DISCLAIMER: I’ve not seen the last 2 seasons of FNL. I don’t have Direct TV, but I do have the second to last on DVD. I just haven’t watched it yet. So my observations are from the first few seasons. (I wouldn’t even Google because I don’t want to be spoiled!)
Coach Eric Taylor from Friday Night Lights is a prime example of a strong leader. He motivates the boys on his team on the field and off. He’s a father figure to players who don’t have one, like Smash and Riggins. He’s support for Matt Saracen (my favorite character next to Tyra Collette). He’s stern, frowny and gruff, but his strength and dedication to his job show, and his students feel comfortable—or as comfortable as teenagers can be—enough to turn to him when they’re in trouble. Riggins got kicked out and came to Coach. Smash needed help getting a scholarship.
Though he stands in front of his team, he also stands behind them, pushing them to improve, to reach their full potential in life and in the game. Let me tell you, as a teacher I KNOW how important that kind of motivation is, to make kids want to work hard for you, and have them transfer that desire to wanting to work hard for themselves.
His approval is quiet, though, not effusive, when his team rewards his hard work. Still, you can see what that affirmation means to these kids who often don’t have any other.
I’ve learned a lot about teaching from Coach Taylor, and while I can’t be as gruff as him, I hope I can be as motivational.