We’ve all heard of the chess prodigies that learn to castle before eating solid food. To be honest, even our very talented coaches didn’t start with chess training that early. Coaches around the world have been discussing for years the best age to start chess training. For us it comes down to two important factors, abstract thinking and love for the game.
How Early is Too Early?
Starting early will make your child’s chess journey that much smoother. If you’ve watched a young mind develop, you’ll know that young minds are like sponges. From games, to language, to rules, they are in a mindset of exploration and understanding. They’re already learning the rules of the world around them, so they are predisposed to that type of learning already. Chess training just fits right into their everyday exploration of the world.
That being said, chess coaches tend to agree that the most consistent learning starts happening at age 5. Children are better suited to abstract thinking at this age. They are also more able to communicate their thoughts and feelings. This culminates in children of this age being better suited to sit and concentrate on a new game without getting bored or quickly frustrated.
Chess Training In School
As we all know, chess is an ideal extracurricular activity for an academic boost. Chess boosts reading levels, analytical thinking, and overall academic performance. Just as children start school, they are also at the ideal age to start forming habits around this type of problem solving/analytical thinking. Habits that will help form academic performance for years to come
Avoid Forcing a Love For Chess
With so many benefits, it’s tough to try not to force your child into a love for chess. At this age, it’s important to foster a genuine love for the game. Take a step back and make sure your child wants to learn chess, and will have fun playing the game. Forget about winning and chess performance. At this age it’s less about becoming the next big GM, and rather about forming strong learning habits for future success in other parts of your child’s life. Winning is not a prerequisite for that.
The Recipe for Successful Chess Training
The best way to ensure your child succeeds in their chess training is to hire a coach to run a school chess club. A specialized coach that runs a daily club in your child’s school is the best way to get all the great benefits of chess from an early age. We specialize in building a love for the game of chess, and we’ve seen tremendous things happen when children pick up the game with their peers. Get your child started in chess the right way by getting in touch with us here.