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Dr techtacticia
-17th January 2004, 22:01
Do you think , if the salary for a fully qualified, competed at the highest level, British fencing coach was 100,000 a year, the quality of coaches and fencing in Britain and its results would improve?
Are british coaches as motivated as their foreign counterparts? if not why?
would a fencer feel better if their coaches name had more zeds and tees in it, or would they feel like progress would be slower if his/ her name was Bloggs?:rolleyes: :shrug:

Jambo
-18th January 2004, 14:23
Yes, but it's a complete impossibility.

thrustra
-20th January 2004, 10:54
i know ,its a shame is it not

JohnL
-20th January 2004, 13:28
If a group is willing to come up with the 100K, I will coach anywhere in the UK. (Except Wales, It rains too much)

Prometheus
-20th January 2004, 13:40
100,000
This is not likely to pay for commuting from NY each day though!:rolleyes:

srb
-20th January 2004, 13:54
So would you pay 56 an hour for a lesson?

srb

Prometheus
-20th January 2004, 14:04
Only if threatened!

JohnL
-20th January 2004, 16:24
Sounds like a bargain to me ;)

uk_45
-20th January 2004, 21:30
If thats a bargin you've been ripped!

Rdb811
-20th January 2004, 23:05
I don't think srb's calculations include things like sleep.

Prometheus
-21st January 2004, 08:31
Possibly because srb sleeps standing up with his eyes open - usually on the en guarde line :rolleyes:

srb
-21st January 2004, 09:10
In srb's world (where all the trees are green, and the water runs pure and cold).

I have assumed that 100,000 is the gross salary. Like some of us mortals I have allowed the hard working coach to have 4 weeks holiday a year, and have a normal working 5 day week of 37 hours.

Therefore

52 weeks - 4 weeks = 48 earning weeks per year.

100,000/48 weeks = 2,083 per earning week

2,083/37 hours = 56 per hour.

This obviously does not take into account a coaching salle or equipment, but often for private lessons, the cost of the venue is paid for by the pupil, and does Prometheus include the price of his badly fitting suit in his wage calculation?

Yes a coach doesn't give lessons back to back 7.4 hours a day during the normal working week, but they do work evenings and weekends. So the total hours worked will possibly be similar to a normal working week.

Now I know that Prometheus struggles with his letters and his numbers, but its not that difficult.

srb (off to sleep on the en guarde line - with his toe still bleeding one week later - you know who you are!!!)

Boo Boo
-21st January 2004, 11:06
:confused:

Insipiens
-21st January 2004, 12:20
How many people earning 100,000 per annum only work 37 hours per week?
:help:


All coaches should have Z in their names, at least once, and preferably constellations of consonants.
:fencingsm

JohnL
-21st January 2004, 12:37
For the 56 an hour, I'll deal with the venue charge.

Hey, I'm nothing if not fair.

Prometheus
-21st January 2004, 12:50
Actually this figure is not too far from the mark anyway.

For instance my coach (part time so can't gross 100k) charges in the region of 20-25 for half an hour but he has to pay for long distance driving as well as other things so includes expenses.

The club foot the bill of course but that means that we have many fencers paying their subs to subsidise the lucky few who get an individual lesson. Not perfect but the nearest we have to an ideal.

Note: a pyramid structure is used to cater for the other fencers....

Rdb811
-21st January 2004, 15:07
In practise a coach would be hard pushed to work more than 25 hours a week, excluding the travelling - it's hard work. (Try taking 25 hours of lessons).

Say 230 working days (hols plus bank holidays) at 5hrs per day - the rate heads to 90 per hour.

haggis
-21st January 2004, 20:04
Yes, giving lessons is hard work but for 100K a year I'd be prepared to put in the effort:grin: Currently, if I coached 37 hours a week I'd net the princely gross annual salary of just over 20 grand (and I'd be knackered)

Regards

Hagggiz
(new spelling in line with public demand)

Prometheus
-21st January 2004, 22:07
Originally posted by haggis
Yes, giving lessons is hard work but for 100K a year I'd be prepared to put in the effort:grin: Currently, if I coached 37 hours a week I'd net the princely gross annual salary of just over 20 grand (and I'd be knackered)

Regards

Hagggiz
(new spelling in line with public demand)

For the love of it then Hagggiz [ is it rude if you spell an Outer Mongerlian's surname incorrectly? :)]

aaah .......at that price then it must be ... a fool in love.....

