Michael Berrebi at Amplifying Performance has been conducting monthly workshops with the Marx Fencing Academy, which offers elite fencing programs in Concord, Mass.
During these workshops, fencers have had the unique opportunity to explore core sport psychology skills and strategies aimed at helping to increase enjoyment and overall performance.
Topics to date have included: how to properly and positively self-assess one’s performance, understanding and improving the power of self-talk, and utilizing effective imagery.
During each hour-long workshop, fencers from a variety of age and skill levels have tried creative, applied techniques and processed the experience afterwards in a group setting. Each mental skill can be utilized in the sport of fencing, for example: to “help visualize myself being more aggressive during the next bout” as one fencer explained it. Another fencer commented on the importance of positive self-talk on the strip, saying “I have to be careful about what I say to myself, since I am always listening”.
To reinforce the various principles discussed, fencers are provided with informational handouts and take-home exercises to practice and implement in between workshops.