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Thread: Hello everyone..

  1. #1
    Forum Rabbit
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    Default Hello everyone..

    My name is Peter, my son Sameer has been fencing for 15 months now. He is 9yrs old and his weapon is Epee.
    I find myself lacking in knowledge of this fine sport and all the things a supportive parent needs to know.
    If anyone has any advice or guidance to share, it would be greatly received.
    In August after a chat with a respected coach. I began to ferry Sameer to other fencing clubs as a guest fencer
    to help him obtain experience from fencing new/fresh fencers. I also entered Sameer into as many competitions as we could to help his fencing grow stronger.
    Now I wonder if too many competitions is a bad thing. On some competitions, Sameer loves the interaction with other boys and treats it like a Play day. Other days he wants the win and goes for it.
    I am not the pushy parent. I keep checking with him on if his happy and in the things he wants to do.
    Thank you for reading.

    Peter

  2. #2
    Paul Sibert Foilling Around's Avatar
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    Working out what works in competitions is great, but too many competitions when the goal is to win can produce an over reliance on one or two favourite moves. And at that age, moves which may not work later against more experienced fencers.

    Good stance and technique from the outset are very important and you have to balance the enjoyment with the hard work of "getting it right".

    Introducing the tactical element of the fencing bout as a kind of hunt where you try to outwit your opponent, rather than just using a series of physical actions.

    A coach can iron out technical deficiencies later, BUT - when you get tired or stressed later in your fencing life, you tend to revert to the original way you fenced. If that is badly balanced or big footwork or constant counterattacks, then it is a problem.

    Get it as right as you can from the beginning. That means a focus to training and technique.

    At the age of 9, he should be doing other sports as well. Things like dance and gymnastics are superb for flexibility and core strength. Do not overwork a young body or it will fall apart later.
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  3. #3
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    Default

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for your advice.
    Fencing came about because the boys school day increases by 15 minutes per year.
    So his 3yrs of playing in a football team ended because he couldn't make training and when asked what would you like to do instead, He chose Fencing.
    His footwork isn't good but as he stated to me when I asked where his style came from.
    "Dad. I wasn't taught a proper stance, maybe they thought I wasn't serious but I love fencing.
    So I copied Mo (that's another boy at his club)" now his working hard on correcting himself.
    Also, your words ring true in regard to overworking him.. and I'm am so torn in the correct choice of decision.
    At the outset of Sameer fencing. I was told that he should fence at least twice weekly and that is tough to organise around school and the other things he did. He was actively involved with streetdance programs at Pineapple dance studios. He chose fencing over dancing...
    Now his activities outside school are fencing, Tennis and swimming.
    He wants to do everything, which is killing me trying to keep up!
    My background is Music and I have no agenda on his fencing. It is a consuming sport.
    He has his last competition on Saturday at Packwood. Then I'm enforcing a break but how often should a 9yr old fence... ? There is a boy at his club who fences epee twice per week and foil three times per week.

  4. #4
    Moderator Gav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sameer's dad View Post
    My name is Peter, my son Sameer has been fencing for 15 months now. He is 9yrs old and his weapon is Epee.
    I find myself lacking in knowledge of this fine sport and all the things a supportive parent needs to know.
    If anyone has any advice or guidance to share, it would be greatly received.
    In August after a chat with a respected coach. I began to ferry Sameer to other fencing clubs as a guest fencer
    to help him obtain experience from fencing new/fresh fencers. I also entered Sameer into as many competitions as we could to help his fencing grow stronger.
    Now I wonder if too many competitions is a bad thing. On some competitions, Sameer loves the interaction with other boys and treats it like a Play day. Other days he wants the win and goes for it.
    I am not the pushy parent. I keep checking with him on if his happy and in the things he wants to do.
    Thank you for reading.

    Peter
    Only a conversation between you and Sameer can really tell you if he's doing too much.

    If he is happy, he's obviously not struggling (it's also not affecting anything else) and most importantly he's enjoying himself then don't worry.

    Competitions are a good experience. Obviously he's going to learn that he can't win all of the time and also that losing is a very important part of life and I think all kids who are brought into that and well supported will be fine.

    So long as he's having fun the winning will take care of itself.

    I will say that everyone should work hard back at the club: Take lots of lessons with a good coach and pay attention to what the "big guys" are doing.

    It sounds like you're on the right path.

    Welcome to the forum and the sport. It's fun, although you're wallet may disagree.
    "Evil does not wear a bonnet!"
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    It is forbidden to dream again;
    We maim our joys or hide them;

  5. #5
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    The number 1 thing is fun. Is he enjoying himself? If yes, great, if no, time to find out why.

    It is very easy to over-think being a supportive parent, and you will have plenty of people telling you that you "should do this" or "don't do that". At the end of the day, your son is the barometer for what you should or should not be doing. Does he want to fence twice a week? Yes? Alright, let's fence twice a week.

    There have been lots of books written on the subject, if you're interested in going down that route. Mark Hyman is a bit of a favourite of mine

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Until-Hurts...until+it+hurts

    And this is an interview he did for Sports Coach Radio talking about the same thing

    http://sportscoachradio.com/youth-sp...t-competition/

    Another interesting read for an example of "how not to do it" would be Andre Agassi's autobiography, and to see the effect that his father had on his development as a person

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Open-Autobi...s=andre+agassi

    Hope this helps.

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