Catch da Flava - Air Bud

For our June 21st episode of Health Talks Youth Radio, we chatted about the Disney classic “Air Bud” about how a furry friend wanders into the life of young Josh Framm and changes the community for the better. After losing his father, Josh and his mother and baby mother move to another town and Josh is lost and sad about the change. With a huge love of basketball, he finds he is unable to make the team and can’t fit into other teams like band. He stays on the basketball team as the waterboy, becoming an observer of the team and realizing the caretaker used to be a pro basketball player, he soon decides to try out after the influence of a stray dog that follows him around. Realizing Buddy is great with the basketball, Josh plays his new friend.

This movie has been impactful when it comes to promoting health and sports among youngster but especially highlighting the therapeutic benefits of having a dog to restore one’s faith and emotional wellbeing. It’s Josh’ friendship with Buddy that makes him come alive once again and changes the way in which the community sees basketball. It helps bring the community together in the end. Some of the questions we explored during our panel discussion were:

When Josh moves to another home with his family, he’s sad and lost trying to fit in with band class but it doesn’t work. Only when Buddy the dog comes into the picture does his spirits pick up. Why do you think that is?

Buddy kinda acts like a therapy dog. How do you think Buddy helps Josh feel better and get better? What are the ways they help each other?

Josh finally competes to be on the basketball team, what are the ways in which it is difficult for him to get in? Why do you think the kids are so hard on him?

We later find out the biggest bully was really badly treated by the coach, in a scene where they lose and after the game the coach keeps throwing basketballs in his face. How does that change your opinion of the bully?

So Josh gets into the basketball team and the coach is dismissed, then Josh suggests the old and wise caretaker who teaches them basketball. He has a very unorthodox approach like a Mister Miyagi, telling them to play with an imaginary ball. How do you think that training technique is effective? How is it not?

While they play their first game with their new coach, the bully is pulled out of the game because he has not learned how to play as a team, much to his father’s anger. Do you agree with the coach or the father? Why or why not?

During the movie, we see great lessons for any youngster to explore, like what it means to be on a team, to be a team player, and how to understand even the toughest people and where they are really coming on.

We’d like to thank our panelists for being on air to talk about this really fun movie and how therapy dogs can benefit the health of us, and what it means to play team sports.

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