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Discussion Guide: When The Game Stands Tall


Movie Synopsis

Football coach Bob Ladouceur takes the De La Salle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151-game, 12-year winning streak that shatters all records for any American sport. Based on the non-fiction book "When the Game Stands Tall" by Neil Hayes. Inspired by a true story.

When the Game stands alone movie poster


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Discussion Questions

  1. How does the pressure of “The Streak” affect the team? How does this pressure affect Coach Ladouceur?
  2. Why did Coach Ladouceur take his team to the VA Hospital? What lessons did his players learn from these veterans?
  3. What does When the Game Stands Tall say about the importance of perseverance?
  4. Coach Ladouceur talks about how everyone on the team should give a “perfect effort” from snap to whistle. How would you describe perfect effort?
  5. Why does Chris Ryan give up on breaking the California touchdown record during the last play of the North Coast Section Championship Game ?
  6. Coach Ladoucer talks about how his program is not about football and scoring touchdowns, but about assisting his players to grow up and be dependable people of the community. What is important about this coaching philosophy and why is this an important message for young athletes today?

What Parents Need To Know

Parents need to know that When the Game Stands Tall is based on the true story of Coach Bob Ladouceur, who has the distinction of coaching the high school football team with the longest winning streak in sports history. This sports biopic -- which is packed with positive messages about teamwork, hard work, and learning from adversity -- is fine for older tweens and teens, though those who know and enjoy the game are most likely to fully appreciate the movie. There's virtually no language or sex (aside from some kissing and references to "getting it on"), but there is some startling violence, including the senseless, execution-style death of a beloved character. Teens drink at a party, and the coach smokes cigarettes. Watch through the credits to see footage of the real Coach Lad (who has a couple of cameos as another coach) saying some of the same lines depicted in the movie.

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Our partner, Positive Coaching Alliance, provides a collection of movie discussion guides, which aim to help you make the most out of movie viewing with your team or child. Movies provide many of "teachable moments" parents can share with their young athletes helping them be successful, contributing members of society.

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