When the junior team climbers at your local climbing gym aren’t busy flashing your project, there’s a good chance they’re hard at work with a climbing coach.
If you've ever thought climbing coaches were strictly for children, think again! Climbers of all ages and skill levels who want to take their climbing more seriously will find it incredibly beneficial to work with a coach!
Climbing coaches are not only skilled climbers but are also experts in climbing, movement, and body awareness, which are key components for improvement. With their expertise, they offer a trained eye to identify your strengths and weaknesses and keep you accountable for training all while maintaining a positive mindset. So, if your motivation to climb is low, or you aren’t sure how to maximize productivity during your gym session, your best option would be to train with a coach.
Let’s talk more specifically about the 3 reasons you should train with a rock climbing coach:
1. Climbing Coaches Can Identify Your Weaknesses
One of the most effective ways to train for rock climbing is to formulate a strategy that targets your weaknesses. Many climbers prefer a certain style of climbing, but to limit yourself in that way limits you as a climber. Rock climbing is an incredibly complex sport requiring strength, power, endurance, coordination, technique, fear management, problem-solving, and countless other attributes to be successful.
It’s easy to just stay in your comfort zone and even easier to put particular climbs into boxes such as “Will Not Send” or “Not My Style” because of our weaknesses. Climbing coaches will provide assistance to help you enter into a new mindset and no longer see limitations. They will also inform you that these labels are not only inaccurate but are not helpful for progression as a climber. Instead, coaches will direct your attention to certain types of movements or techniques that lead to improvement with your climbing.
If you prefer crimps to all other holds and consider yourself weak on slopers, a climbing coach will instead take a look at your climbing on slopers and respond with tactics to lead to improvement such as; How is your hand placement? Your weight distribution? Your core engagement? Your footwork? All of these things are required to pull on slopers successfully, and each weakness will be targeted in your training.
All of this could be difficult to tackle alone, especially if you do not have much experience or knowledge in the climbing world. Once a coach has helped you identify a gap, they will create a training plan that will cater to your individual path and result in growth as a climber.
2. Stay Motivated
From little league to the NFL, one of the coach’s main tasks is to keep their players motivated. A climbing coach is no different! It can be hard to stay psyched on climbing all the time, and it is discouraging to fail. Coaches often help with this by advising you to set long and short-term goals. Whether you have a specific outdoor project or aspire to improve your overall fitness, with a climbing coach by your side the goals and layouts that you set will be attainable.
Perhaps you have been eyeballing the sport climb, Psycho Wrangler at the New River Gorge as your first 5.12 outdoors. Last season you tried it a couple of times and you breezed through the beginning of the route, but kept falling at the crux. This season, however, you want to train more seriously for it. You met with a coach and developed a training plan to address how to advance. As training unfolds, you begin to feel stronger, but on your first trip out you end up falling below your previous high point. It can be easy to lose motivation when that happens. Training with a climbing coach can keep you motivated through these low points as they encourage you to stick with your training, help you identify what might’ve gone wrong, and set intermediate goals. Your coach, in this situation, would redirect your thought process from “Must Send” to other exercises and routes that will prepare you for Psycho Wrangler.
Your coach may or may not identify the exact reason you fell, but they will keep you motivated to continue pushing through and to go back out for another try. Not to mention, it’s always easier to work hard with a coach encouraging you while you’re on the wall!
3. Coaches Keep You Accountable
Training for climbing is like training for any other sport: If you create a great plan, it doesn’t do anything for you, unless you stick with it. If you’re meeting your coach weekly, you’re more likely to feel comfortable coming into the gym alone between sessions. The probability of you training harder increases, also, because you’ve built a bond with your instructor and wouldn’t want to disappoint them. By committing time and money each week, you have a greater incentive to stay accountable.
Climbing coaches don’t only work with junior climbers. From online trainers to coaches on staff at climbing gyms, there are many options for climbers of all skill sets to train with climbing coaches. So, if you need help creating a training plan, staying motivated, or being held accountable, reach out to a climbing coach!
Share your personal experience with a climbing coach in the comments section below. Or, if you are ready to get started with a coach now, get in touch and we will set you up with one of our highly trained coaches at Sportrock.