Academy of Fencing Masters Blog

Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Aiming High: How to Make Long Range Fencing Goals that Work

Aiming High How to Make Long Range Fencing Goals that WorkBig dreams take serious goal making and a great deal of patience in order to get there. Putting things on a calendar or jotting down what you want to make happen aren’t enough to create the success that many young people and their families are looking for when they step into a fencing club. Those big goals – the really high ones like dreams of competing at Summer Nationals or even the Olympics – will stay out of reach without strategic and sensible goals.

But how do you start?

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Fencing, Exercise and Procrastination

fencing exercise and procrastinationI’ll get to exercising tomorrow.

Well, maybe next week, I’m not feeling so great this week.

I’ve been so busy this month, I just haven’t gotten around to it.

I’ll start exercising this summer after competition season when things settle down.

It’s something that I know I do – procrastinate. When there’s something that we don’t want to do, or that just doesn’t seem so important, we put it off. Procrastinating doesn’t make you a bad person, and it doesn’t mean that you’re going to fail at life. What it does mean is that you’re going to miss opportunities and that you’re going to feel even more pressure and stress. In the moment, it almost always feels good to procrastinate. That’s why we do it. But in the long term it always feels worse.

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Fencing Masks and Claustrophobia – What You Can Do About It

Fencing Masks and ClaustrophobiaHow can you fence if you can’t wear a fencing mask?

A real world story of fencing mask claustrophobia

We once had a little boy, an eleven year old in our beginner fencing class. For a couple of years he’d asked parents to find him a fencing club because he absolutely loved Star Wars and swords. He was thrilled to come and finally try fencing! On the day of his first lesson, when we instruct kids about fencing rules, safety and teach footwork, he was just super excited and really happy. He asked when he would start actually fencing, excited to dig in. He came to the first lesson, and then to the second lesson when he was standing holding his breath.

When we dressed all the kids up for the first time, he started to shake and screamed : “You put ME INSIDE THE MASK!” Not an opposite – you put the mask on me – he described it in his own words as though it was like he was inside the tiny mask and he was scared. That day his parents realized for the first time that he had claustrophobic attack.

Spoiler alert – the little boy learned to deal with it and continued to fence! Read on to find out what we did to help.

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Qualification and Eligibility for Div2 and Div3 Summer Nationals

Qualification and Eligibility for Div2 and Div3 Summer NationalsWe all know that the qualification process in competitive fencing can be a bit of a challenge to understand. Clarity is SO important! There is never a question that you could ask that’s a silly one, nor is there ever a time in this process when we should stop asking questions. It’s far better to put it out there so that you can know exactly what’s going on than to miss out on something because you’re too afraid to ask.

In that spirit, let’s dig in and clarify some common questions surrounding the qualification and eligibility for Division 2 and Division 3 for the 2016 Summer Nationals competition.

What happens if you move up in rating AFTER you qualify?

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A Fencing Parent’s Guide to Grooming an Elite Athlete

A Fencing Parent's Guide to Grooming an Elite AthleteWhere does greatness come from? Does it come from natural talent? Or the right teacher? Or a hearty work ethic?

The truth is that greatness doesn’t come from any one thing. As parents, we want to give our children the best and most opportunities that we can. And that’s a tough job. Not only are we responsible for teaching them, nurturing them and giving them a loving environment, but parents of athletes also find themselves being charged to motivate, train and guide their children through the challenges of high level performance.

The challenges

The pitfalls are many when it comes to parenting an elite athlete, but keep in mind that you aren’t in this alone. There is guidance, and there are solutions for many of the problems that feel overwhelming. We’re going to lay out some of the common challenges that parents of elite fencers face, then give you guidance for how to address them.

Tough Questions

Youth sport is more and more complex and competitive all the time. As fencers, we are confident in our sport and excited by the nurturing that we feel from the community. But that doesn’t mean that it’s easy, or that we as parents don’t constantly think about the challenges that we feel and whether we are doing the right things.

Here are a few questions that we find ourselves as parents asking:

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