Coach Carter

Coach Carter is based on a true story of an inner-city high school basketball team that only won four games the year previous to getting a new coach. Coach Carter comes in and changes the atmosphere of the team, trying to teach life lessons and change the mindsets of his players into student-athletes. He prepares them for the future through a bumpy road to success.


Release Year: 2005 Rating: PG-13
Length: 136m


For more information, view its pages at the Internet Movie Database and Rotten Tomatoes or purchase it from Amazon.



  • Commitment: This theme is depicted in the beginning when Coach Carter explains his rules to the team; they are not to use the word "n***a", must maintain a 2.3 GPA (even though the state only requires a 2.0), go to and sit in the front of all classes, and stick to a dress code. Coach says they will refer to each other as "sirs" and sign a contract to follow the rules if they want to play. They are required to make a serious commitment to the team.
  • Teamwork: In the beginning, after Timo Cruz gets kicked off the team he asks, "What do I gotta do to play?" Coach gives him the impossible task of completing 2500 pushups and 1000 suicides by Friday. When faced with failing, the team joins together in through teamwork and helps him finish the task. Lyle says "remember what you said coach, if one struggles then we all struggle, if one triumphs then we all triumph."
  • Sportsmanship: In the middle of the movie during a practice, Coach Carter says "That's me, I did that, I drew that play up." Here sportsmanship is depicted when Coach says, "since when is winning not enough? Now you have to humiliate your opponent? You won four games last year, what gives you the right to ruin the game I love? Play with class and act like a champion."
  • Education: At one point towards the end of the movie, Coach Carter notices that his athletes aren't putting student first so he locks the gym. He says that Richmond High School only graduates 50% and only 6% of students go on to college. He demands they get their grades up and forfeits games until they do. Education is the theme when he tells the boys to go home and "ask yourself, do you want better for your life?" He feels that school should be the highlight of their life, not basketball.
  • Life Skills: Coach Carter's theme in the middle of the movie is life skills. At one point he asks Timo Cruz, "what is your deepest fear Mr. Cruz, that you're inadequate?" He later gets a response that Timo has learned from his experiences that proves to Coach Carter that Timo is learning life lessons. Coach also says to the players "what is it that you want out of this season?" at which they say "to win a championship". Coach asks them "who won the championship last year?" and none know the answer. He asks them how they see themselves.


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