OK, we were scared–at first! We knew we were venturing into new bridge territory. We realized it’s ok to be a little afraid because you can’t be brave or courageous without a little fear. As adult learners, it takes ambition as well as courage to delve into the unknown.
So we have a few tips we have learned on this marvellous venture that have proven golden, well “silver” for us so far, if you are counting ACBL points.
Tip #1: Choose your bridge partner with care. If you don’t share common goals and values, you could be heading for a rocky bridge divorce. In our case, we both love the game. We determined we both wanted to improve our skills and we carved out regular times to make that happen. The most important part of a good bridge relationship is respect and kindness every step of the way. Never point out your partner’s mistakes and she will never point out yours. If it is evident there is a storm brewing, discuss future strategies in private. Fortunately for us, respect and kindness comes easy
Tip #2: Breathe and laugh! Remember, it is only a game. Enjoy your time with your partner and fellow players. Have some fun and remember to laugh at yourself. When you become frustrated, and you will, remember Tip #1.
Tip #3: You are not going to make every contract. You are going to go down, some days more than others. A kind veteran of the game told us many times “If you never go down you are obviously not bidding as often as you should.” Even experts go down, miss slams and screw up in general. Move on! It happens! Some of our best learning comes from our mistakes.
Tip #4: Persevere–play as often as you can. Read bridge books, Like and Follow http://www.thebridgeguru.com, play Bridge Base On-Line and listen to expert players who kindly offer suggestions to improve your game. The veterans of the game truly enjoy seeing new faces at the bridge club. Some expert players may agree to mentor you–don’t hesitate to ask.
Tip #5: Don’t high five at the table when you make that impossible contract –save your triumphs for a private moment so your opponents can save face.
Our experience has been, the more we play, the more comfortable we get and hence the more we want to play! That’s how we realized it’s not that scary after all!