Leadership Movies: Coach Carter

Coach Carter is a part of Leadership Movies, a series of films with leadership themes. Learn about how you can become a better leader by watching leadership in action.


What is the Movie About?

Coach Carter
Coach Carter

Coach Carter is a 2005 film that is based on the true story of Ken Carter, who benched his players because of their poor academic results. This movie focuses in on the struggles and challenges of the players,Coach Carter and their lives in modern America. This is an excellent movie to illustrate the challenges of mentorship, coaching and leadership not just in sports, but in every organization.

Leadership Takeaways

1. People are naturally resistant to change.
When Mr Carter first steps in as the new basketball coach and implements changes in the training style, he is met with a lot of resistance by the players. The film depicts the emotions of these players very well. As a leader, when you make changes to the status quo, expect the same kind of emotions and resistance by those with you.

2. Think long term.
Mr Carter knew that for basketball to continue to be a part of the players’ life, they had to get their other part of their lives together too: their academic results. Although he was a basketball coach, he saw the need for balance in his players’ life so that they could progress on to their next stage in life. Despite stating clearly what he saw, Carter still faced a lot of opposition from the community.

3. Leaders have to make unpopular decisions.
Carter faced a lot of opposition in his shutting down of the gym from the community. He became a public enemy because no one really understood the purpose of his actions. Nonetheless, he stood by his decision, and won his players over to himself. As a leader, you will face situations like this where everyone else is pitting themselves against you and the only thing you can stand on is your values.

Best Movie Quotes

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. – Timo Cruz (quoting Marianne Williamson)

[to the people in attendance at the board hearing] 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 Ken Carter

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

You said we’re a team. One person struggles, we all struggle. One person triumphs, we all triumph. – Jason Lyle

Movie Trailer

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Other Leadership Movies

You can find out more about other leadership movies from the list below.

  1. The Pursuit of Happy-ness
  2. Braveheart
  3. Kingdom of Heaven
  4. The Thin Red Line
  5. Saving Private Ryan
  6. Forrest Gump
  7. The Star Wars Trilogy
  8. The Million Dollar Baby
  9. Twelve Angry Men
  10. The Last Samurai
  11. Coach Carter
  12. Ip Man
  13. Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  14. 300
  15. Lion King
  16. Facing the Giants
  17. The Blind Side
  18. Remember the Titans

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