Tag Archives: black card

On Learning to Be an Appropriate Spectator

I’m preparing the beginnings of a bunch of posts in my continuing quest to properly blog Summer Nationals as it happens, but a guest post over at Damien Lehfeldt’s The Fencing Coach blog triggered this impromptu post today, in hopes that it might help keep our count of spectator black cards low in Columbus.

There are actually two relevant guest posts over there.  “A Parent’s Journey to Becoming a Good Fencing Parent,” from about 18 months ago, is a great discussion of the importance for parents (and coaches, too, who are also technically spectators) to learn and act on what their kids need from them instead of what they need from their kids. Essentially, it’s what good spectators—parents and coaches—look like.

Today’s guest post —”A Diary of a Black Card“—shows what it looks like when a spectator, in this case a parent, gets it spectacularly wrong:

. . . over the weekend, I was that parent, the one who couldn’t let a bad call go, who verbally abused the bout director, the tournament director, the other team and its coach. Am I sorry and embarrassed? Yes. Is there a part of me still raging, a part that wants to argue the issue to death? Oh, yeah. But there’s nothing left to argue about: the decision on the strip was final, and out of several hundred fencers and “spectators” at yesterday’s Pomme de Terre, I was the only who displayed anything even remotely resembling poor sportsmanship.  There can be no defending the way I acted.

Don’t be this dad. Learn from him.

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