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Fencing: Coccia finds parallels between his two teams

Laura Coletti | Thursday, February 21, 2013

Junior sabreur Alex Coccia has had a busy career at Notre Dame, and he credits his first two collegiate seasons with helping make him the fencer and student he is today.  

Coccia posted a 20-7 record and earned a monogram during his freshman campaign as the Irish rolled to the national championship. He then compiled a 32-18 mark in his sophomore season. 

Coccia said his experiences during his first two seasons, especially his freshman year, have helped shape his entire collegiate career.

“That [national championship] team as a whole had such a unit of cohesion and people who were not only willing to seriously drive themselves but also drive everyone else and challenge people and push people to overcome any challenges there were or any mental blocks,” Coccia said. “I think within fencing especially, it requires a lot of planning ahead.”

Coccia, who was recently elected student body president, will implement various skills acquired from fencing in order to manage his new life as both a member of the fencing team and a key part of student government. Coccia related the time management of fencing practices and competitions to the ability to manage his tasks as student body president.

“Everything is about relationships and being able to navigate these relationships and hold them together, in both fencing and student government,” Coccia said. “In terms of time and managing time, within practices you want to be structured but at the same time have fun and be competitive and enjoy yourself. 

“This is the same way cabinet meetings and structural meetings should be set up, where we have fun and at the same time bounce ideas off of each other and have a sense of accountability.”

Coccia said he can apply his desire to improve personally in order to contribute to the greater good as a lesson for many facets of his life.

 “I think one of the really unique things to fencing, especially collegiate fencing, includes such individual drive and passion, but obviously in college you are competing for a team,” Coccia said.  

The Irish will next compete at the Notre Dame Duals on Saturday at the Joyce Center. 

Contact Laura Coletti at lcoletti@nd.edu