Sport Psychology in the Film "Coach Carter"

Essay by christovHigh School, 12th gradeA+, May 2007

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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...