Like most of us: masochists -as my Grandmother (no, SRB, she wasn't Shakespeare) used to say - Neither a borrower, nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend.:moon:

Prometheus
-21st January 2004, 22:11
Quote is from Hamlet if you cared to know - another man driven to rashness?

haggis
-22nd January 2004, 16:46
Originally posted by Prometheus
Quote is from Hamlet if you cared to know - another man driven to rashness?

Thanks. I did know. Nothing worse than acquiring a foolish rash(ness) or (if you know some of the fencers I coach) a fool with a rash :grin: :o

Regards

Hagggiz
(damn! Had to edit my own name)

JohnL
-22nd January 2004, 20:04
The problem Haggis is with your location of course.

To get scots to part with 100K, you'd have to have a club that would fill the seats at Hampden Park.

:rolleyes:

Prometheus
-23rd January 2004, 15:51
Originally posted by haggis
Thanks. I did know. Nothing worse than acquiring a foolish rash(ness) or (if you know some of the fencers I coach) a fool with a rash :grin: :o

Regards

Hagggiz
(damn! Had to edit my own name)

Sorry Hagggiz, my poisonous remark was meant for srb as usual not your good self. Afterall coaches suffer enough already, don't they?

Prometheus
-23rd January 2004, 15:58
Do coaches do it for the money??? Not always:

Perhaps because they enjoy it?

Being a coach is like being a chef:


Putting all that work into starting your own restaurant
Unsociable hours
patronised by unappreciative dilletanti
pandering to bloated critics
etc.

srb
-25th January 2004, 09:26
Originally posted by Prometheus
my poisonous remark was meant for srb as usual

And I thought it was you being nice!

Seriously, I think that the problem is with market forces, and this simply goes back to how much could/would a fencer pay for a private lesson.

I suspect that all the top fencers who are London based, probably do not pay anything for their coaching. However, this changes rapidly as a fencer drops down the rankings, and/or lives further away from London.

So it then depends on how serious the fencer is, and how much they can afford to pay. For instance, if a fencer paid 25 for a one hour lesson, and got 2 lessons a week, that's 216 a month on top of all their other fencing expenses (390 for 3 lessons at 30 p/hr). Which to me is a lot of money, but 25 an hour is not a lot of money to earn compared with other industries.

Then there are coaches like Haggis, who charges a very low rate for lessons, but I suspect that he coaches mainly because he enjoys it, and he is prepared to work with a fencer who wants to get better, and is prepared to work hard at doing this. I know of other coaches that coach for free along the same lines as Haggis. They coach because the get satisfaction of having pupils that get good results.

Another problem is that a serious cadet fencer will have a lower ability to pay than a fencer of say my age (37). So its a bit of a catch 22. The young up and coming fencer who lives outside London, needs good quality coaching, but he can't afford it. So either he dosen't get it, or a coach has to be prepared to give lessons at reduced rate.

Yet another complication is that not all coaches are as good as each other. I've seen coaches offering private lessons, who I think cannot coach!

I don't know what the answer is, but I suspect many potential coaches out there, don't become full time coaches because they cannot earn as much as they already do (and that's excluding pensions, health care, company cars etc.).

srb

Prometheus
-25th January 2004, 16:03
Dear srb,

I entirely concur with your conclusion.

Unlike your point control, spot on :rolleyes:

The remark I once heard that unless a fencer trains at a London club they will never make it (Worlds that is). Of course like all generalisations there are exceptions.

I've just raised my charges for individual lessons to the grand sum of 5 for half an hour! The recommended amount is over 20 for an hour, given my level of qualifications, but often this is only afforded by institutions such as schools where most professional coaches of my acquaintance earn their keep.

In turn this explains why fencing in this country doesn't match that of European countries: where subsidies allow for more time spent training (coaching) elite fencers thus affording a decent livlihood for coaches.

