Movie review Hoosiers
Based on a true story of the Milan High School basketball team that won the state championships in 1954, the movie Hoosiers is a sports film that recounts the story of achievement in a small town basketball team in Indiana High School. The group of underdogs the ‘Hickory Huskers’, was able to become champion under the leadership of a hardworking basketball coach, Norman Dale. From the movie, significant lessons are learned on the importance of effective leadership and management for the successful coordination of groups, organizations and teams. Although Dale faces resentment from within the team and the town, he is still able to inspire the young athletes. Through the help of an assistant coach Shooter Flatch, the alcoholic father of one of the players, the two are able lead the team to the state championship. This essay will cover a detailed analysis of the Kouzes and Posner management theory evident in the movie. This will be achieved through clear illustrations and discussions on the implications of the leadership to the final results. The lessons learned are also applicable to individual, social, and communal growth and development.
The movie appropriately illustrates the leadership model by Kouzes and Posner which emphasizes on leadership as the art and ability of mobilizing others to work hard for the overall team success. This is observed in the strategy embraced by Dale in leading the team. He dismisses the acting coach and all the disinterested and unwilling team players during the first practice and gets down to business on the first day of addressing the team. To understand leadership, Kouzes and Posner stress that people should recognize the existence of a unique relationship between leaders and their subjects. Leaders should have the ability to create a safe environment for growth, motivation, and development through well-defined characteristics that distinguish successful leaders.
On the initial day of school, Dale is disappointed at the low student turnout which leaves him with only seven members of the basketball squad. During their first practice he dismisses the acting coach who is a townsman in the area. This models him according to the management theory as a leader who takes risks and introduces new changes and opportunities for improvement and innovation. Two of the players, Whit and Buddy are also dismissed just minutes after he addresses the team due to their lack of attention before drilling begins with only five players left. The remaining players Everett, Rade, Strap, Merle, and Ollie are introduced to Dale’s coaching that is filled with conditioning and fundamentals much to their dislike. When the townsmen storm into practice and demand an explanation of Dale’s sudden entry into the school basketball team Whit's father intervenes. He asks his son to apologize to Dale for another chance into the team and dismisses the townsmen.
When Dale initially addresses the team, he inspires them to exploit their dreams, hopes, values and aspirations, an action that uplifts them and encourages them to share in a common vision. This is a practical illustration of the leadership challenge model explaining that successful leaders act as role models to their subjects and enable them to act through challenging, inspiring and encouraging them. The team is able to succeed since they manage to integrate both leadership and management to produce order, continuity and significant positive dramatic changes. The scene best illustrates Dale’s passion in the sport that rubs off to the team players elaborating on the importance of the relationship between leaders and their teams. .
Although Dale is looked at with suspicion as an outsider, his belief for team work in the end drives the school and the community to success. From the film, I learn the importance of teamwork and equal participation and involvement of groups. I learn the value of accommodating every individual in a team to action without one overshadowing the other. It is conclusively clear that proper leadership and management are essential for team work and eventual success. Leaders should learn the importance of clear agendas, human support networks, and concise execution of plans as significant ingredients in positive outcomes.