1. Don’t be afraid to lose your superstars.

Coach Carter gave up two of the top scorers in the team because they had bad negative attitudes.

2. Don’t be afraid to give a second chance.

Cruz, who left the team because he didn’t like Carter’s style came back for a second chance. Carter didn’t make it easy for him to redeem himself, but Cruz proved himself and later became a valuable member of the team.

3. Help your team outside of the game.

Carter doesn’t just help his players to win basketball games, but also to help them with their personal relationship, education and helping them set an ambition. (Kenyon, who later actually got a chosen to play in college basketball)

4. It’s not about winning, it’s about improvement.


Richmond High was chosen to go to the state championship to play their bitter rival, and top seeded team, St. Francis — only to lose by one point.

But instead of feeling grumpy, the team celebrated their achievements.

5. Focus on your strength, not your weakness

Carter shaped his team earlier in the season to be good at two things only — running and defense.

Richmond High’s defense became so good that their opponents are losing their breaths just trying to break them up.

And if the opponent loses the ball (while they’re already exhausted), Richmond will counter quickly to score points.