Coach Carter Assignment

10 October 2016

Looking closely at his method of coaching, there are both positive and negative aspects that surround it. Firstly, his rule of ‘all students must be seated in front of the class’ is perceived as a positive aspect. In the movie, it was said that Richmond had a very low success rate. Only 50% of students graduate from Richmond, and the majority of those were girls. This shows that the other half either stay back, or don’t pursue a higher education. With this rule enforced among the players, this will enable them to focus more in class as they will be closer to the teacher allowing them to understand what is going on in class.

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This will ultimately benefit them as they will be able to graduate and not be part of the 50% who stay back. Carter also required that the players maintain an average of 2. 3. This can be seen as both a positive and negative aspect. Carter made this rule because this is the average required for students to be admitted to college/university. In Carter’s eyes, these players are talented basketball players and if they are able to maintain that average, they will get certainly get into a college where they are offered a basketball scholarship. This shows the advantageous aspect of this rule.

However, the negative aspect is that there are those who joined just to simply play basketball. As such, they will not like these rules. In the movie, it is seen that Richmond is a very violent area filled with gangs. If the players are not allowed to play basketball because they do not follow these sets of rules, they will not have a hobby and may potentially be involved in gangs. This is seen in the movie where the parents complained to Carter, stating that the only reason their son isn’t involved in gangs is that because they have a hobby such as basketball.

One of the management theories seen by Coach Carter is the ‘Administrative Principles’ by Henri Fayol. This is seen through his applications of division of labour, discipline, and unity of direction. Division of Labour is seen where he decides who is the point guard for the team, and who should be the person who takes the three pointers. For example, Carter made Timo Cruz the person in charge of taking three point shots because that was his specialty. This coincides with one of the principles from the theory of ‘Scientific Management’ which says that managers should carefully select workers with the right abilities for the jobs.

Discipline was evident during the court scene where a trial was held in regards to Carter cancelling Richmond’s basketball games because the players did not meet his expectations, i. e. GPA is lower than 2. 3. Carter said that if the students are unable to follow a simple contract that they agreed to, how would this make them be responsible people in the real word? As such, his use of making all members sticking to the agreements they signed taught them discipline. The principle of ‘Unity of direction’ was evident in the final basketball game.

Carter would tell the team a certain plan, and all the players did what they had to do to execute the plan. A principle of ‘Bureaucratic Organization’, by Max Weber, was seen as well by Carter. Carter followed the principle of impersonality. The principle of impersonality states that the rules and procedures practiced should be the same for all. For example, when a member is late for practice, they are to do pushups and suicides etc. When his own son came late, he made his son do the same and did not excuse him just because of their father-son relationship. This shows that Carter is equitable towards all.

In my opinion, Carter is a good manager because not only did he make Richmond one of the most successful basketball team but does things that benefits the students on the team as well. Firstly, is because of the expectations that he sets out for each student. In order to continue playing for the school basketball team, they must sign a contract promising to achieve basic academic standards. This makes him a good manager because not only does he want the team to win their basketball games, but he cares for each and every individual member by making sure that they have the marks required for further education.

Secondly, is that he is not afraid to take action. Sometimes, when things go wrong in a team, the manager/coach just let it slide because he/her is afraid of ruining the relationship between them and the team. As seen in the movie, Carter announced a lockout for the Richmond basketball team when he notices that the some of the students did not meet the 2. 3 average. This means that they were not allowed to access the gym for practice, or participate in any games. The reason he did this is because again, he wants the students to put effort into school in hope of a better life portraying that he cares for students on the team.

Lastly, is that he promotes a good sense of teamwork. This ties in with the last example about the lockout. There were people on the team who met the 2. 3 GPA but there were some who didn’t. Instead of just banning those who did not meet the standards, he banned the whole team from playing. He wanted every member to support one another and succeed as a whole. Overall, Carter is a great coach because not only did he turn Richmond into a successful basketball team, but cared for each and every member by ensuring that they have the marks needed for higher education etc.

If I was the coach, I would mainly use principles from Henri Fayol and ‘The Hawthorne Studies and Human Relations’. Division of Labour, unity of direction, and equity would be found in my style of coaching. I would divide the work up by ability. For example, in basketball, if I was the coach I would make a person who is small but have good shooting skills be responsible for taking three point shots. By telling them that this is their job, this person would not drive into the key and go for a layup because they are small and would possibly be blocked. This job would be saved for a bigger person.

As such, if each member played their assigned role, there would be no weakness as they will not conflict with other’s jobs that are not their forte. The idea of unity of direction where the leader makes a single plan and all members execute that plan is in my opinion, very effective. This is because I, as the coach, would want what is best for the team. With this mentality, I would devise a plan that is most effective. If the coach doesn’t come up with a plan, someone on the team might have their own ambitions, and do their own thing such as taking tricky shots to impress the crowd.

This might result in a loss. I also believe in equity where managers should be kind and fair. This is because if coaches are nice to their players, this would achieve more productivity. The ‘Hawthorne Studies and Human Relations’ showed that people’s feelings, attitudes and relationships with coworkers affect their work and that those who are nicer to their employees will allow them to accomplish more work. As such, if I were a coach, I would use a mix of Henri Fayol and ‘The Hawthorne Studies and Human Relations’ theory.

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