Fencing Drills – Command Drills

Although drills occupy an important place in the training of fencers, both recreationally and as competitive athletes, the choice of the correct type of drill for a specific need is important .Not all drills are appropriate or effective at all stages of training .One example of this is the command drill.

As the name suggests, a command drill is one in which the actions of the fencers are controlled by commands by the coach .A typical command drill is used to teach a new skill during a group lesson .The process requires that the coach plan a logical progression of assembling a skill as the basis of the drill:

(1) The coach breaks down the skill to be taught into each part that requires a different action by the fencer.

(2) The coach demonstrates the skill, pointing out each of the parts.

(3) The coach then gives commands to have each fencer execute the parts in sequential order .This may be by numbers (“one,” “two,” “three,” etc.) or by the name of the action (“partly extend,” lower the point,” raise the point on the other side of the blade,” complete the extension,” etc.).

(4) As the fencers develop acceptable proficiency in the most detailed sequence, the coach assembles several parts of the skill together, increasingly reducing the number of commands . Eventually the progression is fully assembled into a minimum number of commands.


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