Academy of Fencing Masters Blog

Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Category: For Parents Page 1 of 53

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. 

Read More

Why Size DOESN’T Matter in Fencing

Why Size DOESN’T Matter in Fencing

A common question from parents in regards to fencing is whether the size of their child matters. This is one question with a quick answer: It doesn’t.

It does not matter if a child, or even an adult, fencer is much shorter or much taller than their opponent. The nature of fencing is such that you can be successful whether you are small in stature or whether you are large in stature. There are advantages and disadvantages to either one, and they are evenly split. No matter your level.

Size doesn’t matter!

Read More

Should Fencers Go to Competitions Right Now?

Should Fencers Go to Competitions Right Now?

October is here, and with it is coming the start of regional fencing competitions for the first time since the pandemic swept across the country more than a half a year ago. 

You can only compete in your specific region right now, not as before when fencers could travel to different regions to earn points or ratings in different ways.  Each region is its own situation, with a status that is different. It’s also true that each of us has an obligation to the people around us. Who is in your circle, who you are bubbling with. This makes a big difference for what you are comfortable with and what you are willing to do. 

People ask us what we would suggest. It’s a difficult decision for many, many people. What is my perspective on it? I think that the time is not right for traveling to competitions.

I can only vouch for my very personal perspective. You must apply your own judgement to competition. What follows are what I feel comfortable with for my family and what I suggest to the fencers in our club, but know that your personal decisions on this issue are respected. 

Read More

7 Ways to Help Kids Balance Sports and Academics in the Time of COVID

7 Ways to Help Kids Balance Sports and Academics in the Time of COVID

There has always been a careful balance between school and sports, but now the facets of this challenge have changed completely. Not only is school and sport totally different than it has been before, there is also the added struggle of navigating a crisis. Everyone is stressed in ways that they have never been stressed before. 

We must all keep moving forward, so how does that work for fencers who also have academic obligations during the time of COVID? School and sport have not stopped, then have just changed. Everyone must find a workable balance between their interests and their education. This is not something that we can teach all in one fell swoop, but there is also a pressing immediacy to this issue right now. We have to give all of the tools we can to our kids. 

Parents, we know that you are stretched right now too. Juggling working and distance learning for kids, well it is exhausting. I know this firsthand with trying to balance every aspect of my own family life. Hopefully this post will help some of you to feel less alone while providing practical solutions.

Here are seven ways to help kids balance fencing and academics during the time of coronavirus.

Read More

How to Learn to Start Fencing Online

How to Learn to Start Fencing Online

Six months ago, I would have told you that this isn’t worth it. I would have said to you that it was all temporary and that start fencing online was a stop gap for a few weeks until we figured things out. 

Today of course we know differently. We know now that we have to adapt and learn in a situation that is far from what we have traditionally worked with. Learning fencing is different.

It’s important to realize here that adaptation is everything. There is not a straight line from the start of the pandemic to the end of the pandemic – it is back and forth, up and down. Moving forward and backwards on the strip. We have seen stay at home orders loosen and tighten, and who knows what will happen in the coming months. The only sure thing is change, so we have to change with it. If you want to fence and have not before, now is the time to start!

Most clubs and coaches in the world now see this online option as part of their job. It is what fencing is now, with all of its frustrating disadvantages and all of its wonderful advantages. We have learned, adapted, and created programs to teach fencers of any level, from total novices to the most advanced fencers.

You can start fencing online. Whether you are uncomfortable in person because of the pandemic or whether you have other factors that keep you away from physical instruction in person, it doesn’t matter. You can definitely start fencing right now!

Step-by-step guide to getting started with online fencing

Starting is the hardest part!  If you’re reading this, then you are probably lost with how to get going with your fencing. It can seem like a big task if you’re new to it, but don’t worry – we’re here to walk you through. Step-by-step and easy do it is the way to get going. 

Read More

Page 1 of 53

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén