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marg
-15th November 2003, 08:06
Hi Everyone. I am not a coach but it has recently come to my notice from the BAF that:
" Due to circumstances that have recently arisen, it has now been decided that candidates for all coaching awards must be at least 18 years old."
I believe the best time to get a youngster's interest in the coaching side of fencing is at an earlier age when they are still in school. Once at university they haven't the time or the money and with the qualification already under their belt they are ready to set up a group and start basic coaching. I know coaching awards are hard but they consolidate a youngsters knowledge about their own weapon by learning to teach it to others. I believe other sports offer coaching awards to their youngsters so I am concerned that it is a backward step for us at a time when we want to see more 'home grown' coaches in our clubs.
Bye for now.......marg

Muso440
-15th November 2003, 08:43
Oooh, ouch, you're asking for trouble here Marg!!!!!

See the 'Assessing your Level of Ability' thread. JohnL will be out to get you!!!

fencingmaster
-15th November 2003, 12:27
There are several issues here (although I don't know of the exact circumstances that prompted the BAF decision). One is child protection- a number of schools have had to abandon their normal community work done by older students (helping the needy) etc because it was found that they would need CRB checking. Senior students teaching fencing to juniors could also fall into this category. Secondly a coach needs insurance and it may not be possible to obtain that until the student has reached the legal age of maturity. Additionally a young coach (ie u/18) may not be fully conversant with aspects of health and safety and the group dynamics of younger people.

However, although a student may not be able to coach (or receive a coaching qualification until 18), there is nothing to prevent them from learning to coach.

fencingmaster
-15th November 2003, 12:52
I would add that the first prerequisite of coaching is the ability to fence well.

Aoife
-16th November 2003, 12:38
I agree with marg, even though I understand the problems of insurance and CRB checks and stuff, I think there should perhaps be courses which give training to coach to under eighteens, even if they couldn't use it as a qualification until they're eighteen.

However, it is a selfish wish, because all I want is coaching training/qualifications.... and yet I have to wait! :upset:

marg
-16th November 2003, 16:26
Originally posted by fencingmaster

However, although a student may not be able to coach (or receive a coaching qualification until 18), there is nothing to prevent them from learning to coach.

Thanks for your response; I take your point about insurance, child protection, health and safety and all the rest but I still feel to undertake a course to become a fencing coach is quite a big undertaking covering all aspects of coaching and hopefully the issues you have raised as well. The best way to learn to coach must be by attending a proper structured course whilst you are young and keen and have time to do it.....Marg

PM1
-16th November 2003, 17:28
I think you may be correct in the enthusiasm bit - and just because someone is 18 doesn't make them any safer bet than a committed 16 year old in the ability stakes: just that they aren't legally an adult. Shame.

However - I don't see why there couldn't be courses for <18s to give them the baiscs - a sort of foundation course that could give some exemptions for when they do reach 18.

Waddya think, peeps??

fencingmaster
-16th November 2003, 17:31
No one is going to attain a level of coaching ability by attending a course. If someone really wants to coach well, you will need to attend a series of courses over several years, and to put the learning into practice guided by an experienced coach. The initial awards of both the BFA and the BFA are simply teaching awards in order to introduce people to fencing. The final awards take years of dedication, practice and set-back.

quote "Once at university they haven't the time or the money..."

If a fencer is not willing to put in time and money then how can they expect to obtain any expertise or qualification?

As Muso440 wrote JohnL will be after you.

To really understand what's required, follow this link:
http://www.escrime.org/criteria.htm

Good luck

PM1
-16th November 2003, 21:06
Thanks, fencing master. I am happy to stand corrected !!

randomsabreur
-17th November 2003, 14:43
Clearly fencing master hasn't been a student for a while!!!

Students tend to have plenty of time to do stuff, however money is rather more insurmountable as a problem.

Generally doing any kind of fencing/coaching course costs in the region of 200-300 for a week. This will have to be outside termtime. The time spent on the coaching/fencing course is time spent not earning money, say at 150 to 200 per week. So in effect the cost of the coaching course is 350 minimum. Plus, if you are doing a summer temping job, you may not have a job to come back to after the coaching course. So you end up losing a couple of extra weeks money while you hunt for another job!

That kind of money could go towards competitions, or in some cases, a few months of food, a couple of month's rent if you are lucky.

Students do not have much money, in many areas the loan does little more than cover your rent, so you are reliant on the generousity of your parents and any money you can earn in your holidays to but books for your course, food, clothing and anything else you want to do with your life!!!!

