Immediate Incremental Intervention


I accepted my first teaching position in 1993 in Waller ISD which included an assignment as the Head Girls’ Track Coach.  During my student teaching at Bryan ISD I had learned about the Triple Jump from David Greeno and observed that very few coaches specialized in coaching the event because of its difficulty, but those who did racked up lots of easy points in meets.

The Triple Jump is made up of three distinct phases that have to be individually and then collectively mastered.  I found the best way to teach the event was to provide immediate incremental verbal and visual feedback to my athletes during practice.  As they practiced and performed each distinct phase, I would allow them to see themselves on camera, to watch each other on video, and provide my own coaching insight.  I did not wait until the end of practice or until they had failed at a track meet to give them feedback and make minor adjustments to my practices.

What I did was not any different than what I have observed coaches doing all during my career in education.

Good coaches:

  • Provide immediate incremental feedback all throughout practice
  • Adjust practice to work on skills (concepts) that the team or athlete has not mastered even if they had planned to do something else that day
  • Know that practice is the formative assessment and therefore are less concerned about collecting grades for practice than they are about improvement and adjustment
  • Use game film (assessment results) to plan and adjust their practices

Our students need intervention models developed with these same principles.

How are you ensuring Immediate Incremental Intervention is occurring in your campus?