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Fencing coaching targets and periodization


The fencing season in most fencing divisions in america poses important issues within the periodization of coaching for aggressive fencers. Fencing is now a yr spherical sport, with competitions each month and in some circumstances alternatives for fencers to take part in a driving distance competitors each weekend. On this surroundings, planning a periodized coaching program requires a detailed match between the targets of the person fencer, the need to win, and the general construction of a membership or indoor coaching program.

Traditional periodization creates 4 ranges of coaching cycles:

  1. Tremendous macrocycles – multi-year cycles to arrange for occasions that happen inside a yr; the Olympic quadrennium is one instance.
  2. Macrocycles – a single coaching cycle that spans one yr (in some circumstances two macrocycles could also be applicable).
  3. Mesocycles – various coaching cycles, as much as 6, inside a macrocycle.
  4. Microcycles – the weekly coaching cycle.

The construction of the coaching cycles is logically linked to the important thing aggressive occasions of a fencing yr. The character of those key aggressive occasions is determined by the extent and targets of the fencer. For an elite athlete working to type a nationwide staff, every of the occasions within the choice course of is a key occasion. On this athlete’s program, the everyday A2 division occasion is irrelevant and of worth solely to the extent that it serves as a coaching occasion. Precise occasions fluctuate by weapon and age group, however embody North American Cup Tour occasions, Summer season Nationals, and a few World Cup and Grand Prix occasions. For a senior foil, it is a minimal of seven occasions which award factors for the nationwide factors checklist, culminating within the World Championships, the occasion during which the shooter is predicted to have the most effective efficiency. For the handful of high snipers, it is a single macrocycle, with particular person mesocycles for every focused occasion.


For many fencers, nevertheless, qualifying for the Junior Olympics or the Summer season Nationals is a tough process, not to mention being profitable within the occasion. For a cadet fencer, it might be two macrocycles with the Junior Olympics as one and the Summer season Nationals because the second. However these macrocycles every require a efficiency in a most qualifying occasion for the common fencer, piloting at the very least two mesocycles. The problem is to determine, among the many big selection of tournaments accessible, the occasions throughout the macrocycle that may function necessary preparations for qualifying and nationwide occasions, and which might function targets within the mesocycles.

That is additional sophisticated by the necessity to get hold of the suitable rating to qualify for the specified occasion. For instance, I coached a Canadian fencer residing in america whose aim was to have the ability to shoot in a Division 1 occasion. She obtained her classification C in a Division 3 occasion, however did so too late to. have the ability to take part in a Division 1 Cup Tour match (the place a C is the minimal classification for entry) earlier than returning to Canada.

What does this imply for the coach who makes use of periodized coaching? First, the coach and the shooter will need to have effectively understood and mutually agreed targets, and these targets should be long run strategic targets, supported by seasonal targets. The goals decide the general design of the coaching program.


Second, the coach and fencer should select occasions that logically contribute to the targets of the coaching program. Not all tournaments deserve most effort. Some tournaments must be utterly ignored or handled solely as coaching occasions that the fencer can use to work on particular points (as understanding that medals or rankings will not be the aim could also be tough for some athletes. ).

And third, you need to enable sufficient time between key tournaments for the coaching course of to work. If a fencer trains 5 days every week and fencing a contest on weekends, it’s attainable to finish a full microcycle between competitions, together with relaxation and restoration time. Nevertheless, if a fencer solely trains one or two days every week, it is rather tough to fluctuate the size, depth and composition of the coaching periods to realize important progress. That is true even when one of many many various fashions of periodization is chosen: conjugate, competitor, talent / power or a number of rhythm.

All of which means that the coach and the shooter should perceive their targets and work collectively to search out the most effective coaching strategy that meets the competitors targets throughout the actuality of the membership surroundings, time accessible and the shooter’s capability. to coach. Periodized coaching is a fancy strategy to coaching that has been confirmed to enhance athlete efficiency. It is usually a way that requires the coach and athlete to grasp and decide to making use of it.



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