gathered amidst the perplexities, and the winning spirit developed within yourself by simply having an end in mind.
 
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