Between the 28th and 30th December 2020, British Fencing’s Athlete Development Programme (ADP) hosted its fifth virtual training camp. 150 athletes joined in for 50 online sessions over 3 days, bringing athletes together from across the country over the festive period.
“The coaches brought up lots of points about how to improve our fencing, and how to reflect on our own game. They also listened to our points of view and created a great environment where people felt they could speak freely (difficult to do on Zoom!)”
The ADP returned over the festive period for its fifth online training event. In light of new restrictions for England over the Christmas period, (with many parts of the country placed into the newly announced Tier 4 at the time), it proved to be a welcome opportunity for athletes and coaches to come together online. The entire Athlete Development Team rose to the occasion.
Across all three weapons, there was a blend of activities which included match analysis from competition at all levels, from the Junior European Championships to Senior World Championship finals, and physical training sessions focusing on footwork and precision bladework. All of this took place in a supportive coaching environment that encouraged athletes to think critically about their own fencing and discuss how they can improve.
Dr Jonathan Katz returned for all three weapons, revisiting his work on ‘having a routine in the minute break’. This was followed by sessions for all athletes examining how their mental state can impact their fencing, and how recognising this and taking proactive steps to address it can improve performance.
Steve Petrie and George Morris delivered strength and conditioning sessions for athletes, giving them physical training. They were joined by Katie Arup, to deliver structured guidance on what makes a good cooldown and why it is such an important routine for athletes.
Head of Pathways, Steve Kemp, invited athletes to reflect on and discuss their goals, what they are trying to achieve and how are they are going to get there. This gave athletes of different ages and from different weapons the opportunity to share and learn from each other about what they are doing to be successful.
There were two sessions for the parents of ADP athletes. The first, run by BF’s CEO Georgina Usher, discussed the role of the parent in a young athlete’s life and guided parents through BF’s newly published Athlete Development Model. The second session focused on recent changes to anti-doping regulations, updating parents on what they needed to know as well as a general anti-doping refresher.
On Tuesday evening there was a session for personal coaches that took the coaches through the content being delivered to the ADP athletes at the camp, as well as the work being done to underpin what the ADP is delivering.
British Fencing would like to thank the entire ADP Team and Coaches for the time and work that went into organising the weekend to make it a success. With such a range of activity delivered to different audiences, running this camp took a great deal of planning and commitment from all involved.
“(I enjoyed)…The introduction to mental skills, anti-doping, publicity and the insight into gender discrimination, as these were really beneficial and it is great to hear about other athletes thoughts and opinions too.”
“I most enjoyed the session with Jonathan Katz since he gives an extremely interesting insight into psychology”
BF and the ADP would like to take the opportunity to thank Sport England for their continued support and funding that makes these events possible. Learn more about Sport England’s support of the ADP here
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