Train smart... get coached

Climbing a couple of times a week with your friends will definitely see your abilities and grades increase. But many climbers find that to gain real improvements, they have to train a bit smarter.

This training can involve using the normal climbing wall routes and boulder problems as a physical training exercise or the performance area of a climbing gym with its circuit boards, system boards and training aids. Along with physical training, we also need to train our technical and tactical skills to improve our climbing performance. Indeed, for most climbers, particularly those starting out or with moderate experience, far more can be gained from honing their technique than from gains in physical strength or endurance.

Here are a few ways in which ClimbScotland can help you with your coaching:

FUNdamentals of Climbing Workshops - learning the basics

The ClimbScotland FUNdamental workshops are aimed at anyone who climbs and who wants to get better

The workshops concentrate on techniques required to make climbing more efficient, whether climbing indoors or outside. They will enhance your knowledge and skills whether you simply climb for yourself, are a parent who is supporting your child or a youth worker or a full-time climbing coach wishing to do the Mountain Training's Coaching Awards.

FUNdas1 focuses on the ABCs of climbing (agility, balance and coodination). Balance in particular is the single most important initial skill to master; knowing what balance is, being able to transfer your weight efficiently to make a move and understanding how good footwork helps. These skills are practiced on slabby to vertical terrain and form a basis for advancing to steepr terrain.

FUNdas2 moves into overhanging terrain and the specific techniques required to maintian balance and make movement efficient and therefore allow you to climb longer, harder and more strenuous climbs.

FUNdas3 investigates 'advanced technique' and 'advanced movement'; the use of poor holds, complex sequential moves, steep to exceedingly steep terrain and dynamic movement.

They are designed and delivered by us in Scotland as one-day workshops:

Coaching sessions for young climbers within clubs

ClimbScotland organises coaching sessions for young climbers, delivered by expert climbing coaches.

Club coaching: Our Regional Development Officers can deliver tailor-made coaching sessions to our ClimbScotland affiliated clubs. This is a chance to get expert advice and coaching for your club members – these sessions cater for novices to climbing and to those who have been climbing a while but wish to get better!

ClimbScotland Scottish Youth Squad

Youth Squad selection: At the end of the Youth Climbing Series qualifying rounds each year we take the top scoring young climbers based on their rankings in the rounds YCS and they then qualify for the Scottish Youth Development Squad.

Youth Development Squad Academies All members of the Scottish Youth Development Squad are then offered the opportunity to attend a series of weekend coaching academies throughout the year to help them increase their climbing performance with workshops in technique, physical training, competition psychology and practice as well as outdoor REALrock climbing. The Squad academies are organised by ClimbScotland and delivered by our endorsed coaches and coaches from local climbing walls and are offered at cost price to enable as many to attend as possible.

In addition, Scottish-based members of the GB Youth Development Squad (Youth A, B and C) and/or other GB Junior Teams are automaticaly invited to be members of the ClimbScotland Youth Squad and are eligible to participate in the coaching academies. (Please note: as of 2018, members of the GB Youth Development Squad are not eligible to take part in the YCS competition - all categories). Other competitors in other disciplines such as the UIAA ice climbing competitions, are eligible to take part in the YCS and to try for selection of the YCS Team if they have competed in the required number of YCS rounds.

This squad system allows ClimbScotland to target support to climbers from across all areas of Scotland who have shown talent and commitment. The squad will obviously change each year depending on the results of the YCS Rounds.

Scottish Climbing Walls' Support Programme: Every year ClimbScotland organises Scottish climbing walls' support to the squad (both GB and Scottish) and the YCS Team. This year we are pleased to have 13 walls signed up as part of the programme. Full details can be found on the link below.

Physical Training Workshop - learning to Train

The ClimbScotland PT workshops are aimed at anyone who climbs and who wants to get stronger and fitter

We offer one workshop (PT1) which concentrates on the basics for physical training. If you wish to structure some of your time at your local climbing wall to train endurance and strength then this is the workshop for you. You will enhance your personal knowledge and training skills. The workshop is also a required module for climbing coaches wishing to do the Mountain Training's Coaching Awards.

PT1 investigates the basics of all physical training (the 'biomotor abilities'), a basic introduction to human anatomy and physiology, and energy systems that determine the key principles of training that create adaptions for strenght, endurance and power. Finally, it gives some useful ideas of how to use a climbing wall to train these.

Coaching Awards - moving on up

If you would like to progress beyond the basics with your climbing coaching, then the best option is Mountain Training UK's Coaching Awards.

There are three levels of award. Each level has a training session, a period gaining experience including attending a series of coaching workshops, and an assessment session.

  • LEVEL 1: Foundation Coach (minimum age to register: 16; minimum age for assessment: 17)
  • LEVEL 2: Development Coach (minimum age to register: 18)
  • LEVEL 3: Performance Coach (yet to be launched)

Scottish Coach Pathway

For young climbers who have a lot of personal climbing experience and are considering becoming a coach, Mountaineering Scotland offers the chance to gain experience through our coach endorsement pathway as an ‘Aspirant Coach’.

You can start as an 'aspirant' as young as 16 years old.

Coaching Symposium

Mountaineering Scotland organises gatherings for coaches to get together, share ideas and look at new coaching methods.

The symposium is open to anyone who is coaching at climbing walls, through school climbing clubs, DofE, scouts and even for those mentoring and instructing within climbing clubs.

The one-day event includes lectures, activities and workshops. There is no lower age limit, although we recommend 16 as a suitable age to gain anything from the day.

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