Sports Psychology Essay

Pages: 4 (1315 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports

Rudy from Rudy (1993): Character profile

Back in the mid-1970s when Daniel 'Rudy' Ruettiger was in college, Notre Dame University was the unquestioned powerhouse of college football. But if Notre Dame was a Goliath, Rudy was a 'David,' a small, unremarkable high school player of only moderate talent, small in size, and lacking in either the academic preparation or the raw athletic talent necessary to gain entry to the coveted ranks of such an elite institution. Rudy did not even have the support of his family -- his father was hostile to the idea of his boy even going to college, much less a private college that tended to attract graduates of preparatory schools because of its high cost. Rudy was able to uphold within his heart a kind of quiet flame of self-esteem, even when his father told his son that Rudy's only dream in life should be to work in the steel mills, just like all of the other male Ruettigers.

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The film suggests that the key to Rudy's success was that Rudy was the type of player motivated by his underdog status: someone as small as he was should not be playing football in the first place, so why not dream big? But Rudy was not merely a dreamer: he was also willing to take concrete steps to realize his goals. When advised to go to a lesser college so he could transfer to Notre Dame, he leapt at the offer. While Rudy was at Holy Cross, Father Cavanaugh supported Rudy's dreams as an almost religious calling. He told Rudy that only God knows what will happen in the future. Neither success nor failure is foreordained: all human beings can do is work and try their hardest. Rudy took this message to heart.

Eventually, Rudy was able to transfer to Notre Dame, during his last semester as an eligible transfer. He did a walk-on audition, and barely made the team. Of course, he was far from a starting player, and mostly 'warmed the bench' toiling on the team's practice squad that offered the 'real players' the opportunity to practice before games. At first, this was enough for Rudy. He even willingly took a part-time job to support his studies, working twice as hard as his classmates to excel in his schoolwork.

TOPIC: Essay on Sports Psychology Assignment

What is so striking about the Rudy of the film is the humbleness, realism, and intensity of his dream. He knows he will never be a starter for the NFL or even a star quarterback for the Fighting Irish. He simply wants to play, in no matter how humble a capacity. He is the ultimate 'internally motivated' participant, a true team player who still believes in himself even though his natural gifts are lackluster. However, this is not to say that Rudy is egoless. He has grown up in an environment where success in sports, above all else, is the source of an individual's self-esteem and place in the world. His father told him that as a blue-collar kid, he was not college material. His father even told his son that he did not have the brains to get into Notre Dame, much less the football talent.

Rudy's one source of self-confidence in high school was his ability on the playing field, even though he knew, relatively speaking that it was far from stellar. Although Rudy's motivation was largely internal, he was obviously affected by his Midwestern, American culture that placed a strong emphasis on big name, college athletics. In the 1970s, Notre Dame made a kind of religion of football, and this obviously had a tremendous impact upon Rudy's perspective.

Rudy's determination and love for the game made him an inspiration even to his more highly qualified teammates. Rudy's blind faith also drew inspiring mentors to his orbit: the presence of individuals who believed in him and gave him good advice counteracted some of the negative influences of his family. The groundskeeper… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Sports Psychology" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Sports Psychology.  (2010, January 21).  Retrieved December 8, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Sports Psychology."  21 January 2010.  Web.  8 December 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Sports Psychology."  January 21, 2010.  Accessed December 8, 2021.