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William Austin - Chess Coach

William Austin - Chess Coach

What do you think makes you a good coach? 

I feel like I am a good coach because I am someone who’s willing to look out for their students and do what they feel is best for them.

When a student needs help, I’m willing to help them to the best of my ability. When a student doesn’t understand something, I’m willing to re-explain that concept to them so that they do understand. In simple words, I’m that person that’s always there to help the student when needed.


What are your key strengths?

Besides liking chess, I also feel like being a patient and persistent person is a key strength of mine. Sometimes when teaching, one needs to be patient and willing to take the time to explain concepts to students so that they understand. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you understand the concept you are trying to teach them, but instead it matters if your students understand the concept you are trying to teach them.

I feel these are key strengths that are required as a teacher and something that I can offer my students.


Why do you love Chess?

I love chess because there’s a lot to love about the game! There’s lots of things you can learn about chess, the theory in the game keeps evolving and overall it’s a great exercise for the brain.

The game of chess also offers some excitement. The tense battles in the last few seconds of a game can be exhilarating, and it’s a great game to play with friends.


When/how did you first learn to play?

As far as my memory extends, I started to play chess as a child playing on “Chess Titans”, the Windows 7 chess application where you play against a computer as your opponent.

There were ten levels, and I used some of my after schools as a kid playing on Chess Titans. Despite there being ten levels, I struggled to beat Level 3 as a young primary school kid!

Fortunately over the years, I’ve improved and gotten better. And while Chess Titans isn’t on Windows 10 anymore, I still haven’t forgotten about the time I was playing on Chess Titans.


Why do you enjoy working with kids?

Kids are at a fundamental stage in their life and what children learn at this stage of their life helps them to be better people. Being able to influence the direction that kids take in their life is an awesome privilege to have. Teaching valuable skills to kids sets them up for life and giving them a better start in life, and it’s a privilege that I’m glad to be able to do this.

Children are also very energetic beings and I find it a pleasure to see them be their happy, enthusiastic selves. I’d like to think that life is better when you’re surrounded by happy faces.

What are your main Chess achievements? 

I’d like to think that the few times I’ve beaten chess masters online count as my biggest “achievements” in chess. However, I’m still hoping and waiting for my first win over a grandmaster online. I have also achieved a few other things over my years such as being Treasurer of the AUT Board Game Club.


How do you think Chess helps kids?
 

Besides the more obvious benefits like problem solving, logic and improvements in memory, I think chess teaches life skills to kids in a way that is also helpful for kids.

Concepts like learning when to take a risk, how to handle winning and losing as well as time management are a few of the life skills learned in chess. These skills help kids throughout the rest of their life beyond the chess board, and chess helps them to learn these life skills in a real-life environment.

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