Everyone can climb. But to get better, one must learn how to climb smart. Climbing smart means learning techniques over relying on sheer brute strength – and there’s no better way to learn climbing technique properly than with a climbing coach:
“A well-known sports paradox is that most athletes receive the lowest-quality coaching earliest in their career when it is most critical, and only encounter high-caliber coaching later in life (if at all) when it is least needed.”-The Rock Climber’s Training Manual by Michael & Mark Anderson
Here are five reasons why everyone can use a climbing coach:
1. If you’re a beginner, you’re basically a newborn. You are most receptive to skill development early on. Your ability to learn decreases with time as familiarity grows, so get that technique down now!
2. Bad advice from other climbers (even if they’re strong) can make for bad habits that are hard to break down the line- learn the right way when you start climbing.
3. Are you already absurdly strong? Your muscles may hinder you from actually learning useful skill & technique, which will slow down your progress once strength alone isn’t enough to climb difficult problems.
4. Self coaching can leave you in a rut – coaching provides an outside perspective that can identify your strengths, weaknesses and how to improve.
5. Climbing hard is a subtle art – did you fall on a move over and over.. only to somehow then stick it? A good coach can tell you which subtlety made the difference and why, so that you continue to succeed and learn.
Just as any kind of body movement can be broken down into a science, climbing smarter means considering the most efficient hand, foot, and body placement, weight shifts, joint rotation, balanced timing, and coordination and practicing those techniques.
“To maximize the benefits of practice time, it is essential to first learn how to practice, or more precisely, how to effectively develop and refine climbing skill.”- The Rock Climber’s Training Manual by Michael & Mark Anderson
The best climbers aren’t necessarily the strongest or with the most positive Ape Index: skill, technique and mental fortitude can’t be underestimated, and it can be taught.
Brooklyn Boulders offers a variety of classes to help you climb smarter. BKB members also get 50% off all introductory Learn the Ropes & Learn to Boulder classes.