Joey Stewart wrote:I suppose the underlying difficulty many coaches forget is that chess is essentially just a game which many players treat as a bit of fun, pushing the pieces around without wanting to attempt to master its complexities ... the vast majority who continue to play after primary school will end up playing online where they can continue to play the game for enjoyment, rather then entering into the highly competitive tournaments and leagues of the uk.
What you say is absolutely right, no doubt but I don’t think it’s the case that "many coaches" forget this. People actually working in junior chess especially pre-graded chess are very much aware of it, it seems to me. Possibly I’m just hanging out with a certain type of coach, but in my experience people not working in the field are more likely to struggle to grasp this point.
Joey Stewart wrote:There will be a few younger players who have a strong drive to keep going forward and improving their game, and those are the type who make the best pupils ....
is what I really wanted to question. If somebody truly thinks this way - that the pupils you describe are the "best pupils" - then I would suggest they might want to consider whether spending some time coaching children at chess is really what they should be doing.
Yes, I get it. It’s very rewarding to help introduce chess to a child and then watch them grow into the game and go on to win trophies and medals and whatnot. Is "the best pupils" the right label for this group, though? I don’t think so.
Words matter. Attitudes matter.
If we value a child/student’s according to how interested they are in chess/how good they get, it seems to me that something’s wrong.