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Coach Profile: Ivan Lee

Coach Profile: Ivan Lee

A 2004 Olympian and member of the U.S. Fencing Hall of Fame, Ivan Lee is the only U.S. male fencer ever to win a Junior Olympic Championship, a National Championship, an NCAA Championship, a World Championship, a Pan American Championship and make an Olympic Team. Previously the coordinator of the New York City Public High School Fencing League, Lee was named Long Island University's Women's Fencing Coach in April.

Why fencing? What do you love about the sport?
My parents got me involved in the sport. My mother wanted me to be well-rounded and my father was looking for scholarship opportunities. What I love most about fencing is being able to hit people on the head and get away with it.

You have coached all ages including NCAA Fencers. What constants do you rely on regardless of the age or experience of the fencer? 
I stress the importance of being healthy overall. This includes eating properly, stretching regularly, staying hydrated and improving stamina and conditioning.

How has technology changed coaching? Do you incorporate it into your coaching? 
I'm pretty traditional with how I coach. For me, it's all about blood, sweat and tears. Lots of running, lots of footwork, lots of target practice, lots of bouting. We do incorporate some film watching, but that's the extent of it.

What are the keys to being a great strip coach? 
Put the onus on the fencer to pay attention to what's going on on the strip and get the job done. The fencer should listen to the referee, watch the opponent, be mindful of the rules, etc. Arguing with the referee and expecting the referee to give touches is a poor practice.

Are there "buzz words" you find yourself using often? 
Yes. "Sit down," "slow down," "patience," "take your time," and "control yourself" are definitely my most common.


Date Created: November 2019