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Sport Psychology In The Film "Coach Carter"

1824 words - 7 pages

Sports psychology deals with the mental and emotional aspects of physical performance. It involves describing, explaining and predicting attitudes, feelings and behaviours in an attempt to improve performance. In the film 'Coach Carter,' directed by Thomas Carter, sport psychology is used effectively to enhance the performance of a high school basketball team. However, this improved performance is not limited to the basketball court, it extends into the classroom where the students use goal setting, motivation, concentration and confidence control, ultimately to become accepted into college, avoiding a life of drugs, gangs and prison.In the film, many sport psychology techniques are used to turn the immature teenagers of the Richmond Oilers basketball team into a group of intelligent, successful young men. The most important technique is goal setting. All good athletes set goals, otherwise, they can spend a long time doing the wrong training, learning the hard way, getting bored or taking longer than needed to improve. Athletes with goals set themselves targets and a plan to achieve them, their training involves less trial and error and it becomes an effective learning tool. Coach Carter sets his athletes behavioural goals, eg; they must turn up to practise on time, short-term goals, eg; they must maintain a 2.3 grade average and a long term goal, eg; graduating high school and being accepted into college. The behavioural and short term goals are used as a stepping stone towards the long term goal.When setting goals, Coach Carter implements the SMARTE principle. The goals are specific, straightforward and emphasise what he wants to happen. Eg; players must wear a tie and jacket on game day. His goals are also measurable, this aspect allows Coach Carter to see his athletes improve, eg; the teachers supply him with student 'progress reports.' Coach Carter's goals are attainable and realistic, setting goals too far out of reach are difficult to commit to. This is why he doesn't ask his players to be at the front of the class when it comes to grades, but simply to sit at the front of class to maintain focus. Many of the goals Coach Carter sets have a timeframe. If a timeframe is not set, the commitment is too vague. It tends not to happen because the athlete feels he can start at any time resulting in no urgency to take action. Eg; when Cruze attempts to get back on the team he must complete 2500 push ups and 1000 suicides "by Friday." Coach Carter may also evaluate his teams' goals and change his coaching techniques to suit. This is evident when he decides to 'lock up' the gymnasium, forcing the team to improve their grades before returning to the court.While Coach Carter's use of the SMARTE principle is very effective for setting and achieving goals, one aspect, that of individuality, could be improved. Coach Carter makes the entire team sign contracts in which the terms are the same for everyone. While a 2.3 grade average may be a perfect...

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