Coaching Association of Canada

Pearls of Wisdom from the Fencing World Championships

October 24, 2011

First, a little bit about me! I am currently a fencing coach involved with the National Team Coaching Apprenticeship Program (NTAP), a CAC - Women in Coaching initiative to help promote female coaches at the national team level. This is my second year of the three year program. I am extremely proud to be a part of this program and value every opportunity presented to me so far.

I am currently working with a mentor coach from Ottawa with the women’s foil team – a different weapon from the one I first started the program with.

I have been to a few cadet and junior (U20) world championships over the past years, but had never been to senior world championships before. This one, in particular, was very important and of great concern to us on many fronts because it’s the last senior world championships before the Olympic Games and our sport receives Own the Podium funding for some coaching and targeted athletes.

It was a pleasure attending this event as our women’s foil team did very well. It was also a wonderful opportunity to see the next Olympic fencers from all over the world!

Here are some of my thoughts from the event:

Women’s Foil Qualifying Round (October 9, 2011)

Our women’s foil team fenced well today with three going to the top 64. Good showing for our women’s foil fencers!

Today’s pearl of wisdom (this day, there were 2 of them):

  1. From my mentor coach: This is senior worlds, you can’t be nice, you have to fight!

    Lesson for the future – I have to make the change from teaching cadets and juniors to making it count right away for senior, especially when it is during Olympic qualifications! We are not learning anymore, we are doing!
  2. From the president of the CFF: The way one talks to officials and athletes makes a big difference!

    Lesson for the future – getting mad, up-set, throwing a tantrum are not good ideas (not that this happened ;)). Approaching with a smile, a strong hand shake and an “innocent” question about a call from the referee is the best way to not be black carded (thrown out of the place!). It also is more likely that the referee will greet you next time with a smile and a wink, which can only be good for our fencers!

Women’s foil Individual Round (October 11, 2011)

One of our women made the top-32! This hasn’t been done since the mid 80s so a pretty good day!

Today’s pearl of wisdom: A good program, coupled with good coaching, added to strength, determination, poise and confidence makes for a very good finish at a very important tournament. I am proud to be a part of this.

Women’s Team Foil Event (October 14, 2011)

We beat our first team, Tunisia. This put us in the top 16.

We beat our second team, Germany. This put us in the top 8 – never done before at world championships!

We placed 8th at senior world championships.

Today’s pearl of wisdom: Everyone has a role to play on a team. Playing that role decides if the team goes forward, stays where it is, or even goes backwards. We have no intentions of going anywhere but forward - anything can happen!

(Editor’s note: Lynn is now at the Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, MEX and will be blogging for us from there – stay tuned for more “Pearls of Wisdom”!)

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