Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

09.02.15Paul Goldschmidt’s Healthy Obsession with Technique

Image result for goldschmidtGot this note today from my colleague Rob Richard who’s a big baseball fan.  That said, even if you are not a baseball fan, this article on Paul Goldschmidt and how his focus on technique led to his incredible rate of growth is definitely worth reading… and maybe even passing along to students.




Thought you might like this article about Paul Goldschmidt, 1B for the Diamondbacks. He’s hands down one of the best offensive guys in the game right now, even though he wasn’t even considered a prospect. As the article points out, it’s the result of a lot of sheer determination.


One thing that makes him an outlier is how fast he is for a first baseman. He has 21 stolen bases. Actually, as the article points out, he’s not THAT fast but he has specifically focused on stealing bases and has found little things to do to make him seem faster:


“Working with Dave McKay, the Diamondbacks’ baserunning guru, Goldschmidt has perfected his ability to retreat safely back to first on a pickoff attempt, smoothly pivoting instead of turning and leaping. “The clubhouse guys get mad,” says Goldschmidt—who seems genuinely contrite about it—because he so often stains and rips his uniform during practice. He also studies pitchers’ tells. If a lefthander refuses to glance at first base when he is planning a pickoff attempt, and stares a base runner down only when he intends to deliver a pitch, Goldschmidt notices. This season the average distance of his leads, according to StatCast, is 11.73 feet, the game’s 13th largest. “With me not being the fastest guy, there’s a lot of bang-bang plays at second,” he says. “A half step is going to help.” Of his 19 steals, a half dozen have come without a throw.”






Full article:


2 Responses to “Paul Goldschmidt’s Healthy Obsession with Technique”

  1. September 3, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    I shared the article with my students today to highlight the very good quality of practicing intentionally. It also helped with a student who has several bad habits. I told him to read through the article to see an example of someone who was overlooked by most people but is turning it around through focus and determination. This post came at just the right time!

    • Doug Lemov
      September 3, 2015 at 9:26 pm

      Great idea to go “meta” with it with students. Thanks for sharing, Tim.

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