Review of Hoosiers Movie Issues and Ideas

Topics: Leadership

The following academic paper highlights the up-to-date issues and questions of Hoosiers Movie. This sample provides just some ideas on how this topic can be analyzed and discussed.


A film review Hoosiers is a film about second chances. Redemption is given to a short tempered coach, who was issued a lifetime suspension by the NCAA for physically assaulting a player, and a former star player- turned town drunk. These two defeat their odds by taking a small town high school basketball team from being just 15 and 10, all the way to the state championship.

In my review, I’ll attempt to explain how this coach matches up against Kouzes and Posner’s “Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership. ” Our setting is rural Indiana in a town called Hickory. It’s a place that’s resistant to change.

Hickory is a place where, according to Myra Fleener, a character in the film, “basketball heroes are treated like gods”. This town takes their basketball seriously, a setting where the new basketball coach faces the obstacle of sleuth of second-guessing fathers.

Norman Dale is the main character, the volatile coach who has spent the last ten years serving in the Navy after being let go from his position from Ithaca College. Shooter is the town drunk, father of one of the players, whom Norman gives a shot at sobriety by letting him be his assistant as long as he can remain clean.

Where Was The Movie Hoosiers Filmed

Another main character is Miss Fleener, another one of Coach Dale’s obstacles.

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She is a feisty teacher, a firm believer that there is more to life than basketball and the one who tries to keep the star player, Jimmy, from rejoining the team after he quit playing because of his previous coach’s death. The leadership issue presented in the film is the lack of belief in the leader-that he can accomplish better than what has already taken place. In the beginning, the only person who thought much of Coach Dale was the man who hired him, Principal Cletus.

Norman didn’t receive a warm welcome nor have the trust of the fathers of the sons on the team, the town, or the team itself. Coach Dale had to earn the trust and respect in order to lead the group of undisciplined individuals he was dealt. According to their first practice of exemplary leadership, “Model the Way”, Kouzes and Posner say that to effectively model the behavior they expect of other, leaders must first be clear about guiding principles. They must clarify values. Norman Dale valued teamwork.

He believed that no player was more important than the other and he expressed this during practice and showed it by changing the way the Hickory Huskers practiced. Unlike the town who wanted to get their star player back and keep the basketball in his hands and not confuse the boys by changing their routine, the new coach wanted to break these barriers. He “modeled the way” by sticking to his values and ignoring the pestering from the fathers and other townsfolk who invited themselves to practice and by kick out players who did not want to listen during practice.

Leaders gaze across the horizon of time, imagining the attractive opportunities that are in store when they and their constituents arrive at a destination. They envision exciting and ennobling possibilities. The Leadership Challenge, pg. 17. Inspiring a Shared Vision comes second on Kouzes and Posner’s list. Coach Dale had obtained previous success and knew he could make the Hucksters better. His vision was to go back to the fundamentals of basketball and playing better defense was part of it. Norman wasn’t about scrimmage or a whole lot of shooting during practice.

His vision involved passing the ball no less than four times before taking a shot. This enabled his strong value of teamwork to take place. He tried to inspire others to share in this vision by constantly asking his players before games “How many times do we pass before we shoot? ” which they would all shout back “4”. At first, Coach Dale had to demand respect. During their first game of the season, a couple of the players felt the coach’s approach wasn’t working and decided to take the game in their own direction.

In the locker room afterwards, coach threatens that any player that wants to stay on the team can stay under one condition, that what he says is law. Dale thought the best way to inspire a shared vision was to break his players down and build them back up. Eventually, his players believed when they realized that perfecting this concept helped them tremendously. Norman even inspired Jimmy to not only come back and play but to stick up for him at the town meeting where a vote occurred to remove him from his position.

Coach Dale, I would say, definitely “Challenged the Process” which is another of the practices of exemplary leadership. “Luck” or “being in the right place at the right time” may play a role in the specific opportunities leaders embrace, but those who lead others to greatness seek and accept challenge. The Leadership Challenge, pg. 18. Coach Dale put in place the changes he wanted to despite what others thought or the process that had given his predecessor success. He didn’t care if the star player came back to the team or not.

He challenged what everyone else thought was best for his team. To get extraordinary things done in organizations, leaders have to enable others to act. The Leadership Challenge, pg. 20. Let’s see, Shooter was able to stay sober for awhile because of what Norman had asked of him. In one of their games, Coach Dale purposely got himself ejected so that Shooter could stand in and lead the team the rest of the way to victory. Coach also allowed Ollie, the team manager who thought he was too short and not good enough, to remain more a part of the team than just its equipment manager.

Through his ways of practicing and the courage and motivation he gave to his players, he enables them to play to the best of their abilities and achieve something that was never done before – such a small school winning the state title. In the film the character, Coach Dale, in my opinion, was able to practice the last of Kouzes and Posner’s “five practices”. Getting Ollie to find in him the ability to make the game winning shots in the semi-final tells me that he “encouraged the heart”. When Jimmy decides to play for Coach Dale, I’d say that helped the coach carry on.

When Shooter fails at staying clean, Norman Dale doesn’t give up on him and actually encourages him to get the help he really needs. The Hickory Huskers played with a lot of heart due to the love Norman Dale expressed to them. He gets Shooter’s son to play through the embarrassment Shooter has caused and encourages his heart to forgive him. In conclusion, I think the coach matched up pretty well against Kouzes and Posner’s “Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership. He was able to overcome the leadership isssues presented in the film.

The movie was a second chance. Norman Dale was able to fix his past mistakes and carry out his vision. If I were to really pick him apart though, I’d have to say that getting himself ejected from games maybe doesn’t model discipline to the people under him. Overall, he was a good leader, winning over a town and even the” hard to get love interest”, the feisty Myra Fleener. Sources: The Leadership Challenge 4th Edition, J. M. Kouzes & B. Z. Posner, 2007, John Wiley & Sons Inc. , San Francisco, CA “Hoosiers”,De Haven Productions, 1986

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Review of Hoosiers Movie Issues and Ideas. (2019, Dec 06). Retrieved from

Review of Hoosiers Movie Issues and Ideas
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