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October 2023 Newsletter

Dear fencing friends and families.

Hope your Fall is going well!

Last weekend CFA fencers brought home 14 medals across three different developmental tournaments. A big salute to our newest and youngest athletes attending their first event outside of CFA all the way to the Group C class medaling against a field that included Division 1, Cadet, and Junior National finalists. Same time last year we were totaling about five. This season so far we're pushing 30 including a Regional Cadet Gold and other podium spots.

We saw some lovely milestones, including many first victory slips outside the club, Y10 Fencer Charlie upsetting the #1 seed at the Savage Youth event, Suhani’s first medal at a Regional Youth Circuit, and Liam earning his “C2023” and qualifying for Division 1 at the Champagne Challenge.

Let's build on this momentum. Counting medals is fun but it’s merely a side effect of the process. The real joy is watching our athletes fence, learn, and grow as human beings. When a kid falls in love with the sport and the family supports it, you never know what can happen by the time they are competing in Junior events. This is why we invest our time and energy and emotion in absolutely everyone that comes through the door.

We prepare for events where everyone can fence and is in excellent physical shape. CFA’s technical repertoire is in a position to medal at the World Cup level, but currently we need your help with developing physicality.

This brings me to the main message today: Please consider the strategy of scheduling activities. We recommend training at least two days a week immediately past the intro phase and three to four days a week if you are in the second season. The Core program offers a third weekly class free of charge if you already participate in two.

We have had kids come in from school sports, but these programs do not seem to be very effective. Kids engage in avoidance behavior. They have poor situational awareness. They can’t do a proper push up. They run out of breath after 30 seconds of running. They think exertion is an injury that requires medical attention. Little attention to detail is paid to tying shoes properly.

Please allow us to nurture an overall sports education for your child. It will be a giant force multiplier improving everything, including academics, social skills, confidence, focus, and health. Our system is efficient but it requires you to do 90% of what we ask for. 110% is likely to net a journey to the stars.

What exactly are we asking for?

1: Attend our Athletic Prep class on Monday and/or Friday evenings. We will do a better job than the school sports program and develop lifelong healthy habits.

2: Attend two tournaments a month. Consistent competitive experience is vital to maximizing the return on your private lessons and group classes. Coach Doug will help you pick the best tournaments for your level, and we have a list compiled by age, location and qualification path.

3: Be cautious of overscheduling the kids and yourself. Manage your child’s schedule so they can benefit from devoting themselves to one pursuit while still having time to flourish. Much of the benefit from fencing comes from seeing something through from start to finish, learning to manage the ups and downs. When you are pulled in too many directions, you miss out on the critical moments of development in any activity.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions. Thank you so much for your time and happy fencing!

Cardinal Fencing Academy Head Coach and Founder

Ilya V. Lobanenkov

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