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Sports Psychology For Top Fencers

Posted by: Dr. Granat on October 24, 2022

Sports Psychology For Top Fencers

Jay P. Granat, Ph.D.


     What is one of the most common psychological issues that confront top fencers?

Over the years, I have coached a number of the elite fencers.  I knew very little about the rules and the scoring in the sports, but, luckily the athletes taught me what I needed to know about fencing in order to master the psychological aspects of this fascinating athletic contest.

Some of gone on to successful and prestigious careers are Ivy League schools.

I also spoke to a fencer who was an alternate on an Olympic team.

One of the most common issues that some fencers struggle with is a fear of being aggressive.  That is, they are reluctant to attach due to fear of making a mistake, being defenseless and being attacked by their adversary.

A fencer who fails perform with relaxed aggression is a bit like a boxer, who is afraid to throw punches during a bout in the ring.

We can encourage aggressiveness by utilizing visualization and self-hypnosis.  Once in a hypnotic trance, I  encourage the to view themselves  as an aggressive a quick animal  when they are on the strip.  One fencer liked imagining himself and a cobra. Another female liked to imagine herself as a leopard. Other fencers simply imagine in great detail that they are an aggressive fencer who they admire.

I also remind the fencer that they must take calculated risks in order to get rewards.

To intensify their aggressiveness, I send some fencers for boxing lessons or training in the martial arts.   The balance, quickness,  rhythm, coordination and footwork associated with boxing and the martial arts  can also be very useful for fencers.

With young fencers, I also see many of them who are in  conflict with their parents and/or their coaches.

Ideally, I like to get everybody on a compatible page in terms of their dreams, their objectives and their goals.

If you are a fencer, a parent of a fencer or a fencing coach, you can reach out to me at or at 888 580 ZONE.





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