Qualified Coaches

National developments, strategies and ideas.
John McKenna
Posts: 3763
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: Qualified Coaches

Post by John McKenna » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:38 pm

My apologies to Phil Ehr for posting my last comment in his thread.
I'd like to ask Carl to move it to Sabrina Chevannes' 'Beware - Chess Coaching Scams' and if she doesn't want it there it can be binned.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Neill Cooper
Posts: 1240
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Croydon

Re: Qualified Coaches

Post by Neill Cooper » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:32 pm

I think that we should also be aware of the wide range of contexts in which chess coaching occurs.

1) Paid or unpaid.
I think that many chess coaches do not charge. They may be parent’s helping at school or junior club, adult club members running a junior club, teachers running a school chess club, enthusiastic players running junior activities etc. Obviously there are others for whom this is their employment and so obviously they do charge.

2) Individual or group.
Much chess activity runs is in groups, and a lot of chess teaching is given to groups. But chess is also coached in one-to-one individual tuition. In some cases the groups might also be school teams, and this can then have another significant impact on coaching if there is an expectation of “success”.

3) Age (of student)
There is a great deal of difference between a 5 year old and a 15 year old, even if their chess ability is similar. Successfully working with one will require very different approach to that for working with the other.

4) Aim.
Are you trying to make better chess players, or helping players enjoy chess more? (I know that the two are not mutually contradictory.) Obviously those working with the best juniors in the country are aiming for them to improve, but many members of junior chess clubs just wish to enjoy playing chess.

5) Coaching style.
An active coach gives lots of instructions, guidance as to how to play, preparation for individual games or tournaments, play over games to teach strategy etc . A passive coach will give encouragement and some advice after games, and otherwise ensure an enjoyable context in which chess is played.

6) Parental Involvement.
With younger students parent's are heavily involve in organising coaching, paying for it, hoping for positive outcomes etc. But with teenagers the parents have less or sometimes no involvement, the 'customer' is then the chess player.

I think that all these different types of coaching have their place and therefore when we seek to provide a more coherent structure it should allow for the variety of great coaching that already occurs.

Paul Dargan
Posts: 514
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 11:23 pm

Re: Qualified Coaches

Post by Paul Dargan » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:32 pm

Echoing Phil Adams point above way back in the late 80's I attended an excellent weekend event with John Littlewood which was a pass/fail curse to be accredited as a BCF coach. A mix of theory and having to demonstrate material and run a mock sesion with the other delegates - something of a lighter version of the FIDE.

John also played a couple of rapidgames against me - which I think he used as a proxy measure to assess strength. I recall that there were some feedback nots and an assessment of what level strudents the various course members should work with...

There needs to be some benefit from being included on the official list - and for inclusion to be valuable it must mean something and beto some extent exclusive.


Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:08 pm

Re: Qualified Coaches

Post by CliveHill » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:24 pm

I think this is a great idea, but I'm just reposting what I've written in Sabrina's thread to the effect that alongside qualified and accredited coaches - I'm intensely relaxed about terminology - my

"personal suggestion would be to create a sort of 'kite mark' - ECF inspected - which coaches who advertise their services could go about acquiring by (a) just submitting their online documentation - one star - and (b) having a meeting with someone from the 'accredited' pyramid (so if they know what they are doing - two stars). A self-styled coach who is not known in the organised chess world, but is a person of goodwill, would have nothing to worry about and could be encouraged to join one of the more formal coaching groups. I infer that some of the real charlatans mentioned in [the other thread] might be liable under consumer protection legislation?

Like Sabrina, I work for CSC, but I'm writing here in a purely personal capacity."

Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:08 pm

Re: Qualified Coaches

Post by CliveHill » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:27 pm

Ooops ... the coaching scam thread actually began with John Upham ... sorry John! ... but as he's a friend of mine, I hope he will forgive me! ;-)

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