It’s finally summer here in Calgary, and with the warm weather come opportunities to boost your physical potential. There’s no better time during the year to get out there and develop all the skills you’ll need to improve your fencing ability!
Summer training is the perfect way to hone your physical fitness, muscle memory and training, and to find – and fix – any weak areas before the competitive season starts up again. You know your style better than anyone else, and that puts you in a unique position to improve yourself, without the pressure to compete. And that’s not the only benefit to continuing on through the summer – since many fencers do not participate in other sports, this training can supplement that lack of participation by organizing age-appropriate strength and speed programs. The skills learned in these will carry into the regular season, and directly translate into better form, better habits, and increased confidence in the future.
Here are a few more advantages to fencing in the summer:
1. You can fence with more experienced athletes in the “free play” environment.
- Without the pressure to compete, you’re free to try new styles and techniques, and become more creative in your approach. Fencing with more experienced athletes enhances the learning process, and they become mentors and educators for their younger peers. This means all our athletes become a stronger, more united team.
2. You can “learn to train”. We believe in learning proper techniques of weight training and developing energy systems, and we incorporate several aspects of this belief.
- We use daily training plans, developed in a sequential progression that ensures consistent increases. Rather than just throwing our students into a gym and expecting results, we give them the foundations they need for a strong, correct technique – so that they can continue to improve for years to come.
- We also prepare the athletes for more effective post-training session workouts in the fall, by focusing on consistent success and constant improvement. (For a good summary of the method we follow, check out this short article about Daniel Robitaille, former Olympic weightlifting coach.) All of this enhances confidence with body weight strength exercises and other essential supplementary activities.
- Proper fitness will, in turn, enhance readiness for summer training camps, which lead into the training season. The important National Team qualification events occur in the fall, and being prepared and confident directly translates to competitive results.
- Now, most clubs only run “bouting sessions” in the summer – but Gladiators has summer programs designed for fitness, a break from the regular programs offered elsewhere. This means younger athletes can develop skills through more private lessons and individualized programs in the summer months, when coaches have more one-on-one time available.
- And lastly, individual physical literacy tests allow coaches to compile data on their athletes, and these reports can be shared with their families so that they have the support they need to do their very best!
If you’re still not sure whether summer training is right for you or your child, then we encourage you to come visit our facility and get a proper introduction to all we have to offer – in both this season, and the rest of the year. After all, we believe that constant improvement is the key to success, and there’s no better way to build confidence and motivation than to look back and see how far you’ve come!