No one likes to lose, but it happens. It’s important to face this reality head on when it comes to parenting an athlete. Your child winning their first fencing competition is not impossible, but it’s very unlikely. As a matter of fact, your child may not win a bout their entire first season. That’s quite common with first-year fencers, especially if they start in a more advanced youth category, such as Y14 and even Y12. The “wins” will come slowly as your child starts scoring a few points, and then more points, always getting closer to that first real win.
Ultimately, your child will have to learn to deal with loss on their own: you can’t do it for them as much as you’d like to. Like I said in a recent post, when helping your children cope with loss in the moment, “… it’s more about what you shouldn’t do rather than what you should do.” Well, when setting expectations, I think there’s a bit more room for active parenting in that you can help your child learn that it’s not always about winning and that achievements take hard work and sometimes slow progress.