Perhaps you might have missed it during the movie, but Coach Dale summed up his mission with that team in one short phrase:
“I have to break them down to build them back up.”
He understood that to become a team, to pursue excellence and to ultimately achieve their dreams, that first they all had to be taken apart.
They had to be stripped of old habits, selfish thoughts and wasteful actions.
They had to be shown what they could all become if they let go of themselves, trusted one another and put the team in the center of their lives.
Ultimately, Coach Dale “broke down” everyone and built them all back up: the parents, the school, the community and finally the state of Indiana
Coach Dale didn’t do this because he was a mean old curmudgeon that only wanted to win basketball games.
He did it because he loved them enough to do that heavy lifting.
They responded in kind, loving each other enough to make something extraordinary happen.