In choosing a fencing club it is important to find one that offers the right mix of services, a membership you feel comfortable with, and a coaching staff that can meet your needs. Any club can claim to be the biggest club, the club with the most electric strips, the club with the best fencers, etc.; any coach can claim to be the best coach based on his or her personal record as a competitor, or on how many champions the club has. So how do you sort through the claims? We suggest you consider the following:
- Does the club’s mission and values match with what you want out of the sport?
- Is the club responsive? Do your requests for information get a prompt answer?
- Are you encouraged to visit, to try a class, at no obligation?
- Are you greeted when you first visit and introduced to the club members present?
- Are practices and classes structured, supervised, and taught to a lesson plan? Can the coach show you a plan for the month, the quarter? Do classes start on time and end on time?
- Compare the range of teaching, conditioning, and coaching services available. A wider range of support for the fencers means a better chance that you will meet your goals.
- Although fencing is a very safe sport, accidents are possible. Is there first aid kit? Does the club have an emergency plan?
- Is the facility clean and neat? Is the equipment new fencers will use clean and in good repair?
- Does the club regularly communicate with the members using newsletters, its website, and social media?
- Is the coaching staff professionally certified by a recognized certifying organization? Do they regularly attend continuing education? Do they study fencing constantly?
- Are the prices for membership and lessons reasonable? Understand that it costs money for rent, insurance, equipment, taxes, and staff continuing education. And professional coaches have a right to be paid for their time. A good fencing club that can take you where you want to go is not a cut-rate operation.
- Most of all, does the club seem to be a supportive organization in which you think you can achieve your goals?
Salle Green is a Center of Excellence, recognized by the United States Fencing Coaches Association for the quality of its programs and its staff of nationally and internationally certified coaches. We encourage you to visit, ask us these questions, try a lesson, meet our people, and to join us to become a successful fencer. Salle Green is also a 2016 Club of Excellence, recognized by USA Fencing for its efforts to develop and sustain our sport.