Distributor : Orion Pictures
Year of creation : 1986
Director: David Anspaugh
Main Actors : Gene Hackman
Norman Dale takes over basketball coaching duties in a small Indiana town. It's a challenge for several reasons. First, because he hasn't practiced in years - he was even removed from his position for hitting a player. Secondly, because his arrival is not necessarily viewed favorably in a country steeped in tradition. He managed to overcome the difficulties and lead his team to victory.
Generally speaking, management trainers like to draw inspiration from sports coaching. This film in particular is rich in lessons. The scenes chosen allow us to raise several management difficulties, notably: the refusal to change, the difficulty of finding one's place when taking up a position and, of course, mobilization around a common and ambitious objective.
Start : 28'10
End : 35'28
Length of the extract : 7'18
The coach gathers his team in the locker room and tries to mobilize them towards team spirit. He does not hesitate to lose so that the team values are respected
What does the coach do when he sees that a team member is not following his instructions even though it is working?
Why does he do this?
When should we do the same in the company?
This is a pivotal moment for Norman, as it is his first game as a coach. In other words, it's the moment of testing. He is well aware of this but does not hesitate to act in a surprising way even if it means shocking.
The sequence consists of a first scene in the locker room during halftime and a game (not the last one since the outcome of the game is only suggested). At halftime, we can see that the team is in trouble. Norman (Gene Hackman) encourages his players to rethink their passing patterns to improve the defense, which he describes as disastrous. He then repeats the basic principle of team cohesion worked on in practice: always make four passes before shooting. He then reassures the skeptical team president (supervisor) that he knows what he is doing.
Sequence of play: During the locker room sequence, there was already a palpable tension between the coach and number 25, Rade. The latter was brilliant during the game that followed. He scored two baskets. His successes were the result of personal play that went completely against the passing strategy worked on in practice and rehearsed in the locker room. Rade is deliberately flouting the team game Norman is trying to establish, in other words, the principles of the company. That's why he had him replaced after his second basket and why he forbade him to return to the court after number 12 was sent off. This decision earns him all sorts of hostile reactions from the public: by depriving them of one of their best elements and by forcing them to finish with four against five, it is in full consciousness that he condemns his team to an almost certain defeat.
Back to the locker room: Norman's first words are clearly about encouraging progress as he does not hesitate to congratulate the players who have finished the game for their efforts. It is also clear that he has a long-term goal in mind. In other words, that he chose to lose this battle so that he could win the war. By framing the congratulations in this way, he clearly puts the disruptive element away. He then gives his players an extraordinary rest, inviting them to reflect on their desire to be part of the team. He is careful to define what the choice entails, which is to consider all of his words as a team rule/corporate principle. In this way, he makes his players accountable for their decision making while redefining the principles. Although they are essential, these principles are only a means to achieve good team cohesion. It is indeed the only way to make a strong team.
The attitude adopted by the coach can be applied to the company. It is indeed preferable to privilege the company's image and principles to results that are certainly convincing but obtained in a dubious manner.
Best practices to mobilize your team:
Identify your allies and rely on their support
Isolate your enemies
Focus on the future and the progress to be made
Develop an empowering management style:
Ensuring that the company's principles are respected
Going straight to the point to make people feel secure through my frankness and determination
Avoiding value judgements and assertions without substance
Encouraging motivation through appropriate objectives
Giving autonomy within a structuring framework
Encouraging reflection by practicing active listening
Controlling to encourage and help
Involving the group in projects and decisions