What is better? Self-learning or learning from a coach?
Here will compare the pros and cons of learning from a chess coach, as well as the pros and cons of going on your own. In the end, we will also share what top players prefer when it comes to this debate.
Let’s get started.
Pros of self-learning
Self-learning is a great way to learn. What are the benefits of it? You’ll find out below.
Learn at your own pace
With self-learning you allow your child to learn at their own pace. Some learn quickly, while others prefer a slow and steady approach. Nobody’s going to sit on your head, force you to learn when you don’t feel like it. Having this flexibility to decide is one of the major benefits of going solo.
Has your child ever sat at the board just moving pieces all on his own? If he/she has, we can definitely say that your child has a spark within him for the game. They are curious to know how to play the game, and are just exploring on their own!
This is creativity in the early chess years! It’s also what gives the child their ‘x-factor’.
A Happy Pocket
The biggest benefit of going solo is that you save money. We don’t think there’s anything else that needs to be added.
Now let’s look at the unpleasant side of self-learning.
Cons of self-learning
Who will answer the questions?
Children being children are naturally curious. So they have a lot to ask. So how can you find answers to their burning questions?
Also, game-specific questions are hard to answer if you aren’t a chess player yourself.
Engines are the worst teachers because they can show you the moves, but can’t explain the millions of positions that they evaluated to come to that decision.
An experienced coach knows the answers and explains them in such a way that children are more motivated to learn the game.
This brings us to the next point…
Lack of focus and motivation
A loss or a few bad results can easily affect a child’s confidence. If they aren’t supported in the right way, they could lose their focus and move on to the next thing.
They might even have a talent for the game. But just because they cannot eat the fruits early enough, they might give up.
Now let’s consider that you’re child is serious about the game, and he/she practices daily. They spend 7-8 hours playing blitz, randomly moving pieces over the board, yet they see very little to no improvement in their game.
This happens because there don’t have a proper map that shows them the path to progress.
But such children are what any good chess coach would dream to work with. The passion is there, the child is working hard – that’s a sign of championship material.
If your child is in this stage, please consider working with a good coach. You might just a have diamond waiting to be polished.
On that note, let me enlighten you on the bright side of having a coach.
Pros of Coaching
Saves your time
Can you imagine that in under 6 months, your child can start competing at the district age-group championship? Or what if in 2-3 years they can have a shot at their age-group nationals?
With an experienced coach, you certainly can! Now there are a lot of factors that go into this like the child’s dedication, persistence, and talent but with the right coach, you can definitely have a shot. They know the road, but more importantly, they know where the shortcuts are.
Regular Guidance and Feedback
A good coach will also work on removing the poor habits of a player. Also, make chess a lot more fun and interesting through stories and personal anecdotes. This really important to groom any young talent into a class player.
Opens Hidden Opportunities
This benefit is rarely spoken about, but it unlocks so many doors. An experienced coach, who has been active on the chess scene, knows what it takes to reach the top. Having a good game is one thing, but often playing the right tournaments, knowing whom to approach is key. The right coach can unlock this route.
And if you’re looking for them, you’re at the right place! At our academy, we have coaches who are experienced players and know the chess scene here. Together, we can help your child not only to learn the basics but also open the doors for you once we’ve fully offered you all that we have.
To get started, book a free demo class from here !
Now moving on to some downsides of coaching.
Cons of coaching
Time & Resource Investment
Often to get results, you might need to commit to a 3-month or a 6-month plan. This not only requires financial investment, but also a time investment. A coach will give feedback and expect the child to do their homework.
This could become taxing for children if they are occupied with a lot of extracurricular activities.
Your Progress is Dependent on a Good Coach
A good coach isn’t someone who just teaches the rules of the game. In the internet era, that’s easy to learn. But a good coach is someone who motivates and turns a tiny spark for the game into a burning passion.
At our academy, we know the importance of such a coach and we choose only those who have a chess talent, and also a talent for teaching kids!
It's not hard to choose one...
Self-learning has its benefits. Today there are so many resources on the internet that you can learn chess from literally anywhere. That’s a great thing.
But if you want to improve fast, go with a coach. There’s a reason why all the world’s best chess players, have a coach. In fact, this is the trend with any top performers in any field. It’s easier to walk the path once someone shows you the road ahead.