Everything comes down to the folded stuff in the end.......

haggis
-25th January 2004, 20:06
Originally posted by Prometheus
I've just raised my charges for individual lessons to the grand sum of 5 for half an hour! The recommended amount is over 20 for an hour, given my level of qualifications, but often this is only afforded by institutions such as schools where most professional coaches of my acquaintance earn their keep.

In turn this explains why fencing in this country doesn't match that of European countries: where subsidies allow for more time spent training (coaching) elite fencers thus affording a decent livlihood for coaches.

Everything comes down to the folded stuff in the end.......

Last year I put my prices up to the outrageous level of 6 quid a half hour, mainly to see if anyone would grumble. No one did. This year I might try doubling it just to get a reaction.

In my experience, most coaches, to some degree, subsidise their elite fencers. Two main reasons for this: 1. elite fencers are more fun to coach and 2. they're a good advert for a coach's ability, generating more "full-fat" coaching fees.

Rdb811
-25th January 2004, 20:21
Almost worth flying you down every Thursday. :)

haggis
-25th January 2004, 21:15
Originally posted by Rdb811
Almost worth flying you down every Thursday. :)

Almost but...

Boo Boo
-25th January 2004, 21:45
Originally posted by haggis
Last year I put my prices up to the outrageous level of 6 quid a half hour, mainly to see if anyone would grumble. No one did. This year I might try doubling it just to get a reaction.

In my experience, most coaches, to some degree, subsidise their elite fencers. Two main reasons for this: 1. elite fencers are more fun to coach and 2. they're a good advert for a coach's ability, generating more "full-fat" coaching fees.

Blimey Haggis! Can I hire you for the year? :)

Boo

PM1
-25th January 2004, 22:24
No No !!! We want him !!! I pay 15 for HALF an hour for one to one for number one coach, 15 an hour for the other (but boy does half an hour a week with him), and I'm only now beginning to squeek a bit .

Mind you, boy don't get much money in his own pocket each week,,,,,:( :(

Prometheus
-25th January 2004, 22:34
I agree with Haggis, I give my most competitive fencers an hour lesson for the price of half an hour for the same reasons.

But I get moaned at by my coaching mentor for not charging enough, I'd hate to hear what he'd say about Haggis' charge!:transport

Perhaps 6 is worth more in Scotland? (Prometheus says in a pathetic attempt to hide his own greed and fencer exploitation!) :burns2:

Still, we couldn't be so generous without the day job.

To what extent do you think that coaches who do charge reasonable[?] fees provide a much needed service where there is no alternative, or are they pricing other coaches out of becoming full time coaches? Which then brings me to Boo's comment which although joking is quite significant......


Blimey Haggis! Can I hire you for the year?

Boo

Boo, Wouldn't ChubbyHubby have something to say about you keeping Scottish coaches in the house?:dizzy:

PM1
-25th January 2004, 22:55
Prometheus - our no.1 coach is almost top of grades of BAF (I think) and he is encouraging a new coach at club, who he has brought on as a fencer (adult). Neither are profesional coaches, except No 1 has recentyly taken redundacny from his day job. These 2 plus perhaps a couple others are the only coaches in the area for perhaps 25 - 50+ miles (unless someone is hiding away). The professional who comes in to school is precisely that - a pro who makes his living by coaching, and he goes to quite a few schools, and coaches most evenings. Not a job I'd aspire to for my lad.

A good coach is worth enough money for them to live on. I think most pro coaches are likely either on the school circuit or in London area. I don't believe charging a small fee in an "I'm all you've got" situation disuades others from taking up coaching as a profession, or even a decent fee - see above. I'm not going to pay that kind of money to someone who my son don't get on with or improve under, either. If we travel to another club it's so as boy gets more/differnt people to fence, not to go to another coach (apart from when we travel to London VERY ocasionally).

Our coach was brill when my husband was on half pay because of long term ill health, and charged less (but didn't tell me why). Club can't take on more fencers at the moment, one reason being not enough coaches, let alone not enough kit........

Boo Boo
-25th January 2004, 23:14
Originally posted by Prometheus
Boo, Wouldn't ChubbyHubby have something to say about you keeping Scottish coaches in the house?:dizzy:

Well ChubbyHubby wont let me have a puppy, so it probably depends if Haggis is house-trained, licks people's faces or chews on trousser legs.... ;)

One of the biggest difficulties is getting enough of a coach's time: good coaches get booked up by clubs, schools and other individuals - so getting as many sessions as you would like with them can be difficult... (especially if they live quite a distance away).

