A good case can be made that the direct approach with the players helped Coach Carter earn their respect as the narrative progressed. Coach Carter is insistent on teaching his team life skills. He wishes to see them progress both on the court and off it. This requires him to take a direct approach. He insists that the manner in which they carry themselves at all times is reflective of the behavior that Coach Carter wants in his team. These are high standards and high expectations. Taking a direct approach with the players early on is important in this process.
Since Coach Carter is striving for so much, if he does not take a direct approach, communication of these high standards of conduct is inhibited. It is for this reason why he is able to earn their respect. The players see Coach Carter stand for these ideals. When he locks them out of the gym, when he challenges both his athletes and the adults around them that they can be more, and when he has to impose his will on both forces, a direct approach is needed. Coach Carter would not have been as successful if he showed that he was weak in spirit and unable to demand what he wanted out of his athletes. It is because of this that Coach Carter takes a direct approach that ends up paying dividends because his athletes know that he stands for something that is transcendent and not temporal.