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How can you help me with my climbing?
We are really excited to offer a comprehensive service:
- Technique & movement
- Route reading & problem solving
- Risk & fear management
- Strength & conditioning
- Pain & injury management
- Mental preparation & tactics
- Load management, nutrition & recovery practices
Our coaching philosophy is to look broadly and target selectively. We look broadly because we know many factors affect climbing performance. Being thorough gives us the confidence to selectively target the areas specific to your needs and aspirations.
How is this different from safety instruction?
Climbing instruction is about teaching you the safety systems of climbing (e.g. how to fall, belaying, gear checks).
Climbing coaching is about you and your aspirations. We are here to support you to become the climber that you want to be.
How is this different from an off-the-shelf training plan?
We get to know you as an individual. In our experience, everyone’s best path to progress is different. We want to make sure that you are doing what is best for you.
What does the coaching process look like?
The first session is about consultation and assessment. This always starts with a conversation – we want to get to know you and your aspirations. We will do a climbing technique assessment, and may include other screens where relevant (e.g. strength, mobility).
From here we will develop an action plan. This usually includes technique practice, gym based exercises, exploring new habits and perspectives. Every step of the way, we discuss and decide together the what, how and why.
We provide various coaching options. Based on the assessment, we will discuss what would be a good fit for you.
How much does it cost?
The first session is £60 and will be about 75 min. After this, we have various options to suit different people’s needs.
I don’t live near your gym. Do you do coaching anywhere else?
We provide remote coaching. This typically involves a combination of video calls, video analysis, tailor-made online content and email support.
What makes you great at climbing coaching?
We’ve learnt about coaching through multiple channels:
Coaching experience We don’t know the exact number… we do know we’ve done more than 10,000 hours of actual coaching. Performance climbing is a young field with limited resources for coaches (e.g. research, professional courses) so a lot of what we do is informed by experience. We have learnt a lot by responding to our clients’ individual and diverse needs.
Professional qualifications have informed a lot of our knowledge in Strength & Conditioning and Pain & Injury Management. Our biggest influences are Jarred Powell, Greg Lehman, Chek Institute and Alan Herdman Pilates. We also have the necessary MTA instructor qualifications.
Self study and keeping up with the current literature across multiple disciplines. We are relentless in learning through observation, analysis and engaging with our local community of climbers.
Personal experience Collectively we’ve been climbing for 24 years. During our personal pursuit of progress, we have stumbled on many surprising lessons. These lessons inspire us to explore and learn more about climbing.
What areas of climbing do you have experience with?
Most of our experience is in bouldering and sport climbing, both indoors and outdoors.
What level of climbers do you work with?
We work with people of all levels and abilities!
We are especially confident in helping people who climb in the 6s and 7s (French grades, both bouldering & sport).
I’m new to climbing, can you help me?
Yes, we love working with people who are new to climbing!
We know that climbing can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. Developing good habits early on can go a long way to helping you better manage the line between exciting and too exciting. These habits will also lay the foundation for long term progress.
I climb in the 8s and/or do competitions, can you help me?
We don’t have a lot of experience coaching in this area. We are happy to give you our suggestions, applying principles that we have used and seen success with people in various other situations.
The best starting point is for us to get to know each other a bit better and discuss what you’re trying to achieve. Once we’ve got more info, we can decide together if coaching would be a good fit for you.
Do you work with adults or youths?
We work primarily with adults. We will coach youths as well, however you may prefer to find a coach who has more expertise in this area.
I feel clumsy on the wall. I want to learn the essential techniques for climbing well.
Technique and movement learning is a huge part of what we do. We want to help you discover how to use your body on the wall and understand the “known” techniques in your own way. We consider how factors such as risk, problem solving and mindset affect your movement on the wall, and address them where relevant.
I feel like I need to be stronger to improve.
Strength & conditioning to us is about helping you to discover your strength, and how to better manage your training.
We always consider overall load & recovery, as well as how strength training interacts with movement skill, to find the best ratio of climbing to training. We know that being stronger can help climbing performance. However, a common mistake is to be overly focused on training to the detriment of overall climbing progress. We always consider how training interacts with your climbing, so that everything we do is helping you become a better climber.
