It’s very easy for a climber to get sucked into the grade game. Climbers expect steady improvement through the grades as the months and years go by. At the very least they expect to be able to climb at the same grade difficulty for every workout. And once they can do some 5.10s, they expect to be able to do all of the 5.10s.
That’s not the way the human body works. Even when you are getting better over the long haul, it’s normal for your grade level to fluctuate. And even strong climbers won’t climb at the same high level all the time. In sports training they have embraced these variables and they incorporate it into training: Plan for slumps and rest cycles.
How can you keep the right frame of mind when training and climbing? A lot of people will mentally rehearse routes or moves before they climb. That can help set a good mental tone.
Gravitate towards positive, optimistic, encouraging climbing partners. Avoid negative, grade-driven, aggressive, or unpleasant people who can easily throw off your performance. It helps to work out when the gym is less crowded. If someone nearby is distracting you, that’ll take the edge off your performance.
Try moves that are difficult for you, but don’t do them because you or someone around you is pushing too hard. Do them because you know they will be a useful part of your training and learning experience.
Having good partners who know when to shut up is important too. Nothing’s worse than trying to focus and do hard moves while some back seat climber who’s belaying you can’t stand to let you work it out.
Labels: climbing, tips, touchstone