What is an opponent? When a fencer is battling another fencer for points, what is the emotional level that they should be at? How much of the “enemy” is a fencing opponent?
Category: Coaching (Page 1 of 8)
Practicing at your fencing club with classes and private lessons are the best way to progress forward in fencing, but working out at home is something that many students ask us about. There are some great techniques for working on specific fencing skills right from home.
One thing that we do want to emphasize here is that many of these skills are NOT good to practice at home for beginners. ALWAYS talk to your fencing coach before starting any home practice routine, as you could find yourself reinforcing bad techniques. If you practice footwork incorrectly a thousand times at home, you’re going to have a hard time breaking those habits. Make sure you’re doing any technique correctly before practicing it at home.
A final major consideration is space. The last thing you want to do is to knock things over or break things when you’re doing fencing practice. A large open space is a critical part of home fencing practice. Inside the house is completely possible, as long as the room is big enough to prevent a foil, epee, or sabre from hitting anything breakable. A garage is an ideal space – you can set up a home fencing practice area with everything you need.
As fencers, we practice practice practice. More time on the strip – be it in class, in camp, taking lessons, or going to open fencing events, is what fencers are always chasing. The goal is for our fencing to become second nature, for it to be something that we don’t even think about anymore, we just do it.
Something that it’s not uncommon to hear is that fencers find themselves performing better in practice than they do in competition. They might be killing it on the strip when they’re at the club, but once they hit the road and go to compete, they underperform. Why is this? And what can fencers do to help stop this process?
Fencing is a sport of the mind, much much more than it is a sport of the body. We learn early on in fencing to control our minds so that we can control our bodies more effectively on the strip. It’s something that fencing coaches talk about, something that elite fencers focus on.
Keeping that positive outlook is important to all fencers. It’s important on competition day, but it’s arguably more important in the daily grind of fencing practice. A great outlook will make your fencing practice better and thereby your fencing better!
It’s important to remember that a fencing competition is a competition for YOU. When it comes to getting ready, to stepping onto the strip, there’s no one that matters as much as you do in that moment. That means focusing on yourself in the time leading up to the competition, and especially on the day of the competition.
- You owe it to yourself to be in the best shape possible.
- You owe it to your coach to be as focused as possible.
- You owe it to your family to make the most of the support they’ve given you.
- You owe it to your teammates to do the best for your team.
You DESERVE to do your best in fencing competition. It’s not a selfish thing for you as a competitive fencer to do the most you possibly can for you, to put all of your attention on yourself. The fencing community is so full of giving and loving individuals who are passionate about building our fencing community through camaraderie and mutual support. What fencers have to understand is that building community starts with taking care of yourself and performing your best at competition.