Curtesy of Pro Climbers International, after the Portland Boulder Rally Paul Robinson and I will be TEACHING A CLINIC!
SO EXCITED!!! You can tell by my syntax!!! (There’s WAY too many exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!)
After some brain storming with Paul, we decided to teach our individual fortés supérieures.
My half of the clinic, detailed below, touches on what I’ll be talking about with my group.
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Technique, Beta Reading & Mentality
Learn how to:
Warm up efficiently for a long session and for minimal injury.
Warm-ups are AMAZING for consistent, longer sessions. On your second consecutive day of climbing, we may walk in already feeling strong and jump on a V7 while feeling fresh, but this is not ideal: a sudden flash pump, or minor injury, will just put us a step back. Warming up the necessary muscles can lengthen a projecting session from just ONE hour to two or three hours. My worst injuries have occurred within the first half hour of climbing.
Make adjustments to your body position using directions of force.
There is a way to listen to your body, and it starts with understanding a simple concept of how we move up the wall. With FORCE!
Make the connection between flexibility and technique.
Can’t sit on one heel, or rock over to the other heel?
You might be missing out of great resting positions, and making important moves harder than they need to be. Recently, Germany’s Team Coach and Author of “Performance Rock Climbing” Udo Neumann recounted that flexibility was not important to climbing 10 years ago. But from observing competitive climbing, he now realizes the power of flexibility: it not only allows subtle directions of force, but efficient resting and extremely high foot placements. Without flexibility, climbers are restricted from a variety of useful technical subtleties. Just not flexible at all? Baby steps. I can show you how to stretch on AND off the wall.
Read sequences, find your strength, but DON’T avoid your weakness.
Mexico’s strongest bouldering competitor, Mauricio Huerta, once told me, “Even when I fail, I am still learning something.” We often cheat or avoid a problem if it doesn’t apply to our strengths, because are afraid to fail. We don’t like to fall over…and over…and over again. But when we avoid these difficult routes, our strengths grow marginally, and our weaknesses are left out of the session once more.
Don’t be afraid to fail. Every failure is a lesson; every failure brings you closer.
Prepare and maintain a strong and positive mentality for a project or session.
Eric Horst posted in Trango’s website that the mental aspect of climbing may be a strong 30% of climbing, with physical strength and technique making up the remaining two-thirds. In Udo Neumann’s interview excerpt in The Circuit (a new World Cup and Performance climbing magazine out of Autralia), Udo offers that for high-performance bouldering competitors, (not word-for-word) “Fitness gets you in the door. It’s intelligent and mentalist climbing that makes you the best.” Breath, routine, and positive psyche contribute to a great mentality right from the start of your session.