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WWB Peer Coaching Program

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About the Program

After first announcing the launch of the WWB Peer Coaching program, we received a huge response from women wanting to be part of this program, and several players volunteered as coaches.


We are hoping to bring more coaches into the program to pair with students.


This program is a great way to meet fellow players, practice your game no matter your level,

and hone your skills playing online.

If you'd like to volunteer as a coach or if you want to be paired with a coach to improve your game,

click below and fill in the requested information. 

   A Little History of the Peer Coaching Program


In the November 2023 WWB Newsletter, we featured the story of Adam Grant who recounted in his recent bookHidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things, how a Harlem chess team became National Chess Champions in two short years. With the help of Maurice Ashley, a Jamaican immigrant chess champion, students reviewed each others' games and worked together to take their game to a higher level. We urged women backgammon players to learn from their example.

 Find a peer coach. Practice on Heroes Using Consultation Mode. Identify and Correct Your Mistakes. Support Each Other.

How to Participate

  • Over two dozen women have told us they would like a peer coach and a handful have noted their willingness to be a coach. We need more volunteer coaches! It involves spending an hour a week playing a student on using its Consultation Match feature and helping them see the leading options for plays. After the play, the Consultation Match mode on Heroes lets the student and coach know if the right decision has been made! It's that easy!

  • Watch the video where Melanie Hughes and Karen Davis demonstrate how a peer coach can help a student learn using Heroes' Consultation Match feature. We hope everyone will gain confidence that they can volunteer to be a peer coach without being a grandmaster!

  • You'll also enjoy learning about Melanie Hughes's journey from raw beginner to strong intermediate in three short years. She decided to learn one new activity every year. Three years ago she picked learning backgammon; a few weeks ago she finished third in the New York Metropolitan Backgammon Open Intermediate division with almost 100 entrants! Her secret – reading backgammon books, taking lessons, playing Doubles with excellent partners. She and her backgammon partner Jerry Shea won the 2022 Sunny Florida Doubles, defeating Michy Kageyama and Kazuko Numazawa in the final. Recently she's been using a Peer Coach, Jacob Atie from Panama, using Heroes Consultation Match Mode.

  • Karen Davis, co-founder of WWB, and an American Backgammon Hall of Famer;  Giant of Backgammon-64; and BMAB Master Class 2 relates how being a Peer Coach has taken her own Performance Rating (PR) to a new level.

  • Karen says being a Peer Coach has benefitted her own game:  She notes:

  • Best way to learn is to teach someone; start by having student:

    • Identify all the key choices, good to get into this habit; biggest source of mistakes is never seeing the right choice

    • Articulate reasons why one play is preferable

    • Coach then comments and notes the importance that race, game plan, opponent’s position, and match score make in determining the right play

    • E,g, May not be right to run last back checker with a 6-5  if behind in the race (if behind in the race, don’t race)

  • Best way to learn is by analyzing your own errors/blunders

  • And I make my fair share of mistakes!

  • Discipline of setting aside one hour at a given time every week forces me to take the time to have this free lesson that benefits both the student and the coach

  • Great feeling when you see the student progress and take pleasure in their growing mastery of the game


What Peer Coach Can Do

  • Help student identify all key options

  • Think about the pros and cons of each

  • Review when Heroes flags a miskake – why was right play the right play

  • See how game plan, race, opponent’s board, and match score affect right play

  • Encourage students, cheer them on, take a genuine interest in their results in competitive play


Steps to Peer Coaching

  • Fix a time each week to play; can set a trial period (e.g. one month, three months, and then reassess on-going value and other commitments); understand upfront that some weeks won’t be able to make it, will let each other know when that is the case

  • Talk on phone or by Zoom while play

  • Find out how they are feeling about their game

  • Both players set up to play match on Heroes (may want to invite student to be a friend)

  • Set up a 3 or 5 point match

  • No clock

  • Consultation mode

  • Challenge to a match

  • Follow what student wants – wait for them to mention all plays and make decision before commenting vs just play

  • If Heroes analysis says error/blunder, explain why

  • Recognize good plays (brilliancies – don’t just focus on mistakes)

  • Suggest what student can do to keep improving – free lessons available, free online tournaments, YouTube videos to watch, Heroes Private DataBase/Training tracks​

If you'd like to volunteer as a coach or if you want to be paired with a coach to improve your game,

click below and fill in the requested information. 

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