avoid these 10 mistakes to become a better climber

Avoid these 10 mistakes and become a better climber

Are you stalling and not progressing with your climbing?

There are some mistakes which you can easily avoid.
Getting better at climbing or bouldering involves many aspects. Some approaches that work wonderfully situationally will hurt you in the long run. Some things aren’t favorable in the short term either, yet climbers occasionally hit a dead end. To help you decide which approaches make sense and what will work best for you, here are a few stumbling blocks that can hinder your climbing career.

You should avoid these 10 mistakes to become a better climber in the long run.

Stop this: Always top-roping first

Occasionally it can be useful to climb a difficult route in the toprope before lead climbing. For example, to learn the moves or to reassure yourself that you have it down. If necessary, also to avoid further hook distances and the associated danger of falling to the ground in the lead. But if the “occasionally” becomes a “most of the time” or even a “basically,” you should check whether you don’t just want to stay in your comfort zone. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, either, except: it doesn’t get you anywhere. Climbing well means being able to deal with uncomfortable situations. Furthermore, concentration and movement precision sharpen in lead climbing – result: you automatically climb better.

Stop this: Waiting until you are strong enough

Whether after a break or in general – it’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking: “I’ll do that when I’m fit! I’ll train some more, and then I’ll look for a really hard project / finally climb 7a / go on a climbing vacation to XYZ.” Beware, this thinking is a trap! Projects and challenges motivate us, so we should incorporate them into our climbing lives right away. Get into potential projects, learn what you’re missing. Maybe project a little easier, but start right away! You’ll probably get fit much sooner in the process of trying, because it’s so much fun. Bonus tip: If you can’t get into 7as (or whatever your dream grade is), you can’t climb one!

Stop this: Priorize physical training

Of our total climbing time, we should train a maximum of 30 percent without our climbing shoes.
At some point, physical strength is a performance determining factor. But this is later than you might think. The problem: Once you’re strong enough to power through a difficult spot, you’re no longer forced to tinker creatively for solutions: Trying out movement sequences, feeling out the right body position, or loading your feet properly. That’s why developing technique and movement skills should always take priority over pure strength training. Bonus tip: Bouldering at the performance limit elegantly combines both maximum strength training with movement training.

Stop this: Wearing ill-fitting climbing shoes

If your shoes don’t fit your feet perfectly, if they are too hard and insensitive, or if you even suffer pain in them, your climbing technique will develop less well than if your climbing shoes fit perfectly. Sure, in the beginning you don’t want to invest an excessive amount of money, but it doesn’t always come down to dough. And if it does, the investment is worth it. It pays just as much to try patiently to find climbing shoes that fit well, so that your feet feel comfortable even on bad footholds. Good climbing shoes help you to better perceive the quality of a step. By doing so, you’ll strengthen your confidence in the friction and possibilities of your feet, which in turn is important for developing good foot technique while climbing.

Stop this: Relying on others too much

Whether watching beta videos or doing it for real in the gym and on the rock, try not to always just do other people’s methods. Of course we try out solutions from our climbing partners and bouldering colleagues, and joint projecting is definitely one of the enjoyable aspects of climbing. However, one should not always just copy and leave the creative part to others, but occasionally try to find out one’s own optimal solution for a tricky spot. The body learns a lot from tinkering with moves and from bulging out moves, and research has shown that we also generate more quality for the “right” approach from “wrong” movement approaches. Increase your movement repertoire by actively searching for the right method yourself on a regular basis, and not just copying others.

Stop this: Climbing unknown routes only from piton to piton

When trying new routes at the performance limit, climbing from piton to piton is certainly the most economical way to become familiar with new difficult moves. However, when we are still away from our performance limit, this economical method can also hinder us. For example, it doesn’t teach us to make quick decisions, to intuitively find and use rest points, to develop fluid movements, to think tactically. We would learn these qualities in the onsight attempt, and incidentally we would also increase the probability of a cool onsight. From the different styles of onsight, we can learn different things, all of which contribute to climbing better and more accomplished. Take advantage of these opportunities!

Stop this: Staying in your the comfort zone – even if leaving it might mean to stay in it a little longer

One of these mindf*ck topics is the comfort zone. We learn nothing in the comfort zone – so far, so well known. But leaving it is difficult. It’s not where we feel comfortable, and it can change. When we started to finally climb more slabs or learn crack climbing, it was rather uncomfortable. Today, we may have increased our comfort zone to the point where cracks and slabs no longer scare us. Ultimately, it’s about doing something regularly that we don’t do regularly. That may even mean staying in our comfort zone once in a while and doing an easy session when we usually challenge ourselves at all costs. Do something you don’t really want to do, and try to approach it as openly and creatively as possible.

Stop this: Being fixated on grades

Success feels good, and there’s nothing at all wrong with using degrees of difficulty to motivate yourself or enjoy a sense of accomplishment. But when degrees become too important, several difficulties can arise. On the one hand, we may miss out on fun, educational, and rewarding climbs because the number on them doesn’t appeal to us. And on the other hand, we put pressure on ourselves because what if, for whatever reason, we don’t perform adequately for once? What if we don’t make the grade? Maybe even though we actually can? Either way, this results in stress that we can save ourselves. In any case, you won’t climb better when you’re stressed.

Stop this: Paying too much attention to weight

Many motivated climbers pay a lot of attention to their diet. This is certainly not generally a bad thing. But it is much more difficult to become strong and satisfied if you deprive yourself of necessary calories. Instead, learn to listen carefully to what your body wants right now. Often we are so busy with our ideals that we have forgotten to feel our needs, be it rest, vegetables or even comfort food. Whoever manages to perceive and respect the messages of the body, avoids injuries in the long run and can also better mobilize energy and motivation with more satisfaction.

Stop this: Thinking that you learned it all

If you’ve been climbing for many years, you’ve seen a lot. Solved many movement puzzles, made mistakes, cracked grades, learned tricks. But climbing is a skill-based sport, and you never stop learning. There are always moves to improve, more elegant solutions to find, skills to hone, competence in toehook to work on, compstyle boulders to conquer, cool heads to keep, and so on. But all of that only happens when you actually try. As long as you think you can do it, you don’t learn.

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