Leadership Movie Coach Carter

The Leadership Movie Coach Carter has to be one of my favourite movies of all time. Not even from a leadership movie perspective but just a good true story of overcoming and succeeding in what is most important; life. Without ruining this movie its not all about fairy-tale endings but rather development and growth within the people involved.


Ken Carter gets offered a position in his old high-school to coach the basketball team on a short term contract. He eventually accepts despite the school being in a rough neighbourhood and the team being a little rough around the edges. He goes into the job with a high bar of what he expects from the team and from himself. Despite great success on the court he finds out his plays are failing high-school and not honouring their agreement with him.

In a last-ditch attempt to curve this unhealthy characteristic of his players Coach Carter closes down the gym and refuses to play anymore games until his team have turned their ways around. Through the many distractions and confrontations the team eventually pick up their books and start succeeding. With little support from the community Ken Carter is forced to resign but on his last day the team surprise him and show that his ideology has penetrated through the minds of the team. His success is deeper than any basketball results and the lives of the team will never be the same.

Movie Quotes - The leadership movie coach carter

Coach Carter: l came to coach basketball players, and you became students. l came to teach boys, and you became men.

Coach Carter: You really need to consider the message you're sending this boys by ending the lockout. It's the same message that we as a culture send to our professional athletes; and that is that they are above the law. If these boys cannot honor the simple rules of a basketball contract, how long do you think it will be before they're out there breaking the law? I played ball here at Richmond High 30 years ago. It was the same thing then; some of my teammates went to prison, some of them even ended up dead. If you vote to end the lockout, you won't have to terminate me; I'll quit.

Coach Carter: When we step on the floor every second that clock is ticking, we are pedal to the metal, we run the ball, we pressure the ball, and most importantly we control the tempo of the game, we make them play Richmond Oiler ball.

Timo Cruz: 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.

Leadership Movie Coach Carter Lessons

This movie is full of leadership principles which should enlighten all our lives. A group of teenage misfits are turned around into positive and life affirming men who go on to do great things with their lives despite people constantly telling them that they're nothing. Maybe one of the single most important lessons from this movie is that when you start believing in your team and telling them positive things like you can succeed or as in the movie you can go to college... that it opens the door on personal growth. Lets explore a few more lessons below.

1. Don't let circumstances define the destiny of yourself or your team.

In this leadership movie Coach Carter's boss, the principle, denies that even half of the boys will graduate from high-school and yet they do and many go onto college. When your own leaders start telling you that success cannot happen, you should feel confident to challenge them respectfully and show with your results that transformation can happen and goals can be met.

2. Your team will never be perfect, believe in who you have.

I can promise you from the start that any team will have a 100% rate of imperfect people on-board. No one is what you want them to be but leadership is about rising above peoples weaknesses and building on what they do have to see them succeed. At the end of the day that's what you have to work with and you should be excited to see these wonderful imperfect people grow into their own futures.

3. Success isn't measured by what others deem as victory.

If you haven't watched the movie yet then please don't read on! But those of us who have watched it know that at the end they don't win the championship and in fact loose their last game at the last second. Its no fairy-tale ending for the Oilers but ultimately that isn't what they believe victory is. The growth they've seen and life choices they've made have bought them into a place of 'winning' in life and the court is only a practice ground for them. Peoples definition of what success for your team is may not be what you define your goals are; this is ok! Believe in your team and know what you want to achieve.

The Leadership Movie Coach Carter is an excellent example of team leadership qualities. Click here for more resource on team leadership.

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