Being the parent of youth athlete can be extremely tricky business. That’s even more the case for parents who weren’t in highly competitive sports in their own youth but who are now faced with supporting a child who is pursuing the stressful and tangibly electric world of fencing.
There’s an incredibly delicate tightrope that fencing parents have to walk. Encouraging growth without being demeaning, managing expectations without being a pushover, supporting time off while still fostering grit.
Overbearing parenting is a big contributor to kids not wanting to participate in sports in general, and it’s definitely something that we’ve seen in fencing. That has far reaching effects, from holding them back from reaching the highest echelons of the fencing world to preventing them from getting scholarships for college, to even impeding their ability to continue with other activities throughout their personal and professional lives as adults. The most important consideration is that negative relationships surrounding fencing can put a strain on the parent-child relationship in general. It’s critically important that parents recognize how their actions affect their young fencers.
Here are the eleven fencing parenting commandments that all fencing parents should follow.