Our duty as coaches while monitoring kids is to draw their attention towards their mistakes, but most of us do this in a disorganized way unless we focus on specific areas. One good thing to look out for is what the kids are doing after developing their pieces, and the following points should make monitoring this more focused.
1. Activity – I always tell my students that we need more and healthy forces (men) to win the war, in a similar way you need qualitative and greater numbers of forces to attack to attack in chess. So if you can bring more forces towards targeting a particular location, even at the cost of small material loss, just do it. This may sound a bit odd but believe me it is very fruitful in developing the attacking skill of a kid even though they are not able to calculate.
2. Double pawns (twins) – I always show them below example to show why double pawns are not good.
No need to explain anything more as they will not understand more 🙂
3. Mating pattern/Attacking pattern – Whenever I get a chance, I show them basic patterns and piece placements. It is enough rather than showing them a combination based on that. I have been surprised many times that my students now find combinations automatically, I don’t know why but it’s true.
4. Centralizing the king in the endgame – The simplest and most effective endgame concept. And most effective way to explain kids while they are playing game (I avoid key square, opposition and other heavy concepts during monitoring).
I avoid showing them romantic and beautiful combinations, which kids often like, because it doesn’t help them.
Though above points are rather relative and in general you can modify them with the level of groups and players.