Similarities Between a Rafting Guide and a Chess Coach
Have you ever been down a river on a raft? I rafted a river in Yellowstone National Park (in the Rocky Mountains) back in May. See the picture; I am in the yellow jacket in the front of the raft getting wet!
The river was fast. It was bumpy (definitely white water). If was coooooold (flowing out of the melting snow)! But it was so worth the time and the money. The scenery--the sky, the mountains, the trees, the wildlife, the plains, and the river--was simply gorgeous! It was constantly changing.
We had a guide who made the river and the scenery come alive! He made us aware of sights and sounds we would have missed. We began by suiting up in helmet, life vest, and paddle. Then we learned a few simple commands. The guide tested our learning before we had gone more than a few feet from the edge. When we faced our first test, we had a sense of accomplishment from having handled that part of the river well. The guide affirmed our efforts. At one point, he corrected our efforts and things went even better when we faced some tougher challenges.
In chess, you may benefit from receiving lessons from a coach, someone who will "guide" you in your efforts. He or she will assess what you know. He will correct mistakes that are observed. Your coach will give you suggestions and ask you to practice what was learned. He will test you, and he will likely affirm your early and successful efforts. A coach can make the chess journey more enjoyable because he can heighten your awareness of what is going on in your games. You will just "see" more.
And don't forget to be advocates for chess. And plan to serve as a "guide" to others as they take beginning steps on the journey to learn to play. They will enjoy the journey more, and so will you!
Have you had a chess coach? Leave a comment below telling us about your coach. What did he/she help you with?