(last updated June 2019)
The ADP weapon leads have highlighted some key goal and attention points for season 2019/20 which are applicable across all weapons:
Team Strategy: Continue to focus on team fencing during the camps. All GBR fencers should become very familiar with the versatility required for team fencing. The whole team including coach(es) needs to operate as one unit with a clear strategy each team-match and the experience, confidence and flexibility to change this strategy if needed.
Individual Athlete Plans: Continue to help athletes develop practical and effective personal plans which will enhance their chances of achieving their goals. The individual athlete plans form the foundation of participation in the programme. All athletes are expected to bring up to date plans to each camp which should be regularly discussed and updated with personal coaches in between camps.
International Athlete: Further develop the identification of key areas our athletes need to work on to be ready to compete at international standards and integrate these into programme delivery. For example, we will provide additional guidelines, exercises and the tools to help athletes setting up their own S&C programme.
Athlete Support Team Communication: Develop the relationships and improve communication between the programme and personal coaches to better support athletes. Essential to this will be learning from the experience of our most successful coaches, sharing coaching ideas and methods, and ensuring that the athletes who attend ADP camps experience a streamlined and coordinated training plan and a coherent tactical/technical message.
Weapon Framework: Build on the initial weapons framework content and develop a common language and framework to supporting the work of all coaches. This started with sabre and the “GB sabre style” this concept is now to be developed across Epee and Foil. Epee coaches are looking to provide access to online resources for athletes and their coaches to help reinforce and support the work the athletes are doing on the camps.
U23 Support: Expand the ADP to embrace U23 fencing, giving the leading U23s confidence that the program can provide training, advice and input which will enhance their performance and help to develop excellence at world level.
Coaching Development: To support the development of performance mentoring skill and to support the development of coaches, with a focus on problem solving, quality of technical delivery, and helping less-experienced coaches to deliver a better and better day-to-day training environment for the next generation of internationals.
The BF Athlete profile is a performance profiling tool. The purpose of the profile has always been to help drive training to be athlete-centred, needs based, and tailored to athletes in a way that supports their holistic development. Profiles are a part of the target set out by Sport England, who fund the Athlete Development Programme. They should aid discussion between fencers, personal coaches and the ADP coaches. Whilst fencer are creating the profiles, they are not fully being used to provide evidence of any technical, tactical, psychological or physical improvement. In future camps ADP coaches will be expected to use the information from the profiles as part of the camps training programmes and to use the evidence from the profiles in the mid-season progress evaluation that will contribute to the end of season fencer review. This review identifies where the fencer is on the Athlete Development Pathway.
Fencers within the age-range 18-23 are at a crucial point in their lives. Many go off to University, moving away from their families for the first time and starting out in more independent lives. From a fencing perspective, this might mean moving away from a club or coach who has guided the fencer for many years, as well as the end of age-group fencing when a fencer reaches the end of their Junior years. This is also when participation rates in the sport drop off, sharply, across all weapons. Following insight work with fencers we had reports of feeling a loss of focus or direction at this age group, leaving Juniors, but not yet feeling ready for full Senior international fencing. This whilst also striving to balance academic life and exploring new-found independence.
In order to help give a sense of purpose and direction for fencers within this age group, British Fencing is seeking to encourage meaningful competitive experiences and work alongside clubs, coaches and organisations with specific projects for developing this age group of fencers.
Meaningful competition with purpose and direction
To give fencers a greater sense of purpose and direction for their fencing when in the 18-23 age bracket, the Athlete Development Programme is proposing looking at the two major competitive opportunities for fencers aged 18-23, the European U23 Championships and the World University Games, and making a commitment to engaging much more with these competitions.
To support these twin competitions, the Athlete Development Programme is looking to work closely with and support clubs, coaches and organisations that are seeking to work with fencers aged 18-23. The Athlete Development Programme is particularly interested in:
Clubs, coaches and organisations seeking to become hubs for the development of fencers aged between 18-23
Clubs, coaches and organisations seeking to provide support to fencers whose goals include performing at the European U23 Championships and World University Games
In addition to the 18-23 age group, the Athlete Development Programme will, over the coming years, be looking at specific weapons to see what can be done to ensure that there are stable pipelines of fencers competing at Cadet and Junior level competition, raising the standard of performances in competition. The first weapons that we are keen to work to develop are Women’s Foil and Women’s Sabre. The Athlete Development Programme is seeking to work with and support clubs, coaches and organisations engaged in projects to develop these two weapons.
The Athlete Development Programme is particularly interested in:
Projects which are aimed at increasing the numbers of women and girls taking part in regular competition through innovative approaches to competition.
Clubs, coaches and organisations that would seek to become hubs specialising in developing Women’s Foilists and Sabreurs
For more information, or to express an interest in working together with British Fencing’s Athlete Development Programme in these areas, please contact Rob Cawdron, using the firstname.lastname@example.org email.
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