USFCA National Fencing Coaching Clinic Standards


Domain 1 – Set Vision, Goals and Standards for Coaching Clinics
USFCA clinics establish a clearly defined teaching philosophy and vision for the outcome of the clinic/workshop as related to the USFCA mission. To meet this responsibility clinic hosts, presenters, and coach developers.

Standard 1 – Student-centered teaching philosophy
Model a student-centered teaching philosophy and provide opportunities for all coaches to develop their student-centered coaching philosophy to reach their full potential within the sport.
Standard 2 – Align clinic to standards
Align applicable coaching clinics policies, rules, and regulations with USFCA National Coaching Clinic standards, international, national, regional, local and institutional rules and regulations as applicable to ensure the clinic complies. USFCA clinics adapt the curriculum to best meet the needs of the fencing community being served.
Standard 3 – Manage clinic in a responsible manner
Clinic hosts manage program documents and clinic resources in a responsible manner. They have a basic understanding of fiscal, records and facility management specific to their fencing coaching clinic.

Domain 2 – Engage in and Support Ethical Practices
USFCA clinic hosts, presenters, and coach developers understand the importance of ethical practices, and to meet this responsibility they:

Standard 4 – Follow Codes of Conduct
Follow the codes of conduct established by the USFCA and USA Fencing while adhering to ethical practices. They model, teach, and expect ethical behavior from clinic participants and engage them in discussions on ethical issues. 

Domain 3 – Develop a Safe Sport Environment
USFCA clinic hosts, presenters, and coach developers create an emotionally and physically safe sport environment by following the practices outlined by Safesport, FenceSafe, sport coaching science, and state and federal laws (ADA, Title IX, etc.). To meet this responsibility clinic they:

Standard 5 – Create a respectful and safe environment
Create a respectful and safe environment which is free from harassment and abuse.
Treat all clinic personnel and participants with respect and professionalism. Aware of the power that comes with their position of authority, they use that power in a responsible manner to reduce the potential for abuse and/or sexual harassment. Clinic hosts, presenters, and coach developers proactively prevent bullying and/or hazing behavior on the part of the clinic staff and/or clinic participants. They report abuse and sexual harassment.
Standard 6 – Best risk management practices
Understand the legal responsibilities of their position. Hosts, coach developers, and presenters identify and minimize potential risks based on sound risk management practices.
Standard 7 – Reduce potential injuries
Institute safe and appropriate training principles and procedures. Be prepared to summon or render immediate aid in case of illness or injury. Coach developers recognize the biomechanical factors that underlie the causes of acute and chronic fencing injuries relevant to coaches of various ages, gender, and level of dis/ability and follow appropriate physical training principles to avoid injury.

Domain 4 – Create a Positive and Inclusive Sport Environment
USFCA clinic hosts, presenters and coach developers create practices to maximize positive experiences and outcomes for the participants by planning clinics that promote physical, social and psychological benefits for the participants and encourage professional growth. To meet this responsibility they:

Standard 8 – Implement a positive and enjoyable learning environment
Implement a positive and safe learning environment based on best practices and motivational principles to protect all participants’ well-being and maximize performance.
Standard 9 – Build inclusive practices
Value diversity and build inclusive practices into the clinic program for all groups (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender/gender identity/gender expression, age, disability, religion, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, nationality, etc.).
Standard 10 – Meaningful participation for para coaches
Engage coaches with disabilities in meaningful participation in clinics and offer alternative options for fencing para coaches who cannot participate in traditional coaching development opportunities.

Domain 5 – Prepare for the Fencing Coaching Clinic
USFCA clinic presenters and coach developers draw upon current research in coaching science, fencing-specific knowledge, and best practices to conduct quality coaching clinics. This practice is framed around how fencing coaching clinic hosts, coach developers and presenters plan, teach, assess, and adapt in the clinic. To meet this responsibility they:

Standard 11 – Design appropriate progressions Understand and teach basic learning and teaching principles and program design, and develop appropriate progressions for the level of the clinic participants.
Standard 12 – Thoroughly know the elements of fencing
Know and teach the terminology, rules, techniques, tactics, competition strategies, and their latest updates.
Standard 13 – Develop and utilize pedagogical strategies
Know and use a variety of adult learning (andragogical) approaches and instructional methods supported by current research, theory, and best practice to help clinic participants learn fencing techniques and tactics (e.g., accurate and timely demonstrations and explanations, games-based learning, problem-solving activities) and adapt these instructional strategies based on the participants’ needs.
Standard 14 – Craft sound daily clinic schedule
Develop the curriculum and craft a daily schedule for the clinic based on sound teaching and learning principles to pace the learning process and maximize retention.
Standard 15 – Use appropriate motivational techniques
Follow best practices in motivating participants and work to remove barriers to motivation. Coach developers recognize and consider individual differences in motivation and the effects of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards, and communicate in ways that maximize motivation by focusing on positive corrective instruction, using encouragement and reframing, emphasizing effort and other factors within the participants’ control.

Domain 6 – Strive for Continuous Improvement
USFCA clinic hosts, presenters and coach developers commit to life-long learning through self-reflection, mentorship, professional development, evaluation, and self-care. To meet this responsibility clinic hosts, presenters and coach developers:

Standard 16 – Evaluate performance and strive for improvement Engage in self-reflection and develop evaluation strategies to monitor and improve the performance of clinic hosts, coach developers, presenters, and participants that include clinic participant evaluations, host evaluations, and if appropriate USFCA Examiner Evaluations.
Standard 17 – Stay current with the latest information on coaching
Improve coaching effectiveness by seeking the latest information on coaching through a variety of professional development and continuing education opportunities.
Standard 18 – Engage in mentoring and collaboration
Coach developers serve as mentors and continually seek new mentors in their ongoing development. They collaborate and create communities of practice (circles of coaches discussing coach development issues and means for improvement) to help promote a positive learning culture and professional growth.
Standard 19 – Maintain work-life balance and practice self-careDevelop self-regulation strategies to manage the stress experienced in coaching and to prevent burnout. Attend to personal physical and mental health to protect their work-life balance and be the best for themselves, their students, and their communities.