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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

02.12.18 Coaching Words: You Don’t, You Didn’t, You Must, We Will

The language we use to help people know how to grow and improve is important. When we give feedback, we’re giving technical information but we’re always also building culture between and among us at the same time. I found myself thinking about language when I recently heard some coaching interactions on the youth sports field but…


06.09.17 For Coaches: Notes on ‘Means of Participation’

      A topic I’ve been thinking about as I’ve watched coaches over the past couple of months is something I call ‘means of participation.’ It’s relevant during questioning. I’ve written about if for classroom teachers here.  But it’s relevant for coaches too- questioning is important in building decision-making and reinforcing knowledge through recall practice…


06.09.17 For Coaches: On Correcting Instead of Critiquing

I’ve spent a lot of time watching coaches this year.  One of the common ideas I find myself noticing is the difference between critique and correction.  I took the section on this idea from Practice Perfect and adapted and simplified it slightly. Here it is. Critique involves telling a participant how to do it better. Correction…


06.28.16 Icelandic Lessons: Reflections on the Youth System that Produced a Triumph

Even before Iceland took the Euros by storm, miraculously qualifying from group F (above Portugal and Austria), and then stunning England yesterday in the round of 16, they were the story of the tournament. With a population of 330,000 or roughly that of Bakersfield, California, their qualification was considered a minor miracle. This caused journalist Jonathan…


06.08.15 Tools for Coaches: Resources on the Teaching Side of Coaching

A year or so ago I posted a rubric I was working on to help define the key aspects of teaching for coaches… I’ve been doing some work with US Soccer on this front. I thought I’d share some updates that I’ve made and some other useful coaching materials. First, click the link below to see…