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7 Things that Fencing Parents do that Drive Kids Nuts

7 Things that Fencing Parents do that Drive Kids Nuts

There’s a push and pull between every child and parent, it’s a natural part of the relationship. For fencing parents, there is an added layer of push and pull because of the balance of training, and because of the pressures of competition, and unintentionally parents can drive kids nuts.

Just about everyone has seen a parent lose it at a sporting event. It’s unfortunately not uncommon to see parents pressuring young athletes in a wide variety of ways, from the sidelines or after practice. Fencing is not immune to this reality, and it’s important for parents to think about what their actions are so that they can strike the right chord. 

We’ve all been guilty of pushing things a little too hard with our kids, and that’s ok. What we want to do is to keep growing and to find the ways that we can improve. That starts with understanding the potential pitfalls.

Here are seven things that fencing parents do that drive their kids crazy. 

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Ideas and Steps to Encourage Your Child to Stick with Fencing

Ideas and Steps to Encourage Your Child to Stick with Fencing
Rear view of father and son walking in autumn forest

Pandemic-era parenting challenges is completely new territory. Before coronavirus, there were challenges in parenting, but on the whole we felt like we had a handle on what we were doing. There wasn’t a roadmap per se, but there were people who had been there before. We could follow the advice that we knew had been tried and tested by other parents. If your child wanted to make it to Summer Nationals, well there were other parents whose children had done that and could tell you the way. If your child was struggling with self-confidence after a loss, a parent could go to another parent who had experienced that and find a wise ear. 

During the pandemic there is none of that. There are no other fencing parents who can talk us through what it’s like to fence with social distancing outside and no competitions. 

Encouraging your child to keep fencing

The way that we support kids has a lot to do with their eventual success. We start off by doing a lot for them, then we step back bit-by-bit until they are totally on their own. Want your child to stick with fencing? Here are seven ways to help that happen.  

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51 Questions to Ask Your Fencer Besides “How was class?”

51 questions to ask your fencer besides "how was class?"

Here’s a play-by-play of the conversation that lots of fencers have when they get home from fencing practice.

“How was fencing class?”


“Great! Make sure you put your fencing bag in the hall closet.”

It’s a functional conversation for sure, and it gets the job done. The thing is, it’s not bringing anything new, nor is it really enriching what we’ve already got. It’s not that the fencing parent here doesn’t care what went on in class, and it’s not as if the child doesn’t have anything more to say, it’s just that life is busy and we get into routines that get us through. 

What we want with our kids is more than just those one word answers. We are looking for engagement, because they need it and so do we. Making that relationship with our kids deeper and more meaningful has to be built each and every day. Working on the casual communication that we have with each other is one way to do that. 

Author Glennon Doyle gives us some awesome insight into this. “If you don’t want throw away answers, you can’t ask throw away questions.”

To make this easier for fencing parents, we’ve put together fifty one questions to ask your fencer that will get you and them both talking. 

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Fencing in Rural America

Fencing in Rural America

Traditionally, fencing is a sport that has been niche for many reasons, not the least of which is that fencing clubs are not easy to come by. For people who live in rural America, fencing is often totally inaccessible because they don’t live close enough to a place to learn it. 

For our sport, this is an incredibly important subject. We want more fencers so that we can have more competitors, and also because we love the sport and want to share it. It’s a shame that distance is such a barrier, but for those who live outside of urban areas, especially in rural America, it’s a huge issue. How many potentially amazing fencers are there out there who will never make it to the strip because there is not a club nearby?

For many fencers, this isn’t something that they even consider. They think about their own sport, what their ranking is, where their next competition will be, and in the times of the pandemic they are understandably concerned about their own training. However, this is still a subject that is worth considering. We want our sport to thrive, and so that means thinking globally. Sometimes the biggest opportunities are in the most unlikely places. 

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10 Ways to Smooth the Parent/Coach Relationship in Fencing

10 Ways to Smooth the Parent/Coach Relationship in Fencing

In fencing, the fencer is the priority, but young fencers are necessarily supported by their parents and their coaches. Both of these stakeholders have an important role in facilitating the growth and development of fencers, but what happens when they don’t get along, their relationship deteriorates, or when they have different ideas about what is best? How about when a fencer pushes back against their coach?

These relationships are complex. It is challenging to keep the momentum going in a positive way, or to change course when things need to change. There are differences in opinions, and this is normal. Issues that develop here can turn into insurmountable obstacles that push fencers to quit the sport altogether, and no one wants to see that. 

The truth is that parents don’t always know what to do when conflict comes up. Our first reaction might be to step in because that feels like advocating for your child. All parents have that instinct to protect their kids. It’s a good instinct, but sometimes it can get in the way of what’s best for kids as they get older and need independence. Navigating that line is one of the toughest things for parents to figure out how to do and it is never an easy task to find the right balance. 

How can parents and coaches work together more effectively for the benefit of fencers? Here are ten ways to smooth the relationship between fencing parents and fencing coaches. 

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