“The will to win is nothing without the will to prepare,” Juma Ikangaa
When I was a young student, my coach Hristo would occasionally halt our practice, and have the class read allowed a quote painted on the wall of the club; “The will to win is nothing without the will to prepare.” It was a reminder that success started right then and there. If we wanted better performance at tournaments, we had to start with better preparedness in practice.
Preparation for success starts even before practice begins. You can set yourself for a better, more efficient, and more focused practice session by following a few simple steps.
- Be On Time. Know when your practice or lesson time is. Being on-time for practice means you are on the fencing floor and already warming up by the time practice starts, not walking in the door. Being late for practice wastes valuable time and hurts your ability to focus. Plan on arriving at 15 mins before the start of your practice or lesson to provide time to change clothes and warm-up.
- Bring the Right Stuff. This goes beyond having your fencing equipment ready. Make sure you are wearing the appropriate footwear and athletic attire that allows you to move freely (no jeans!) and be responsible for bring you water bottle and notebook (if you have asthma, it’s a good idea to bring your inhaler to the fencing floor as well).
- Be Organized. If you have a limited amount of time to prepare for practice, take some time at the end of every practice to keep your locker or your fencing bag in order. If you keep your equipment organized, this will help you be more efficient for the next day’s practice and help prevent items from going astray. Don’t just toss everything into a heap. And if you are using club equipment, you can be more efficient by setting aside equipment prior to the start of practice.
- Focus. Most importantly, when you arrive for practice, give yourself a minute to clear your mind and begin focusing on your training.This will help you be able understand instructions from your coaches and get the most out of your practice time!