The Importance of a Team in Fencing – By Aditi Soin
When people think of fencing, they think of two people on a strip trying to stab each other. That it is an individual sport and fencers fence one on one. In fencing, we do have team events in addition to the individual events. But team events in fencing are very different than, for example, basketball games where each member is involved at the same time on the court. So even in the team events, it does become highly individual. Although this is the case, people generally overlook the team aspect of fencing.
Even though fencing is a very individual sport, a team can be extremely important. On the strip, it gives you a bigger group of people to train with, preparing you better for competitions. Without your team, your vocabulary on the strip may not be as large as it could be with a team. The more you practice, the better you get. Therefore, having a team can directly impact your results in a more competitive setting.
In addition, a team is always there for you emotionally. It is easy to be discouraged when you are training on your own, especially while making mistakes. When you have a team, you see that everyone has things they need to work on and it makes the training process a lot more positive and productive mentally and emotionally. Teams also create a very constructive atmosphere. During bouting, teammates are always there to tell you where you are going wrong and how you can fix it. Your teammates are your cheerleaders. It is encouraging to have people cheer for you when you are fencing. Having a team gives you a strong support system and on the strip it really helps make a difference in the emotional aspect of fencing.
Having a team has many benefits. Along with many physical, mental, and emotional advantages in the sport of fencing, the team aspect is valuable in life as well. Your team can often double as a circle of friends who can really relate to you. Sometimes fencing can take over your life, especially leading up to Nationals and World Cups, so it is irreplaceable to have a group of close friends who know what you go through. So even though when you fence, it is just you on the strip, you are not alone. You have your team who helped get you there, so don’t ever take them for granted!