Fencing is like playing chess with your body at 100 miles per hour. In competition, the only thing that moves faster than a fencing sword is a speeding bullet. Fencers engage in fast-paced, one-on-one combat involving more than 100 offensive and defensive moves. With precious little time to size up an opponent and plan an attack, technique is crucial. Fencing helps students develop an expert way to solve any problem—a very Caltech approach.
As a fencing coach, I teach students not only technique, form, and tactics, but also how to think through a challenge, work as a team, build confidence and self-discipline, and lead their peers. Our student athletes can apply these skills in the sport, in their coursework, and in future careers. In short, I have the same expectations as any faculty member or advisor: I expect my students to succeed.
By making a gift to the Caltech Fund, you, too, can help empower student athletes. These Techers take competition and camaraderie as seriously as they take their problem sets and
research—all while maintaining higher GPAs than non-athletes. For them, participating in a sport is just part of being well-rounded scholars and citizens.
Perhaps equally important, athletics provides an application of lessons learned in core classes. Tracking team and player stats and analyzing attacks as if they were part of a social science experiment challenges the mind in different ways than problem sets do. “There are times when the rigor of the Caltech education begins to take its toll, and I credit my teammates and coaches with consistently reenergizing me to go out onto the fencing strip or into the classroom and put forth my best effort,” says student athlete Stan Schor ’14. “The athletics community for me was like an extension of my academic family that made Caltech fun and rewarding.”
Our 17 athletic teams all teach an important lesson: it isn’t just about winning; it’s also about the path. Student athletes need your support on this journey. Your annual gift, at any amount, helps ensure their success.
Thank you for supporting the New Generation of Techers.
Head Coach, Caltech Fencing