Recently I talked with the mom of one of our fencers about her son’s progress in his fencing skills. In particular we discussed his need to complement his fencing training sessions and conditioning at the club with at-home exercises. Good athletes know that you can’t focus solely on the skill of the sport; you must also condition your body to be physically ready to allow you to compete at your best. Most clubs incorporate some conditioning into fencing training, but the best athletes know that self-training is part of the game.
This mom let me know that, as is typical of many teenagers, her son was having difficulty staying on a regular schedule with at-home exercises. Parents know that it’s hard enough to get our kids to do their homework, let alone add another responsibility to the hectic week of a teenager. Of course, having the self-discipline to keep up with personal training is difficult for everybody, not only teenagers—even for world-class athletes! It’s one thing to exercise when your coach is watching and a completely different thing to motivate yourself when you’re on your own.