Mentee Bill Zousmer and his mentor, Pandy Huff, take on Brill Key and Bob Ainsworth
It Takes a Bridge Club
How could strong intermediate players improve their games? One answer that the Petoskey Duplicate Bridge Club wants to explore is by partnering with much more experienced hands. As a result, the board has approved a trial program of mentoring that will run through September.
The trial run got started Thursday August 4, with Bill Zousmer partnered with Pandy Huff while, Ann Zousmer, his regular partner in the 199er game, teamed with Linda Roberts.
Before the game started, the new mentor-mentee teams put together convention cards reflecting Ann and Bill's regular style of play. They discussed what new bidding and defensive skills the Zousmers want to build, and those will slowly be added to the partnership agreements.
After the game, the foursome reviewed printouts of the game hands, going over opportunities that were either seized or missed in the day's play. One of the provisions of the program is that instruction doesn't take place at the table, because it could be distracting to opponents and would cut down on the time to play the actual boards.
Another mentor-mentee partnership will be formed shortly, according to club vice-president Pam Ziegel. Nationally, ACBL has strongly endorsed such mentoring programs and many clubs have used them for years, particularly to assist strong intermediates achieve their lifemasterships. Our Unit 195 association for Western Michigan helps subsidize the table fees for the mentor players, whose goal for the session is to teach rather than to compete for masterpoints .
Our mentors and mentee will play together at least twice a month in August and September. At the end, they will submit an evaluation to the board to help it decide on whether to start a broader program next year.
Mentee Ann Zousmer and her mentor, Linda Roberts, ponder their hands against Dale Freeman and Susie Kett (not shown).