Perhaps the most important principle of training--one which is possibly overlooked more than any other and which has a tremendous impact on the art, science, and business of coaching--is that, in order to be most effective, everything that happens during a fencer's training should be designed to be fun.
A lot of coaches (and fencers) have the confused understanding that fun is detrimental to learning and that the best, most "serious" training is hard, grueling work that the athlete
The process of learning can--should--involve numerous mistakes. We learn the most about our activity and ourselves by making mistakes. Although many students may feel like they are wasting time until they perform some action or technique perfectly, it is when they make mistakes that they, in terms of their education, can be most productive.
There are, however, striking exceptions to this model.
Some students become "prisoners" of their mistakes. They fixate on errors,
People generally look at talent as some magical quality that you either have or you don't. Coaches hope to find the elusive talented individual that will become a great fencer. Athletes admire the talent of the top competitors.
Talent, however, is an illusion.
The greatest factor separating the "talented" from "untalented" is their beliefs. While athletes may be different sizes and strengths, and have differing levels of coordination, their ability to perform and achieve
Most coaches are fairly dedicated imitators, copying their entire skill-set from other coaches they've seen or worked with.* The process of imitation gives a coach an opportunity to capitalize on the knowledge and experience of others and, for many coaches (particularly in a country like the US, where there is very little formalized coaching training), serves as the primary means of learning how to teach fencing.
More knowledgeable and experienced coaches also gain from imitation as
The thing that has the greatest impact on your success--as a fencer, as a coach, as a human being--is your set of beliefs.
Your beliefs are the governing principles of your thoughts and behavior. They define and limit what you can achieve. If you believe that there are things you will never be able to do or achieve, then those things will remain unattainable to you. If you believe that you can continue to learn and succeed, then you will.
Beliefs have a significantly