Tips for coaching children

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Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Tips for coaching children

Postby Jonathan Bryant » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:05 pm

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.

Anyhoo this

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.

Paul McKeown
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Re: Tips for coaching children

Postby Paul McKeown » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:15 pm

Use Steps. It is the only truly coherent chess course ever developed. If you are unfamiliar with teaching chess, then buy the Manuals that accompany the workbooks. Make sure that the students do not pass on to the next Step, until they have grasped all of the current Step. Use the Steps Extra workbooks to reinforce the Steps Workbooks, then use the Steps Plus workbooks at each level to introduce material of added complexity and difficulty in order to further reinforce the material at each Step. Use the DVDs, as well, if the child likes to work at a computer. Ensure, also, that as well as learning from Steps, the student has sufficient practise by actually playing other students at a similar level.

Brendan O'Gorman
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Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: Tips for coaching children

Postby Brendan O'Gorman » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:05 pm

Nick,
While there's still time, move - far away!

Jacques Parry
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Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:37 pm

Re: Tips for coaching children

Postby Jacques Parry » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:45 am

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.


I wouldn't call them that either. But volunteers are usually keen to make the most effective use of whatever skills they may have. If children just want to have fun with chess, that's fine, but in that case it doesn't really matter whether the person supervising them knows anything about the game. Some of the kids I teach are interested in learning what little I can teach them; some aren't. The former group may not be better pupils than the latter, but what I have to offer is more use to them.


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