Leadership on the Fencing Strip: Kiefer and Lin on Being Harvard Varsity Sport Captains

By: Lauren Joarnt, LIHC Staff

The Harvard Fencing team recently competed in at Nationals in San Antonio, Texas, and returned to Cambridge ranked 6th in the nation. This team is no stranger to success, as the men’s team also won the Ivy League championship earlier this year. I had the opportunity to sit down with two of the Harvard Fencing captains, Alexandra Kiefer ’14 and Lucas Lin ’14, to chat about life as varsity sport captains at Harvard College.

When asked about their experience as captains, they both echoed similar sentiments. “It’s different than just being on the team,” Kiefer offered, “you really have to balance being friends with the members and also being responsible for maintaining discipline and motivating people.” Kiefer also noted that it is important to delegate certain tasks to others, because people have different strengths and skills. Lin included that captaining the fencing team has taught him a lot, especially the importance of “fostering a cohesive unit.”

Looking to the future, the team has high expectations. Kiefer and Lin have both been re-elected to captain next year, and they have some ideas for hot to improve the experience of the team overall. Kiefer emphasized the importance of team involvement, stating that she wants to get the team more involved next season by encouraging people to take turns leading practices among other activities. Kiefer and Lin are also interested in improving the communication lines of the team through feedback mechanisms, such as individual meetings, aimed at improving the experience of the entire team.

These Harvard student-athletes are constantly working to improve their game, their studies, but also the way they lead their team. Leadership on the fencing strip can be a challenge, but Kiefer and Lin are up for it and enjoy the opportunity. They hope to advance the team and innovate the position of captain over the next year in hopes of a national championship.

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