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7 things to consider when hiring a chess coach
To be successful in chess requires a high level of preparation. It is mainly based on tactics and strategy, beyond the level of intellectual coefficient or concentration that a player may have. Many people dedicate hours of practice to become the best. However, there is a debate about hiring a chess coach for the process of learning and developing.
Some people think that it is best to train alone or with computer programs. Many assume that you should learn from the best. Others simply believe that it is not necessary to hire someone to teach you to “make good decisions”. The truth is that the role of a chess coach is determinant in the growth of a competitor. His work is based precisely on guiding them through a training process that allows him to obtain good results. For this reason, I will recommend 7 tips to take into account when hiring a chess coach:
1. A coach is not to play, it is to teach.
A good chess coach is not the best player, but the best teacher. Many people get confused when they want to hire a coach because they assume that the better he or she is ranked by the International Chess Federation (FIDE), the better will be, but this is a myth. Certainly, a good player adds a complement to the training process, but that does not guarantee that he has pedagogy or teaching experience.
In addition, many “coaches” make the mistake of devoting the entire training process of playing against their students. When they should develop a strategic training plan that suits each competitor.
2. Know and analyze your style of play.
Knowledge is a fundamental step in any training process. A coach cannot teach to play chess if he does not know the style, the skills, the level or even the abilities of his student. Mutual recognition is fundamental to develop a training plan in any sport.
But in addition, the coach must analyze and know the style of play. This is a benefit of strengthening the strengths and take advantage of the weaknesses. The best game strategies, offensive and defensive are based on the analysis made by the coach based on the tactical knowledge of the game of his student.
3. It is universal.
I recommend hiring a chess coach capable of guaranteeing a process of integral and not monothematic formation since it has become very common to sectorize the aspects of chess and in many cases, they harm the students with a “specialized” or half-training. The best training is the one where all the fundamental aspects of the game are polished.
The training process should not be limited to openings or endgames. Chess is a very broad mental sport that encompasses many interdisciplinary elements beyond tactics. A process of integral formation will solidify the bases of any student who wishes to incursion professionally in this discipline.
4. You must design a training plan.
In order to optimize and streamline the training process, a good chess trainer must propose a training agenda that suits the needs of each student. So you advance in the development of skills in an organized manner. It guaranteed results based on effort and discipline.
Tactics are the easiest thing to teach in chess, but for the same reason of being a game basically. That aspect is the most likely to become obsolete and therefore useless within a style of play. That’s why each training must be personalized, with deep exercises that truly benefit the competitor.
5. The theory is important.
Beyond all the exercises, the practice and the competitions, every good coach must handle the chess theory very well, therefore, before hiring any. It is necessary to know which are his favorite books and theoretical recommendations for the development and the practice of the discipline.
The extra-curricular studies allow to understand and to be understood better with the trainer, achieving a more fluid communication. General knowledge brings empathy to the learning process.
6. You must have time.
Chess is mainly a mental sport that requires a lot of patience, attention, and exclusivity. For this reason, is important to know the agenda of work and disposition of the coach. The development of skills in chess is the product of a process of practice, exercises, lessons and analysis of the game.
7. It is motivating.
Finally, it is important to take into consideration the fact that a good chess coach must play the role of mentor and guide. He will lead player by the hand through a process that can be frustrating and discouraging. That is why it is fundamental the charisma and sympathy that every coach must transmit through his advice, lessons called attention.
In all sports, mainly in chess, it is necessary to delve into a certain problem of the play. Many times by psychological conflicts, the level of concentration in a competitor can vary, drastically affecting their game in a sport that in that essence, is mental. Every chess coach must always be willing to support and leave frivolity and technicalities aside.
For hundreds of years, chess has positioned itself as one of the most interesting, complex and competitive sports in the world. The dynamics of this mental sport encourages the competitors the thought, the concentration. It helps to develop the intellectuality, being considered a highly recommended discipline for mental health.
These are just a few tips to consider when hiring a chess coach. At the end of the day, it will always depend on the desire to excel present in every apprentice of this discipline that requires dedication.