Academy of Fencing Masters Blog

Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Month: October 2014 (Page 1 of 2)

Starting your Fencing Bout with a Clear Mind: Using Stress to your Advantage

If you’re an athlete, you’ve been there before. The big match is starting in just a few minutes. Your mind is racing. You see your opponent practicing and begin to worry. Is he better than I am? Am I going to lose? I haven’t been practicing as hard I should have been. What if I fail? Before you know it, you’ve spent the time you should have been using to visualize a win instead worrying about a loss.

These thoughts are completely normal and everyone has them at one time or another. But what if you could control those thoughts? What if you could stop them completely? Well, the truth is, you can.

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Fencing Strip Coaching: Maximizing your coach’s time and input

Strip Coaching - Coach Alexandr and Taly Yukelson at Fencing Summer Nationals 2014 in Columbus, Ohio

Strip Coaching – Coach Alexandr Maximovich and Taly Yukelson at Fencing Summer Nationals 2014

In a previous post, we covered the philosophy behind strip coaching and how to manage your expectations as to whether or not you will have strip coaching at any given bout. When you do have your coach at your bout, you want to be able to take full advantage of the opportunity. The best way to do that is to be prepared ahead of time by communicating expectations and also creating a protocol for competition day to inform your coach where and when you’re competing. Creating a protocol is especially important for big regional or national competitions with multiple concurrent events in many weapons.

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Fencing Strip Coaching: Insight into the coach’s philosophy

Coach explains few points to his fencer during a bout

Coach explains few points to his fencer during a bout

In the top ranks of competitive fencing, the distinction between the best and the greatest is slight. Often the highest rated fencing bouts are determined by two or fewer points and a small change in momentum can make all the difference. At these high levels, the role of your fencing coach during your bouts can be vital. Of course, if you’re competing at this level, you probably already understand the majority of the points in this post. On the other hand, if you’re not yet coming home with high stakes medals, this post is intended to help you understand the true purpose of strip coaching and to manage your expectations. We will follow up with a second post on maximizing the impact of strip coaching in your bouts.

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Keeping Kids Active after Summer Sports: Soccer season is ending, now what?

Fencing Demo at elementary school Walk-a-Thon

Fencing Demo at elementary school Walk-a-Thon

Young children often participate in a summer sport. Parents want to keep their children busy and active while school is out, so it’s a great time to try new things, go to camps, or pick up a new activity. I know that many young athletes in the San Francisco Bay Area play soccer during the summer. But what about when that activity ends? Do you think your child would benefit from a sports activity during the school year, too?

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Checklist for Fencing Competition “Base Camp” from Experienced Parents

Fencing parents base camp during competition

Fencing parents base camp during competition

Fencing competitions can be great fun for the fencer and the family. As with many things in life, the way to get the most enjoyment is to be prepared. Put in the work ahead of time and you can enjoy the day. We’ve written previous posts on what to bring, what to eat, and preparing your child mentally if you’re headed to your first competition. Today we want to go a step further and talk about creating a “base camp” for both you and your fencer (and anyone else you bring along!).

What do we mean by that? You can bring a set of items and find a small space at the venue to “set up camp.” That way your fencer will feel more at home, feel more settled, and have a predetermined space to relax. However, just as important, you will have a place to relax and feel settled. Fencing competitions can last anywhere from 2-3 hours or go for the entire day—from 7 am until late evening. Don’t you want a place to sit and take a breath? Read a book or do a crossword puzzle?

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