Happy New year everyone. If one of your new years resolutions is to improve your climbing on any level consider hiring a coach. Today we bring you our thoughts on bringing coaching into your regimen.
Recently, a few of us went on an alpine and waterfall ice climbing course in North Conway. Prior to this course none of us had taken any form of paid climbing instruction. We all thought “I can just learn by practicing with friends” for this is how we had acquired the rest of our climbing knowledge. Reading books, climbing with people that we perceived as better than us, and getting out a lot. Though I have been moderately successful in improving my technique, power, and grade using this method, it has been hard fought and I have never advanced as quickly and competently as during this recent paid instruction.
Having spent the last 10 years looking up to people who climbed several grades above me thinking their level of achievement to be impossible for me, I now only believe this will remain true if I were to continue with the status quo. Where will I be in 5 years if I continue to get to the climbing gym twice a week for social climbing, outside twice a week, with jogging and yoga interspersed throughout? Will I be a competent climber? Sure. Will I be reaching my goals? Not a chance.
The biggest revelation I’ve had in my climbing career is that dedicated one on one (or one on five) instruction can be a huge boost in breaking the bad habits that I would have otherwise continued to ingrain in my routine. After two full seasons of waterfall ice climbing I still had a ton to learn. Practice makes perfect, but practicing shit will make perfect shit.
Why would climbing be any different than any other activity? Learning from the best and getting a feedback loop into your training regime is a tried and true method for every athlete. Guess what, you’re no different! Gymnasts, track, football, tennis, have all accepted this as a necessity – yet somehow we think we know enough to forego the coaching aspect.
So if you have climbing goals (breaking through 5.12, V3, pumping out less, or just being more confident) I encourage you all to go out and find an instructor, even if it is for one session, and see how much of a difference it can make in the way you train, your competency, and ultimately your safety as a climber.
As a plug to the great guide Dustin we had – register with Synott Guides