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Thread: US Fencing Future Stars Program.

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    Senior Member Allex's Avatar
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    US Fencing Future Stars Program.

    http://usfencing.org/news/2012/01/26...ng-youth/46385

    Am I the only one being a touch skeptical on this?
    "He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad. And that was all his patrimony."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allex View Post
    http://usfencing.org/news/2012/01/26...ng-youth/46385

    Am I the only one being a touch skeptical on this?
    I don't like that the membership dues of everyone ranked below 15th goes to pay for a camp for the 1st-15th.
    I guess they finally found a way to make the Y14 points list mean something.

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    Camps are worthless garbage. You learn by taking lessons with your personal coach and by fencing in competition. I have yet to meet a high level fencer who made significant improvement from a "camp."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allex View Post
    http://usfencing.org/news/2012/01/26...ng-youth/46385

    Am I the only one being a touch skeptical on this?
    I am totally unclear about the point of this program and camp. What purpose is it meant to serve?

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    Weird. Stress tied to performance way too early, it seems to me. Why? Let them have fun first...
    gladius, Sinestra, wakeup and 1 others like this.

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    Senior Member Allex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hello? View Post
    Weird. Stress tied to performance way too early, it seems to me. Why? Let them have fun first...
    This.

    IMHO more pressure will produce more losses for fencing.
    I recall having a beverage with a friend 3-4 years ago, he's a twice Olympian - very accomplished coach, we fenced together decades ago, and for a short time he was my coach - his kid just started getting points in Y12; and the whole hour or so conversation was centered on his puzzlement in regards to why so much pressure, stress, and travel is being piled on kids.
    gladius, Mr Epee and Sinestra like this.
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    Senior Member Mr Epee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fdad View Post
    I don't like that the membership dues of everyone ranked below 15th goes to pay for a camp for the 1st-15th.
    I guess they finally found a way to make the Y14 points list mean something.
    A) Is it actually free for participants? Travel, room, board, etc. inclusive? I didn't read that in the linked article, but other information may be in circulation. It's difficult to imagine that USA Fencing would be able to subsidize a staff of a dozen people for a week plus a trip to Disney World.

    B) Camps, especially for younger athletes, can be very good opportunity to establish and solidify identity within the sport; some will 'get it' others will not. Don't underestimate the value of an opportunity to unleash holy hell for a week solid on your competition. That'll certainly carry over to in-season competition.

    C) It's not entirely clear why this would need to be a USA Fencing operation, but NGB's are notorious for handing hat feathers to favorite sons and daughters. So, this incarnation should come as no surprise to anyone.

    D) There is probably some merit in offering kids an opportunity to get extended contact time with established elite athletes.

    E) I would be more comfortable, if this were a private enterprise that didn't rely on the national ranking of kids for participation.

    G) There is an aspect of youth fencing that involves wealthy parents flying their kids around the country, around the world, and posting pictures to Facebook of their 12 year old Olympic hopeful swimming with dolphins. There are a class of fencing kids who at the age of 14-15 actually have strong informed opinions about forms of international travel and ground conditions in Stockholm, Budapest, Bratislava, and a dozen other European countries. This is something of a fairly recent development. For whatever reason, USA Fencing appears to support this development model, and I suppose that's ok. I'd say that this camp project is quite inline with that development model.

    Have-nots need not apply.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Epee View Post

    G) There is an aspect of youth fencing that involves wealthy parents flying their kids around the country, around the world, and posting I'd say that this camp project is quite inline with that development model.

    Have-nots need not apply.
    I think calling this a "model" is probably giving it more respect than it deserves, but I'm going to assume you are being a bit snarky on purpose. It's quite clear to those of us who have been around "elite" youth fencing for more than 15 minutes, that there is no "model." The USFA flies by the seat of its pants with this stuff. The HP Director position, which is supposed to develop a unified plan for fencers has been a revolving door joke for years. Funding for Cadets and Juniors who have fenced around the world on their parent's dime is a disgrace.

    As much as I respect the coaches involved with this endeavor, I'm supposed to get excited by this "camp" for rich kids?

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    Senior Member Mr Epee's Avatar
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    Of course it's a model, and it's a model that suits some folks just fine. Market disorganization and weak regulation is a recipe for success. Not everyone's success, of course.

    There's a reason the HP director is a revolving door job. As it stands, I doubt anyone could ever do the job.

