Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Do The Right Thing!

I have always been a diligent and dedicated coach and teacher for every student regardless of gender, heritage or even school affiliations. But recently I've become seriously concerned about the quality of other coaches when teaching for modest rates or perhaps even across school affiliations.
With relatively quiet optimism, I would like to believe that most coaches train all students equally, in an unbiased manner, to the best their abilities. Therefore like many others, I am royally irked and disappointed when those coaches let me down. Parents who are concerned, should assess their chess tutors periodically... as there are three dominant qualities that concern and easily categorize private tutors.
The Teacher
Everyone starts with a teacher. This is someone who lays the groundwork for solid understanding. Foundations in tactics and strategy along with principles, maxims, vocabulary and a general understanding of exceptions are all interwoven in a coarse, but very strong fabric to capably catapult a student toward genuine success. Class rooms and new or young students should have good teachers.
High school students, an uncle who claims to be proficient or even people in your building who play, have no idea what they are doing when it comes to laying the groundwork for true learning. All areas of education need to be approached equally, or to coin my old favorite metaphor... A table must have several, if not many, solid legs if you expect it to stand well.
The Coach
Coaches concern themselves with getting results based on student or team capabilities. Coaching abilities are based mainly on psychology. This includes tweaking expectations, eliminating fears, overcoming obstacles and emphasizing strengths while motivating students to approach the task at hand with right attitude and to the best of their abilities. A coach asks for, outlines, and encourages students to attain the discipline necessary to perform at and certainly above their ability.
The Trainer
Trainers are usually master strength players, most often international or grand masters, who refine and sharpen a student, whose foundations are solid, and who has the discipline and commitment, like a tool with a fine edge or exquisite detail.
Mixed Intentions
Misunderstanding expectations of either the student or the tutor in either direction results in disappointment for one or the other and certainly for parents of young students. It isn't uncommon for one Trainer, to criticize someone for being an inadequate Teacher in one area or another. It is very important when and how those foundations were lain and by whom. A Trainer has to assume a certain level of knowledge in order to expect understanding let alone results, especially when dealing with a higher order of openings such as is required in the Indian and Sicilian Defences...
Can someone expect to persue a career in medicine without at least a general if not complete understanding of biology and related sciences? Many parents, nevertheless, save money on the coaching and training while expecting great results by skipping steps ... sometimes relearning - at the student's expense - the maxim 'You get what you pay for'.
Doing the right thing at the right time will save a lot of wasted time, money, psychological agony and stress in the long run.
- John MacArthur, Teacher, Coach and a something of a Trainer!

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