Boo
(emptying the cupboard under the stairs for haggis...)

Prometheus
-25th January 2004, 23:16
It sounds like it's much the same set up as I see round here, and also there ain't enough coaches and certainly not enough good coaches. To add to this off topic comment, I get annoyed when speaking to the suppliers and they ask whether [new beginner] enquiries are up.
I say yes.
They say great, rubbing their hands, no doubt.
I say no it's not! Where's the coaches for all these people????



It would be easy enough to fill the country with coaches but would they be worth paying at all (ref. JohnL contributions in another thread)???

I know excellent coaches at leading London clubs charging 10 not inc. hall hire (only to top fencers I believe). Also in the home counties it's pretty similar from my experience......

When I assist the professor (the coaching mentor one) the charge is as high as 12 for 1/4 hour (him not me ;) of course). For my time assisting I get a free 1/2 hour lesson with the Prof. [which I then waste by losing to srb at the next available open :( ]

I couldn't imagine charging more than I am now. I think, for me, the results have got to be there for all to see. Other than that it's a free country (well it ain't is it).

Rant and Rave over with.:rambo:

Rdb811
-26th January 2004, 00:24
Originally posted by Prometheus


To what extent do you think that coaches who do charge reasonable[?] fees provide a much needed service where there is no alternative, or are they pricing other coaches out of becoming full time coaches?



Not really as there aren't sufficient caoches of sufficient quality.

Now, why I am running the only club in the country not awash with beginners ?

Prometheus
-26th January 2004, 08:21
How many people have you turned over already?

From seeing it at another club: It's scary how many beginners there are initially then they disappear!

May be you've run out of them Roger? Perhaps everyone in Streatham FC's area has tried fencing now!

haggis
-26th January 2004, 09:10
Originally posted by Boo Boo
Well ChubbyHubby wont let me have a puppy, so it probably depends if Haggis is house-trained, licks people's faces or chews on trousser legs.... ;)



Reasonably house-trained. Hardly ever lick people's faces (unless I think they'd enjoy it) and trouser legs have never been my thing. Too large to fit easily into an under-stairs cupboard.

haggis
-26th January 2004, 09:25
Originally posted by PM1
I pay 15 for HALF an hour for one to one for number one coachand I'm only now beginning to squeek a bit .



For coaching outside London that seems a bit steep (relative to what I would expect) but presumably you're happy(ish) that the coach is worth every penny. Hadn't really considered it before but perhaps I could be happy living in Yorkshire;) (as apposed to Boo boo's cupboard or doing the weekly commute to Wimbledon). Maybe I should auction myself ebay-style.

Rdb811
-26th January 2004, 11:35
Originally posted by Prometheus
How many people have you turned over already?

From seeing it at another club: It's scary how many beginners there are initially then they disappear!

May be you've run out of them Roger? Perhaps everyone in Streatham FC's area has tried fencing now!

What all 500,000 ?

We've been working hard on keeping the ones we get, but we don't get the hoards that everybody else does.

haggis
-26th January 2004, 20:50
OK. To try and answer the original question I'm going to auction myself on another thread. Hardly scientific but it'll be laugh. Get your bids ready!

2ndpl=1stloser
-26th January 2004, 22:19
A parent of an U12 G BYFC QF-ist writes:

All the marketing Johnnies out there will be familiar with the concept of 'value added'. What this basically means is getting your customer to understand that what they are buying from you is not a commodity product. What you are providing is something special, something tailored to them.

If you cannot get this concept across, you either have nothing special to offer, (or can't communicate it), or your customer is too stupid to understand that cheapest isn't always best. Perhaps you will next meet them at Stansted in a 3 1/2 hour delay waiting for a really horrible package holiday... (one that is hugely poplular with the Great British Public, of course) ...

http://www.switchwithwhich.co.uk/tourmap.html#

hit (beach link)

The chances are, if you're good, you can charge what you like, as long as it is fair. The great thing is, from the coaches' perspective, is that the trainee carries the greatest burden of responsibility; do they want to eat well, do they want to have enough rest, do they want to work really hard on their overall fitness, are they prepared to make sacrificies... Oh yeah, and then there's working on the technical fencing stuff with you - and what's that worth overall, about 25%?

