Over the weekend I watched the movie, Coach Carter, on DVD. Samuel L. Jackson is one of my favorite actors, and he didn’t disappoint in this movie. The movie is based on the true story of high school basketball coach Ken Carter and his experience in taking a team full of undisciplined and wild teenage boys and turning them into a team of winners.
One of the most amazing scenes to unfold occurred when Coach Carter checks on the academic progress of his players. Before he would accept a player on his team, the player and parent had to sign a contract agreeing to a few stipulations, some of which were maintaining a 2.3 GPA (which was higher than what the school required for extracurricular activities), sitting in the front row of each of their classes, and wearing a jacket and tie to school on game day.
The coach finally gets academic progress reports on this team, and much to his dismay, discovers that most of them are failing at least one class, and some players aren’t showing up for class at all. At this point, the team has turned around and is undefeated in their season. The school hasn’t had a basketball team of this caliber in years, and their success has attracted a great deal of attention.
Despite their success, Coach Carter’s aim is to turn his players into respectable young men who will succeed in life. If they become great basketball players, that’s just a side benefit. Consequently, he decides to lock them out of the gym and turns their practice sessions into study sessions at the library. The team members are quite upset with him, but upon realizing that he’s serious and not backing down, decide to hit the books.
In a week, they are supposed to play a big basketball rival. Coach Carter threatens to cancel the game if grades don’t improve, and ultimately, he is forced to cancel the game, as all of the players didn’t return to good academic standing. At this point the team, the parents, the school, and the community are all livid and call for him to be fired. Coach Carter sticks by his guns, and gains respect throughout the country for this standards, but little respect in his own community.
When the school board overrules his decision and ends the game lockout, Carter resigns. As he’s packing his office, he enters the gym, where he encounters a surprising scene. His players have hauled desks into the gym and are doing their best to bring each other back to the GPA required. One of them tells his coach, "Well, they can end the lockout, but they can’t make us play." They have realized that he’s right, decided to meet the high standards bar he’s set, and they vow to help him finish what he started.
Coach Carter stays on as coach, and the team has a successful season.
How many times in our businesses do we decide to relax our standards because of pressure we feel from family, or friends, or clients? What ultimately happens when you compromise your standards is that you become unhappy with yourself–you’re not doing what you really want to do or what you feel is right and have permitted yourself to be influenced by others.
Take a stand for yourself and your business. Don’t let others talk you into compromising the standards you’ve set for yourself and your company. Sticking to your standards will help you create many winning seasons in your business.
Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.