I feel like I have plateaued and I’m struggling to progress.
Progress isn’t always easy. If you have been feeling frustrated for a while, then it may be time for an injection of perspective and new ideas. That’s exactly what we are here for.
My goals are outdoor climbing focused but most of the time I climb indoors.
As longtime non-locals to the crag, we certainly understand the difficulties of transitioning indoor form to outdoor performance! Climbing well outdoors is so much about adjusting to the new style of climbing on rock, dealing with risk and fear, managing time, energy, weather and social dynamics within the context of a trip. We will account for all of these our coaching so that you can get more out of every trip outdoors.
I experience a lot of fear and apprehension when I’m climbing. I feel like this is limiting my performance.
We believe that the first step to climbing well is knowing how to manage safety. We will support you to overcome fear by looking clearly at risk and understanding what it means.
Our approach to risk and fear management involves developing the skills to
- Accurately and objectively assess risk and understand how this changes in different circumstances
- Proactively reduce risk either by directly modifying the safety systems, or indirectly by improving adaptability, reactivity, physical resilience and stress management
- Be clear about what your personal boundaries of risk are and stay firm about it under external pressures
- Have tools and strategies for managing emotions under stress
For bouldering, we can provide both safety instruction and risk management coaching. For rope climbing, we will work together with an experienced instructor to improve your technical safety knowledge where needed.
I’m really psyched to progress but I have very limited time and/or I can’t get to climbing wall consistently.
We know that it can be a struggle to find time and regular access to a climbing wall. We are all about finding ways to keep climbing and progressing without sacrificing the other important aspects of life!
There are several ways we could “hack” the time & resource conundrum:
- Individualisation – By focusing on the areas most relevant to you, you might be surprised at how little you need to do to feel improvements!
- Intelligent selection – We are very good at picking out the most ‘bang for your buck’ actions.
- Strategic programme design – We can create high and low phases within your climbing year so that you can reduce the time spent climbing for specific periods without compromising on long term progress.
- Fast track to tips and tricks – The simple act of coming to a coach gives you access to more and different insights. Experience is irreplaceable, but perhaps it is available for hire 😉
There are loads of ways to progress with limited time and resources. We are here to help.
I’m in my 40s/50s/60s. I’m psyched to progress but I’m not getting any younger!
There are many different paths to progress. Age is not relevant for many growth areas, to name a few: technique & movement, route reading, problem solving, mental preparation & tactics. In fact, being older and wiser is often an advantage!
From a physiological point of view, your body is super capable for years to come. We will account for your age and adjust how you train, especially with regards to managing loads and keeping fit. Being aware and motivated to find a cleverer way to train is always an advantage in our books!
I don’t feel I can climb to the same extent as before my injury. Can you help?
We’re sorry to hear that you’re struggling to get back to where you want to be. Injury rehab can be a draining process, physically, mentally and emotionally.
We always ask ourselves:
- How can we get you to where you want to be?
- What are some factors and behaviours that may have contributed to the initial injury?
To put your injury in the past and lay the foundations for long term progress, we need to address both questions. We consider all aspects of your climbing, movement and lifestyle when considering where the best place is to begin.
In our experience, effective rehab evolves over time. It often starts with treatment and exercises, progresses onto the wall with adjustments to climbing technique and can extend to modifications to lifestyle habits and training practices. We’re big believers in the body’s ability to bounce back. With a holistic and adaptive approach, there’s a good chance you’ll get there. Who knows, maybe you can come back even better than before!
I feel like climbing is beating me up. I frequently have pain that limits my performance.
Feeling a bit beaten up by climbing is a common and normal feeling. Climbing is an intense sport, it’s likely we’ll feel a bit sore every now and then.
However, when it feels like a constant battle to be pain free, this could be the sign that there’s room for improvement. An obvious place to start is to check that your body is capable of coping with the demands of climbing. In other words, is your technique, strength, fitness at the requisite level for your ambitions?
Another approach is to look at the bigger picture. Sleep, nutrition and self-care can have a huge influence on how our body recovers. Load management and mindset can radically change how we approach our climbing and training.
We can support you to explore these areas and how to blend it together in a way that best suits you.