The Fencing Coach Code of Honor

Fencers Code

The other day, I was fencing at a tournament at the Maryland Fencing Club, and noticed that the salle’s head coach, Greg Paye had placed the Desiderata displayed on his wall. As I waited to be called for my direct elimination matches, I read through the Desiderata a few times, soaking in the words and […]

You Know You’re Going to Lose


This weekend I faced a teaching moment that came from an unlikely place. My sons were all taking turns at a video game. My oldest was playing his turn and was behind by two scores with the clock winding down. His younger brother commented (a couple of times) “you’re going to lose”. It wasn’t said […]

Yale Researchers affirm the Hot Hand in Sports

Can scoring streaks or going on a hot streak be confirmed?  Photo: S.Timacheff/

Having a “hot hand”, going on a run, being “on fire”. Across all sports there are examples where an athlete seems to suddenly be unstoppable – hitting every action, or nailing every shot from the field. The idea of the “hot hand” in sports is something widely believed, but there has not been any scientific or statistical proof to back it up.

Zen Warrior – Chess Master: Video

Sport Psychology

A new sport psychology video has been released that discusses the necessary psychological shifts between the analytical and intuitive (or active) mindsets during a fencing bout. Discussion points are led by Dr. John Heil with additional input from 2 time Olympian Jason Rogers. Discuss this video in the forums.

The Effort Effect

Credit: James Yang

“We insist on giving our best effort in everything we undertake.  Furthermore, we see a huge difference between “good mistakes” (best effort, bad result) and “bad mistakes” (sloppiness or lack of effort.)” That was one of the Core Values & Beliefs for an Internet startup (MindSpring).  The mindset there – work hard, solve problems, get […]

3 Things I Learned from Winning Ugly

Winning Ugly

The amount of insight that can be gleaned from Brad Gilbert’s Winning Ugly might be surprising since it is a “how-to-win” guide to tennis. The book emphasizes things that one can do to improve their play outside of improving their technique (for that Brad suggests taking lessons with a coach.) I’ve selected the top 3 […]

Fencing Sport Psychology Video

Sport Psychology

This video contains interviews and observations on the psychological side of fencing.  Interviews shot at the 2010 Summer National Championships.  Thanks to Dr. Heil for pointing out the video to us.

Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail

Developing consistency in your competitive results starts with how you prepare for a tournament. The establishing an individualized routine is essential for every fencer’s training program. It creates a foundation which sets the tone for the rest of the day. How you feel going into a competition -both in your mind and body- should be […]

Control Your Mind, Control Your Bout

Sport Psychology

All too often while fencing, a bad situation occur and the athlete responds and reacts based on how they initially feel about the situation.  This reaction is the basis for how the fencer handles it.  Sometimes, an athlete’s emotions can get the better of them, and can even affect other parts of their game. Sometimes fencers […]

May I Have Your Attention Please!? – Concentration and Fencing

Sport Psychology

Being able to focus your attention properly on the task at hand is the essence of concentration.  You would think that with all of the effort put into training for and arriving at a tournament, it would be easy to let fencing be the top priority and have the rest of the world melt away […]

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