While tournament season is an exciting time for fencers of all ages, competition isn’t the end-all-be-all when it comes to the benefits you can gain from training. It’s important to stay motivated and continue training throughout the year so that you can learn new skills and improve upon those you need to advance in the next season.
Help Coach Others
As a more experienced fencer, you may want to talk to your coach to find out if you can help some of the less seasoned fencers train during the off-season. Teaching is an incredible way to enhance your skills, as you’ll have to better verbalize and demonstrate what you know. You’ll also gain a great eye for seeing and correcting technique and form and others; and for recognizing flaws in your competitors.
Watch Other Competition
Sure, your local competition season may be over, but the global stage never seems to stop. Spend some time watching the Fencing World Championships, tapes of old competitions, and videos of your favorite pro fencers. Do a little digging and find out who is trying to qualify for the next Olympic games. Watching more seasoned athletes train and compete, even if not in person, is another great way to stay motivated and will give you ideas to talk to your own coaches about as you continue your training.
Make Yourself Some Visuals
When one season ends, preparation for the next season begins. Don’t let yourself relax too much. Grab a calendar and figure out how many weeks you have until the next competition season starts. Create a plan for the number of times per week you plan to train between now and then. Consider your family vacations and time you may need to take off and create a system that gives you a lighter schedule to recover from the past season, gradually increasing as you get closer to the next. Your body will thank you for backing off a bit to recuperate and will be better prepared as you work towards next season’s peak.
The time you have between competition seasons is a great time to strength train and work on your cardiovascular endurance. While these things are important all year, they are “extras” that can be difficult to fit in between training sessions and tournaments during the busy season. Make sure you add these training elements back into your routine as soon as you can.
Not sure where to pick up between season. Talk to your coaches here at Silversword and we’ll help you get back on track – and stay there. We’re here to help!