Coaching fees can be a confusing topic for many people. That’s why we want to take the time to explain how the fees work and what you can expect when you participate in fencing tournaments with Manhattan Fencing Center.
At MFC, we’re fortunate to have a wide range of fencers, from beginner youth and adult students to those who are competing for a spot on the next Olympic team. To accommodate our diverse fencer base, we offer coaching services at a variety of tournaments, including local, regional, national, and international events.
To ensure that our students and their parents understand the tournament planning process and why certain rules are in place, we’ve put together this helpful guide.
At the start of each season, our coaches post a designated tournament list for the entire season. This list includes international, national, regional, and some local events. If a tournament is listed on the designated list with one or more names next to the event, it means that our coaches plan to attend if there’s enough enrollment for that event.
International events require athletes to qualify to compete. Since the points are always changing after each event, students don’t know which events they will qualify for ahead of time. Therefore, the coaches will put together a list of tournaments they believe students will qualify for, and events where they’re unsure will be added to the list later in the season. Once a student informs their coach that they’ve qualified, the coach and parents will discuss attending the event and all associated fees. International fees widely range depending on how many students are attending the event and where the event takes place. Usually, they are from $500-$1000 per fencer.
For national events, students are automatically added to the coaching list unless they opt out in writing one month prior to the event. Our coaches will review the tournament registration list once it closes, usually 4-6 weeks before the event. They’ll then have a meeting to determine how many students need coaching on which days. Coaches will then cancel their lessons and classes at the club, purchase airfare, book hotels, and car rentals.
Two weeks before the event, coaches will send out a confirmation email to ensure that nobody’s plans have changed, and everyone still wants coaching. At this point, this is the last chance for students to speak up and let us know if they no longer need coaching for any reason.
Once this deadline is missed, students are responsible for 100% of their fees.
Here is how a typical NAC fee gets calculated for 3 coaches:
- Flight – $700 each
- Hotel-$200 per night for 3 nights, $600 each
- Taxi/Uber-$200 each
- Food-$120 per day, $380 each
- Daily salary-$250 per day including 1 travel day $1000 each
Total expenses for 3 coaches for typical event, $8,640.
If there are a total of 59 people who need coaching, that comes to a total of $146.47 per person.
Unfortunately, we’ve had a few situations where students are injured and are unable to attend one of the two events they’ve signed up for. In this situation, parents should understand that since the fee was already split among all the fencers, there’s no way to change that, and they’re still responsible for the fee. The coach has already paid for their expenses and must be reimbursed.
For regional events, coaches will look at the registration list 1-2 weeks before the event to determine if there are enough fencers signed up. At that point, coaches will decide if they will attend the tournament themselves, send an assistant coach, or not go at all. If coaches decide not to go, they inform the club, and the club will send an email to parents asking if they’d like to receive coaching from an assistant coach. Once parents confirm, the coach will make travel arrangements and send out the fees to everyone. Students who don’t plan to fence in all events must let the coach know right away so they’re not included in the totals.
Once again, if students confirm coaching and then decide they don’t need it for any reason, they’re still responsible for 100% of the coaching fee since it has already been split among everyone to include expenses for travel, food and coach salary for the day.
Local events are another option for fencers who want to gain experience and practice their skills. These events are typically held at nearby clubs and may not be included in the designated tournament list. However, if a fencer would like a coach to accompany them to a local event, they can send an email to the club at least 2 weeks in advance to see if an assistant coach is available to go.
The MFC hosts the Liberty Cup, a local event held 3-4 times a year that is specifically designed for beginner students in their first few years of the sport, providing them with a great opportunity to gain experience and showcase their skills.
An MFC coach always attends the home events and those that sign up for coaching would receive warm up class before the first event of the day, guidance before/after bouts if fencing a club mate and active coaching if fencing someone from another club. Coaches will also report back to the students personal coach to inform what did and didn’t work from the bouts they watched.
Coaching fees for local events are usually between $30 and $40 per event.