The Virtue Of Sport

The Virtue Of Sport The Ancient Greeks believed that there were four cardinal virtues to living a good life. These virtues: courage, temperance, justice and wisdom can be applied not only to everyday life, but also to the society of sport and to the film, Hoosiers. In this film, many characters have these qualities, illustrating the virtue of sport. The characters in the film show a great deal of the first virtue, courage. For instance, Coach Norman Dale.

He is brought into a new situation, as a coach of a small town basketball team. It is a formidable task, which he faces head on. Hickory, Indiana is like many other small towns. They are a close knit community, who are not especially welcoming to new comers and are generally against change, especially when coming from an outside source. This is where Coach Dale encounters most of his problems.

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He has new ideas for the basketball team and the townspeople resent his ideas and methods. In this sense, Coach Dale shows a great deal of courage. Another courageous character is Jimmy. He is the towns star basketball player and has chosen to give up the sport, due to the death of someone close. When he re-approaches the sport, he gives new faith to the town, team and himself.

Shooter, the local alcoholic also shows a great deal of courage. With the support of Coach Dale, he is able to shed the label he has been given and face his illness head on. As a result of this, he is given a second chance, both in the community and with his son. Although it is a difficult road to travel, with many obstacles, Shooter is well on the way to recovery. Being made an assistant coach to the Hickory High School basketball team has given him direction in life, a meaning and a purpose. This shows that courage is a vital virtue for all to keep both in sport and in life.

The second virtue is temperance. Illustrated in the film, this virtue examines the individual versus team play. The Hickory High School basketball team was all about team play. In fact, it was one of the central themes of the whole film. Coach Dale realized that team play was important, and that this virtue was important to the team. They barely had enough players to field a team.

This would seem discouraging to many others, but the team was able to see that the most important aspect of the game was the team themselves. Coach Dale also realized that the virtue although present in the team needed greater expression in the community. By the end of the film, the residents of Hickory finally observe this aspect of the virtue. Temperance, shows the need for moderation and understanding in both team and community settings. Justice, the third cardinal virtue is also shown, to a certain extent in the film. Is it important to give each person his or her time in the limelight? Coach Dale believed this was true. He was fair to all of his players, giving each the chance to play, but also enforcing the rules at the same time. Sometimes this meant that the team had to play short handed, but it was all to get his point across.

He gave each player the chance to show their ability and made each player feel that they were an essential part of the team, no matter how big or small they were. It was also Coach Dale that gave Shooter a second shot on life. Being a part of a team gave him reason to try and reprove himself to the community and his son. Justice will always be an important part of the society of sport. How would one even know how far they could stretch their abilities if never given the chance to try? Coach Dale shows us that this is necessary both in sport and in the community.

That last virtue, wisdom was shown in a few instances in the film. The concept of wisdom is that of understanding self and controlling self. It took quite a while, however, Coach Dale realizes his possibilities as coach and also as a member of society. He also learns that it is necessary to control himself as that was the reason he had been kicked out of college basketball. Wisdom is a virtue that is often very difficult.

It is difficult to understand ones self, to find your flaw, and is often more difficult to fix. In the film, Shooter is faced with the task of reforming his alcoholism. It will be a long, hard road to travel, but in the end he will be a better person for it. The virtue of wisdom is hard to come by; it is a process of constantly learning, both about yourself and your surroundings. Sport teaches control, which in this aspect is an important part of self-awareness.

The film, Hoosiers helps to show the virtue of sport. It illustrates the four cardinal virtues outlined by the Ancient Greeks, through the characters, team and community. The film shows that without courage, temperance, justice and wisdom, that not only sport, but also society would be meaningless.


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