If you could buy a gold medal most people would dig deep. you can't, and the cost of training will most definately not be why my child might give up. It wil be something entirely spurious that seems incredibly vital to her at the time.

We don't live in Australia. If we want our kids to succeed in sport we have to pay for it ourselves. (Just follow this government's line on university fees.) We cannot expect any favours or subsidy.

I would be cheerful about paying 50 ph if it was linked to some sensible, realistic, plan for my child with identifiable goals which she regularly attained, by her doing her part as well as you doing yours. In fact, if I needed to pay 55 and the extra fiver was a levy to fund less well off but promising trainees who could spar with my daughter, then great.

I really hope she sticks with it and makes it to an international level. When and if she gets there, I don't want her to discover that she's the one eyed queen from the land of the blind up against steely-(binocular)-eyed proper atheletes. I think avoiding that scenario will cost money here.

Hasn't Clive Woodward proved that it's now actually cool to be successful and we're all a bit tired of pluckily losing? Didn't he also require a bit of cash? If you are good, demand a sensible fee.

You will have earned it.

PM1
-26th January 2004, 22:35
Agreed!!!

My boy hit cadet internationls last year, has moved up the rankings this year, won a small european earlier this month, and has to work his butt off if he is going to achieve the Worlds in April. I daren't start to work out how much it has cost in money terms. If he ever tells me he can't be bothered or doesn't want to do it anymore, then so be it. Until that time, I will ferry him around, cajole him and encourage. I truly hope it won't be because of me if he ever gives the sport up. His personal committment waxes and wanes (he IS a Kevin, after all), but his coaches are worth their weight in beer. In fact, no 1 coach complains that as soon as his students achieve the age when they can legally buy him a beer, they disapear...... He IS trying to work out a training plan, he IS seeking advice on which the best comps are in the season and which to avoid, and he IS worth every penny and pint....

If my boy doesn't follow the advice he is given and apply the techniques he is taught, then only he looses out. If you don't enjoy the game, stop playing. If you want to do well, it's gonna hurt.

NEVER sell yourself short - think little of yourself and your audience will think less. Goes for any walk of life, I say.

2ndpl=1stloser
-26th January 2004, 22:56
phew, PM1

Can we agree that sport for all in the UK is never going to be paid for by anyone but the people who are interested in it.

You either get it, or you don't.

I have the impression that 2012 London is largely opposed by Londoners, it's all a bit too difficult and troublesome. Tell them when a Brit might win a medal and they might reach over the Pringles & switch channels, that's only if Dwayne isn't about to snog Charlene on Big Brother 14.

I've now stopped being surprised when friends go on about how amazing we are taking child 1 swimming on sunday at 7.30 and child 2 skiing at 8.00 etc. And they really mean it and honestly think both kids (11 & 13) will be olympians! Most Brits can't be bothered to support sport. It's not in our culture any more.

PM1
-26th January 2004, 23:36
Agreed, regrettably, but yes - agreed.

Sorry about the rant, tho.....it's very reassuring that someone else out there encourages/ferries their children to do activities that are very differnt from e/o - with us it used to be fencing/rugby for boy, dancing/swimming for girl, ice skating/horse riding for both. A good bit of that has come to the end of its natural life (praise the Lord), but it was what was needed at the time. Stimulates the brain cells and drains the dosh away, but at least I have 2 fit kids. Their school encourages team games, and ironically, not individual sports, but they do encourage healthy competition. But yes, we pay for it.

Gone off thread, but hey, what the heck - it's the coach what made me do it !!:grin:

2ndpl=1stloser
-27th January 2004, 00:02
It's actually not off thread. Coaches need to make a rational calculation based on their members' motivation.

The tricky bit is setting fees for normal club activities that bring in the wobbly Nigels who will subsidise the promising athletic Arnies who will go the distance.

(Making the PC diversion to warmly embrace the wNs who get their act together and reject the Bargain Bucket for the broccoli, of course).

