Q&A: Junior Oliver Ferber talks fencing

Matan Silverberg, Sports Editor

How did you get introduced to fencing?

“I was at a sleepover at [a friend’s] house and that night he was doing fencing, so I decided to go with them. And from then on, I went with him every week. For a while, I didn’t do it competitively, but then the past couple years, I’ve picked it up a lot more competitively. It was an art originally, there were masters and stuff like that. Now it’s more of a sport and athletic.”

How does fencing compare to other sports you’ve played?

“It’s a one-on-one sport, which adds that intensity and mental mindset. It’s not like a team sport where you count on your other teammates. It’s just you out there; it’s all you. It definitely puts a lot of pressure and burden upon you.”

What could one do to achieve an ideal mental state for fencing? 

“The biggest thing is being aware of everything, but you can’t be overthinking…. [When you care] about the pressure of the point and what the score is, it slows you down. You have to forget all of that. It is just you and your opponent out there.”

Describe the craziest experiences you’ve had while fencing.

“One day I fought this girl who was an alumni. She came to a tournament I was at, and she was really good and everyone wanted to fence her, like there were huge crowds. I had switched weapons pretty recently to the saber and I felt like the underdog, and I felt kind of like [I was] her warm up. But I was really in the zone, which my coach calls the “flow.” I was relaxed, I felt powerful and dynamic. I executed and I beat her, and it felt pretty awesome.”