Managing your pool round
Let’s assume that you have been training regularly, have all the equipment you need to compete and have made sure that you are otherwise ready for your competition (you are rested, you are at the event an hour before check in closes to get a good warm-up, including practice bouts, you have eaten and you have food and drinks with you).
At a large regional or national event that uses Fencing Time’s Live Results you can use your phone to find out where your pool is called and see what the bout order is. At a local level event use your phone to take a picture of the bout order so you always know when you expect to be on strip.
The first fencer called goes to the referee’s right.
When you are the on-deck bout that means you are waiting at the end of the strip where you expect to fence, doing footwork and handling your weapon, watching the fencers who are on-strip for mistakes you can exploit while you are fencing them; rather than sitting on the sidelines zoning out or gossiping with your friends.
What is the athlete’s job on strip?
Score hits in every bout; in priority weapons also try to get calls of ‘simultaneous’ on the command to fence, this means your attack is correctly presented. Always look to the next goal; if you scored an average of one hit per bout then you can get two, then three, etc. Your goal is to progress in understanding, in motor execution of new skills and in result every time you compete. However, you must remember that the achievement of goals is something you work toward, it does not mean you should expect to immediately accomplish the goal you set for yourself every time you try.
- Win a bout in the pool round: if you can do this then you are working on the next goal.
- Win 2 bouts in the pool round: if you can do this then you are working on the next goal.
- Win 3 bouts in the pool round: if you can do this then you are working on the next goal.
- Win your first direct elimination bout: if you can do this then you are working on the next goal.
- Win 4 pool bouts and 2 DE bouts: if you can do this then you are working on the next goal.
At this point the athlete’s job is to:
- Win the bouts you should win against weaker opponents and win them big (5-0 or 5-1).
- Win the bouts you could win against opponents your own level or maybe a little better than you, these scores may or may not be close.
- Score as many points as possible in the bout you will probably not win. If you keep your focus in this situation and don’t worry about winning/losing this is a bout you can maaayybe win.
- When you have achieved a consistent pool result, start working on your DE results.