Monday, December 13, 2010

Breakthrough Bouldering Clinic Recap

After some speculation whether anyone would show up, I had at least 10 people at the Boulder Rock Club last Thursday night for a clinic that went close to two hours. I started off explaining my philosophy of climbing better, namely paying better attention to what you are doing and understanding why. To me this is the essence of maximizing your potential as a climber and yet is so hard to do well. Then we had a little bit of falling practice. Much like in sport climbing, safe effective falling technique is crucial to feeling confident trying moves. Because trying harder moves is the key to doing harder problems, I wanted the participants to feel free to fail safely.

After the opening part, I had people move through a relatively easy but steeply overhung sequence getting them to think about body position,foot placement and speed. I am not trying to critique their climbing so much as open up other possibilities for thinking about climbing. Then we tried a long dyno type move, working on seeing the differences that momentum and foot placement can make, as well as speed of execution. Another harder problem was used to illustrate the need to make the most of good foot choices to use smaller handholds.

Finally I made some suggestions about effective bouldering gear, especially slippers, as many intermediate boulderers use shoes that are too stiff and take too much time to put on and take off. I also showed them what makes a good crashpad (representing Organic!) and why you need one (or two, really). I answered a ton of great questions.

I had a few chalkbags to distribute, courtesy of Chris Danielson at Trango climbing, and some free chalk, courtesy of Metolius, as well. I will be working on the schwag for the next clinic, for sure. Where to hold it next is the question.

I think the comments of one BRC member (on my previous post) said it best:

"I was lucky enough to go to the clinic, and it was great. Thanks for all the good advice! I thought it was a great balance of on-the-wall work, and mental training. I got some new perspective on trying hard, redefining failure and success, and some great training and technique tips. I'm ...trying to break out of the v5/6 grade, and I got a lot out of it. I'd go to another one of these in a heartbeat."

Definitely looking forward to doing more! If you think your gym might be interested, let me know.

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