Yesterday I sat in my favourite coffee shop in Southend, waiting for my clinical supervision and drinking some great coffee while doing a good amount of people watching. On one table near me sat a man who was probably in his 80’s with a chess board in front of him. Over the 2 hours I was there I watched him offer games to any person who walked into this cafe.
He didn’t know these people but time after time he would offer. In his time he had 3 games with different people. He won every game.
As he sat with every person he would speak to them about their moves. coaching them, challenging them questioning them. He would make them stop and encourage them to open their eyes to the whole board. I watched as each person would have several Ahhh moments when they would then see something that had been there all along. At which point he smiled and let them make their moves. Yet he would still win every game. He never showed anyone how to beat him.
After each game he would take each person through where they went wrong, what they could have done better and sent them on their way.
This was mentoring in action. It was beautiful to watch but what stuck me the most was what he told every person after they left. It was encouraging and positive and I loved it. So today I wanted to share it with you:
Practice is everything: if your bad you’ll get better, if you’re good you’ll get great
There is a sense of always moving forward. That if you choose to repeat something enough you will improve.