Most people do this: set goals and go after them, without really thinking about it and without taking the time to work through a codified vision of what they need to do – they just kind of do it! Sometimes this works out well, but by sitting down and really working out your goals, you’re a lot more likely to get the results that you’re looking for, both for you and for your child.
But where do you even begin? Sometimes starting is the hardest part. So in this post we’re going to give you some simple questions to ask yourself in order to start to understand into what fencing goal setting looks like for your family.
Fencing Goal Setting Questionnaire
Sit down and answer these questions about your family, fencing and your lifestyle. It’s a great idea to grab a notebook and write these down, or to use the printable goal page (click here to download) and make notes.
- As a parent, what do you want your child to get out of fencing?
- What does your child want to get out of fencing? (Hint: don’t guess – go ask them!)
- Just enjoyment – nothing more.
- Discipline and self control
- Satisfaction and accomplishment of competition
- College preparation
- How would you rate your child’s competitive nature?
- dislikes competition: avoids it at all costs.
- somewhat competitive: enjoys it, but doesn’t care about winning or losing.
- highly competitive: really gets into all kinds of competitions, but doesn’t get upset over winning or losing.
- overly competitive: enjoys competition, but can’t handle losing.
- How much time would you like to devote to fencing?
- 2-4 hours per week
- 6-8 hours per week
- 10-12 hours per week
- 24 hours per day
- What kind of competition are you interested in?
- Local only – no travel.
- Regional – travel by car.
- National – travel by plane.
- International competitions – and maybe interplanetary if there’s ever one on the Moon.
- How does your family feel with your current level of extracurricular activities?
- We have time to spare! Relaxed and loving what we do.
- Our schedule is full, but manageable.
- Frantic, there’s too much to do and too little time.
- What does your family talk most about at the dinner table?
- How we feel about the day.
- What we accomplished.
- What we’re excited about for tomorrow.
- Fencing, fencing, and we might discuss fencing with dessert.
- What is one thing that you would change about life if you had a magic wand?
- 4 more hours in the day
- Easier family dynamic
- More opportunity for the kids
Now look back at your answers – what kinds of patterns do you see about your family? What did you learn about yourself and how you understand your kids? How about your kids – what did you learn about them? What insight do you have about your family and fencing?
It’s important in goal setting that we’re honest with ourselves about time and motivation. If you’re not motivated to get things done because you’re passionate about them, then they really just won’t get done. However by writing down goals and thinking about what you want out of them, you’re in a much better place to ignite that passion – in both you and your children!
Just as Olympic fencing is a sport that relies on teamwork, so too is managing your family dynamic and goals is a team sport. You setting goals for your children and then handing them down won’t work – they need to be part of the process. One of the things that fencing really teaches is personal responsibility and autonomy, so you as a parent must allow your little fencer to experience that! You’ll be amazed at what your team can accomplish when you create clear and attainable expectations.