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Writing on the Bus: Using Athletic Team Notebooks and Journals to Advance Learning and Performance in Sports Published in cooperation with the National Writing Project First printing Edition

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1433116841
ISBN-10: 1433116847
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Editorial Reviews


"Team notebooks create a different way for players to learn."
 -Mike Keller, Head Coach, University of Southern Maine Men's Soccer
"I like to have my student-athletes write about their experiences, be it about practice, a game, or even an injury. Writing helps them to analyze their play, thought processes, and feelings. It brings more meaning to what they are experiencing. Writing ... is a reminder of what we all are playing for and working towards." -Coach Nicole Moore, Stetson University

"I like free writing... it's a meditation, trying to open up the mind and go for it."
-David Chamberlain, Nor/Am SuperTour Cross-Country Ski Champion

"Writing provides another avenue for strengthening the player/coach relationship."  
-Brian Bold, Head Coach, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Soccer

"No one likes skiing with a cluttered mind, so put it on paper and free some space."
-Carter Robertson, Alpine Ski Racer

«If this book did nothing else other than lay out […] opportunities for reflective writing, it would be a useful guide for coaches. But the book is more than a set of suggested practices; it is filled with examples of Richard Kent and other coaches interacting with their athletes. We get excerpts from the writing of coaches at all levels, and from athletes - high school soccer players to world class skiers. […] Through his own example, Kent teaches us how to read this writing - generously, thoughtfully, learning from the experiences of his athletes, even appreciating their goofy humor. He has the ability to pull nuggets of insight from writing that a less alert and sympathetic reader would miss. He is the kind of teacher who makes you feel smart.» (Thomas Newkirk, University of New Hampshire, from the Foreword)

«Leading us outdoors and onto the playing field, Richard Kent offers a systematic approach to writing that has already assisted coaches to cultivate athletes’ reflection, shared consciousness, and improved performance. What an athlete needs, he makes clear, is writing.» (Julie Cheville, Illinois State University, Author of ‘Minding the Body: What Student Athletes Know about Learning’)

«‘Writing on the Bus’ illuminates a largely hidden side of coaching and athletics, one where writing is increasingly a part of the cultural norms for coaches, individual athletes, and entire teams. Richard Kent brings the powerful combination of sport and writing to life throughout the book by smartly weaving the literacy production of athletes into the discussion. Educators and coaches alike would do well to learn from the insights provided in this book […]» (Jeff Duncan-Andrade, San Francisco State University, Author of‘ What a Coach Can Teach a Teacher’)

From the Author

I've put together a Resource Website that should help you come to understand the value of writing to learn in sports through the use of athletic team notebooks and journals. You may find that website at In addition, if you have any questions, use the Contact Page on the Resource Website to send them directly to me. 
Best wishes,
Rich Kent
University of Maine  

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing Inc.; First printing edition (December 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433116847
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433116841
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,709,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Kent, PhD, is a professor at the University of Maine and the director emeritus of the Maine Writing Project, a site of the National Writing Project. He is the author of many books, including "Writing on the Bus: Using Athletic Team Notebooks and Journals to Advance Learning and Performance in Sports" and "A Guide to Creating Student-Staffed Writing Centers, Grades 6-12," the 2006 National Book of the Year for the International Writing Centers Association, an assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English.

To learn more about his latest research on using writing as a way to learn in athletics, visit The resource website for "Writing on the Bus" and its many companion books like "The Athlete's Workbook" and "Soccer Team Notebook," includes a wide array of models, activities, and articles.

A former high school English teacher, athletic coach, and writing center director at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford, Maine, Kent served as the State of Maine's 1993 Teacher of the Year and in 1994 received the National Educator Award from the Milken Family Foundation. As Maine's state soccer coach, Kent and his staff brought 30 select soccer teams to England over a 13-year period.

To stay caught up with Kent, keep an eye on his blog, One Dog's Writer ( Rich may be reached through his contact sheet on

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By tanya baker on February 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
The book Writing on the Bus: Using Athletic Team Notebooks and Journals to Advance Learning and Performance in Sports has been an unusually pleasant surprise. Don't get me wrong. I expected to like the book. Rich is my friend. Rich is a great teacher and smart guy. Rich is a good writer. I expected any deficits in the book-to-reader interaction to be all on the reader's side. After all, I am not an athlete or a coach, and, except for a very few, very short stints, I really never have been.So, what I didn't expect was to fall in love with this book so completely.
Who else should read this book? Everyone. Let me be more specific.
Obviously, coaches should read this book. (And they may want to check out the accompanying website, too.) Rich explains the how's and the why's of using athletic team notebooks and journals. More importantly, he unpacks the implementation of using notebooks and journals. He doesn't simply say you should, and give you samples, but rather, he unpacks his own (and others') practices in using notebooks-how he responds to notebooks and uses them in coaching and team building. What his athletes learn from different kinds of writing, what he, as a coach, learns from his players' writing, and, maybe most importantly, what he does with all that writing, and what he asks students to do with it.

And let's not construe coaches too narrowly. I'm giving this book as a gift to my daughter's ballet teacher at the end of this year's ballet season (do they call it a season?). My daughter, also not a team-sport athlete, is involved in drama and dance -- both of which give her but a single weekend of performance in which to show all that she's learned over a `season.' It's a fact of these activities that has bothered me since she started performing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris Nightingale on February 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
Kent's book is a delightful presentation of a learning tool that coaches and teachers can integrate into their work with athletes. The concept of focused writing as a way of exploring athletic performance is one that has been enbraced by athletes and coaches that seek to better understand their thoughts and feelings about training and athletic performance. Kent's writing is sprinkled with anecdotes that both amuse and inform the reader. It is obvious that Kent is not simply an academic proselytizing about the latest miracle fad to improve athletic performance, but rather he is an experienced coach that has used team notebooks and journaling to help his athletes better understand themselves, their athletic involvement, and the world around them. The text is written in clear, simple to understand language that cuts to the important points. All coaches, athletes, dancers, or anyone that attempts to utilize cognitive tools to improve psychomotor performance would benefit by reading this book and integrating even just a few of the recommended practices.
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By Emilie on March 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
If you've never thought about a notebook and pen as integral parts of an athlete's equipment list, Writing on the Bus may well change your mind. While the book is bolstered by research and pedagogical theory, it reads like a field guide for using athletic journals and team notebooks in sports. Chock full of charming anecdotes about coaching and stories of athletes from elementary age through college, it carries the weight of experience. Rich Kent has coached for thirty-three years and taught for thirty-six; in a candid and authentic voice, he draws from his experience on the soccer field, the ski slopes, and in the classroom.

We all know that writing is introspective and clarifying. We know that a consistent writing practice can help a writer think clearly and articulate new ideas. So, if writing is learning, and coaching is teaching, and if athletes by nature are motivated to improve their skills, it does not require much of a leap to see the role for writing in athletics. Kent clearly makes the connection that notebooks and journaling enhance an athlete's learning and performance, and reap benefits in all sports, both team and individual.

Amy Edwards, Head Coach of Gonzaga University's Women's Soccer, describes the season she implemented team notebooks. "Our team had never been so in tune with themselves . . . with team notebooks the players took ownership of their team and destiny. We had the most successful season in program history."

Kent clearly makes the connection that notebooks and journaling enhance an athlete's learning and performance, and reap benefits in all sports, both team and individual.
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