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Coach Profile: Daria Schneider

Coach Profile: Daria Schneider

A two-time Senior World Championship team bronze medalist and the 2007 NCAA Champion, Schneider was the assistant coach at Columbia University from 2010 to 2014 before being named the head fencing coach at Cornell University in 2016. In 2018, she was named the  Ivy League Co-Coach of the Year.

How did you become interested in fencing?
I loved sports and anything movement related from a very young age. Growing up I played pretty much every sport offered in my town. I was lucky enough that Ariana Klinkov, the first woman to be internationally rated as a saber referee, was the coach of my first fencing class.

What are characteristics of a great fencing coach?
A great fencing coach is adaptable, innovative and aware of the many aspects of their sport and sports performance more broadly. A great coach makes conscience decisions about what to teach and when. 

What are some ways you measure progress in your athletes?
I fence them. The better they get the more I challenge them on the strip. I also pay attention to how they handle stress and pressure; if they are not improving in their ability to execute under pressure, then we step back and re-evaluate. 

What phrases do you say most often while coaching, what "buzz words" do you find you use to communicate to your students/athletes?
I have certain words I use in specific situations but - in general - this concept of "buzz words" confuses athletes. The information I share while my fencers are practicing and competing is directly linked to the conversations and trainings between us.

Please share your practice philosophy in 2-3 sentences.
Everything you do in practice should be tailored based on where you are in the season and the status of your athletes. You have to know the different ways to impose intensity and challenge into training and find the right amount based on the level and ability of the fencers. As a coach, you have to know why you are doing a particular exercise on a particular day. A guiding principle I follow is: every drill should be important enough to benefit Olympians and simple enough for beginners.


Date Created: May 2019