Sports Psychology For Fencers
Seventeen Tips To Make You A Better Fencer Now
Over the years, I have been lucky enough to counsel some of the top fencers in the world.
I knew very little about this sport initially, but the athletes, their parents and their coaches were kind enough to educate me as we got to know one another.
Fencers, like many people who compete in individual sports have particular mental skills that they need to master in order to fence to their potential
1. Manage anxiety prior to competing.
2. Not being intimidated by fencing fencers with higher rankings and big reputations.
3. Resolving conflicts between themselves, their coaches and their parents.
4. Not feeling intimidated by large crowds.
5. Being resilient when they feel they have gotten bad calls from a referee.
6. Changing their fencing style when their plan A is not working.
7. Fencing to win, rather than fencing to avoid losing the match.
8. Using time outs wisely.
9. Be willing to change coaches and schools periodically in order to become a knowledgeable, skillful and well- rounded combatant. Each coach can only teach an athlete a certain amount of skills. Changing coaches periodically can be very wise and very productive.
10. Keep accurate records of how they are doing in practice. Note your wins and your losses.
11. Keep accurate records of matches against other fencers they have faced in order to learn what strategies work and what strategies do not work.
12. Understanding their brand as a fencer. That is, some fencers are attackers who always go out aggressively. Others are more like counterpunchers. And some highly skilled fencers can adjust their style to their opponent.
13. Learn from every contest by watching videos of good and performances. There is a tendency to want to watch only successful matches. But, athletes tend to learn more from their mistakes than from their victories.
14. Cross training in other sports like boxing, martial arts, dance, weight training, and aerobics can make fencers better competitors.
15. Fence competitively often. You can learn a lot by fencing better fencers, comparable fencers and weaker fencers. That is, there is always something you can improve upon and fencing athletes of different levels can be very useful and very helpful to your teammates at your club.
16. When competing, focus on fencing to your potential instead of just wining or losing. Winning will come naturally along with good performances.
17. Finding the right kind of self-hypnosis, meditation, guided imagery, visualization, music and mantra to use prior to competing, in between points, in between matches and during practice. Fencers should practice the favorite mental technique at least once or twice a day.
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