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Using Minds as a Weapon
20 August 2017

Fencing WA: Psychology Workshop

20th August 2017, DSR
Story by Luke Zaccaria, WAIS Sprint Cyclist


On Sunday the 20th of August the Fencing West athletes joined Jesse Phillips and myself for their next installment of the Developing Champions program; Performance Psychology.

Once the introductions were done I wanted to begin the day by learning a little bit about their sport to help me get into the mindset of a fencer and also find the similarities between the two sports, so that I can deliver them the best information possible.

The first topic we covered was the Reticular Activating System (RAS) and how at their adolescent stage of life their brains haven’t fully developed yet which can lead to misconceptions when dealing with emotions. Once knowing this the athletes had to use the emojis in their workbooks and pair them up with the emotion they think they relate too, which will be a vital tool moving forward, especially when it comes to traveling with a team and handling emotions during a match.


We then moved onto growth mindset vs. fixed mindset, which is a vital aspect of longevity and success at an elite level of sport. The athletes then broke up into groups and worked on changing a fixed mindset statement into a growth one. It was very pleasing to see that these young athletes are already developing the necessary skills that will help them in the future.

It was a pleasure for Jesse and I to work with these up and coming athletes. I hope that they can take the information Jesse and I presented and use it to achieve their goals. I look forward to seeing them represent Australia in the near future.

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