Movie Clip Discussions

Waterboy, The

Dynamic Image

Touchstone Pictures, 1998

Main Point of Discussion: Can we redirect anger into something good?

The Movie Clip: Tackling Fuel

In this movie the weakling water boy becomes the star of the football team, finds popularity, and gets the girl in the end, all as a result of tapping into the anger within him and living it out on and off the field. It is a comedy but has a bunch of questionable things such as language that you should be aware of, but the clip we're using is great for talking about anger.

Introducing the Clip:
Today we are going to talk about anger. There are a lot of examples out there that have to do with anger, but one in particular really captures the heart behind anger and allows us to see the good and bad side of anger. Let's watch this clip from The Waterboy.

Scene Description:

BEGIN CLIP AT about 20 minutes into the film. Bobby (the water boy) comes on the field dressed to play for the first time. Start the clip right after the coach sends the special teams to run laps.

STOP at about 23 minutes and 52 seconds, after Bobby agrees to tackle for Coach like that every game.

Transitional Statement:
Some of us might wonder about anger. Is anger in and of itself “bad”? As you can see, Bobby can react pretty bad when he’s angered. I’m sure some of us can relate to that. But once Bobby redirected his anger toward something good, his anger wasn’t a bad thing.

Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups and examine anger a little closer, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Say your name and your greatest pet peeve.

  2. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Rather than an annoying pet peeve, this time what’s something that really angers you? How do you usually react to that?

  3. ASK A FEW: Is it ever good to be angry? Why or why not?

  4. Read the following two passages:

      Ephesians 4:26-27 (NLT)
      [26]And “don't sin by letting anger control you.” Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, [27] for anger gives a foothold to the Devil.

      John 2:13-16 (NLT)
      [13]It was nearly time for the annual Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. [14] In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. [15] Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers' coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. [16] Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father's house into a marketplace!”

  5. ASK ONE OR TWO: In the two passages just read, is anger in and of itself wrong? (Answer: No. We just shouldn’t let it gain control over us. Even Jesus got angry.)

  6. ASK A FEW: In the video clip, Bobby redirected his anger to be used as “tackling fuel.” Can you think of an example where anger can be used to fuel something good?

  7. Read this intro to your group: “In the book of Nehemiah, Nehemiah has been dealing with a lot of tragedy. He’s trying to rebuild the walls that were destroyed, his enemies have been attacking, and now . . . his own people are attacking from within. They are ripping off their own people who are in dire need. So Nehemiah gets ticked!”

  8. Read the following passage:

      Nehemiah 5:6-7 (NLT)
      [6]When I heard their complaints, I was very angry. [7]After thinking it over, I spoke out against these nobles and officials. I told them, “You are hurting your own relatives by charging interest when they borrow money!” Then I called a public meeting to deal with the problem.

  9. ASK A FEW: In verse 6 Nehemiah got angry? Is it wrong to be angry with someone who rips off another person?

  10. ASK SOMEONE: What was the first thing Nehemiah did when he got angry (verse 7)? (leader–answer you're looking for: Nehemiah thought it over. He didn’t just react- he gave himself time to cool down.)

  11. ASK ONE OR TWO: What did Nehemiah do to deal with the situation? Did he charge in there and cut off heads? (leader–the answer you're looking for: He came up with a rational way to deal with it. He called a meeting to confront the truth.)

  12. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Nehemiah admitted he was angry, he stopped and thought it over, then he came up with a rational way to fix the situation. How can you apply this to how you deal with frustrating situations this week?

Wrap Up:
(This is a good place to share a personal story where you turned/redirected your anger into something good–or even a situation where you just blew up and now see a simple way you could have redirected it.)

We can learn from Nehemiah. When we face frustrating situations, we can: 1.) Admit that we’re angry; 2.) Stop and think before we react; 3.) Communicate a well thought-out solution.


Waterboy clip idea by Mark Janzen


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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