    Funding for Cadets and Juniors who have fenced around the world on their parent's dime is a disgrace.
    You mean starting to give money to people who have already demonstrated that they don't really need it?
    It's kind of brilliant, if you stop to think about it.

    As much as I respect the coaches involved with this endeavor, I'm supposed to get excited by this "camp" for rich kids?
    No, you're supposed to go about your business and save your outrage for something actually outrageous... or at least new under the sun. Like it or not, the interests of a group of parents with the resources to drop 10-20k/year on their 12-17 year old kid's hobby are a higher organizational priority than however many years you and the rest of the people like you have dedicated to the sport. Did I mention that quite a few of these kids are likely headed to elite universities? They are clearly a better class of people (in your heart, you already know this), and y-14 is as good an age as any to start reaping the benefits of privilege. Time to get with the program.

    Nothing new here. Move along.
    Allex likes this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Epee View Post
    Have-nots need not apply.
    Communist!!
    Beauty is not the goal of competitive sports, but high-level sports are a prime venue for the expression of human beauty. The relation is roughly that of courage to war.

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    Another perspective: The opinions expressed here are presented by a fencing parent whose child is in the top 15, as well as someone who believes in offering kids the opportunities to pursue their passions. (Unless it's video games. I hate those.)

    With the exception of the possiblity of funding for an International Y15 event (who knew!), how is this any different than the camps that are offered for the top ranked cadets and juniors? My guess is that the top 15 on the Y14 points lists aren't 8 - 9 year olds, but 13-15 year olds.

    To me it sounds like an interesting opportunity, although how the Coach will feel is yet to be determined......

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    Quote Originally Posted by kathe23 View Post
    With the exception of the possiblity of funding for an International Y15 event (who knew!), how is this any different than the camps that are offered for the top ranked cadets and juniors? My guess is that the top 15 on the Y14 points lists aren't 8 - 9 year olds, but 13-15 year olds.
    Not too different, I don't like paying for those either.

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    Senior Member Allex's Avatar
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    Frankly sounds like a junket for someone who adopted this program, with some money being kicked back to someone or something by somebody in Florida.
    "He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad. And that was all his patrimony."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allex View Post
    Frankly sounds like a junket for someone who adopted this program, with some money being kicked back to someone or something by somebody in Florida.
    See? US Fencing can indeed learn lessons from the eastern european way ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by fdad View Post
    I don't like that the membership dues of everyone ranked below 15th goes to pay for a camp for the 1st-15th.
    The Future Stars Program is budgeted to run a surplus. The surplus is slated to mostly, but not completely, balance a deficit in Coaches College (run at the same location in the couple of weeks prior to the Future Stars Summer Program). Per financial information provided as part of the Board call last week.

    -B
    "Oh but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by oiuyt View Post
    The Future Stars Program is budgeted to run a surplus. The surplus is slated to mostly, but not completely, balance a deficit in Coaches College (run at the same location in the couple of weeks prior to the Future Stars Summer Program). Per financial information provided as part of the Board call last week.

    -B
    What percentage of the 90 (2x3x15) eligible fencers must participate in order for this surplus to be realized?

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    Posting Hound oiuyt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fdad View Post
    What percentage of the 90 (2x3x15) eligible fencers must participate in order for this surplus to be realized?
    The numbers I saw were based on 90 participants. There was no information included (that I recall) about eligibility to be a participant, how participants were going to be selected, solicited, replaced, recruited, or otherwise encouraged to participate.

    -B
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    "Oh but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by oiuyt View Post
    The numbers I saw were based on 90 participants. There was no information included (that I recall) about eligibility to be a participant, how participants were going to be selected, solicited, replaced, recruited, or otherwise encouraged to participate.

    -B
    "an eight-day camp that will be held for the top 15 male and top 15 female athletes in each weapon (epee, foil and saber) ... who will be selected from the Y14 National Points Standings as of May 7, 2012"

    I would be amazed if attendance approached 100%.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fencerX View Post
    See? US Fencing can indeed learn lessons from the eastern european way ...
    Kick back schemes were probably working in Ancient Egypt and before, do not blame/prise eastern europe for them

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    Posting Hound oiuyt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fdad View Post
    "an eight-day camp that will be held for the top 15 male and top 15 female athletes in each weapon (epee, foil and saber) ... who will be selected from the Y14 National Points Standings as of May 7, 2012"

    I would be amazed if attendance approached 100%.
    I saw that. I was specifically referring to the (extremely limited) information provided alongside the financial projections.

    -B
    "Oh but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!"

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