Fencing has being a great experience for our son. Growing up, he tried other sports, but nothing has brought him a combination of challenge, skill and satisfaction as fencing had. With fencing he found his true calling – a sport that requires focus, strategy, dedication, fitness and experience, which provides him with fun and purpose, and drives him to team up and excel. We are very pleased to having become a fencing family!!
- A sport! Neither Sam nor Xan had shown any interest in other sports, except ultimate Frisbee, which I think they only did for me. So now they have an opportunity to be physically fit, which I also think leads to greater self-esteem and lowers the likelihood that they’ll get in with “the wrong crowd”.
- New friends, not only at AFA, but also at all the tournaments we’ve been to.
- An understanding that competitors can be friends. You can do everything to win while still liking one another.
- An understanding of strategy and an improvement of thinking skills
My son does not have the right personality for team sports; he likes to win or not based on his own merit. So fencing allows him to improve as an individual athlete and still be able to root for all of the other opponents to do well, too.
We homeschool so this is a good opportunity for physical education that he can do year-round. He has enjoyed meeting the other young people in his classes and at the tournaments, and appreciates the work of his coaches. He likes that it’s an unusual sport because he doesn’t like to do the same sports that everyone else does. It makes him use his brain; he’s not simply following someone else’s playbook or direction.
I enjoy the tournaments as much as he does. Again, there are no winning and losing team just individual athletes, so all of the parents enjoy an easy camaraderie and root for each other’s kid. He’s happy to be winning medals at the tournaments even though he’s only been fencing for a few months. That is a real boost for my son because at age 16, he’s finally found *his* sport. He can continue fencing as long as he wants (he won’t “outgrow” it) and he can compete in the tournaments when he wants (doesn’t have to follow the schedule of a team). He can take this as far as he wants, depending on his own motivation to improve and to continue to compete. But he has fun even when he loses a match because that helps him improve, too.