What are your key strengths as a coach?
I'm passionate about self-improvement, learning, and teaching. At university I study education which covers the science of how people learn and how teaching philosophies are applied to classrooms. I am patient and persistent when someone doesn't understand a certain concept and will ask questions so that I can pinpoint where the confusion is.
I value fundamentals and habits when explaining chess moves because it's very easy to see where tactical mistakes come from and becoming better at tactics just comes from practice and experience. Fundamentals and positional understanding is a lot harder to figure out on your own and is where having an outside point of view (me) is most valuable.
Why do you love Chess?
It's a game that I can play forever. I like thinking and planning about what moves to make. I love looking at different openings and how playing different openings changes the gameplans for each player.
When did you first learn to play?
I played for my primary and intermediate school team, but when I moved schools in year 9 my new school didn't have any chess clubs :(. After the chess boom during covid, I picked chess back up again and have been taking it seriously as one of my main hobbies.
Why do you enjoy working with kids?
It's fun to teach kids how to play from scratch. When people don't have any prior experiences in a game like this, they can have some incredibly creative solutions to problems on the board. I enjoy working with kids because of their unique point of view.
How do you think chess helps kids?
Chess helps kids in many ways. It teaches kids how to think before they act. One common saying in chess is that: "When you see a good move, look for a better one," This thought is ingrained in every chess players' mind and pushes them to not be impulsive, because if they do, they might miss out on a knockout move. It also teaches kids to self-reflect on themselves and take accountability for any mistakes. This is one of the most importants skills when it comes to learning anything in life.
Being able to look over their own games, see where they went wrong and how they can play better next time is a hallmark for improving their chess. It also gets kids used to concentrating for long periods of time. The brain is a muscle, and by playing chess it trains their ability to focus and think. Most importantly, these skills are practiced within a game that's fun! This is a hobby that benefits the developing brain and is something that kids will go out of their way to play.