Classes start soon

So, there are no real discussions as yet, so I thought I would get the ball rolling.

My shedule has now been finished and published for a group of improvers. See:
http://www.bridgewebs.com/nulbc/Improvers Syllabus.pdf
for details

I am introducing some new topics this year... transfers, weak 2s, 2 suited overcalls, defence against SAYC and Precision for examples.

These are topics that I have avoided in the past but decided to go for it this year.

Anyone else trying something new this year?

Comments

  • To be honest it is all new. We are starting sessions next week for beginners and the week after for Fasttrack. We are trying to build up the club we play at and not make a profit. So far it is all off our "own bat" but we chose that way I think the club will help us out but we didn't want to . We don't have any premises so that is our main cost. Until about a week ago we were on the edge of making a loss. So as a start up it is nerve racking before you have time to even think about what you will teach. We are close to thinking will that be too many for us to cope with on our first venture for fast track, we might have 7 so 2 more and it will be awkward.

    Add to that that we recently retired, joined a club committee, both joined the County committee took up directing and now treasurer stress is the last thing either of us want. However, we felt that if we didn't we wouldn't be playing bridge in a few years time.

    So to finish, I admire anyone that just tries anything.

  • @Martin said:
    So, there are no real discussions as yet, so I thought I would get the ball rolling.

    My shedule has now been finished and published for a group of improvers. See:
    http://www.bridgewebs.com/nulbc/Improvers Syllabus.pdf
    for details

    I am introducing some new topics this year... transfers, weak 2s, 2 suited overcalls, defence against SAYC and Precision for examples.

    These are topics that I have avoided in the past but decided to go for it this year.

    Anyone else trying something new this year?

    Martin,
    Great programme with intro of good topics. I may have put 2 suited overcalls after Simple overcalls, and I may have put jump overcall after I had done Weak 2 openings!

    Good luck with programme. I tend to introduce new stuff at Learning Weekends, have been asked to do Checkback for example.
    Douglas

  • @Chaz said:
    To be honest it is all new. We are starting sessions next week for beginners and the week after for Fasttrack. We are trying to build up the club we play at and not make a profit. So far it is all off our "own bat" but we chose that way I think the club will help us out but we didn't want to . We don't have any premises so that is our main cost. Until about a week ago we were on the edge of making a loss. So as a start up it is nerve racking before you have time to even think about what you will teach. We are close to thinking will that be too many for us to cope with on our first venture for fast track, we might have 7 so 2 more and it will be awkward.

    Add to that that we recently retired, joined a club committee, both joined the County committee took up directing and now treasurer stress is the last thing either of us want. However, we felt that if we didn't we wouldn't be playing bridge in a few years time.

    So to finish, I admire anyone that just tries anything.

    Chaz,
    Where are you doing your Fast Track?
    Douglas

  • I am really interested in running a fast track session at some point, so I will watch this space.

    The reason for the overcalls in that order is that I will start with doubles being a 3 suited overcall... then 2 suited overcalls and finally single suited overcalls.

    This is the first time that I'm trying it this way. Previously overcalls were done around February and doubles later... i wanted competitive auctions involved much sooner this year.

    @Chaz i too like to see people giving things a go and getting stuck in, so i like to support them best I can.
  • We are doing the fasttrack in Devizes Wiltshire. We will be based in community centre. We have heard that Fasttrack can be difficult. Personally I think it is all about the "student" and how they learn (audio/visual/practical) it will be awkward if their way of learning has the full spread . We have 7 for our first attempt (12 weeks @ 2.5 hours per session) and another four lined up for a second session. However, we have allowed ourselves extra time in case there is a drop off and we need more time to get some points over.

    Martin - you say you want competitive auctions in sooner. How have the students reacted to the competitive auction previously? Does it affect their basic bidding in that they become reticent to open knowing that they might be out bid?

    By the way Lisa at EBU has been great (panic we need more books).

    Chaz

  • I start by telling them to be aggressive, both in their opens and overcalls :)
    Essentially in the past they would get very tied up with remembering point ranges for various bids for 4 or 5 months of non-competitive auctions... so overcalling with 9 points strikes fear.
    Most of my improvers are playing in the club and they see that they are being 'bullied' out of contracts, so there is a hunger from them to learn and do better.
    So, I am really hopeful that they will get it and see the benefits.

