Sunday, July 30, 2017

I Have a Feeling Someone Will Explain to Me Why I am Wrong.

The other day, I threw up a meaningless entry into my journal. It was just because I don't seem to be posting often.

Today, I have something to record.

Yesterday, I fenced in a practice team tournament. Good practice. I did not fence well, but I fenced.

The teams were picked by our coach. It was an effort to make things fair.

As fate would have it, I was anchor for our second team bout and had to fence the other teams best fencer. The score was 40 to 37 in our favor.  The guy I was fencing was in his 20s, taller, obviously faster than my heavy set, 65 year old body. He is a better fencer than me. By that I mean if I was having a really good day, and he was having a really bad day, there is a possibility I could win a 15 touch bout. However, that would not be the way to bet.

Okay. I set up the situation and some facts as I see them. The reason I recorded this is I think it interesting to see how a coach sees the situation and how the fencers sees the situation.

 My coach (Not being this blunt and choosing other words) told me I was a dumb ass because I attacked even though our team had the lead. Well maybe. In my mind, I did not have a good shot at taking this guy and I thought I might try and rack up some doubles. Didn't work. I also did not have confidence in scoring with a counter as his reach and mobility were so much better than mine and his hand was never open.

Eventually, the score was something like 41 or 42 to 40 for my opponent. I do not remember exactly. At any rate, after figuring out attacking was not going to work or not going to work often enough I switched it up. The score became 44-44. I scored the last touch in an good bout. I was happy.  But me getting that win is not why I record this.  I do not mean this to be a "Yay for Jim" entry. This is about how a fencer sees something and how his coach sees something. Generally it is just black and white. The coach is right and you are not.

 Like I said earlier, I did not fence well the whole day. But I was happy that I was out there fencing.

There was a time, in the not to distant past, when if I had been in the situation of the bout I described  above, I would have not been patient and I would have continued  to attack out of desperation.  So...progress....Yay!

There was another time when I THINK I saw things differently than my coach. Not sure about this, I just saw it in his eyes. We did not discuss it. As I said before, the teams were picked in such a way as to try and make them fair. My coach had a team. Obviously, the best fencer between the five teams.  To help balance this out, he had a small 10 year old boy on his team. I had to fence the little guy first. There were points that needed to be gained back and this was an easy chance to do so. I gained back some points, but I could not just beat the crud out of a 10 year old newbie. I let him have a point. The look in my coaches eyes, said to me he was NOT in favor of this. I think I read that right. I could be wrong. Collusion! Black card offence! What ever reasons coaches have for seeing it this way. This was not the first time this has happened to me. I had a professional coach get huffy with me for me letting a tiny young girl score some touches. Didn't care then. Don't care now. In my opinion, the only thing beating the crap out of someone teaches them is.....well.....nothing. I guess you could say, it teaches them that there are people that are going to beat the crud out of them. I don't see that as a valuable lesson.

I need to reenter rate, that I am not talking junk on my coach. He reads this sometimes. He is  a  a smart guy and a good coach. On the other hand, I am a smart guy too. (At least some of the time.) I think every once in a while (and after a certain point of study) a student and a coach may see things differently. Not that one is right and the other wrong. It is just seeing things from a different point of view.


cobalt said... here.

Yeah, you're reading the look in the coach's eyes wrong. That look was the look of a sick man that was just wanting to get done and get to a bed :P

Regarding your strategy, we didn't get to finish talking about that. But that makes sense where you were going with it. It ended up being wrong, but I can see your point. One thing I hope you understand is that I will never condemn you for trying a strategy that ended up being wrong. And I definitely don't condemn you for using a different strategy then I would use(I've been wrong a NUMBER of times). What I was really happy about is that you didn't give up, you changed your strategy around, and won a bout against honestly a physically superior fencer. That was a freaking awesome usage of tactics and technique!

Now, as far as letting the 10 year old fence in this. This kid has a fairly substantial ego/self-confidence. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as he can take a beating and understand it's to be learned from. I even told him at the beginning, just get the points you can, I'll cover the rest(He did, and I did! ;) ) And I'm totally fine with you giving him that touch BTW, in matter of fact glad you did (As said, if there was any look, it was of a sick man wanting to go home :P )

If I ever feel a fencer is going to have their confidence damaged irreparably at a tournament, I won't let them fence the tournament. I have kids I've done that with too. But if I feel the kid can gain something from the experience (particularly if I get to monitor it being on the same team ;) ), then I'll definitely do it.
Not to mention, this kid got wrecked at the last youth tournament he was at. He now knows the mountain he needs to climb.

This also was a great way for me to make certain he got to watch me fence and show him what you're supposed to do. :)

Jim Kent said...

You are a good man Brian.