Life is busy. Very busy. Children and teens today have schedules that rival the ones we had at their ages; many rivaling the ones we keep as adults. It’s incredibly easy to become overwhelmed and start looking for ways to cut back, save time, minimize back-and-forth travel, and simply create some breathing room. Sometimes we all feel like we need a break.

When it comes to assessing the schedule, we know fencing lessons are sometimes considered for the chopping block – at least temporarily. Truth be told, temporary breaks from an activity you or your child is serious about can be more detrimental in the long run than you may anticipate. Here’s why.

You’ll Lose Skill and You’ll Fall Behind

Even a temporary break from fencing will result in a loss of skill. Imagine that every month you take off is actually two months off. It may as well be. When you return you will not only have to spend time regaining some of the skills you’ve lost due to lack of practice, but you will also need to catch up on the new skills your peers have learned in your absence. While you train at your own pace in fencing classes, it is important to not fall too far behind the peer group you started training with as it can be very frustrating and difficult to catch up again. The time spent regrouping can be a huge catalyst, especially for younger children, when it comes to dropping out for good.

Full-length portrait of woman wearing white fencing costume holding black fencing mask and sword in her hand sitting aside thinking hard about something. Isolated on white background

Declines in Conditioning

Taking time away from fencing means you are going to lose some of your conditioning, both cardiovascular stamina and strength. It takes a great deal of time to build up the leg muscles needed to fence, and to train them to fire quickly. When it comes to musculature, you definitely lose what you aren’t using and it takes very little time for that muscular conditioning to go away.

Alternatives to Long Breaks

We get it. Life happens. You may just have to take a break. If you do, we’ll be here for you with open arms when you return. But is it possible you’re just a little burnt out? Consider scaling back a bit instead of dropping out completely. Try training one day a week instead of three; or training a couple of days per week without committing to a tournament or competition to reduce stress.

Fencing is a healthy, productive outlet that will always be there for you when you need it. Talk to your coaches here at Silver Sword if you’re struggling with time commitments. We’re always here for you!