‘Hoosiers’ is a sports film made in 1986 about a basketball team of high school of a small town in Indiana. The film represents a time during 1952 when every high school in Indiana used to compete in one or the other state championships. The film is based on the new coach of the basketball team, Norman Dale who in fact has a past with a spot and has been out of the game for nearly more than a decade. The people in the town are adamant to fire him because they are not sure about the coach, not at all trust him and also dislike his coaching style. Despite all these opposing, Coach Dale sets himself focused and finally brings the whole team together and helps it to win the state championship and at the same time wins the heart of the people too.
Coach Dale explains to the team members that it becomes necessary to apply different leadership styles in different situations. One of the styles that help the team members to unite and win the championship is authoritative style. Initially, in fact immediately in his first interaction with the team members, Coach Dale applies this style on them and asks Ray to keep out of the game just because he didn’t follow his instructions word by word. The movie is of course about a high school basketball team but it depicts that a person’s leadership and right directions can lead even a community and if one were focused on his goal, he would definitely achieve it.
Authoritative style is, in fact, uniting the members of the team by focusing on a common goal that has to be achieved but here the members are to follow the instructions of their leader on the way of achieving the goal. But in this movie it was not only the leadership style but also lot of other characteristics of Coach Dale like his optimism, self-confidence, farsightedness, enthusiasm, toughness and of course motivation, that helped the team to win and follow his instructions. There are times when authoritative style of leadership seems to look like dictatorial or bossy but it best fits in situations when the leader has the best knowledge and experience as compared to other members of the team or when time limit is less for the group to take decisions.
Authoritative style of leadership becomes important when the goal is common but the group members are not very sure about the ways to achieve it but the leader has a concrete idea, which if followed there is maximum chance of achieving the goal. The whole and sole responsibility lies on the leader’s shoulders and he or she must have the expertise and should possess all the basic and detailed information to handle the situation. In the movie, Coach Dale has his goal focused and applies this style of leadership most of the time because he has the self-confidence and farsightedness in him along with the experience of the game much more than the other members of the team. Initially his players don’t listen to him and two among them even walk away because they don’t trust him and to follow someone it is very important to have faith in his words.
The movie focuses on the significance of determination and importance of right leadership in not only a basketball game but in life too. When it becomes difficult to achieve the target in life and you have someone who has the confidence and expertise to guide you, you must follow him and trust him.
Courtney from Study Moose
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