One of the best ways to perform well at a comp is to warm up and build a solid base for your score. If you redpoint 5.11a, then start your gym session by doing a couple 5.10as, then move onto a couple of harder 5.10s. You’ll be warmed up for the harder climbing and you’ll already have your scorecard filled. All your effort won’t be spent on just one route, which you may or may not do.
British climbing guru Dave Macleod wrote a bit about onsight climbing, which is another excellent skill to have when climbing at the comps. “Don’t get too built up - Often, getting excited about an onsight you’ve been looking forward to for ages can pile on a lot of unnecessary pressure.” The same goes for climbing at comp. Be prepared to have fun first and foremost.
Stay relaxed when you’re climbing hard. Everyone tends to tense up and forget to actually breathe before a difficult climb. Holding your breathe is a subconscious habit for many people. Focus on breathing before you enter a crux section. Exhale sharply when you perform hard moves, it can great help with latching that critical hold. Think about slowing your heart rate down. A calm heart means you’re more able to think through the next difficult climbing section. Scan the wall in circles. Moving your eyes all around helps see hidden foot or handholds. Too often climbers get tunnel vision when they’re scared or pumped. Moving your eyes in arcs helps you find the best series of holds.
Most importantly, get amped for the upcoming Touchstone Rope Series comps! They’re gonna be awesome!
The dates for the Touchstone Rope Series 6 are: