The days are long and the heat index is high which must mean we’re in the thick of summer! While many families take this time to have a relaxing vacation (and you really should), and many other families are recuperating from time and energy spent at Summer Nationals, I believe that these last few weeks of summer can be the perfect time to re-engage with a sport you love, and improve your fencing game just in time for a new season.
Here are some unique ways you can incorporate fencing into your summer plans without ever having to step foot in a club:
- Take it outside! The obvious choice is to train outside if you can. With hot days make sure you hydrate more than usual. The change of scenery can improve so many different aspects: including your endurance (from working out in the heat), to your ability to focus (training yourself ignore the bugs and sounds and other distractions).
- Head to the Beach! Ever fence barefoot? If you live close to the ocean, head to the beach to do serious footwork due to the resistance of your feet in the sand or even from the waves pushing and pulling your legs.
- BBQ with the Team! Invite fellow fencing club members and their families over for an impromptu BBQ or just any other type of party you can think of. You’ll get to know them a little better, perhaps, in a social setting. This can improve camaraderie and a general sense of belonging, particularly for any new fencers to the club. Don’t forget to invite your coach! They can be incredibly interesting people and have some of the best stories to tell.
- Watch Fencing! This year the Fencing World Championships take place in Wuxi, China. Coordinate with your fellow fencers to get together and watch some serious competition fencing (maybe some of the best you’ll get to see until the next World Championship or Olympics in Tokyo)! You can check them out by clicking on the link on the FIE Website here.
- Get Social! More and more fencers are taking to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat! Follow your favorites. Now more than ever you can see first hand stories from the World Championship. You may just learn a few new tricks, tips, or other helpful information.
- Read: Head to the library and check out some fencing books. It’s a great way to cool off on hot summer days (in the air conditioned library) and it’s also a perfect way to check out a lot of books to learn which ones you may truly benefit from. If the library doesn’t have what you need head online or to your local bookstore. Amazon.com has loads of fantastic fencing books.
- Bring a Friend to Fence With: Many of us have that one friend who likes all our pictures on social media, or asks about the competition but has never given it a try. Invite them to tag along with you to a class or to a practice to see what it’s really about. Maybe they’ll even join you!
- Join a Gym: Or workout club/group to up your fitness level. Cross training with weights and cardio is a great way to improve your muscle strength and endurance and will get you more prepared for the next season. Do not forget to consult with your fencing coach about what’s right for you
- Learn more about fencing: Your education in fencing doesn’t start and stop at the club. You can always learn more and as a result, become more of an authority on your sport. Google has a lot of great websites and information to help you dive into your fencing history as well. Be sure to check out Youtube videos as well to watch some of your favorite fencers!
- Movie Night! – There are tons of films that feature fencing some that are well known (such as The Princess Bride) and others that are slightly more obscure. We love to set up movie night and pop in a fencing movie time and again. It reminds us of how much fun the sport can be when it’s featured this way. Our favorite is “The Fencer.” If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a truly remarkable film!
- Browse for Gear: You don’t have to buy…now, but it’s a good idea to check out the latest in technology, fabric, and trends in gear. Especially with sales not long off around the holidays, you could end up taking advantage of all that research and saving you and your family a bit of money down the line.
- Check out fencing summer camps! There are many advanced fencing camps around the nation. Some may be in your club or even in a local a college club where you live. A quick Google search could result in finding a fencing sleepaway camp! These camps will help you to prepare better in conditioning and in different aspects of fencing.
- Show Off What You’ve Learned: Odds are that you may be visiting with relatives you haven’t seen in a while. It’s a perfect time to regale them with some of the skills you’ve learned. Even better if someone else in your family is a fencer!
While summer may be coming to a close in the next few weeks, there’s still plenty of time to tackle this list. Perhaps you’ve already been able to accomplish a few of them! If so, great job! If not, what are you waiting for?