Unconditional Love- Day 5


Read the short story and award the Character Certificate for the week.

I love the movie Hoosier.  The emphasis basketball coach Norman Dale places on fundamentals reminds me of my time with Chuck Noll when I was both a player and a young assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers. And, of course, we all like stories of an underdog because we want the underdog to win.  Hoosiers is one of the best underdog stories ever told.

There’s certainly the classic moment when Coach Dale (played by Gene Hackman) takes his team from Hickory, Indiana, into the Butler University field house for the first (Butler, of course, being a great underdog story in their own right!). They can’t believe what they see. So Coach Dale has his players measure the height of the rim of the basket from the floor and the distance from the free throw line to the front rim of the basket, to demonstrate that the distances are the same in the big arena as they are on their court in the small gym back home.

The real beauty of the story, however, comes through the redemptive efforts of the coach toward Shooter, the town drunk and father of one of the players, who himself had been a star basketball player for the school. Coach Dale asks him to be his assistant. ……In the movie, the drunk’s son discloses to Coach Dale that he doesn’t understand what the coach sees in his father. “I’m not seein’ it. I mean, he’s a drunk. He’ll do somethin’ stupid.

Coach Dale stops him. “When’s the last time anyone gave your father a chance?” The boy’s response may be all too familiar.  “He don’t deserve a chance.”

It’s understandable, really. The boy has good reasons.  He has been hurt too many times before by his dad’s behavior and deceit. He’s been embarrassed too many times. He wants him to change, but experience tells him that his dad will never change—there’s not hope. Of course, the end of the movie proves him wrong.


WORKOUT: Have the team answer the following questions:

  •  Are we a team that gives others second chances?
  • Is performance the only thing that matters why or why not? 
  • How do we cover one another when we make mistakes? 

Athlete of the Week: Coach summarizes his choice for the award.

  • Introduction: Each athlete is in the process of building their character story. The character athlete for this week is ___________________________.

CLOSE: Team Leader concludes practice by leading the Final Four as their teammates echo it back as yesterday.