FAQ: Coaching Questions

FAQ: Coaching Questions

Here you'll find a list of Frequently Asked Questions about our Game Annotation Plans. Don't forget to check the FAQ Categories on the right.

What makes you a good coach?

If I didn't think I was a good coach, I wouldn't be doing this job. There are many coaches around, but there are some questions which perhaps you should be putting forward, such as:
Do they really enjoy coaching other people?
Do they have the experience to teach? because teaching is a lot more than just being able to play well...
Do they spend more time and effort on their students than reasonably expected to?
Do they love chess and their work?
Have they developed training systems for their students?
Do they annotate their games?
Do they have original files and material that they have worked on for years?
Do they offer full on-line support?
Apart from making a profit, have they contributed in any way to the chess community?
I can reply "Yes, I do" to all those questions... I'm not saying I'm the only coach who has, but when choosing one, I think you should bear those things in mind... But at the end of the day, it all comes down to one simple answer: I love teaching chess, it's my passion, and it's what I do best.

In my country the average wage is about a 10th of a country like Australia. Your rates are very high for me, can I get a discount?

First of all, have you filled in the information request form and read my pdf file? my rates are really not that high and you get quite a lot.
Unfortunately the distribution of wealth around the world is extremely unfair but I'm not in a position to lower my fees. I can only suggest that you try to hire someone form your local area where fees are more in line with what you can afford.
Having said that, I do offer discount coupons from time to time. If you wish to be notified when one comes out, please fill in this form.

Where are you located?

I normally travel between Australia and Spain (I'm a dual citizen). Between 2005 and 2014, I only lived in Australia (that´s where most of my family lives) but in 2015 I moved back to Spain and will probably stay here for a number of years.

I can only take night lessons. I live in the USA and you're in Europe. Will you have a slot for our lesson in your timetable?

I'm pretty sure we can figure something out: I can wake up really early, or stay up till late, weekends are an option, etc. It's never been an issue, and I've had students from all over the world... .

How many students do you have?

For on-line coaching, I rarely work with more than 10 students. Beware of coaches who work with many more students because if you add up the number of hours a coach is supposed to spend with them on a weekly basis, the numbers simply can't match!

How do I know you'll be spending enough time on me?

You will realise when you see it, I assure you! these are some of my tasks:

  • Prepare lesson topics and study material.
  • Reviewing his/her games so that I know what the student needs the most and an appropiate training plan can be worked out.
  • Replying to posts and emails(I assure you that this can be a very time consuming task when you provide a high quality service!)
  • Editing files requested by students.
  • Annotating games.
  • Creating quizzes so that I can track their progress.
  • etc.
I think you get the picture!
I enjoy coaching people because this is what I've done for a job most of my working life. I've spent many hours of my life trying to find effective training systems which people can use and this represents the results of my experience and dedication. If I offered a bad service, my students would simply run away, and that has never happened. So, you can be certain that I will be spending real time on your training. I'm a professional chess coach and this is all I do for a living.

How long does it take before results become noticeable?

That depends on many different factors such as your age, availability, goals, motivation, current level... Professional coaches agree that it would take an average of around 100 hours to pass on real knowledge and efficient methodology to a player of around 1800.

If I hire you for training games, how can I be sure that I'm really playing against you, that you're not hiring someone else to play against me for a lower fee and thus making a profit without even showing up?

Outsourcing, like some phone companies do? Look, I'm not that sophisticated! I don't toy with the hopes and expectations of my students, their goals are also my goals, their dreams are also my dreams. I don't fool around with something as serious as that. And don't understimate something that I keep saying: I love playing chess and coaching people, why would I want someone else to do my job if I enjoy doint it myself so much?

Can we do a 2 hour lesson rather than a 1 hour lesson?

Yes, that would be possible, particularly if we're doing opening practice or sparring. For general training plans, 2 hours of on-line coaching can be a little tough on the student. Don't forget that my lessons normally involve working on study files and so on.

Can I choose the topics for our lessons?

For the standard coaching plan, you can choose 50% of the topics that we'll cover in our lessons if you wish. However, if you only wish to work on your repertoire, then of course you can choose all openings that we'll be working on.

What if I have an idea for a training plan which you're currently not offering. Can it be arranged?

By all means. Get in touch with me and perhaps we can get something going. I'll send you an estimate.