It’s that time of year again! Everyone is thinking about the holidays right now as we start to prepare for the wonderful season of giving. The holidays just happen to fall right in the middle of fencing season, which makes it a great time to give the fencer in your life something really special. Here are some ideas for things to give the fencer in your life that will support their passion.
It’s nearly Thanksgiving, and this is a time of year when we start to think about the things that we’re thankful for in our lives. We’re meditating on the good people in our lives and the good things that have happened to us this year. But gratitude isn’t something that we should focus on only once a year, it’s a sensibility and a system of living that we need to bring into our lives all year long.
Gratitude isn’t something you think, it’s something that you live. Practicing gratitude is a proven way for athletes to not only improve their performance, but also for them to improve the quality of their lives as a whole. That’s because fencing is not just the art of the sword, it’s the art of living.
Oftentimes we find that fencers fence fantastically when they are up against very strong opponents, but then when they come up against less advanced fencers they come up short. This is especially true with novice fencers. Why is that?
Without thinking, without overanalyzing, answer this question – “What’s the most important thing in fencing?”
If your answer was “winning the match”, then we need to talk. Though winning is the ultimate goal of any sport, it’s not the driving force behind playing. Winning is not the reason that we play! Yet somewhere along the line, winning became this ultimate, hugely important thing. That’s not just in fencing, it’s something that we see across the board in sports. Everyone seems to think that winning is the thing that’s at the top of the list! The problem is that putting that kind of emphasis on winning is ultimately detrimental to everyone – especially new fencers.
Being a referee is one of the very important ways that a young fencer can learn to master the sport. It’s a fantastic way for young fencers to take on some additional responsibilities and for them to learn more about the sport of fencing. The level of knowledge and understanding that a young fencer gets from refereeing is on a much deeper level than what they’ll get just by fencing!
Calling the rules vs. being called
Young fencers who start refereeing learn to see the game differently. Suddenly it’s not just them against a singular opponent – it’s much more of them seeing the bout of the two fencers as they work against one another. More than anything, refereeing a fencing match gives young fencers perspective. When you’re in a fencing match, especially as a young person, you’re so focused on winning that you can’t see the whole of what’s happening on the strip. A referee, on the other hand, has a much wider perspective than just seeing this one aspect of the strip. This completely changes how a fencer understands fencing!