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Practice Perfect: 42 Rules for Getting Better at Getting Better
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Practice Perfect: 42 Rules for Getting Better at Getting Better

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,159 ratings  ·  116 reviews
Rules for developing talent with disciplined, deliberate, intelligent practice

We live in a competition loving culture. We love the performance, the big win, the ticking seconds of the clock as the game comes down to the wire. We watch games and cheer, sometimes to the point of obsession, but if we really wanted to see greatness--wanted to cheer for it, see it happen, unde
Hardcover, 263 pages
Published September 19th 2012 by Jossey-Bass (first published January 1st 2012)
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 ·  1,159 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Cody Shorter
Aug 31, 2015 rated it liked it
9 Things I Learned from Perfect Practice: 42 Rules for Getting Better at Getting Better

By Doug Lemov, Erica Woolway and Katie Yezzi

1 - Practice Makes Permanent

We are fond of saying “practice makes perfect,” and indeed the title of this book plays on the connection between practice and perfection. But it is more accurate to say that practice makes permanent. In practice you can master a skill thoroughly or not at all, and what you master can be the correct method or
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
There are great insights in this book, but I always get the feeling Lemov is stretching things out for length. Whereas a shorter book could focus on the main concepts of rethinking practice, how to practice, modeling, feedback, culture building, and post-practice skills, this one breaks those already discreet elements into even smaller components (rules). By the end, there are 42 rules that can be difficult to keep straight. Perhaps Lemov loves using Rule 11, Name It, a little too much.
Eustacia Tan
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Everyone knows that practice makes perfect. But, practicing the correct way is as, if not more, important. That, at least, is the premise of the book and I really believe it's true.

What this book does is to distill the tenets of effective practicing into 42 rules, explaining each rule in it's own chapter. What I want to do for this review is to looking at the rules that struck me the most (and there are quite a bit) and explore why. Warning: The "why" is going to be all about Kendo <3 (On a
Mar 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
I won this book in a giveaway so I am obligated to review.

I thought the book had a very organized, clear set up. I also really enjoyed the direct writing style, particularly because it is an 'advice' book.

My problem was that I just couldn't get to the end. I truly tried for the integrity of my review, but I found that a lot of the advice in the book was advice I already knew. I feel that for me, personally, it was not worth the read. It is not worth it for anyone who is already well
Oct 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Practice Perfect contains a wealth of information on how to develop a regimen that improves one’s skillset in any number of endeavors, from sports to the workplace. The author goes about this by presenting each of the 42 “rules”, detailing pertinent examples, and backing it up with relevant case studies and research.

At times, it does its job too well with a deluge of information that can be overwhelming. As such, this book may be better used as a resource in which to refer back frequ
Chris Craddock
Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
As Woody Allen said: "Those who can't do, teach. And those who can't teach--teach gym."

I am reminded of that saying because this book about practice and teaching methods is mostly about coaching sports or teaching teachers how to teach. There is some application to practicing music, but if that is where your interest lies you'll be sorely disappointed. I have zero interest in coaching sports, and am interested in teaching, and playing music. The methods in this book could be applied
Sep 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This is one of the best books on mastery that I've come across. It's much more than a bunch of summaries of studies and books on practice, it's the wisdom of some amazing teachers who spent a lot of time actually learning and teaching others how to master their fields. Most of the examples in the book are geared toward teaching teachers how to perform, however the techniques are easily applied to any field or endeavor.

The passion for learning the authors bring to the subject is palpa
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
This book had some good ideas. I found the rules under ‘Using Modeling’ and ‘Feedback’ helpful. However, the book was perhaps a little lengthier than was necessary.

It seems to be targeted towards people that train teachers—and there are a lot of references to sports. As much as I like sports, I am not training to become a better trainer or coach. In attempting to target a wider audience, the book lost some of its effectiveness for me. Ironically, I found Appendix A, Teaching Techniques from Tea
Jun 26, 2013 rated it liked it
The golden nuggets are words of wisdom from John Wooden. The book includes lots of solid suggestions, but 42 rules does seem a bit listy, even for a type A listmaker like me. However, I must read Lemov's Teach Like a Champion.
Laura Thompson
Buyer beware! Do not buy the audiobook version. The narrator's voice sounds like a monotonous computer. I am 75 minutes into the book and don't recall a word. This will be a tough one to finish.
Dave Smith
Dec 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book for those who not only coach or train others, but for anyone that wants to get better at anything!
Pete Wung
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was recommended to me by someone who’s opinions I highly respect. He told me that this was a good read if you wanted to look at how to plan, execute, and follow through with the perfect practices; and the word “practice” imply practicing skill and techniques in general terms. The authors are teachers and their focus are on helping teachers practice their craft on their students as well as with their peers. I was looking for a book for best practices which incorporates lessons learned r ...more
Willian Molinari
A good book with lots of advice. The structure is not so good, but it's OK.

As the title says, it shows 42 rules to improve yourself and practice in the right way. It an introduction, 42 tips on how to get better at getting better, a conclusion, and the appendices. The structure looks like a to-do list of "rules", so it's not so comfortable to read.

The book was made for teachers and then changed to a general purpose. You still feel many of the examples related to education
May 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: education, limbo
I made it to rule 12 before stopping. I think that there is worthwhile material in this book but I do not trust the philosophy of teaching/learning that undergirds the book as a whole.

