Friday, May 09, 2008

Numbers Game

Hello, I am an epee fencer, and...I am an askFRED addict.

There, I said it. Admitting you have a problem is the first step right? And I am admitting to you loyal readers, all dozen of you, that I went slightly nutty earlier this week waiting for the results of Sectionals to be posted. Of course I knew the final results, I was there till the end of the my event, but I just wanted to look at the results, to revisit my bouts and everyone else's. I find numbers comforting in their plainness and somehow find solace in the fact that you can't argue about simple facts on a page(screen). I agonized somewhat over a few "ugly" touches that I got last weekend, but now when I look at the results of those bouts, there's nothing to see but a final concrete score: all touches were equally um, touched.

For validation of my unhealthy obsession, I tried to search for some qualified person's opinion on whether or not reviewing statistics is a valuable tool for athletes. I didn't come up with much, though I'm sure this is as much due to my search-short-attention-span as anything else. Thus, this unqualified blogger is left to make her own observations about the good of staring at numbers and, as I have been known to do, make spreadsheets of them and apply dubious formulas to come up with new, even more dubious, numbers.

I can't convince myself that this is a bad thing, except that it's time spent I could be doing other, more productive, things. I also can't provide any proof that the time spent has done me any good (besides the aforementioned number-induced comfort). I don't think there's anything I can do at practice with the knowledge that I win X% of my pool bouts and Y% of my DEs; though certainly bad percentages must engender a desire to work harder. What I could use is information such as how often I win (or lose) touches on counterattacks, second intention, etc., but I don't yet have the self-awareness for recording this level of detail.

Great, just what I need - one more thing that just takes practice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Some article on fencing statistics last year or so in American Fencing?