Every Climb Counts

It has been a while since I have posted any coaching tips, it has been main due to my overload on thesis work, holidays, proper work and life getting in the way. See that summer is here and we should all be out climbing, although at the moment the rain is falling. So my thoughts were that whilst the time for preparation is over, we can learn to use every route or boulder problem as a stepping stone to the next.

Every Route has a lesson!

Every time you climb remember it is not just a climb but a learning experience, a real shake down of all your climbing skills. So reflect on each and every ascent. To start with think of two things that you could improve on, it could be gear placements – did you choose the right size each time, did you place it in the right place or did you place the gear make half a move and find a better resting position; Did you find it hard to rest but your second found several hands off oppotunities – why did you miss them; Where you overly stressed and anxious – why was that, could you do with trying to relax whilst climb; Was your route finding poor – where did you go wrong and why, what can you do to repvent it on the next route.

Basically there are numerous things that might not go according to plan during an ascent, try and think of one or two things on every route, and try to work on improving them on the next route

Every route is a spring board

Whilst the first step is to find one or two points to work on after each route, far more important is to focus on what went right. Using these positive aspect of prior performance will help to build up your confidence, allowing you over time to try and build on each route you climb. So whilst you might climb a single pitch route of a certain grade the knowledge that you climb that grade well may allow you to springboard onto harder grades or multi-pitched climbing.

Use mental reinforcement of the positives to improve you confidence by saying to yourself what went right and focusing on it. Tell yourself you know you can make the next step because of the previous experiences you have accumulated.

Enjoy it

This may sound rediculous, but if you don’t want to improve and are enjoying climbing the grade you are at the moment, then just enjoy the process of climbing. Not everyone wants to improve, many of us are happy at where we are the majority of teh time. So remember if you aren’t enjoying climbing then improvement will be hard make, as you won’t be in the right head space to make rationale judgements on your performance. So if you aren’t having fun ask yourself why and work on enjoying yourself, you might just find that you improve with a better frame of mind.

Free Coaching Sessions

As part of a MSc research project into imagery and climbing, local Mountaineering Instructor and Climbing Coach Mark Reeves is offering places on a free Coaching Seminar for anyone who is willing to volunteer as a participant in the research.

The experiment requires about two hours of your time and you will be asked to perform four boulder problems four times, at the Beacon Climbing Centre. As well as climbing the problems you will be required to complete a few questionaires and to wear a heart rate monitor. Prior to completing the final two attempts of each boulder problems we will get you to listen to a relaxation tape or cycle to a set level prior to imagining and then climbing each problem.

All data will be kept confidential, and you are free to withdraw from the study at any time.

Whilst we can’t pay you for your time on the study, you will get free entry to the Beacon Climbing Centre for the purpose of this study, and the opportunity to attend a Coach Seminar with the investigator who is a qualified mountaineering instructor and climbing coach.

Whilst every effort will be made to ensure participants safety there is a level of risk that bouldering involves and every participant should be aware of the BMC participation statement:

“The BMC recognises that climbing, hill walkign and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury and death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their oiwn actions and involvement” 

If you would like to find out more about the research or the coaching seminars then please feel free to contact Mark via here.