Finding the right chess coach can be make or break for a student. Like having a highschool teacher that you enjoy seeing every day gives life to the subject they teach, having the right chess coach can drive your or your child’s chess game into a lifelong hobby. Choosing the right coach can be broken down into a few key questions and steps.
1. Define Your Goal
Believe it or not, not everyone plays chess to be the next Magnus Carlsen. Some people play to win a specific tournament, others to train their mind to be better in school, while some students just want to connect with people that have similar interests. Get your main goal on paper. Not only will this help you choose the right chess coach, but keeping this goal in mind throughout your coaching sessions will help you get what you want out of your time.
Knowing your goal can also help you decide on a coaching format. Private lessons are great for honing your skill, but you won’t get the social aspect of chess. Understand what you want out of the game before you go hunting for coaches.
2. Get Your Chess Coach ‘Filters’ on Paper
Depending on your goal, you’re going to want to pick out certain attributes that are ‘must-haves’ in your chess coach. For instance, if you want to win a particular tournament, find a coach that has done just that. If you want to meet people, find a coach that has a passion for community building.
One filter we suggest to all new students is; find a coach that is a coach first and a player second. There are a ton of players out there that are coaching to make ends meet, or as a side gig. Concentrate on weeding these coaches out, and choose a chess coach that takes pride in his or her work. These types of coaches will likely be a bit pickier about choosing students. This is a good thing. It means both parties are really invested in making the partnership a success.
3. What Are You Willing to Invest?
First question, how many hours a week are you willing to put into chess? Your answer should include both coaching hours and independent study. We all have time constraints, and communicating these with potential chess coaches early will help you understand if a coach is right for you.
The second consideration is money. What is your budget per week, month, or year on chess? Understanding your budget will help you understand whether you need a coach that can fit a ton of learning into one hour, and leave you to work out some details on your own time, or a coach that can dedicate more time at a slower learning pace for you. Know these limits before you start your search for a chess coach.
4. Get Searching!
Keep your plan in mind and hit the road! Luckily you’re already at a great place to start. We have a roster of mind-blowing chess coaches. Send us a message through our contact us page and we’d love to help you with your search.