Coach Carter A Movie Review Movie Review

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Coach Carter as a Tool for Therapeutic Development Though based on a true story, there are many elements of Coach Carter that can be seen as directly related to standard elements of fiction. The titular Coach himself, played compellingly by Samuel L. Jackson, is something of a Byronic hero with his harsh and unlovable exterior and a depth of conviction that does not admit for any real discussion and even excludes politeness quite often, and the series of triumphs and setbacks experienced by many of the characters is typical in many ways of the hero's journey. Cruz especially must go on a complex inner journey in order to find himself and to accept and even to acknowledge his potential, his motives, and his fears. The scene in which he finally admits to Coach Carter that his deepest fear is that he will fail to live up to his potential is one of the most moving in the entire film, and helps to position the movie not as the triumph of the title character, but rather of what communities and networks of individuals are capable of when they take an active and conscious control of their lives.

While Coach Carter becomes the center of his community in a certain manner, it is truly his status as an outsider that makes him successful both within the film's narrative and as a protagonist in...


As he interacts with and changes the community -- and as the community changes around him -- his own principles and flaws become more strongly highlighted. It is this element of change and introspection on both individual and community levels that makes this film what it is, and that should be carefully noted by viewers of the film. Coach Carter would not be the figure he is if not for the setting he was confronted with.
Therapeutic Implications

The scene in which Cruz finally acknowledges his fear to Coach Carter is especially important for several reasons. First, it shows the depth of emotion that it was necessary for Cruz to reach before he was able to acknowledge that he thought he could actually succeed at something when his community and family essentially told him that he couldn't. Surmounting this barrier and overcoming the wall he had built to insulate himself from people that cared and tried to help him realize his potential -- people like Coach Carter -- was something it took a great deal of effort from Cruz to accomplish, and it also took a great deal of perseverance and optimism (though not of the most demonstrative sort) on the part of Coach Carter. Second, this scene also explores some of the non-personal and fundamental issues of growing up and…

Sources Used in Documents:


Carter, T. (2005) Coach Carter [film]. Paramount Pictures.

Cashman, K. (2008). Leadership from the Inside Out. New York: RHYW.

Gregerson, M. (2009). The Cinematic Mirror for Psychology and Life Coaching. New York: Springer.

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