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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

03.23.17 On ‘Good,’ The Most Commonly Used Word in Practice

  If you had to guess the single most frequently used word in a typical practice, what word would it be? [I’m thinking about soccer here but it really could be any form of practice.] My guess is that it would be: “good.” Coaches say “good” to players constantly and with a variety of meanings.  This…


12.15.16 How to Practice: Nailing the Fundamentals with John Burmeister

Had a pretty amazing day in Chicago on Wednesday, talking teaching with a group of (mostly) MLS professional soccer coaches who are enrolled in US Soccer’s new Pro License course. The group includes guys who I admire as coaches and who I followed as players. I was a little bit starstruck… but I got over that…


11.29.16 A ‘Cognitive Science Reading List’ for Coaches [Updated]

I’m down in Florida today doing a workshop on teaching for top soccer coaches as part of U.S. Soccer’s Academy Directors course. We’re going to be talking about feedback, Checking for Understanding, and learning design, but I’m also going to share my list of best books for coaches from the world of cognitive science as well. …


10.21.16 On Coaching: “Throw, Antonio. Throw & Do Not Waste Time [Punting]”

A quote from Jacob Steinberg’s excellent piece on Pep Guardiola in this morning’s Guardian: [Claudio] Bravo completed 84% of his passes last season. [Joe] Hart completed 53%. Hart gave possession to the opposition 352 times, Bravo 142. This is the first time I’ve seen goalkeeper possession and pass completion statistics quoted in the newspaper and the…


09.14.16 Dept of Synergy: Feign Ignorance Meets Reject Self-Report

The TLAC team has been thinking a lot lately about combinations of techniques.  What are the techniques that work well in synergy?  What are the peanut butter-and-jelly, pairings of techniques where the melding of flavors makes the whole more than the sum of the parts? Why do such pairings and groupings work so well?  What’s the…