Important Mental Skills Fencing Can Teach You
Fencing is a very physically demanding sport, requiring speed, agility, strength, and toughness. However, what many people do not know is that there is a whole other mental layer that goes with it. Fencing promotes strategic thinking and engages both the mind and the body. Many of the important attributes fencers learn through their sport can be transferred to real-life situations and may help them in the future!
Here are the three main mental skills fencing can teach you:
Independent Thinking & Discipline
Since fencing is an individual sport, fencers can see a compelling connection between their efforts and their success. In team sports, no matter how well you work and play, your team may still lose. This is very different in fencing, where your overall success is determined by your own efforts. Although coaches provide plenty of advice and preparation during practice, the real mental challenge comes when the fencers face their opponents on the strip. Once out there on the strip, fencers have to make their own choices and think for themselves. A fencer needs to concentrate, be intuitive, and remain in the present moment. Through fencing, you learn how to think on your feet and make fast decisions. Decision-making is an incredibly valuable ability that can be useful in almost any environment, helping academically (ex. during exams), socially, and in the workplace.
Fencing is a great way to improve your self-esteem. To counter an opponent's attack, a fencer must react quickly and there is no time to second-guess one’s own ability. Since fencing involves a high level of strategy, strong athletes do not always have an advantage over strategic athletes. Both confident actions and consciousness is needed in fencing. It is a sport, where skill is more significant than physical build. This can help you in the future as well, as you have to be confident with your decisions you make and be self-assured in difficult situations.
Staying in the Zone
An athlete's sense of time in a competition can be slowed down with exercise, allowing them to perform better. The zone's key attribute is the ability to change time. Time either slows to the point that the athlete feels almost no anticipation and plenty of time to conduct. The mind cleans out the many filters of self-talk, feelings, worries, concerns, tactics, self-instruction, and other self-distractions. That is how time passes more slowly. Fencing is a great way of learning how to stay in the zone because the athlete is on his own. He only has a short amount of time per match (3 min for 5 points or 3 x 3 min for a 15 point match). Therefore the fencer has to be able to enter the zone as quickly as possible. He also has to be able to stay in the zone, even throughout the 1 min breaks between a 15 point match. This attribute can help in real life because this feature allows fencers to concentrate and blend out unnecessary distractions when needed. This can help in the future, during studying, work, or any other preparations.
Fencing is a quick mental game of swordplay that incorporates mental and physical agility. It's all about predicting what your opponent will do, prodding them to step in the ways you want them to, and, in the end, outthinking them to score touches and win the game. Fencing is a great sport to challenge and train your mental fitness. Most of the mental abilities you learn fencing will help you in the real world.
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