Jul 2012

Coaching at competitions?

Coaches do try to go to competitions but we also have families of our own. Discuss your needs with your coach well in advance. If the event requires overnight lodging or air travel expenses should be provided to the coach but can be divided by any number of students going. Some coaches request compensation for any event, some include it in club fees and other do not charge for local events. Make sure you come to an understanding well in advance. Buying lunch in a local competition is seldom refused!

Having a coach at your competition, is only useful if you have learned how to be coached in a competition setting. Work with you coach early to establish clear and simple communication. Every athlete is different, practice this skill just as you would any other. After your event, a conversation in line with “I said this, what did you think I said?” will greatly help in future events. Feedback is vital!

Not everyone benefits from strip side coaching and sometimes family can help (sometimes not so much). Regardless this to should be practiced over time. Remember not to overwhelm the student. Having mom, dad and coach all yelling is NEVER productive!

Is fencing safe?

Fencing is actually very safe compare to other sports, the equipment and rules have been upgraded continually to insure that it stays so. Common injuries include bruises and sprains typical of most sports. It is considered to be safer then table tennis! I will include this detailed study for those interested (keep in mind standards have further improved from the date of this study). It is far safer then football, baseball, soccer and other “school sports”. A few uninformed school districts have in some cases declared a “no weapons” policy as being applicable to fencing equipment. Foils, saber and epee are sporting equipment! I have worked with fencing in our schools for many years now and we have never had a complaint or injury. In fact our school programs are growing even in these fiscally challenging times. FYI we teach 2nd grade and up!