    Time will tell but I am really looking forward to it.
  • Martin you have said "Michaels" and "unusual 2NT" for 2 suited overcalls. Just wondered if Michaels was prevelant in your area? Locally some have, and are, converted to E(Extreme) L(Lowest) H (Highest) and we have always played Modified Ghestem (Using C(Colour) R(Rank) O(Other). I have been unable to find out the "preferred" option for standard English Acol. Do you know? Just wondered if it might be too "exotic" for the first couple of years.

    Chaz

  • @Chaz
    This was very much a personal choice... I despise CRO and really like Michaels. It was one of the things that those that completed the beginner's course last year and started to play in the club, really sruggle with.
    My focus is not just, do this, but rather understanding why it works and how to play against it.
    We have a really mixed standard and variety of systems for our more social and relaxed sessions. The beginners stuggle with unusual systems as they lack a lot of the bridge sense and understanding. This year I want to build on their basic knowledge to give more understanding and tactics.
    So, part of the reason for Michaels is the preference for the majors and is relatively easy to remember (not just in class but also at the table in the heat of battle). With CRO, 3C is so often bid incorrectly or missed by partner as to be a problem.
    However Michaels introduces the 2 suited overcall principles and so their understanding should be better and they should cope better when others use other systems.
    I really dont like the idea of simple system sessions as it futher isolates the newer players and creates a false barrier that has to be broken down later.
    I actively encourage q&a in my sessions and when i play in the club, this is a topic of interest to the players, so I felt it important to cover it off more formally with hamd outs etc (I have not eritten this none yet)
  • Thanks Martin

    I agree your points on tactics, Q&A and simple system sessions. We used CRO because we did Roman Blackwood (CRO) so it was second nature. We are ok with ELH and Michaels.

    Interesting info.

    Best wishes
    Chaz

  • @Chaz said:
    We are doing the fasttrack in Devizes Wiltshire. We will be based in community centre. We have heard that Fasttrack can be difficult. Personally I think it is all about the "student" and how they learn (audio/visual/practical) it will be awkward if their way of learning has the full spread . We have 7 for our first attempt (12 weeks @ 2.5 hours per session) and another four lined up for a second session. However, we have allowed ourselves extra time in case there is a drop off and we need more time to get some points over.

    Martin - you say you want competitive auctions in sooner. How have the students reacted to the competitive auction previously? Does it affect their basic bidding in that they become reticent to open knowing that they might be out bid?

    By the way Lisa at EBU has been great (panic we need more books).

    Chaz

    Its great to hear you are all embracing Fast Track... I cant wait to learn of your success stories. Please share them with me. I'll second Lisa at EBED is great... after all she is the glue that holds us all together!! :-)

  • Well, my class went down well... transfers sorted (well, mainly sorted as it night take a bit of time for it all to sink in for everyone)

    One really good point that everyone loved, was that the double of the transfer bid wad lead directing. So I would recommend teaching that when teaching transfers.
  • Hi Claire

    Not sure embracing is the quite the right word, more like "cuddling".

    Good one Martin.

    We did our first "beginners" yesterday and were very pleased with those attending. Let us hope that it continues. First Fast Track next Thgursday.

    best wishes
    Chaz

  • Well, up to week 6 beginners (only 4) and week 5 Fasttrack(10). The beginners (B) are steady but asking "searching" questions which we have to "bat" into the future. It is the same with Fasttrack(FT) but they all like playing with the cards. All a bit frightened to bid to their full HCP holding. We have included using bidding boxes with bids and passes only, annoucing 12 to 14 for both groups but no explaination and they seem to love it. Got them counting their cards face down and have now explained( not very detailed) the stop card to the FT (do people really hesitate?). They of course have no concept of time yet. Very tiring and hard work preparing hands/quizzes and structure for each lesson. Have found that quizzes are good because we give them a page of simple questions. (HCP's, response to various opening bids and partnership points range) will give them about 10 mins (only quiet time) and then give them the answers on another sheet so that they can take them home to study/look at. We also try to do several boards for play and give them a quick outline of the bidding and a bit of a stratagy for the play. I made one mistake on one board but admitted it the next week. They found it amusing. I have also found that the flip chart with hands written on is a good friend, even done on the spur of the moment.
    Have found that some on the FT that "know" about bridge, don't actually know that much. That is disappointing for us but also for the people as it does "deflate" them a bit and we are careful about "pointing" them in the right direction.
    I think 12 lessons for FT is very optomistic particularly for those coming back after 20+ years away.

    So a couple of days off and then ---- prepare for next week!! I am retired and don't have much spare time now. How did i fit in work!! lol

    Best wishes
    Chaz

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