Movie Review: Coach Carter

“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.
That was what Timo Cruz said in the show “Coach Carter”, nearing the end of the movie. The show was an inspiration one, describing primarily how hard work and discipline eventually pays off, and secondarily, how a good coach can change everything. The show first sets the scene at an unruly neighbourhood known for its gangsters and bad students, and the basketball team are equally as bad – not attending classes, and blaming each other for mistakes during matches. Then, Coach Carter takes over as the basketball coach. He has seen the team in bad shape in one of the matches, but is determined to help them, being an alumnus.
Coach Carter teaches them the fundamentals of being a person first – he believes that the team need to become a better person before they can start thinking about learning to play basketball. He made them sign a contract for them to attend all classes, and maintain a GPA of at least 2.3. As an extreme method, Coach Carter even locked up the gym and suspended all basketball practice and matches when the team did not meet the academic requirements made of them. This action then causes the whole town to be unhappy, and the board of directors voted for the gym to be forced open.
That caused Timo Cruz to say the paragraph stated earlier. This paragraph means that arrogance is the cause of many people’s failures – when we are too powerful, (like when the team won many games and many commented that “We undefeated”), we may even become scared of ourselves becoming too great. However, if we play small”, we cannot “serve the world” – if we try to be humble and stay small so that people around us will not feel scared or even jealous of us, we cannot change anything. Everyone is born to shine in their own ways, and excel at life. Also, it mentions that “as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” We influence many people around us unconsciously, and encourage them to shine and be successful too. In the movie, when Cruz tries to join the team but is forced to do Physical Exercise, one of his friends start trying to help him do some. His other friends, seeing that one of their teammates is helping, also chip in. Then, later when the gym is locked and they instead go to the library where they are forced to learn, those who lack patience and are weaker will invariably feel like walking off, but their friends caution them to continue to persevere on and make them realize that “Hey, it isn’t that hard…” This also explains the next line of “as we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”. When we are no longer afraid of something, we also free others from their fears after seeing our success at it.
As a concluding statement, I largely enjoyed the movie for its many inspire and heart-warming scenes. Remember Coach Carter.


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Hi guys, I'm a student in Singapore, and this are some thoughts and essays I have written over the years.