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Why private lessons are so important

Posted on November 24th, 2015 at 10:52 am, in Club News, Fencing Improvement

by on November 4, 2015, originally posted on Fencing.net

Private lessons are not a luxury in the sport of Fencing—they’re a necessity, an investment in expanding the athlete’s repertoire, gaining an advanced tactical understanding, and building a bond with one’s coach.

It’s no surprise that parents beginning in the sport have a healthy skepticism regarding their value, given their price and length. Lessons will typically range for 20 minutes with a nationwide median price point of ~$40 (my estimate), making them an expensive addition to an already pricey sport.

The reasoning behind the length of lessons boils down to this: over-inundation of information is counterproductive and a hindrance to the athlete’s learning curve.

To the naked eye of a new parent, fencing looks like a simple game of “hit other guy with pointy end.” Beneath that simplicity, your child is learning a variety of subtle technique, including proper movement of the hand, movement of the feet, distance control, and blade leverage, all while enduring a physically and mentally demanding lesson that is forcing them to digest loads of information in a short period of time.

Imagine a piano lesson in which the student’s goal is to learn Liszt’s Études d’exĂ©cution transcendante. To expect to teach such a complex piece in a single lesson would be impractical. Perhaps, the teacher would plan to teach the student a few measures at a time, adjusting to the student’s proficiency and competence. Perhaps, as the student fails (as anyone does in the learning process), his frustration begins to mount to the point it stifles his ability to learn the piece further in that moment…

Click here to read the rest of Damien’s article.

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