Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

06.13.13Better Video; Better Practice: A Brain’s Eye View

face camSaw this brief article in today’s Washington Post about the Redskins’ punter and snapper using video of their practice to improve performance.  What’s useful about it–and useful in this case means what ‘useful’ means at its very best: simple, productive, and smart-to-the-point of obvious-except-that-not-everyone-thought-of-it–is the placement of the camera: on Punter Sav Rocca’s facemask.

The idea is that it replicates his field of vision and turns what he did see into what he could have or should have seen.  Sure you can tape from the sidelines or just behind a player and see a lot of what he or she did right or wrong… but taping from his POV allows him to see it as it will appear when he actually executes. It replicates the action from the brain’s POV and that seems like it would be highly likely to result in the brain processing it faster and using it better.  My brain sees an image as i perform that recalls for me the image I studied. Ping!

So now i am thinking about other applications for the “face mask” camera.

For soccer players…. i might see more clearly whether i was in correct space to receive the ball (everybody thinks they are; even when they’re hidden behind a defender) and normalize the cognitive picture of what it looks like to be there.  Thus i’m more likely to get there next time.

For coaches or teachers… I might see more clearly the player/student errors or behaviors I missed that were “right before my eyes”… i’d look for them (and see them) better next time.

Plus I’d get to see them laughing at my face-cam.



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