We’ve all had the experience of being nervous before an event that we needed to perform well in, whether in school or in sports. That feeling of butterflies in the stomach, a soup of jitters and self doubt, it can feel overwhelming and stressful, especially for young fencers.
Many fencing parents come to us with these kinds of concerns, and they’re completely normal. They have things to say like this:
- “It seems like my son psyches himself out before he even steps onto the strip! What can I do to help him?”
- “My daughter gets so nervous on competition day that I have to force her to eat something for breakfast. How can I help her calm down so she can stay healthy?”
- “This season my child seems even more nervous than he did last season, isn’t this supposed to get better with experience?”
It’s not just parents though, older fencers come in and speak up for themselves as well. Nerves are a factor for athletes at any age and of any experience level. The good news is that there are ways to combat the issues that fencers have with anxiety before a competition. Though they may manifest in different ways, from a lack of appetite to a sudden spike in anxiety after a couple of years of confident fencing. Every fencer is different, but pre-match jitters are pretty well universal.