Fencing Summer NationalsWith everyone in the world of Fencing talking about Summer Nationals, the children and adults who are left behind can sometimes feel well, left out. This is a big event, and the competitors who go out to it will be widely talked about in the club and beyond. But Nationals isn’t for everyone, especially new fencers who don’t have much tournament experience.

But what CAN you do if you’re home and everyone else is gone out to one of the biggest events in fencing? And how can you help your child to not feel left out?

1.   Practice

You can always take this time to get some extra practice in. Even if your child is home doing less training because there’s less opportunity at the club this week, they can still do their home practice routine. Your child can take this time to work on their strength training, as well as doing other exercises that will help them to build their overall fitness. Doing those exercises over and over again will hone skills and improve performance.

2.   Support

Offer your support to the folks that are at Nationals. Social media is a way that everyone seems to be connected today – so send out some virtual well wishes! You can prepare cards for them when they return, or come up with some other ways to show how much you appreciate their hard work and success. Keep in mind what an exciting event this is the lives of teammates, and keep them bolstered with well wishes and support. Fencing is in large part all about the camaraderie that we build with our teammates. Supporting your fellow fencers through a rigorous competitive cycle will help you both to feel good.

3.   Talk

If your child is feeling frustrated or upset about not being at Nationals, then talk about it! Let them talk out their feelings rather than keeping them bottled up. Jealousy can abide really quickly once it’s out in the open. If your child isn’t feeling jealous about their friends being gone to Nationals, then talking about it will help them to get more excited about fencing, which is always a good thing. Keeping the conversation going is perhaps the best way to keep everyone engaged and moving forward.

4.   Rest

There has been a lot of hard work and preparation going on at the club over the last few weeks. Your child can just take some time to relax and play during this downtime. Read books, play games, go to movies. Take it easy! Preparation for the new season will begin soon (Don’t forget Back to Season Camp!) and so now is a great time to just take some time.

5.   Prepare

While your child is taking some downtime, it’s a great time to prepare for fencing to start again. Read about fencing, check over your equipment, get it all ready for the start of the new season. Follow the results of Summer Nationals on the USA Fencing website, where there are regular updates. Getting ready for next season is an active step that your child can take!

The biggest key to this process is not to get down about not going! One of the best parts of participating in competitive fencing is learning to deal with the ups and downs of life. In fact, that’s part of why we do this! Take this opportunity to learn a lesson in positive sportsmanship, and in learning to deal with feelings of disappointment. Remember – there is always next year! Channel those feelings of frustration into a fire to work harder, and you’ll be helping your child to be more successful.