Programme Manager: Neil Brown

a 41 Sally Hill, Portishead, BS20 7BH  t 01275 840075

m 07813 693947  e  w


Strength & Conditioning Coach: Phil Marshall

a 9 Doon Garth, Anlaby Park Road South, Hull, HU4 7JZ  t 01482 645695

m 07920 054390  e



About training


Training is distinct from "exercise" or "working out" in that the goal is to maximize performance in a particular sport or activity (as opposed to being active simply to promote good health, maintain acceptable body weight, have fun, etc. – admirable goals, but below the expectations of the serious athlete). A training plan, then, is a systematic and progressive program to allow an athlete to allow you to reach full potential in your sport


To understand how to get the most out of training, you need to know about several core concepts and consider their application to fencing.


An athlete must challenge him or herself to stimulate further physiological adaptation. So all training must be progressive.



Training must be focused on the activity you’re trying to excel in (or in a long-term plan building the fitness & conditioning to allow for enough specific training without injury)



This means that training gains are not permanent. The outstanding performances of last year can not be duplicated or improved without continued effort this year. Athletes who stop training lose fitness, regardless of the reason (poor motivation, injury or illness, lack of time, etc.) How much and how fast varies depending on circumstances, but any reduction in training could make the crucial difference between winning and losing.



Another principle might be called Individual Differences. This recognizes that everyone is genetically different and not all athletes respond to training in the same way.





Your coaches consider the benefits of training so self-evident as to hardly require elaboration, so here just a few comments relating training to success.


Before thinking about your training plan in detail, consider a basic and unalterable truth: training is essential for success. This is a Law of Nature, like gravity. Your coach(es) can determine the amount of work necessary to give you a realistic chance of achieving your goals. This can’t be negotiated. Still, athletes on occasion try.


You can recognize how absurd the following conversation would be between a doctor and a very sick patient:


Doctor: I’m sorry to report you have cancer, which is life-threatening and will require painful and debilitating treatment for a long time.

Patient: But I have a husband and three young children and a part-time job, and I have so many plans right now!

Doctor: Oh. In that case, you just have a bad cold.


Yet some athletes apparently expect to have the following exchange with their coach:


Coach: Here is the training plan you need to follow to give you a chance to win the national/european/world championships. It means several hard sessions a week from July to April with little mental or physical rest.

Athlete: But I have to study and I have a boyfriend and I want to hang out with my friends and I tend to get ill easily!

Coach: Oh. In that case, just train once in a while when you feel like it.


The point is, your coaches are only pointing out some physical truths, not setting policy for the Universe. If the goal is to win, the price can’t be negotiated. The only thing that can be negotiated is the goal. You could train less and still beat a lot of people. The decision you the athlete must make is, how many people am I satisfied with beating?













Analysis of your current situation

SWOT (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)


What are your strengths & weaknesses & what opportunities & threats do you currently face in your attempt to achieve you goals?


Main goals:-


Long term:………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………


Medium term (this season):…………………………………………………………………………………………………..






























































GROW Model

Text Box: review













  • What is the aim of the session(s)?
  • What do you want to achieve (short & long-term)?
  • Is it an end goal or performance goal?
  • If it’s an end goal, what’s the performance goal related to it?
  • When are you going to achieve it by?
  • How is that positive, challenging, attainable, measurable?



  • What is happening now? (What, when, where, how much)
  • Who else is involved?
  • What have you done about it so far?
  • What results did that produce?
  • What are the major constraints?



  • What options do you have?
  • What else could you do?
  • What if…? (Be imaginative)



  • What are you going to do?
  • When are you going to do it?
  • What obstacles could you face?
  • How will you overcome them?
  • What support do you need?
  • Will you meet this goal?



Score the last question out of 10, if the “will” rating is less than 8 you need to reassess.


  • What would enable you to make that higher?
  • Is there part of that new goal that you could be certain to do?


  • How do you rate your enthusiasm for this new goal?
  • I you dislike it, could you frame this as a challenge?
  • What else would enable the goal to be closer to a 10 & will you do that?



If you still can’t get there perhaps your goal is wrong or your ambition has run ahead of your motivation.