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.