The book appears to be based on the premise that learning happens best in narrowly focused and repetitive situations. I can't find explicit references in the book to research that supports such an approach. Further, books that are based on research like Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning suggest
Kev Willoughby
Oct 31, 2018 rated it liked it
A little overwhelming, but great and practical information, mostly for the profession of teaching, but some parts were applicable to other professions, as well as coaching athletics.

The best part of the book was the middle section on feedback (Rules 23-30), including advice such as "Practice Using Feedback (Not Just Getting It)," and I also found the recommendation to immediately implement feedback and try it BEFORE reflecting (or deflecting) on the validity of the feedback to be gre
Jean-marie Prevost
I really enjoyed the subject and most of the points the authors were making, however as others have mentioned, it feels stretched and diluted.

I was taking a good amount of notes throughout the book. There are many great nuggets of knowledge in there, but that's the thing, the nuggets of crucial info are drowned in examples, repetition and not-always-relevant stories. The book could've been half as long and still pack the exact same payload while being more interesting.

Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I bought this book with the goal of understanding more about deliberate practice. I am trying to get better at chess and hope to reach Class A, although, from Class C/D that seems far away. Like some others here have pointed out, this book is aimed at teachers, but that didn't diminish the value of the book to me. The message is the same if you are self-coaching, teaching others (at any level), or are a parent, or on a team.

What it got me thinking about are the professional short cou
Kameron Nettleton
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
This. Was. A. Slog.

And I admit, that's a lot my fault. I read it in spurts because I just couldn't dive in. It was dry. It was boring. It was not exactly what I expected. And it took months because I just lost the will to continue reading it.

This book was recommended to me by a mentor-figure, and I thought it was a good thing to read for some of my responsibilities and positions. I think there were a lot of really meaningful concepts in the book. But I also felt like they
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The material for the book started as a guide for teachers, so many of the examples are for teachers. And since it's about practicing (repeating the same action and improving on it until it's done correctly without conscious thought), the rules naturally apply to sports and there are also many sports examples. If you want to use these rules for other situations (like practicing public speaking or doing a task well), it may require some thought on how to make these rules work.

Start wit
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
In spite of the constant feeling that I wasn't the target audience for this book, I was still able to take some valuable lessons from it and from the way I have been studying and practicing several of the things I have to do. For most part of it, the book not only makes it clear the importance of feedback and diligent practice, but also the act of consciously forcing yourself out of your comfort zone. This is the sort of thing we hear a lot from productivity articles, but Practice Perfect actual ...more
Brad Osment
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really well written and researched but it wasn't exactly what I was looking for at the time so I found it a bit of a chore to read. Plus I prefer my information in easily digestible bite sized chunks, mainly because I'm not very bright but also because I'm easily distracted by the reflection of my beautiful face in the screen of my Kindle. A great book for someone with a good attention span, plain face and is in the teaching profession, as this is where the author's experience lies and where mos ...more
Bryan Byrer
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a magnificent book. The premise speaks for itself, and the prose powerfully makes the case that most of what people do in life is a skill that can be developed. It is that simple fact that is overlooked and explains the many failures of people in all types of situations and positions. With a broader view, I believe it tacitly makes the case that we need more and better teachers in our lives in all manners of form (managers, supervisors, instructors, etc.) I highly recommend this book if you ...more
Kevin Hanks
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent book regarding a fundamental principle I need to be reminded of often. On the same vein as "Outliers" or "Talent is overrated". The the difference here is that the authors not only talk about the importance of practice in the realm of "getting better at something", but give actionable ideas of how to practice and make it effective. The authors are all teachers and live in the world of education, so much of the advice was geared towards this audience, but they made a concerted effort to ...more
Indrajith K
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is great from a practical aspect. It don't go too much into theory, but very practical tips on how to practice effectively. It is not a first book on deliberate practice. If the reader has read books by Anders Ericsson, s/he will feel at home. One approach one can continue is to essentially make a checklist and start practice few principles outlined in the book.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Not much theory, mostly practical suggestions. Unfortunately, most of those suggestions stem from a few core concepts that could be explained in a couple of pages. I also think the rules are likely to be far more applicable to certain fields than others.
J Crossley
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is aimed towards coaches and teachers. the goal is to improve practice and feedback so that the time spent improving skills is maximized. I found some ideas that i can put to use personally during practice time.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've had the teacher training described in the book. It works. I'm not sure how this book would come off to someone who hasn't experienced it, or is not in the field of education. If you're a teacher, you should read Teach Like a Champion first. If you're not in education, I recommend reading Peak by K. Anders Ericcson as well to learn about deliberate practice for a general audience.
Katrina Nasca
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a good resource to drive intentional practice in any field. As an educator, this book shows how to improve student academics through purposeful actions. I am avid follower of anything written by Doug Lemov. The best part is that the ideas can be implemented easily and by anyone.
Gil Bradshaw
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is mainly geared towards coaches and teachers but has some pretty good reminders of the importance of practice.

The main flaw in this book is that it cites "The Talent Code" so much, but this book is WAY better than the Talent Code.
Nick Jordan
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great for me as a non-teacher (or non-education major) who needs to know how to teach (as a pastor), but I do wonder what it would be like to read if I were an experienced teacher. I do now want to check out the related *Teach Like a Champion.*
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“We are fond of saying “practice makes perfect,” and indeed the title of this book plays on the connection between practice and perfection. But it is more accurate to say that practice makes permanent.” 1 likes
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