Alex Martin of the Fencers Club in New York City was introduced to fencing at a summer camp. He had always been interested in teaching, so coaching became a natural outlet to combine his passion for teaching and the sport he loves.
How did you become interested in coaching?
I have always liked teaching - my very first job was a math tutor and I had always planned to be involved in teaching in some respect ... before I started 10th grade my dad changed jobs and my family moved to a smaller city with weaker fencing so I immediately started coaching to try to raise the level of the people I was fencing with. I was giving lessons quite regularly as a 15-16 year old ... towards the end of college I was giving some lessons to a group of kids and having a lot of fun with it so I decided to pursue it more seriously ... once my students started doing well in national level competitions I was pretty hooked. I felt as though there was always a new challenge and more to learn.
What is a tip you would give to help a fencer during competition?
By far the most important thing in determining your success or failure is the attitude and competitive spirit you bring to the strip!
How can parents be supportive of their kids in fencing?
Make sure your kid knows that a bad performance doesn't mean he or she is any less worthy of your love and support. Leave the coaching to the coaches.
What is your favorite aspect of coaching?
I love pushing myself to find better ways to communicate concepts to students and helping them to find ways to win against different opponents on the strip. I love to help them find their strength of character in tough bouts. The most satisfying feeling is when a student shows courage in a critical moment in a bout.
Date Created: January 2018