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AvasMom

Fencing moms?

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We are going to check out a new fencing school for dd14 today. Any particular questions we need to ask? She's only fenced through a community program in the past so still a novice. The coach is the US Olympic team women's fencing coach so his qualifications are established (obviously). What else do we need to ask???

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If they offer saber and foil- will your dd get to try out both and pick one? What equipment does she need? (some places will lend out shirts, masks and swords-but at some point it's nice to have your own) How many days a week do they need to be there for classes? How big are the classes and what is the coach/student ratio? If your dd is hoping to compete, do they have special competition classes/camps before big national meets and what is the price? That is all I can think of right now, my dd16 fences saber and a lot of it was a blur to me, we kind of learned as we did, but I would have liked more explanation about what we were doing in regards to the competition circuit/ meets.

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Here's two posts, one has a short video of my dd at her first National event- we had no clue what we were doing! -and we were kind of in between fencing academies, long story but the one we went "back" to at the time of the Nationals was really big, and too big of a student/coach ratio and we had no coaching during her events except the very first one, where we didn't know what was going on and the coach from the big school explained a bit, but he didn't really actively coach her. During her last two bouts, we saw her "old" coach and he came and verbally coached her, even though she wasn't his student at the time, which was really, really sweet. We are actually back at the smaller school and I have to drive almost an hour to it.

 

http://www.homeiswhe...ud-mama-moment/

 

http://www.homeiswhe...cation-edition/ (scroll down, it's the 2nd "picture" box, but there is an arrow to play the video

 

you can hear me trying to "coach" her even though I get confused with all the rules of "right of way" so I just kept yelling for her to "take it!" the other girls had coaches, usually Russian, yelling directions at them, we felt a bit "alone". It was a big learning curve for us!

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My DD is now at her second fencing club (she fences foil), and it's been really interesting how different the two are run. The first club had coaching in separate sessions from the group classes (for additional fees), and the coaches were paid extra (by you) if they came to coach at competitions. Her current club incorporates individual coaching into the group sessions (they pull the kids out of the bouting to coach them individually during the class).

 

It's also good to know how they encourage/support competitive fencers. Some clubs "push" competitions, and some are pretty laid back.

 

If you purchase your own equipment, you can ask about the club's armory. It's nice to have someone available to fix body cords and weapons, if needed. (Again, usually for a small fee.)

 

It's good to be clear on the fee structures. They are not always super-clear or organized at the fencing clubs. :)

 

Like HenJen, my DH and I knew nothing about the sport of fencing. Nearly 3 years in, I'm still learning the ropes! Our last club was not very good at supporting the kids at the competitions. The other clubs had multiple coaches there to support the girls, and we felt very clueless and alone. Her new club is much better that way. Again, good to ask how they handle competition coaching, if your child is going to be competing, and whether you need to include extra coaching fees for competitions.

 

So nice to "meet" other fencing parents! There's not too many of us. :001_smile: Good luck at your new club!

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I agree with the above posters. Make sure you know what the monthly fee includes. The club my son goes to has a monthly fee that includes drills and sparring but that doesn't necessarily mean a coach is leading. A lot of times the coach is working with someone else and is not paying attention to those that are sparring and doing drills. In order to get time with the coach you have to pay extra for private lessons. Also, if there are private lessons ask about availability. At our club if you don't sign up on the first day that the new schedule is open then you probably won't get a lesson. They fill quickly.

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My dd fences foil and practices with 2 different clubs. One is a homeschool club that meets twice a week, and is dry fencing only. She likes the social aspect and they do fight in tournaments (which are electrically scored). She and my dh also go once a week to practice with a college team and to get private lessons with the coach.

 

My dh fenced in college so he can coach dd at each tournament. Most of the time, the team captains are the ones who do the coaching because the homeschool coach is directing bouts.

 

Everyone in my family fences now, my ds just started, so I'm going to have to learn the sport.

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