You have registered for your first tournament! What is next? How do you get to optimal competition shape? The process of preparing for your first tournament will require both mental and physical preparation.
Like most things in life, the more time you have to prepare the better you will feel on competition day.
Building Endurance For Your Fencing Tournament
There is no such thing as too much practice. In your practice you should be fencing 5 and 15 touch bouts with other fencers.
Sometimes as we draw near to the day of the tournament, we forget that tournaments can be a long day. Your tournament could be anywhere from a 2- 8 hour day. We want to be able to physically get through the day without any fatigue. Fencing longer bouts will be help with endurance so we don’t lose that energy throughout the tournament.
Practice Like You Are At The Tournament
While there’s no such thing as too much practice, there is such a thing as practicing poorly.
How you fence in class and the attitude you have as a fencer will 100% translate to competition day. Practicing with intensity, focus, and a positive attitude will put you at better odds for success in a tournament situation. Not to mention that goofing off and sloppy fencing will not help you improve.
Take Fencing Private Lessons and Classes All The Time
Other practice should include private lessons and footwork to fine tune your technique. With the help of your coach, you can address those parts of your fencing and footwork that need work.
Keep in mind that these fixes don’t come over night but over a long period of time. Trying to cram in a bunch of private lessons and classes two days before your tournament won’t make you any more prepared than if you just didn’t do the practice in those two days.
Plan ahead and give yourself a reasonable amount of time to train. The heaviest training should be happening 3-10 days out. One to two days before your tournament you should only be doing light training and footwork to save your energy.
Mental Prep For Your Fencing Tournament
After you have taken all the classes, done plenty of lessons, and have put in hours of fencing, what steps can you do to mentally prepare for your first tournament?
First and foremost, check your gear the day before you compete. Our equipment is not meant to last forever and it always breaks at the most inconvenient times. If you check your own body cords and foils, that’s one less thing to worry about during the tournament. After all, nothing is worse then getting to the strip and your weapon isn’t working. Not only will that result in a yellow card or maybe even red card, but it will leave you agitated that your gear isn’t working. That puts you in a hole that you now have to work so much harder to climb out.
Also go to your tournament with clear and concise goals. A good starting goal is to score a touch on each of your opponents. Setting really challenging goals for your first tournament can put unnecessary stress and pressure on you. After all, at the end of the day, we all want to make sure that we’re having fun while competing.
Remember that every tournament is practice for the next and an experience that you can learn from so you can continue to grow as a fencer. If you have your first tournament coming up and you want to prepare, book a private lesson at Swordplay LA today and check out our competition classes! We also have open fencing on Monday nights so you can get plenty of practice.