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Coaching program update

As promised, I'm posting some end-of-year comments on the coaching program that Unit 361 ran this year. See for the last post on this topic.

As I see it, the coaching program was not very successful. Some number of coach/coachee matchups never got started, even though the coaches reached out more than once, and I think that most did not complete. This is my impression only -- we haven't collected any data.


  • Trying to coordinate games with a pair and a coach was much harder than one pair (as in the previous mentor program).
  • Going against advice, the committee decided to establish no minimum masterpoint requirement. We had a few people who had no duplicate experience at all, no partner, no understanding of how to approach the game. This opened the program up to random impulse behavior on the part of people who happened to see the signup sheet. Also, the coaches did not sign up to teach bridge, only to coach.

It's also my impression that the structure of the coaching program was harder for people to grasp.

At the same time, I have heard from a couple of coachees that they really appreciated it.

So ... bottom line is that you can offer a program and you can try to make it as useful as possible, but you can't force anything. The program depended on the coachees to be proactive.


Some ideas that we've had over the three or four years of this effort:

  • Have a mentor/mentee game at a sectional. We did this and it was very good.
  • Have a mentor/mentee game at a club, and make it a party. We haven't done this.
  • Build follow-up (phone, email) into the relationship. We haven't done this.

So there you have it. We tried. (As you can tell, I'm feeling a little disappointed.)

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