Fencing isn’t for everyone. We don’t assume that it is, and we don’t expect anyone to stay with it should they figure out that it’s not their thing. But how can you know that it’s not your thing? When is the right time to quit fencing? How do you know that you’re quitting for the right reasons?
There is a very simple answer to this: quit fencing only when you’re winning.
What? Isn’t the whole thing that if your child isn’t winning in fencing, then it’s time to let it go? NO! Not a all. If your child is losing in fencing, if they’re constantly struggling, then that’s the time to dig in and stick it out. It might not be that they don’t like fencing, it might be that they don’t like losing. Which is a fair thing to not like! (It’s a fair thing not to like fencing as well, we don’t judge.)
There are all kinds of reasons why it’s a bad idea to give up when you are knocked down, but the words of Rocky Balboa stick with me when I think about quitting when you’re losing.
“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.“ – Rocky Balboa
If you quit while you’re behind, you’re robbing yourself of your ability to get back up again. That goes for letting your child quit when they’re behind too. This is a solid bit of wisdom that great fencing parents know, and it’s a bit of advice that we’ve seen in action right in our own club.