Having just spent 4 years as a student, and made the decision to do coaching and fencing courses I am speaking from experience. Fortunately for me I have very generous parents who have supported my fencing to a point and lent me a large amount of money over the last 4 years! Other people's parents may well not be in a position to do this.

JohnL
-17th November 2003, 16:41
Hey Guys

What is it with this JohnL will be after you statements.
Highly undeserved.

In the meantime however;

Marg

Are you for real.

What makes you think that at that age you will know anything worthwhile to teach about fencing, never mind start studying how to teach it.

While you are young, concentrate on fencing, get as good as you can, don't even consider coaching until you're 30 and your serious competitive days are over.

srb
-17th November 2003, 22:54
Q. So what do:

Peter Kay,
Graham Forster,
David Taylor,
Andrew Martin,
Glen Golding,

and I suspect Haggis all have in common?

A. They were all top fencers, who are now emerging as top coaches, having all started coaching at the age of about 29.

Is a common thread emerging here? Have a snap shot look at the top 8 foilists at the moment. They are coached by 3 coaches;

Mark Nelson Griffiths
Ziemek Wojciechowski
Dave Hanrahan,

and they have all been coaching for more than 20 years. So ask yourself a question - would you be prepared to travel 60 miles for a lesson with your coach? If not, perhaps you have the wrong coach!

srb

fencingmaster
-17th November 2003, 23:40
check out : http://www.escrime.org/criteria.htm

Dear Randomsabreur
I may not have been a student for a while but I do coach at a university and previously at ULU and UCL. I am more than familiar with student fencing clubs, their financial restraints, student unions, restricted timetables, budgets, lack of/missing kit, pressure from subject tutors etc.etc.
The proposition that students do not have the time or money was not made by me - However I do challenged the inferences given in the same posting that (a) someone at school can achieve a coaching award and then go on to teach a group at University and (b) that there is no commitment of time and money.

From your posting you clearly agree with me. Although you considerably under estimate the cost of achieving an award. I believe that the BFA want 4000 for their current course which only part qualifies someone under the AAI criteria given on the web site above.

Within the UK it has always been a long and expensive route to qualify as a fencingmaster, unfortunately I do not see that changing, as there are no full time courses available & no government training initiatives as elsewhere in Europe, nor are there any subsidies. It is down to the individual. Just as anyone pays tuition fees for college study, or for professionl courses in order to achieve qualifications and entry to a profession so too with fencing coaching.


You will also note (in reference to the original posting) that the AAI requirement (see link above), to which national fencing academies adhere requires the 18 year limit - in other words it appears to be an international requirement for all academies, French, German, US etc. not just the BAF.

Mark
-18th November 2003, 00:19
I went on my first coaching course at 16 years old. By 18 I had a basic qualification and started coaching at after school clubs while studying at Uni. So coaching actually helped pay me though my student years.

I think it is really beneficial to start coaching at a young age, if nothing else you learn a huge amount of the theory of fencing and it makes you a better fencer.

ceprab
-18th November 2003, 09:03
From our Uni club point of view we want to have our mre experienced people (in context, 3+ years probably) to be able to get a basic level of coaching qualificaiton and then to have this continue so that a minimum level of coaching ability is present in the club to train beginners properly, even when our main coach is not present, and to enable her to train more experienced people when she is.

Please don't try reading that sentence aloud in one breath.

Muso440
-18th November 2003, 10:25
Originally posted by JohnL

What is it with this JohnL will be after you statements.
Highly undeserved.
[...]
Are you for real.
What makes you think that at that age you will know anything worthwhile to teach about fencing, never mind start studying how to teach it.


I rest my case.

marg
-18th November 2003, 20:04
hmmm...interesting dialogue going on here. Hi John L (out to get me...I don't think so) , and others. Is there a general feeling all coaches should have been serious competative fencers before they are able to coach others. In an ideal world maybe they should all be ex internationalists but would they have the interest in coaching joe bloggs who has seen fencing mentioned on his uni notice board and thought he would give it a try in his first term at uni. Now this is where an enthuiastic fencer with a basic qualification might be able to step in to encourage him on to the first wrung of the ladder.......marg

Rdb811
-18th November 2003, 22:22
I think we ought to distinguish between fencing masters and 'repeteurs'.

fencingmaster
-19th November 2003, 07:17
Roger, I hope you don't mean 'repetiteur' - that's an opera company trainer! However it is worth distinguishing between master, coach, teacher and 'animateur'

Regards

Muso440
-19th November 2003, 08:42
Originally posted by marg
Is there a general feeling all coaches should have been serious competative fencers before they are able to coach others. In an ideal world maybe they should all be ex internationalists but would they have the interest in coaching joe bloggs who has seen fencing mentioned on his uni notice board and thought he would give it a try in his first term at uni. Now this is where an enthuiastic fencer with a basic qualification might be able to step in to encourage him on to the first wrung of the ladder.......marg

Marg, I don't want to be rude, but have you actually *read* the 'Assessing your level of ability' thread? Most of what you're asking is answered there.

