Habits And Improvement

Recently I observed a few habits among my students….

  • The students were talking to each other(self talking is another matter) so I asked them not to talk and told them that chess is not a game that you can talk and play. But it has hardly made any difference.
  • They believe they are so brilliant that they can finish a game in 2 minutes. And if you advise them for not making fast moves but who care?
  • Some are just passing time as they are forced to attend the session. This article might be useful here.
  • The same scenario can be found in almost every classroom so what’s new in this? Well the important thing is how you address these issues. though every coach will have their own way to tackle them.
    First of all if these habits are deeply ingrained you need to be creative in order to rub out bad ones and develop good ones. Secondly you need time to address these things so you need to be calm. Here are a few of tricks which are not mine and have been borrowed from books and experts’ thoughts:


    I got this idea from Nigel as I regularly complained to him that I was losing because I was playing too fast so he asked me before making any move, check your feet that are are on the floor! To be honest initially I didn’t get the logic behind his advice even though he has explained it to me very well, but I realized there was something to this when I got positive results. However for kids this is different matter as they are not focused as adults, so what you need is to hammer those triggers home in appropriate ways.

    Using Role Models

    Kids are very much influenced by fictional characters. In my childhood my role models were Ram and Krishna as I was watching Ramayana and Mahabharata on television. These days Doraemon, Batman or Ninja have taken their place (parents beware!). How can you use their role model? Well you need to do nothing but just tell them, if Ninja were playing chess then he wouldn’t talk with his opponents and even he wouldn’t make fast moves.

    If the above tricks are not working then you have to find others, but don’t forget to share them with me!

    Ashvin Chauhan