What I’ve learned as a fencing coach…

Got to the venue for the fencing match around 7:10, figuring I was ten minutes late. Turns out this match was schedule for 6:30 unlike the other one we had against them, and we were around 40 minutes late. Oh, well. We wound up having lots of technical troubles (end of season, lots of equipment failures and difficulties), and so we only fenced seventeen bouts on one strip, and eleven on the other, in two hours. Normally we get through around seventeen bouts an hour, so you can see how we did. The ‘varsity teams’ each got to fence five bouts on my side, or three on their side (Their rule is that everyone who shows up gets to fence if they have electrical gear, so my guys fenced five times to make sure everyone on the other side got to fence two or three times).

1) Slippery floors. Some fencing rooms have linoleum tile floors which seem to get waxed just before competitions. Everyone was sliding all over the place. Kids may be able to use two pairs of shoes, one for wooden floors and one for waxed linoleum. I need to see if the school will replace the carpet in the fencing room with linoleum or wood, so the kids can practice on a surface that mimics most of our venue floors — several kids have nearly gotten hurt sliding around because they have no practice with it.

2) Kids also need two body cords, and two foils. They really do, to avoid technology problems. A team needs to travel with an armorer, who can fix body cords and most minor weapon problems.

3) I need another fencing machine, and four reels, to handle the problems of tangled bungee cords.

4) All the kids need a lot more drill time — lunges, advance-lunges, forward cross-overs, reverse cross-overs in footwork; disengage, feint-deceive, prise-de-fer, lunge, and all eight parries for sword and hand-work. Next season, we need drill days three times a week.

5) More calisthenics. Most of my guys get lazy mid-season, and flop around. They need to be a lot more up and active during the season. So do I.

6) I need to go to the fencing school in Colorado, but only if the school will pay.

Ok, that’s it for now; it’s time for me to get ready for today’s game…

P.S. I love you, .

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