The movie, The Mighty Ducks, is full of examples of control, natural laws, and leadership. In the beginning of the movie, Gordon Bombay was put into the role of coaching a hockey team. He jumped into his coaching role with an iron fist and tried to control the players. He would yell at them and berate them to do things. When they were losing he would try to get them to cheat and scream at them, “When I tell you to do something, you do it!” The boys would come right back saying that Bombay could not make them cheat. The coach tried to control his players and thought that if he just told them what to do then they would listen. His perception was way off and he eventually started to realize that. After talking with his friend Hans, Gordon started to change the way he looked at coaching. Hans told him to “Show them how to play, show them how to have fun. Teach them how to fly”.  The coach realized that trying to control each member to force them to win would not be effective. To achieve his goal he needed to train each player to the best of their ability. He needed to get back to the basics and come up with new ways to teach the boys. His perception changed because he saw the potential in his players. He became self-aware in the sense that he could not really control the way that they played hockey. Instead, he could only try to provide information to the boys. With the information, the players would then have the choice on how they would perform.

The coach realizes that there really is no such thing as control. Even with trying to control the boys on the team, they still were able to make their own decisions that went against the coach’s wishes. Once his perception changed, he was able to take a look at the larger picture. He started to gather more information about each player on the team. By doing this, he could figure out specifically what he needed to do with each player to make them be the most efficient player they could be. He tried not to be a part of every little detail and instead separated the duties so the players would learn their potential on their own. As a leader, Gordon was able to understand himself and go back to when he played hockey. By understanding himself he was able to better understand the players on his team. In the larger picture, this movie can relate to the natural laws. No matter how much information the coach or players had about each other and the game, there was still only one way that their season could have ended; there was only going to be one outcome. This movie is a useful example to other leaders. They must understand that there is no such thing as control and they will never be able to truly control others. It is essential to find as much information as possible to figure out how the group can work at maximum productivity.


Comments (1)

  1. Maggie LaPoint


    I loved Mighty Ducks as a kid! Great post, I think this really does illustrate the illusion of control. I heard a quote recently that “there are those with power and those who simply believe that they have it.” I think that those with power are the ones who realize they have no control, and therefore have the power that stems from knowing their own abilities and fully taking control of their own lives. In the beginning, it seems like Gordon believed he had power, because he believed in control. When he relinquished that erroneous belief, he then had the power to transform the team into something special!

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