16:41; 10 March 2014 by GS Jade Barrett, CsbNews correspondent
“The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards” – Anatole France
One of the benefits of exposing play of the hand techniques to the uninitiated is the expression they adopt when they successfully take their first finesse – though to be fair, the sense of accomplishment experienced by a Declarer of any level upon the positive conclusion of a difficult hand never grows old.
Even the most routine card play seems like magic to those who are beginning their journey, and many of them express disbelief that they will ever master the easiest of suit combinations only to think nothing of handling this position a few weeks hence.
As bridge educators, we are charged with easing our charges into the bridge world, however we are not responsible for how well they play when they compete. Our goal needs to be to provide them a base that will allow them to function and socialize, recognizing that the game is always rewarding, but not always fun. To draw back the veil of the mysteries of the game, exposing its wondrous challenges while introducing the concepts that allow these young athletes to tackle the same.
We are also accountable for telling them that there are goals they may set for themselves, to strive towards excellence, for it is obtainable in a sport where every athlete starts with essentially even talents – that people may think at different speeds, but that they all can achieve the solution to the problems they face. It is also important for us as Educators to recognize that there are many pathways to the correct answer, and that we often do not know all of them.
I am prepared to challenge the line of reasoning, but not an individual’s personal thought process, for they are rarely able to express every single consideration they made on the road to the correct answer, and if they consistently calculate their way to a positive outcome, who am I to become a obstacle to overcome.