Coaching Workshop for Climbers and Instructors

There are a series of workshops on offer for climber over the coming winter months. These workshops focus in on different techniques and skills that climber will find invaluable when it comes to improving there own climbing. The concept of the workshops are they will give climbers the tools to go away and improve their own climbing, by giving them a few simple exercises and activities to use whenever climbing.

The workshop can be book via the beacon climbing centre at the cost of £10 per person per session. The topics and dates of the workshops are:

The Training Basics – Tuesday 25TH November
Before you rush head long into training it is vital that you spend the time available focusing on what is important to YOU, and the climbing you want to aspire to. This workshop looks at methods to identify your needs and how to set goals that will keep you motivated. We will also look at warming up and the types of training you might need.

Improving Technique and Aerobic Ability– Tuesday 2nd December
Having a large aerobic capacity, and being able to save energy whilst climbing, will make all the difference to you climbing. This session will show you ways to improve both you aerobic and technical ability every time you go climbing.

Improving Strength and Power Endurance – Tuesday 9th December
This workshop looks specifically at all the ways that we can use the climbing wall to develop both strength and power. We’ll talk finger boards, campus boards, lock off, dyno’s and lunges. We will also look at ways to fight the pump and develop your tenacity when the going get tough, through interval training.

Introduction to Mental Skills for Climbers – Tuesday 16th December
Sport Psychologists have shown that the best athletes have several key mental skills. So whether it be imagery/visualisation, self talk or the ability to cope well on the sharp end of a rope. Here we cover several key skills that will help your mental performance. So if you freeze when above a runner, or just can’t seem to remember a sequence, here we cover a few of the most basic psychological skills.

Coaching Workshop of Instructors – Monday 16th February
Further to these workshops for climbers, there is also a Coaching Workshop for Instructors, this 2 hour workshop looks at how instructors can improve there coaching, by looking at the underlying core coaching principals, the psychology of anxiety and performance, whilst relating them back to teaching climbing and adventure sports.

Workshop FULL – If you would be interested in this workshop then please contact the Beacon at the above link and register your interest. If there is enough interest further dates will be laid on.


I was out with a friend climbing the other day, and he was trying an extremely hard slab route, rumoured to be F8b/+ slab on Slate. As I took photos he climbed with confidence to the crux, however after failing several times to link through the crux he said that he couldn’t do it today, because he didn’t believe his foot would stick to the crucial hold.

Whilst it might sound a little bit ‘Matrix’-esque the fact is that self belief is a key ingredient to so many thing to do with climbing that you simply have to believe. In particular lack of belief brings about doubt and that doubt starts a negative spiral in thoughts and then actions that can only lead to failure.

The trick is to identify what doubts you are having and why, if they are irrational then try rationalising them. So my foot won’t EVER stick to that, to, my foot won’t stick to that ALL the time but it WILL stick one in every four attempts. Which to the sensible people among us would mean that in theory we to have at least 4 attempts before you start to get frustrated.

So if you find yourself saying or especially thinking things like i will never, its impossible or similar totally irrational thoughts. Shout STOP, then write down those thoughts, have a look at then at a different time and try to rationalise them.

Welcome to the Climbing Coach Blog

This blog is there to help both climber and coaches. There will be top tips and handy hints for all style of climbing, from the qualified mountaineering instructor and coach Mark Reeves. Based in North Wales Mark has worked at Plas Y Brenin, the National Mountain Sports Centre, as well as working as a volunteer for the BMC on a National Source Group (NSG) looking at the future of coaching in Mountaineering. A major contributor to the final NSG report available here.

Mark has also studied effective coach, sport psychology and performance physiology to MSc level, and has successfully past taught units in these subjects as well as worked with climbers as a trainee sport psychologist, as part of a supervised experience unit. Currently Mark is finishing his MSc by examine imagery in rock climbing.