To be competitive in fencing or any other sport you need to train and train hard. Sports are not only physically challenging, but also mentally challenging. So imagine you are a competitive fencing student in high school. You stay up late studying for a test, wake up early the next morning, go to a full day of classes that include Math, Literature, Physics, and also Physical Education (PE), then after school you head to your fencing club for training. A competitive fencer often has group lessons, private lessons, footwork sessions, and physical fitness training—all in one week. Then come Saturday they head out of town to compete. Sounds pretty grueling, doesn’t it?
Month: October 2014
If you’re new to fencing, you’ve probably heard about fencer ratings from coaches, other parents, or even on Facebook pages—and now you’re wondering how they apply to your child. Well, in short, if you’re brand new, they probably don’t apply just yet. If your child is competing or plans to start soon, it’s time to start learning.
First, I want to address something that I consider to be very important. A rating in and of itself is not an effective goal. Fencers who train consistently and compete often will earn their ratings in due time. Your goal should be to be a better fencer, not to chase a rating. If you keep fencing and competing, you will place in a tournament that gets you your first rating, and then the next one, and the next one. Focus on your craft because that is within your control.
The best and most successful athletes usually have a keen self-awareness of their skills and areas for improvement. You can best utilize your strengths when you can clearly identify them, and you can best improve by understanding where you’re weakest. Every athlete has areas they can improve and being honest with yourself is the best first step to getting better.
A great way to track your progress and maintain awareness is by keeping a fencing journal. Buy a new notebook and keep it with your fencing gear. After every practice or competition, take time to reflect. You can write just a few notes one day and a whole page the next, it’s up to you!