Your Role as a Parent
As a parent, your primary purpose is to support and encourage your child. Parents greatly contribute to the success experienced by their children as well as other children in the youth program. Parent’s attitudes are often adopted by their children, who consult from their advice and approval. Parents, be aware of this and strive to become positive role models. Most importantly, this includes showing good sportsmanship at all times and respecting coaches, officials, and opponents.
Get your child to the club to train regularly. School obligations come first, so utilize school holidays for maximizing training opportunities. Training two months a year at a camp will yield very limited results. A consistent training curriculum is strongly encouraged.
It is important to let your child establish his own goals and play the game for him/herself. Help your child establish and achieve the goals he/she sets for him/herself. Avoid imposing your own goals or the coach’s goals on your child. “Success,” sometimes interpreted as “winning,” comes at different ages for each fencer. Success in youth fencing is achieved if the program helps the child love fencing. Great achievement will occur when the child loves the sport.
The best way to help your child achieve his goals and reduce his/her fear of failure is through positive reinforcement. No one likes to make mistakes. When your child makes one, remember that he is still learning. Encourage his efforts and highlight the successes and the things your child did well. Your child will have good days and bad ones. Help him through the bad days and celebrate the good days he/she is fortunate to have. Fencing is a continuous struggle to improve from first‐day beginner to Olympic Champion.