On 17th and 18th October 2020, BF’s Athlete Development Programme hosted its fourth virtual training camp. 150 athletes joined in for 40 online sessions and in person training for Foil and Sabre at six locations across the country, in line with BF’s return to indoor fencing guidelines and in compliance with the new tiering system for local restrictions
“The physical footwork sessions were very tiring but they were good, definitely something I will use as a form of training with the short half steps”
The Athlete Development Programme returned on the weekend of the 17th and 18th October with a combination of online and in person training. The planning team adapted quickly to the government’s tiering system for local restrictions, announced 12th October, ensuring that all activity was compliant with the updated BF guidance for fencing.
There was a breadth of activity on display across the weekend.
Olympic Team Manager Johnny Davis, and Head of Pathways Steve Kemp challenged athletes to reflect upon their values and how these values inform the decisions they take in sport and in life.
The ADP Epee team took an in-depth look at competition, with video analysis sessions that focused on how an athlete adapts their fencing and approaches through an entire competition. This was supported by Q&A sessions with FIE referee Adrian Speakman and performance consultant Dr Jonathan Katz, which gave athletes insight into the perspective of referees at international competition, and a framework for athletes to make the most of the minute break.
In Foil, there was in person fencing at locations in Bristol, London, Edinburgh and Sheffield, with online sessions that encouraged fencers to look at the sport through the lens of the 3Ps of the GB Style, as well as the different roles that an athlete must play in a team, and the importance to an athlete of knowing their role.
Sabre, with physical training taking place in Truro and Stratford-upon-Avon looked at the behaviour of world class athletes in the highest pressure moments – 14-14 and 44-44 all, asking athletes what could be learned from seeing how the world’s best conduct themselves. This was supplemented by in-depth examination of the 3Ps in different tactical concepts alongside examining scenarios in team matches, and the importance of momentum and pressure.
Coaches Steve Petrie, George Morris and Chris Hay delivered physical training and education sessions, focusing on the physical demands of the sport at individual match and competition level, showing how an understanding of these demands informed good strength and conditioning programmes, before introducing athletes to testing protocols they could use to measure the success of their strength and conditioning training.
Across the entire weekend, our partners, the True Athlete Project delivered sessions for all three weapons, including a Q&A session with World Rowing Champion, Ollie Cook, who took questions from athletes about the reality of life as a World Champion, as well as the balancing act of leading the student-athlete lifestyle.
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.
We look forward to welcoming athletes back between 28th and 30th December for the next stage of the journey.
“Thank you for having these camps. Adrian Speakman was great in the referee discussion. Never had this before, brilliant idea to include this. Very beneficial.”
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