Monday, June 14, 2010

What is mind coaching?

I prefer mind or mental coaching to teaching psychological tricks. So what is the difference?

Let me give you a few of examples.

1. A player is distracted by his opponent and he loses the game. Psychological trick to unbalance. It works.

2. A player offers a draw when he is losing on the board because his opponent is emotionally unbalanced. It works.

3. A player purposely angers his opponent and causes him to act rashly and lose. It works.

Psychological tricks do work so why not teach them? My answer is because it is not chess and it only works at the lower levels. Arguably up to IM level.

Ergo, psycho tricks (Jedi Mind tricks) works against the weak minded. The answer is not there.

Above that its about mental strength, about understanding. When the player learns to control his mind, find a way to control his emotions, to maintain discipline and focus, the psychological tricks do not work anymore. And interestingly psycho tricks works backwards against the exponent when it doesnt work. Have you ever witnessed that? Has anyone ever witnessed a cheap pycho trick winning against a GM in a serious tournament?

Mind coaching is about finding the way to understand deeply what the game of chess is really all about. I think its a path that goes further.

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