> Now that I've shared my embarrassment with you all, I ask you
> people who always seem to win their 14-14 bouts: what is the mental state
> needed to win a close bout?
> No comments about celebration through jumping are required. I
> have already tortured myself thoroughly with that image.
My situation is somewhat different than yours, since I am a sabre fencer.
I assume that you are epee, possibly foil. (If you're a sabre fencer who
had a bout go 9 minutes, I'll eat my sensor!)
If I am one touch away from losing, my mentality is that my opponent has
to earn the last touch - I'm not going to "give" it to him. Very often
there are repeated simultaneouses (is that a word?), and if the score were
0-0 I might attempt a defensive maneuver (parry, check, etc.) which is
risky, and if all my opponent can do is attack well, I'm playing right
into his hands. I'll never know if he can stop MY attack. On the other
hand, if my opponent has 14, I am going to attack until he shows me that
he can do something to stop my attack. He has to be able to play defense
as well as offense if he's going to beat me - that's my mentality.
I'm not sure how that mentality would carry over to epee. I guess my take
on it would be that your opponent would expect you to act defensive (if he
has 14), but instead you should take the offensive. Don't let him fleche
and double you out. Make him earn it. If he can stop YOUR fleche, for
example, he has earned the last touch.
This is a two-sided coin, though. If YOU have 14, your opponent will
expect you to try and fleche in order to double him out, and so he'll be
ready for it. Be patient. It'll come, just like the other 14 did. But
think about how YOU feel when your opponent has 14, realize that that is
how your OPPPONENT feels when you have 14, and act appropriately.
By the way, in my last bout which I won 15-14, I jumped in the air and
grabbed my mask. I just meant to pull it off, but I yanked so hard it
went flying a few feet in the air and landed near the director. I'm glad
my director was more lenient than yours was. :)