Archive for the ‘Competition’ Category

On Coaching ABS Youth

Friday, July 26th, 2013
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Last fall, after a long absence, I started coaching competitive youth climbers again. It’s exciting to see how youth competitions have developed in the past 14 years; the number of competitors is fairly large, as is the number of coaches. I’d guess that preparing youth for competitions is probably the largest source of coaching revenue in the US, and correspondingly it’s a task that a great number of coaching hours are spent on. Yet public discussions, and published material regarding youth competitions are almost non-existent. So, I think it would be great to start a discussion on how we prepare young athletes for bouldering competitions. (more…)

Some Details on Sean McColl’s Training Video

Monday, August 13th, 2012
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Over at ClimbingNarc there was a discussion last week concerning Sean McColl’s short video of training activities. I got in a bit of hot water in that discussion. To be fair, I brought some the criticism on myself because I started off in a fairly tactless manner, and for that I apologize, but I also got in hot water because I directly confronted popular sports myth and didn’t provide the details behind my statement that the activities presented in the video were not likely to be responsible for McColl’s high level of climbing performance. I don’t think ClimbingNarc is the proper place for such a detailed discussion, but this blog is. (more…)

Physical and Mental Prep for Competition Climbing

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
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Dan and I received this a few days ago:

I’m really keen to improve my routine in isolation for major competitions. I have tried a

number if different things but have failed to settle on a plan that works consistently.

Something I can rely on. I take a while to properly warm up. That much I now know! But I

need to find a routine that has me walking out to the advanced isolation and then the

route primed and ready to give my best performance right on cue. The question really

seems to be how do I get fired up just enough and warmed up just enough right before

leaving the isolation? Any ideas and advice would be a huge help!” -M (more…)

Bouldering Comp Season: Tactics for Success

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
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You’ve trained hard in preparation for the bouldering season, and you’re itching to test your abilities against the competition. But before you go screaming into the woods to tackle that first comp problem take a few minutes to incorporate some basic tactics into your day. After all, you spent a lot of time over the summer refining technique and

The Triple Crown series demands a thoughtful plan.

building strength and stamina. Let’s apply those newly developed attributes in the best way possible. Many times the climber with the smart plan will outscore his less thoughtful opponent. Here’s how to make the best of your comp days. (more…)

Bouldering Comp Season: Training Tips

Thursday, September 8th, 2011
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Fall is right around the corner and along with crisp, dry air comes the bouldering competition season. Whether you’re competing in the Triple Crown or ABS or another series your preparation should center on several areas common to all the formats. Those common elements are maximum strength, power, and stamina; if you’re deficient in any one element compared to the others, your performance will suffer. Here’s a quick guide to get you started toward doing your best this fall.

Improving maximum strength

Bouldering is a high intensity, short time frame activity as compared to route climbing, similar to sprinting

versus running longer distances such as 5K. Because of this, maximum strength, or the ability to generate great force on a particular hold, is of paramount importance, and the development of that strength one of the primary determinants of your overall bouldering performance. (more…)

A Climbing Competition Primer

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010
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It’s competition season and with it come a rash of new competitors eager to showcase their climbing prowess. But even gifted climbers can fail to overcome their competition without effective comp strategy and tactics. In the helter skelter, pressurized atmosphere of a climbing

Climbing competitions are controlled chaos!

comp, it’s easy to get caught up in the action and allow it to control your day. To compete effectively you’ve got to prepare well, both mentally and physically, create a plan, and then execute on game day.

Types of comps

First things first. Let’s describe the different types of climbing competitions as each requires a somewhat different set of tools. There are a number of variations on two basic competition schemes: redpoint and on-sight.

A redpoint format means that you can make multiple attempts at the same route or boulder problem, but no points are awarded unless you complete the route from bottom to top without falling off, weighting the rope, or using an illegal hold or wall feature. You can usually choose from among all the routes available, try as many as you like, and watch your competitors’ attempts. Your final score is usually the total of your three, five, ten, etc. best scoring climbs. You will usually not be permitted to work a route or boulder problem, if you fall off you’ll be lowered to the ground where you’ll need to wait your turn in line for another attempt. Variations include specifying which routes or problems you can try, giving you a time limit to work and send each, and allowing you to work the routes. (more…)