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A Mentoring Program with a Twist

A Mentoring Program with a Twist

     As we all know, it is not easy to develop long term mentoring programs with experienced players giving back to the bridge community on a regular basis. We believe that Honors has found the “niche” that works.

     Three to four times a year, Honors hosts Pro-Ams that we believe are unique to our club. They are also among the most anticipated events on the Honors Bridge Club calendar. We run these Pro-Ams with a twist. It’s the twist that makes this event as much fun for the Pros as they are for the Ams.

     You see we don’t run a Pro-Am duplicate, we run a “Pro-Am-Am-Am” team event. It works like this:

     Each team is made up of one Life Master Captain (the “Pro”) and not one, but three, Non-Life Master developing players (the “Ams”). The teams are ranked and then bracketed by the total number of Master Points of the three NLM’s. Each team plays three rounds of eight boards per round against other teams in their bracket. The Captains all sit North at their home tables and play a full match with each of their three Ams.

 

This type of Pro-Am presents the same wonderful mentoring opportunities for the NLM’s as traditional Pro-Ams. Ams get the benefit of playing with and against Pros on every board throughout the evening. The pros like it because they get to partner with three up and coming players and get to teach solid Swiss Team tactics to all three Ams at their table each match. The event’s organizer likes it because it dramatically reduces the strain to find a Pro for each Am.

 

     We hold these games on Sunday evenings. We include dinner, then we ply everyone with lots of wine (the secret ingredient), with cheese, fruit, desserts, and every New Yorker’s favorite, pigs in a blanket. The key to our event’s success was in finding and keeping just the right person to handle all the details, all the organizational work. We’ve been extraordinarily lucky. These events average close to forty teams each.

     Once a year we hold a “thank you” event for the Pros and the partners of their choice. Both play as our guests. Dinner, with wine and hors d’oeuvres, round out the evening.

 

     What is so beneficial and gratifying about this event is at every level the players are “paying it forward” and every time we run another Pro-Am new players participate and many times, former Ams, who have since become LMs, return as Captains. What more can one ask for?

 

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