I thought I should take some of the guesswork for parents about what chess coaching looks like, if I am your coach.
I use a structured approach that I tailor based on the age, skills, knowledge and aptitude of the student. I work through a number of workbooks with them, or use the demonstration board or both, introducing new concepts but reinforcing existing skills and knowledge. There are tests I give them, as well as weekly homework that we mark in the next lesson. The lesson ends with a chess game so I can gauge how they put the lessons into practice.
If this sounds a bit too serious – well, it isn’t – we also have fun with quick puzzles and a range of games!
I usually email you the weekly homework after the lesson, if this suits you. The homework is tailored to the age of the student: larger diagrams for instance for the younger students.
I can offer a 30 minute free introductory lesson for the student if you would like – this gives us both a chance to get to know each other, and allows me to assess how your child plays chess so far. It is perfectly fine for you to always stay for all of the lesson-time, if you prefer.
I have found the method I use in my coaching works well with players of all abilities. This is a combination of: introducing a new concept; showing clear examples of this concept; introducing more detailed or crowded on the board examples; giving homework on the topic. As well as regular homework for revision of existing concepts.
It is also important to make the tasks fun. Playing a game with the students also can highlight how well the student is understanding and putting into practice their skills – this may lead to other issues to be revised or discussed.
I am using the ‘step method’, which was developed in Holland and now is used in many European countries as a well established chess teaching method. I supplement this method with other resources, including my own game examples.
I think students should play chess at least a few times a week. The repetition reinforces the new structures and patterns they are learning.