Climbing partnerships: How to avoid the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse

Climbing partnerships: How to avoid the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse

Climbing partnerships: How to avoid 4 horsemen of the apocalypse Every so often during a coaching session it becomes apparent that there is a problem that is lying under the surface. I often find that because it is not fair to blame ones climbing partner for ones climbing performance, most people that I coach try not to bring it to the surface or even admit it to themselves. And yet throughout the session the topic of their climbing partner will slowly become the elephant in the room as it rears its head subtly in conversation over and over again. I have written this blog to share some thoughts about climbing and relationships, because truth be told, who you climb with and how you interact with them, can make a massive difference to your wellbeing and climbing performance just as much as it can to theirs. So how do the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse feature in all of this? Well lets start at the beginning...
Read More
Falling off and letting go: Tips and thoughts to improve your head-game

Falling off and letting go: Tips and thoughts to improve your head-game

  About This Article A fear of falling on the lead is what stops so many people from being able to climb naturally, fluidly and to their fullest potential when they are above their last piece of protection. There is a wealth of existing information out there and I will make the assumption that a great many people who are reading this article have already worked their way through a few useful articles or swapped tips with friends, and they have most likely tried at least a little falling practice and know that they should do more.  In it's most simple format, falling practice involves taking as many safe falls in as many different contexts until we become familiar enough with falling so that it no longer impacts our climbing by creating additional stress, robbing us of our concentration and inhibiting our performance. This can take thousands of falls, not tens, or hundreds. In this article I want to cover some of the untouched and unspoken...
Read More
Climbing Related Fears and Phobias

Climbing Related Fears and Phobias

  All humans are born with 2 fears, a fear of loud noises and a fear of falling. Apart from these 2 fears, all of our other fears have been learned and stored unconsciously.  Fears can be useful and instructive and being afraid can be thought of as a useful and welcome emotion. Every day fear can teach us to be cautious and it can also teach us to be ambitious. Phobias however are fears taken to an extreme level and ones that can create a significant reaction simply by using our imagination. Phobias are neither useful or rational and they can lead to unhelpful and even dangerous emotions or behaviours. It surprises me how there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information out there regarding climbing and fears, and as a coach who works with phobias and fear, especially with climbers, I’m often curious about how a lack of vocabulary brings about a difficulty for people to understand and explore their...
Read More
Overcoming a traumatic climbing memory – a case study

Overcoming a traumatic climbing memory – a case study

There is no doubt that to climb effectively we have to be able to keep in charge of our psychological state. Before we get onto our chosen route we have to put away the emotional baggage that holds us down. We can normally achieve this ourselves through approaches such as visualisation and routines that help us to clear our mind or focus it towards our goals. Sometimes however, our memories can return to haunt us. A Case Study of John  Note: John gave me written permission to create this case study and has read it and confirmed its use for publication. 'John' is not his real name When I first met John I had worked with him to provide some climbing technique coaching. He was looking to push into the 7a grade, and so we worked on techniques and tactics for body positions and how to rest efficiently. John was fit and strong and a dedicated climber who had the physicality and the tenacity...
Read More