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Get Inspired by 'When the Game Stands Tall'

I am a preachy parent. Whenever I see my kids stumbling in life, not handling a situation well, or just not unloading the dishwasher when they’re supposed to, I see it as the opportunity to impart some words of wisdom. I learned this from watching reruns of Leave It to Beaver and Father Knows Best when I was growing up – Ward Cleaver and Jim Anderson were great, speech-giving dads. So, I was beside myself with excitement while watching When the Game Stands Tall.

This movie is not about parenting, really, but it is about raising our boys to become responsible, accountable, humble men who put the greater needs of their team in front of their own. The football coaches at De La Salle High School, Bob Ladouceur and Terry Eidson, are extraordinary motivational speech givers and I’m totally inspired. You know why? Because their speeches work! Their words rouse team members to make a commitment – a pact, really – to excel for one another, to look out for each other, and put their own selfish desires aside. The result? The De La Salle Spartans had the longest winning streak in sports history. Coach Ladouceur, who has only coached the high school team, retired last year with a .934 winning percentage (399 wins-25 losses).

Watch Coach Eidson's locker room speech:

Ladouceur joined the Catholic high school as a religious studies teacher and was asked to take on coaching the football team, which had never won a game before. He tells me that when he started coaching, he didn’t think of his methods as a strategy, it was just he and Coach Eidson’s point of view on life. However, the two say the winning began almost immediately – within two years they were the champs in their league.  In other words, inspiring kids to become good humans leads to success. Or, as I hear it, great speeches make great kids!

When the Game Stands Tall opens August 22. Here are three movies to consider seeing with your family this weekend:

The Giver (PG-13). Junior high students, rejoice! The required reading fave which questions “Is ignorance really bliss?” finally makes it to the big screen with Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges bringing the gravitas and Taylor Swift bringing the excitement.

The Expendables 3 (PG-13). While I would never recommend this killing bonanza to families, it’s now PG-13 and intriguing teen boys. The body count is still sky high, but know that the blood and guts is toned down, little profanity, and no sexy stuff. On the other hand, this film above all else is all about brotherhood and teamwork.

Guardians of the Galaxy (PG-13): It may very well be this generation’s Star Wars, but these good guys start out on the wrong side of the law, so I guess we shouldn’t be surprised by their salty language.

Planes: Fire & Rescue (PG). For young children, Planes 2 remains the only theatrical optional. Luckily, it’s a good one: an adrenaline-filled adventure that shows kids firefighters are our real-life superheroes.

Read Tara’s parent reviews at ThatWasSomething.com. Find out what kids think about these movies at KidsPickFlicks.com, where all kids are movie critics!

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