Just before you step onto the strip for a bout, what’s going through your mind? In those few minutes before the bout, as you’re ready to step onto the strip and face your opponent, there are a lot of things to consider. How can you maximize your preparation? That’s exactly the question we are going to answer.
What we’re talking about here aren’t the big, sweeping parts. We’re not talking about what you need in order to prepare for the fencing competition, like how to pack your bag or what you need to do in the days before. This is right in those few moments before the match itself, the heat and height of the competitive experience. These things go for bouts that you might experience in your club on a daily basis, but they also apply to big bouts that you participate in at regional or national tournaments. This is what you do each time, every time before you go to fence, no matter where you are.
This has got to be a habit. Just as you want to get your footwork or your form so ingrained into your mind that you don’t give it another thought, so too do you want to get these things to be automatic. Doing so is going to free your mind to focus on other things like strategy.
We’re going to break down fencing bout preparation into two parts here – the small physical things and the mental. Each of these is important in its own right and has to be taken into account, and when you put them both together it’s absolutely wonderful.