From IMDb:

“The inspiring story of the team that transcended its sport and united a nation with a new feeling of hope. Based on the true story of one of the greatest moments in sports history, the tale captures a time and place where differences could be settled by games and a cold war could be put on ice. In 1980, the United States Ice Hockey team’s coach, Herb Brooks, took a ragtag squad of college kids up against the legendary juggernaut from the Soviet Union at the Olympic Games. Despite the long odds, Team USA carried the pride of a nation yearning from a distraction from world events. With the world watching the team rose to the occasion, prompting broadcaster Al Michaels’ now famous question, to the millions viewing at home: Do you believe in miracles? Yes! Written by Sujit R. Varma”

Sport Psychology Topic:

  1. Tuckman’s Linear Model of Group Development (Tuckman, Bruce. (1965). Developmental sequence in small groups. Psychological Bulletin, 63, 384-399.)

Text Reading:

  1. Chapter 7 Group & Team Dynamics. You are responsible for knowing some of the Key Terms in the text most of which are listed on p. 178, and where possible, these terms must be used in your analysis of the film (e.g., find and refer to a scene that illustrates the concept – weaving it into your analysis of the film).

Other Reading:

  1. Chapter 7 Lecture slides:  Weinberg5E_PP_chapter07.2011.
  2. Tuckman’s Group Evolution Model lecture slides:  Group Development Lecture Slides.
  3. Citation of Tuckman’s original article:  Tuckman Classic Citation.
  4. The handout (with corrected scoring guide) of the Group Evolution exercise we did in class:  Tuckman Exercise Corrected Handout.
  5. Mindtools summary of Tuckman’s model.
  6. Managerial Grid lecture slides:  Man.Grid.SF.
  7. Suggested Miracle viewing guide:  Miracle Viewing Guide 2011

Paper #1 Description

Overview:  Analyze the film Miracle Using Tuckman’s 4-Stage Model of Group Development and concepts contained in Ch. 7 of the text.

Key Points:

1.  Clearly delineate the start and finish of each of the four stages as the U.S. team moves towards the Olympics.  Clearly describe (in words and with a reference to the time – e.g., 20:03 – in the film) the start and finish of each phase.  Provide clear examples of the key terms used in the text.

2.  For each of the identified phases, list and provide evidence for two “actions” that Brooks takes to move the team forward to the next phase, or keep them in the performing phase.

3.  Classify both Brooks and Patrick (the assistant) coach on the Managerial Grid – use evidence from at least two scenes to back up your point of view.

4.  Make sure to use and document (by referring to scenes in the film) examples of the following key terms from the text:

  • norm for productivity
  • roles – formal and informal
  • role ambiguity
  • proximity
  • distinctiveness
  • social loafing

5.  It is suggested that you organize your paper using the four stages of group development as a structure (Part 1 – Forming, Part 2 – Storming, etc.).  As you describe team and coach behavior at each stage, integrate the key concepts (bolded) from the text.  For example “Even before being named a captain, Rizzo demonstrated leadership behavior by encouraging cooperation between the two sub groups on the team.  We see this example of informal leadership when he tells a team mate to “Let it go” during the bar scene where players were completing their psychological questionnaires (12:34-13:45).  It was probably because of these informal leadership efforts that Rizzo was named a team captain several scenes later – this being an example of a formal leadership role.

6.  The building blocks of your paper will be the paragraph.  Each paragraph should have one major point (e.g., Rizzo was a good captain); evidence should be presented to support your point (e.g., we see this in the bar scene when he…).  Finally, the link between the point and evidence should be explained (e.g., according to the text (use APA citation style) there are three components of being a good captain – Rizzo demonstrates two of the three in this scene, and the third later during the “Again” scene.).  This is how paragraphs should be structured in academic writing in sport psychology: 1-2-3.

7.  Submit your one-page paper outline as an appendix with your paper – this should be point form (you do not have to submit your viewing guide).  Ideally, in scientific writing, you will organize your paper using an outline – then write your paper around this.  Your actual paper should be 5, double-spaced pages, not including a separate double spaced title page and a separate page for “References” also double-spaced.  Use APA Style to list your references and cite within the paper.  It is difficult to make good scientific arguments without writing very well – the two go hand-in-hand.  In my  evaluation of the writing of Smith students I adhere to the recommendations of the excellent Smith “Writing Papers” handbook which you can download here (new 4th edition): Writing Papers (Smith College Handbook).

8.  How to handle references for lecture materials.  Ideally, we want to reference only written work for the best academic papers.  However, in the first few topics/films, I will not be using a lot of journal articles (as I am using a “progressive” approach in this course – gradually increasing the difficulty of sources) so you may want to reference the slides we use in class (except for the text lecture slides as you would simply reference the text) – so for this paper in brackets:

(Managerial Grid slides) or (Group Evolution Handout) or (Group Development Slides) making sure to simply list these in your “References” section.

9.  This paper is worth 20% of your grade and is due on Thursdsay, October 6 by 11:59 a.m.  Your work should be submitted via e-mail as a Word document named “your last name.miracle.doc”.  Papers submitted not using this naming convention will be returned without opening and will be considered “late”.  Similarly, papers NOT following the APA format outlined above (including separate title page and separate References page titled “References” will be returned ungraded).

The REAL Game

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