#82 – Laurence Halsted | Becoming a True Athlete

Laurence Halsted is a former two time Olympic Fencer, Director of Performance at the Danish Fencing Federation and Director of Mentoring at the True Athlete Project.

Lewis and Laurence talk about Laurence’s experiences of fencing, his journey to the Olympics, and the emotions that surround it. 

Laurence’s new book – Becoming a True Athlete: A Practical Philosophy for Flourishing through Sport is an almost guide to creating your own values in sport and exploring areas such as self-compassion, connection, fear, and so much more.

The True Athlete Project project, the book and Laurence give a much more holistic approach to sport and show its impact on the individual athletes and wider communities.

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This episode at a glance

  • What the sporting culture like is in Denmark. [4:18]
  • What Denmark does better than the British in terms of training athletes. [5:46]
  • Laurence describes his education growing up. [9:10]
  • How Laurence got introduced to fencing. [10:00]
  • The role of his parents to Laurence selecting fencing as a sport. [12:27]
  • What drove him to become a professional athlete. [14:39]
  • The different kinds of fencing and competition types. [15:34]
  • Laurence talks about the injury that paused his career and the emotions he experienced. [17:16]
  • Jealousy is an emotion that athletes should also acknowledge. [21:49]
  • Laurence worked with a sports psychologist to manage his negative emotions. [23:46]
  • Jealousy and resentment in sport is amplified by social media. [24:29]
  • The difference in Laurence’s self and mindset between the London and Rio Olympics. [29:26]
  • Laurence’s advice for younger athletes. [33:06]
  • Laurence’s emotions after the Rio Olympics and how he prepared for his retirement from professional fencing. [36:54]
  • Laurence talks about the catalyst for his book, Becoming A True Athlete and the program The True Athlete Project. [42:54]
  • The common pitfalls of self-compassion and how to become a more compassionate athlete. [50:51]
  • Forgive yourself for making mistakes. [53 :05]
  • Change your inner dialogue. [57:07]
  • The importance of self-acceptance. [57:48]
  • Some athletes have quit before they reach their prime because their self-punishment was too hard for them to handle. [1:01:56]
  • The profound effect of sports to children and communities. [1:02:30]
  • Coaches are the drivers, the social change-makers, of creating positive or negative impact. [1:06:39]
  • The value and effects of mentoring. [1:07:20]
  • The coaches’ developmental journey is just as important as the athletes’. [1:10:45]
  • We should revisit the real meaning and value of sport. [1:11:43]
  • Laurence’s book recommendations. [1:14:28]
    Book : Man’s Search for Meaning (Viktor E. Frankl)


The True Athlete Project
Laurence on Twitter
Buy Laurence’s Book – Becoming a True Athlete

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