As chess coaches, one of the primary activities we do in student management is defining student groups or batches. We combine students into groups/batches because it becomes easier to distinguish them.
And most commonly, we do this based on their skill level (such as Beginners, Intermediates, Advanced, etc.) or based on their day/time of attending classes (for example: Monday Batch, Evening Batch, Morning Batch, etc.).
1) Going beyond groups, forming teams!
Most of us would settle at forming student groups and batches and wouldn’t go beyond that. One way to go a step further is forming teams.
Why form teams?
While forming student groups/batches helps you in student management (more towards the administrative side), forming teams enables you to drive your students in a much more effective way.
2) Activities that enable teams
Here are some interesting activities that you can use to enable and engage your academy teams.
a) Climb the ladder
The ladder competition is another intra-team format, where players within teams will be sorted based on their ratings/level, like a ladder. Players can challenge someone above them on the ladder, and if they win, they move to that player’s spot. The competition can end after a certain number of rounds.
b) Team tournaments
This is probably the simplest way to engage your academy teams – conducting team tournaments.
The rules are simple:
- Players will play a normal Swiss format tournament
- Players within the same team won’t be paired against each other.
- A team’s score is the total points scored by the top-3 players of that team.
- The team that scores the most points wins the tournament.
See how you can conduct team tournaments for your academy with Chesslang – LINK.
c) Simul with the coach
Playing simultaneous chess with your academy teams is a great way to boost their team spirit. As a coach, you will play simul chess against each team (one team at a time). The team that loses the least number of games wins. This way, you encourage every player in a team to give their best for their team to succeed.
d) Quad – Who is the best within the teams?
The Quad format is a great way to conduct intra-team tournaments. Form teams of 4 players each and encourage them to play within their teams to find who is the best.
e) It need not always be about chess
It’s not just about chess, but you can also engage your academy teams with other fun activities. Pictionary, Two Truths and a Lie, Chinese Whispers, Word Building, and you can find tons of other ideas on the Internet.
3) Naming teams
Let’s admit it – the standard way of naming teams like Team-A, Team-B, and so on, is boring. Below are some examples of cool team names that kids would probably love a lot better:
- Thinking Tigers
- Mighty Magicians
- Growing Cats
- The Rook Riders
- Blooming Bishops
- Mountain Movers
- Pawn Pirates
- The Giant Kings
- Brainy Bishops
- Talented Tyrants
- Forking Fighters
- Patriotic Panthers
- Wise Warriors
- Rapid Ragers
- Mighty Dragons
- Checkmating Cheetahs
- Super Explorers
- Lethal Queens
- Raging Rooks
Can you think of better cool team names? Feel free to share them in the comments.
4) Benefits of forming teams
Let’s discuss some of the benefits of forming academy teams!
1. Increased sense of belonging and inclusiveness
Your students would feel more included among other students of your academy. When being a part of a team, something that gives them a strong identity, they would enjoy the group activities a lot more. It strongly inculcates the idea of “oneness”.
2. High engagement levels
Students often get a lot excited when they are put in a team. When we add the element of competition, they become more enthusiastic and engaged to achieve their goals, as a team. Be it winning a tournament or performing well in a quiz/puzzle battle.
|Did you know: In Chesslang, you can create student groups as teams and conduct team tournaments. Click here to learn more.|
3. Encourages team spirit
When we talk about competitions and battles, team spirit plays an important role. It is the feeling of loyalty and pride among the team members. It encourages them to trust each other, communicate better, understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately perform well.
4. Helps in learning mutual respect and trust
They will learn how to celebrate victories as a team and also how to not put the blame on someone else in case of defeats. Win or loss, it goes to the team. This non-judgemental space will help students learn to respect and trust each other in their team.
5. Builds leadership qualities
Forming teams opens doors for building leadership qualities as there will be team leaders or captains who would focus on keeping the team’s spirit high and help them achieve their goals.
Conclusion – the next step
Most chess academies will have student groups, but not teams. Now that you know the importance of having teams and different ways to engage them, it’s now time for action – form your academy teams, name them, engage them with different activities, and most importantly, let us know about your experience. Good luck!