The bottom line is, if you were at Stoke you will pretty much know that there are currently less than 32 (if you think I'm being PC then divide by 4) in in each age group who really look up for it. This is not a big pool to provide serious revenue for coaches.

They need to be dispassionate and honest. If they say what their fees are without embarrassment it is then up to parents to decide whether they want to mix it or not.


If they are successful , the new recruits will grow.

PM1
-27th January 2004, 00:27
...and remember all those who DON'T qualify for the BYC's and even don't do ANY comps, but still fence....it never ceases to amaze me how many youngsters turn up at the Public Schools Champs that you never see anywhere else.....

2ndpl=1stloser
-27th January 2004, 00:41
public schools champs is a closed shop, I think. If the Pink Ladies ( Abi, Lucy, Jemma) were allowed to attend they may well do v. well. Shame. Oops off topic strike from record

Tubby
-29th January 2004, 00:13
But isn't that sort of like your comment on whether parents are up for it to mix it? If you want to fence in the Public School champs then send them to one.

Caitlin's coach's charges are more than reasonable and truth be known I'd easily pay double especially as he has form. I've said this to him. However he does it for the love of it in part and knows that if he charged more then he denies the opportunity to those less well off and then fencing would be back to its elitist, who can pay more wins days.

2ndpl=1stloser
-29th January 2004, 04:47
I admit that my comment about the PSCs was irrelevant.

Your coach's argument is always a tricky one to address although I assume he/you are using elite in its derogatory, rather than complimentary, sense.

I do not know when these days were he was referring to and whether Fencing GB had greater or less success then.

My main point is that most children quit any sport for a myriad of reasons beyond the expense of it and to think that the fees are a reason, rather than an excuse, is probably wrong. Once the decision to quit has been made, then of course the fees are expensive because by definition as his services are no longer valued the coach can no longer provide value.

Your coach and others could also structure their fees to reward less well off achievers, if they choose, through scholarships of sorts.

There are also organisations such as this

http://www.dhoskiracing.org/Skiers%20Trust.htm

although I don't know if there is a fencing equivalent.

The club/coaching fees are the tip of the iceberg for any athelete with promise. If you add in the cost of all elements likely to be required by a future medalist, ie:
club fees
UK competitions & travel
equipment
training camps
gym/fitness club/personal trainer
travel and accom for trainees and coach to international events then overall you are looking at..
Doh...

haggis
-29th January 2004, 15:16
Did a quick surf to see what some other sports charge for individual coaching. Skiing seems to be the dearest at about 50 quid an hour, tennis and golf about 40. At the same rate as skiing, a fencer getting 3 half hour lessons a week would spend about 3 and a half grand a year on coaching fees.

ihunter
-29th January 2004, 18:23
Just be thankful those of you who do get paid don't get paid by results!

PM1
-29th January 2004, 20:40
Now then, Mr Hunter - you may have hit the nail on the head there. Lawyers in some fields charge contingency fees - no win no fee. Waddya think about that, then ????

And PSC is very definitely a closed shop, but my point was that even from that group, very few ever see any other competition during the year, and mater and pater will surely have been paying for coaching or club fees throughout the year. Perhaps they don't get taken to events - schools might not, and many parents don't. There's none so deprived as a public school kid, and I've got/had 2.

And you're right 2ndpl=1st loser - coaching is the top of the iceberg. But even the most talented benefit from direction. I'll go and get the second job and he'll get zero spending money, I guess.....

Prometheus
-30th January 2004, 00:08
Let's extend Mr Hunter's point on No Win/No Fee to Presidents. Hmmm.

Actually not a good idea as they too aren't exactly overpaid.

PM1
-30th January 2004, 07:42
Not a serios suggestion, of course !!

haggis
-1st February 2004, 15:30
Originally posted by ihunter
Just be thankful those of you who do get paid don't get paid by results!

On the contrary, I think that's an excellent idea. The question is who pays? And how would you like to quantify results? In the other sports that I mentioned, where coaching fees were considerably higher than fencing's, the fees were what you would expect to pay if you were useless. Perhaps you're suggesting that I use these as a base figure and add a premium for decent results (25% for top 50 in GB rankings, 50% for top 20, 75% for top 10?)

Regards

Haggis