When it comes to being the parent of a fencer, everyone wants to see their child win the match. That sounds simple and straightforward, but in reality it’s not so easy to know how to give your child that support.
The first thing parents need to realize is that the key is to ENCOURAGE your child in fencing, NOT TO PUSH your child into getting better at the sport. The difference is that encourage is allowing the motivation to spring from inside your child, where pushing your child is forcing your will onto them. The goal of sports is to develop good qualities in our children that will long outlive the time that they spend actually playing the sport!
Poor sport parenting puts undue pressure and stress on kids. It’s counterproductive as it leaves children not liking fencing, being burdened with feelings of failure, and taking negative feelings into other parts of their lives. What parents give to kids while they’re training on the strip stays with them well beyond.
If you want your child to come out of their fencing experience as a winner, (by winning we mean feeling good about themselves and having a healthy attitude towards competition, NOT that they get a bunch of medals), then they need YOUR HELP! You are a central, critical, important part of the athlete-coach-parent team that is what makes fencing work.
Keep in mind that no one wins unless everyone wins. These dozen tactics will help fencing parents to become more skilled in youth fencing, because there is no handbook for fencing parents that’s got all of the answers!