Coaches truly are teachers in their own right regardless of the
level of experience possessed by their athletes. In summers past, I used
to coach seven and eight year olds on our local track club team. At that
age, there is not much instruction they are able to receive before tuning
you out so it was my job to teach the basics. My high school coach, on
the other hand, taught me so much more than I could have ever learned
in a classroom. I would be remiss if I did not recognize him and so
many other coaches out there who have done so much to shape their
athletes into better people than they would be otherwise.
The coaches I am going to examine portrayed in Hollywood
films are all real people, and the movies made about them are based on
their real stories. Coaches such as Herman Boone (Denzel Washington)
depicted in Remember the Titans (2000), Coach Ken Carter (Samuel L.
Jackson) from Coach Carter (2005), and Coach Jim White (Kevin
Costner) of McFarland, USA (2015) all follow the pattern for good
teachers identified as The Hollywood Model. Even though this model
is constructed to describe the traits shared by “good teachers” in
Hollywood films, I believe “good coaches” also follow this model. In
addition to following this model, however, they all have an additional
characteristic in common that is specific to good coaches. I believe the
combination of these elements constitutes a revision of The Hollywood
Model specific to good coaches.
According to Mary M. Dalton, The Hollywood Model for good
teachers consists of five key elements. A good teacher typically is an
outsider who is not well-liked by other teachers, they get involved with
students on a more personal level, they learn from students, do not get
along too well with administrators and they personalize their curriculum
to meet every day needs in students’ lives (Dalton 24). On film, Coach
Carter, Coach White, and Coach Boone all embrace each of these
elements. In addition to these five elements, I believe the good coaches
in Hollywood exemplify a sixth element, the ability to handle extreme
adversity as it relates to issues of race and status.
As stated earlier, each of these three films I have chosen are
based on true stories, and all of them follow a similar storyline. In Coach
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