Watch Them Play

Over the past 30 years, Bruce Brown and Rob Miller of Proactive Coaching LLC have been conducting a survey of college athletes in order to better understand the experience of kids involved in sports. One of the questions Brown and Miller ask is, “What is your worst memory from playing youth and high school sports?”…

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Marshmallow Men

When it comes to that magical place where science intersects deliciousness, there may not be a series of studies that have gotten more media attention than the “marshmallow studies”. As the results are often presented, preschool children who demonstrate the ability to put off eating one marshmallow now in order to receive two later, go…

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The Russia-Mexico Border

At the 2013 Junior World Fencing Championships in Porec, Croatia, perennial favorite Russia found itself with an unusually low seed at the start of the Team Women’s Sabre event, due to surprisingly poor performances in the individual competition several days earlier by two of its members. This meant that Russia would have to first fence…

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Be the Change

Preparing to be a champion isn’t limited to the effort you put in at the fencing club or in a gym. While mental preparation is often touted for its value, it’s important to recognize that creating and improving a champion mindset isn’t something limited to just the time set aside for visualization, meditation, and other…

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Video – Leap Frog Fencing Exercises

There are many ways to create exercises that are fun, dynamic, and engaging. The video below demonstrates how basic general fitness activities (in this case, jumping and catching) can be combined with fencing movements (here, lunging) to improve power, balance, and coordination without relying on the dull “footwork drills” that are so common in fencing…

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Sweaty Edison

What do the West Point cadets who make it through their initial six week summer training–an intense, physically and emotionally grueling program known as “Beast Barracks”–and the finalists of the Scripps National Spelling Bee have in common? According to University of Pennsylvania Psychologist (and apparent John Wayne enthusiast) Angela Duckworth, the answer is “grit”. “Grit”…

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Fake It/Make It

Success, like many things, starts in the mind. Similarly, anticipating or expecting defeat gives a fencer a “head start” on losing. So it is certainly appropriate that athletes spend time developing their psychological skills along with their sports skills. While many people understand, at least to some degree, that their bodies can be transformed through…

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Fencing Like Pele

The children of Montevideo, Uruguay, and Sao Paulo, Brazil, had been trying to deal with the fundamental problem of heavily crowded cities–a lack of space–when, in the 1930s, they each created something that would change the world of sports forever. Though they may have lacked fields, the children of Montevideo and Sao Paulo didn’t lack…

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Great Expectations

In 1965, Harvard professor of social psychology Robert Rosenthal and San Francisco elementary school principle Lenore Jacobson conducted an experiment. They gave the children in Jacobson’s school (the majority of whom were from lower-class households) a standardized IQ test, but rather than reveal what the test actually was, they told teachers that the test was…

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Play to Win

Learning is serious business. Whether in sport, academics, or our careers, we can spend thousands of hours and potentially even more dollars trying to improve our knowledge and abilities. Sometimes, however, in our efforts to excel, we forget one of the most serious parts of learning: the need to play. Reaching the highest levels of…

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