Sport Psychology in the Film "Coach Carter"

1828 Words Jun 3rd, 2007 8 Pages
Sports psychology deals with the mental and emotional aspects of physical performance. It involves describing, explaining and predicting attitudes, feelings and behaviours in an attempt to improve performance. In the film 'Coach Carter,' directed by Thomas Carter, sport psychology is used effectively to enhance the performance of a high school basketball team. However, this improved performance is not limited to the basketball court, it extends into the classroom where the students use goal setting, motivation, concentration and confidence control, ultimately to become accepted into college, avoiding a life of drugs, gangs and prison.

In the film, many sport psychology techniques are used to turn the immature teenagers of the Richmond
…show more content…
When the athletes turn up to training late, they run. As well as negative motivation, negative reinforcement is present in the scene where Coach Carter is giving statistical feedback to his athletes. "Mr Worm, you were five and four… five turnovers and four missed free throws." As a result of these errors, Coach Carter decides to add an extra practise session every morning at 6am to teach his players the fundamentals of the game.

One type of motivation left out of Coach Carters' repertoire is intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is the desire to learn and perform well that comes from within an individual. This is a shame because intrinsic motivation has been proven to be the most successful type of motivation when it comes to keeping a commitment. Although intrinsic motivation does come from within an individual, eg; the desire to win a trophy for a grandfather, it can still be inspired by a coach.

Behaviour becomes either more or less likely depending on its consequences. The theory is that if you reward behaviours they are more likely to occur again, while punishment is more likely to reduce the chances of that behaviour occurring in the future. Coach Carter successfully uses negative motivation, however, positive motivation is rarely used and sport psychology research overwhelmingly supports the use of a predominantly (80-90%) positive approach. (Peak Performance issue 214) That said, the negative approach works very well in this situation

More about Sport Psychology in the Film "Coach Carter"

Open Document