Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Month: November 2022 Page 1 of 2

AFM Holiday Gift Guide 2022 – Gifts for Fencers by Age

AFM Holiday Gift Guide 2022 - Gifts for Fencers by Age

If you’ve ever struggled to find the right gift for that very special fencer in your life, you’re not alone. Figuring out what to give is a struggle, especially because none of us wants to give a present that will go unused. 

Choosing the right piece of fencing gear, the perfect accessory, or the right add on experience is a challenge, even for the most present fencing parent or fellow fencer. This year, our MEGA HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE is bigger than ever before, with sixty gift ideas!

This year, we’re looking at our annual AFM Holiday Gift Guide from a different perspective and breaking it down by age. Every parent knows that different ages have wildly different needs, and fencers of different ages have different needs as well. We’re taking the guesswork out of finding the right gift for your fencer by giving you the best gifts for all ages! Of course, many of the gift ideas below are cross-generational, so you might want to scroll through the entire collection when looking for something that fits your choice, even if it is in a different age bracket from your fencer.

Grace, Gratitude, and Growth – An End-of-Year Thankfulness Challenge

Grace, Gratitude, and Growth - An End-of-Year Thankfulness Challenge

Thanksgiving is not only a time for being thankful for what we have, it’s also a time that we can reflect on WHY being thankful is so important. That’s why we’re coming to you with a thankfulness challenge this year. 

Our own experience in fencing is centered around being thankful for our community. While we are constantly aware that fencing brings us positive support and helps us become better people, it’s also true that being grateful for all of that brings us closer to our goals. We want you all to become the best possible fencers you can be, and by extension the best possible version of yourselves you can be. 

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, we thought it would be a good moment to look at how showing grace and finding gratitude can help us to grow and how we can practically use thankfulness to enrich our lives between now and the end of 2022. 

The Magic Ratio: How the Right Amount of Positivity can Transform Fencing Training

The Magic Ratio: How the Right Amount of Positivity can Transform Fencing Training

In anything that we do, we want to maximize the amount of value that we get out of it. That’s not about forcing anyone to fit into some sort of box that will make things work out right. It’s about helping people figure out what’s working and what doesn’t, and how to fix it. 

This also applies to fencers – we want to maximize the training that they get, not force them to become better by berating them or focusing exclusively on their faults in form, speed, physicality, etc. The way to long term success is paved with building a positive relationship with yourself so that you can clearly see what you need to work on and how to get there. 

The Magic Ratio is a method of giving positive feedback in a constructive way that supports athletes in improving their performance while also giving them the kind of constructive feedback that takes them to the next level. 

This is a layered concept that comes from relationship psychology and success psychology, but it applies so well to fencing. It’s great not only for fencers at the competitive level but also works for recreational fencers who want to improve. At the highest level of fencing, building up with healthy feedback that supports fencers in the right way is how fencers build longevity and the ability to grow over the long term.

Understanding the National Ranking System in Fencing

Understanding the National Ranking System in Fencing

On its surface, the national ranking system employed in fencing can look pretty confusing. However, understanding and using the National Points List is crucial to advancing in competition and growing as a fencer. 

The more you understand how national points are awarded and factor into a fencer’s place on the national points list, the easier it is to take advantage of competitive opportunities that could boost your ranking. National points can support qualification for Fencing Summer Nationals, which is a major goal for many fencers. 

Regional points are earned with similar mechanics, but for now, we’ll focus on national points as they apply across the board. 

The Four Pillars of Success for Fencers

Four pillars of success for fencers

Of all of the questions that I get from parents about their children in fencing, the one that I get the most is:

“Will my child be a successful fencer?”

This question comes up early and often from fencing parents, and it’s understandable that they would want to know whether their child will make it as a fencer. From my point of view, it’s better to pivot the question instead to: 

“What are the necessary ingredients for your child to succeed in fencing?”

There is, unfortunately, no way to tell the future. Not only that, “success” is not something that is so easily defined. For some fencers, that could mean that they compete regionally or nationally, for others it could mean that they get a college fencing scholarship, and yet for others, it means they won a World Cup. Every child (and adult) can and should make fencing goals that are attainable. Technically, there is no such thing as a fencer who is incapable of achieving success if you understand where you start and where you want to go. 

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