Monday, May 14, 2012

USFCA and Other Things

This week I joined the United States Fencing Coaches Association. Actually this is the second time. The first time I did it just to read the magazines and some articles. This time, I am studying to become a Moniteur. I am studying for the written part of the exam. It is fairly challenging, though not daunting.


Mostly it is matter of learning some definitions that I have not heard of. Also a couple of definitions are not the same as things I had learned previously. There is a section on risk management that is new to me. There are a bunch of general fencing questions that are not hard at all..

Then there are a few things I use to know but have forgotten. That is disturbing. If I actually get my Moniteur that would be great. But even if I don't, this is forcing me to study and review things I should have studied and reviewed.

Looking ahead, the practical part of the exam seems to be kind of a mystery. I am trying to figure it all out. I once heard Jen Oldham (A Fencing Master) say that a lot of good fencers/coaches failed this test because they failed to prepare. I can now see why. It is pretty damn hard to prepare just by reading info on a web site.

I went to a clinic in Richmond to study with Walter Green ( A Fencing Master).  He is one of a few that can give the Moniteur exam. This was an effort for me to understand some things about how the USFCA did things.  He was planning to have two weekend clinics starting the end of May to prepare you for Moniteur testing . I have not seen anything posted, so I assume there is a snag. Without a clinic or some sort of preparation/dry run it would seem easy to fail. Flying across country for a clinic or 1,600.00 dollars to go to the new Coaches College is out of my price range. What to do?  How do you prepare?


The Greensboro Fencers Club


We just moved from a big sports complex to a church basement. The move was stressful, but went surprisingly well. At the big sports complex, we only had one strip. Now we have two and could do a third if need warranted. We also have a place without the sound of basketballs and buzzers. It is nice to hear the sounds of blades again.


This is the first time we have ever handled or gotten money for fencing lessons. For years we have been all volunteer coaches.  It isn't going to be a lot of money, but we think we will have enough profit to continually train our coaches and improve ourselves. Prior to this, we always paid out of our own pocket. I never liked the idea of paying to volunteer. There should also be enough money for new equipment and some gas money. We will see how it goes.


This is the main reason I want to get certified with the USFCA. There is money involved now. I feel like we owe it to our students to have credentials other than Coaches College. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it seems to be a bygone era.


Coaches Clinic


Oddly enough, as I pursue the Moniteur certification, the first big thing our club is doing is hosting a Coaching Clinic. By "coaching clinic" I mean a clinic for training coaches or aspiring coaches. It will be taught by Fencing Master Ron Miller, head coach for the University of North Carolina NCAA fencing program. Coach is the father and grandfather of fencing in this state. He is doing this for free. Primarily he wants to help the high school  fencing league and doesn't want to hamper their attendance with extra cost. That is the kind of guy he is.


I doubt this clinic will help me much in preparing for USFCA testing. It will however help me reveiw things and help my present coaching. This is good for me and my kids.


I have been privalege to have had  and currecntly have some great coaches.  Each in their own way.
It makes you feel small some how. Knowing that you will never be their equal. I spoke with an Apex  coach about this recently.  I explained how I lived in a dead zone for fencing and in comparing myself to my coaches past and present that I just do not feel good enough. She looked at me and asked, " Are you the best in the area you live in?" My aswer was, "Yes." It helped to put things in
perspective.


Onward into the challenges of coaching and certification.  Oh...not to mention competeing.





2 comments:

Jen Oldham said...

Coach WILL help you in the way of testing. He did me! Good luck in your journey. I'm still learning, a lot...

cobalt said...

Coach Miller was who I got my moniteur with. You should be able to get some valuable info from him....