Monday, April 24, 2006

Confidence and Concentration/Focus

I am exploring one of the physiological areas of fencing for a while. ( At least until I come to some sort of conclusion.) Note: A conclusion is when you get tired of thinking about something.

In epee bouts last Friday, I became aware of how confidence and concentration effected them.

I fenced a kid, that I can easily beat. I had no focus or concentration in the match. The score was close and I was working on toe shots. ( I am poor at those and it seemed sporting.) It went la belle. He won. ( I must make a mental note to crush him next week, so he does not get the big head.) Lack of focus and concentration on my part.

I fenced another kid, who has been beating me for a long time. ( Though I have beat him our last four bouts.) My concentration and focus were total. I won.

I believe that I can only hold that level of concentration and focus for a certain amount of time. Can it be lengthened by practice, like running increases endurance?

There can be NO emotion in it. It has been my experience that when you are trying to beat some SOB that desperately deserves it, that type of concentration is counter productive.

How can I crank up the focus when it is a club match and unimportant to me? What can I do to turn it up at tournaments? Did I just imagine the impact of this in my Friday night bout?

I need to explore this for a while.


fencerkath said...

It sounds crazy but sometimes when I am angry with someone or about something it helps me to focus.  It's something quite different from losing my temper.  Unlikely as it sounds, it first worked for me when I was about fourteen, taking maths exams and angry with the maths teacher.  Instead of failing, as expected, I got nearly 80%, which made the maths teacher very cross because he'd been looking forward to dropping me to a lower set.  The trouble with fencing is that I don't get cross with my fellow fencers.  But occasionally I've been angry about something else - or with someone else - and been able to harness it to improve my concentration and accuracy.  I don't know if it would work for anyone else.

shazna02 said...

I have the same wondering so let me know when you find a conclusion or solution.  This week I was up 4 points and "thought" I was focused as the other person just ramped up and it all went splat - kudo's for him and puzzlement for me.  It is true that I can't beat "SOB"'s when I want to, only when I have some sort of "whatever will be will be" attitude.  As for productive anger/focus - something I have problems with as I don't really get angry with losing or getting hurt but if people start saying nasty things to me, I don't deal with it well.  Plus, me focused/angry tends to scare people.  And that's not the person I really want to be.