iCoach Climbing…. What can it do for you?

For the best part of a year I have been using all the days off from my coaching and instruction to develop an online facility for climbers and coaches called icoachclimbing.com. Whilst the bare bones have been online for a longtime I have ebeen update the functionality on a daily basis. The initial idea came from a way to help climber identify their weaknesses and focus on them for a four week training cycle before reassessing there performance.

I was then going to write a few articles, about 46 at the current count to link to each of the attributes in the performance profiling. However with spending so much time coding the sight this seemed hard. However I have written many articles on a whole manner of subjects already on my coaching blog, not to mention all the other great resource available free. So instead I flexed my coding arm and made a library resource that the users can add to and link the articles via a series of topics, categories and tags to the main library database. Whilst there is no voting function at present but eventually you will be able to vote for the articles.

At the same time I had seen the BMC’s training logbooks for the climbing team, and thought that they were great but getting any real information out of them would be hard, but a web-based app could manipulate the data if it was entered into a database. Thats exactly what the logging function does, noting every route, boulder problem and grade as well as your rate of exertion for each. We can then look for the slightest trend in average grade, number of routes or even a decrease in how hard you find a given grade.

All these performance measure will give performance measures that are hard to see without the use of a computor to do all the hard maths for you. This I hope will feedback into the motivation you get from seeing improvement from session to session and week to week. The plan is eventually to make a program thta takes your last session and peformance profile and designs the next session for you.

However I also liked the idea of allowing coaches to use the system to monitor there clients training. Whilst this function hasn’t been fully developed, it should be available by the end of the summer. With that in mind I tried to think of ways that an online database may be of use to coaches. Having seen several poorly written logbooks when assessing on Mountain Training UK qualifications. I set about making an online system, so that instructors could add to their logbook in the evening after work when many of us are surfing the internet.

However simple coping the Mountain Training logbooks for Climbing Wall Award, Single Pitch Award, Mountain Instructor Award and the other walking leader awards, seemed to miss the chance to try and improve them. So with each form there are top tips as to how to fill in the logbook. I also added in a reflective practice section, which attempts to tease out of instructors the most important part of any day on the Hill, Mountain or Rock Face, in that what did you learn that day.

Quick overview for climbers

  • Find your weaknesses with the performance profile tool.
  • Find the reading you need to develop a training plan with integrated library.
  • Log your training.
  • Monitor your performance.

Quick Overview for Coaches

  • Use the Mountain Training like Logbooks to record your professional development.
  • Top Tips for filling in your logbook
  • Covers (CWA, SPA, MIA, WGL, ML, WML & MIC)
  • Export your logbook so you can attend a Trainign or assessment course with a highly professional logbook.
  • CWA logbook will take all indoor climbing from your personal training logbook.
  • A dedicated topic area for coaches and instructors in the integrated library.

There are more feaures on the way, that I don’t really want to share with you at the moment. Suffice to say it will keep me busy, and more importantly make the website even better for everyone using it. If you do visit it and find any bugs like deadlinks or the numerous typos either contact me through here of on the contact paeg on the website and email me the page link and decription. The site is in testing phase but I thought I’d let you have a look.

I am also keen to see if there are any companies out there interested in a few months advertising for free in return for some promotion of the site. More details can be found on the icoach climbing advertising pages.