Rdb811
-19th November 2003, 11:45
Originally posted by fencingmaster
Roger, I hope you don't mean 'repetiteur' - that's an opera company trainer! However it is worth distinguishing between master, coach, teacher and 'animateur'

Regards

Not the best analogy - I was trying to think of one below an 'animateur'.

randomsabreur
-19th November 2003, 15:05
Neil Brown and Peter Wright both started coaching young (Youngest person to achieve professorship, youngest Maitre)

Both are IMO very good coaches.

Incidentally I regularly travel about 60 miles to get lessons off my coaches and have been doing so while at uni.

This costs serious money

Also it is not the cost of becoming a full master that is the real problem, only the dedicated will want to do this. The problem is the cost of getting one foot on the coaching ladder, with a basic level award so that you can help with beginner's or to cover when your club's full time coach is away for some reason or another.

I do some coaching in 3 of the clubs I attend. I do not pretend to be brilliant, but I believe I am at least capable of teaching the basic moves.

I have fenced to an international level and am currently in the top 10. But this simple fact does not make me a better coach than someone who hasn't fenced internationally and has never been at the top of the national ranking!

What is more, a coach has to start somewhere, the coaches named in various posts have (evidently I know) not always had 20 years coaching! Catching people young will create a greater base of coaches for the stars to emerge from.

Chappers
-22nd November 2003, 14:19
Hiya everybody.
Sorry for the intrusion, but i'm a new member and must get my foot in somewhere!
I'm a young coach-to-be. 17 years young. Decided in April to begin the process of learning how to teach others the art of Fencing. Here i am, 7 months down the line, helping out in club, by give basic lessons in all 3 weapons under the supervision of my coaches.
Now i'm seriously considering Going to Budapest for a couple of years to learn as a Senior coaches assistant and gain the relavant qualifications.
Now, I've read quite a lot of crap on here about people not being mature enough to get qualifications through the 'British Academy of Fencing'. I think these guys are too scared of the younger coaches coming through the system the proper way.
If we have the willingness to consider not going to university in order to take up a passion in a serious way, why shouldn't we be given the chance to gain an award!
Actually putting the skills awarded is the tricky bit, with insurance and all that, but i feel is a different matter.
Tut tut.

fencingmaster
-22nd November 2003, 15:20
Well done Chappers, you're following a sensible route - developing your skills and knowledge under the guidance and supervision of a coach or coaches and moving on to a serious study. You clearly understand the need for several years full time training (longer if, like many in the UK, you can only do it part-time) to achieve a level of coaching proficiency.

Clearly the programme that you have set yourself fits the criteria of the AAI.

So how do you reconcile that with the concept of being a coach under the age of 18?

I take it as insulting that you refer the contributions of others as 'crap', and I find it doubly insulting that coaches like myself who give up their time (often unpaid) to train younger, aspiring coaches, to motivate and educate them should be spoken of in the immoderate way that you have.

The fact that your comments are abusive, rather than reasoned, probably supports the view that those under 18 are not mature enough to hold a coaching qualification.

Chappers
-22nd November 2003, 15:40
I apologise for offending you and withdraw my comment.
The point i'm trying to make, is that one can be able to attain a qualification stating that one is at a required standard to be able to coach someone. Actually coaching someone is a different matter entirely. We shouldn't be denied the right to jump through the hoops, before the age of being allowed (under insurance and other things) to coach someone.

fencingmaster
-22nd November 2003, 16:12
Apology accepted.

[Fencing arouses passion in many of us]

Winwaloe
-26th November 2003, 16:16
Fencingmaster - I think you are being a tad hard and unfair . There has been quite a lot of "crap" written re young people not being old enough to coach. I can think of one 16 year old who I would much rather have coaching our beginners group than an experienced and older coach whom I think is now fencing at one of your clubs. The older one has better sword skills but cannot teach or coach very well. Seen a youngster sail through their BAF exam (intermediate I think) and again a good fencer but not a good coach. Not all great fencers make good coaches just as they don't always make good refs! - Of the three top foil coaches mentioned I have watched them coaching their pupils before comps and have learned more than with a day at a coach training session. All three are a total joy to watch !!!