1. You know you're doing it right
Lots of our new customers say they just don't really know what they're doing. The first climbs are usually relatively straight forward, like climbing a narrow flight of stairs. And most people can conquer even slightly trickier climbs with a bit of determination and brute force.
But then you hit a point where fearlessness and sheer grit can't quite see you through.
Dan told us "I was interested in getting rid of bad climbing habits before they formed and to understand bouldering some more."
Coaching gives you those tidbits of information that start the journey to full blown technique. Planning the route, placing your foot correctly, getting your feet high - get these down from the beginning and you'll be building on a solid foundation of skills rather than guesswork.
2. Keep calm and climb on
Climbing with a coach means there's someone looking out for you. Having a coach on hand to guide you helps you learn to turn the tendency to panic into a tendency to problem solve and realise even the most tenuous feeling situations can be turned into success with a bit of deep breathing. Of course a coach can also help you reach your true potential rather than your perceived ability ceiling - "God knows what I did look like but my climbing is now more efficient and way prettier!"
Confidence is the absolute key to good climbing. Having a coach encouraging you can make all the difference to your self belief. And being cheered on by a crowd of fellow-learners is only ever going to help!
In fact at this stage of your climbing career, being around other people is one of the most positive things you can do for your skills development. Watching other people, knowing where they struggle and thrive and understanding different climbing styles helps put your own experience in context. Rather than feeling despondent if there's something you can't do, you'll be better able to recognise your strengths and be inspired to tackle your weaknesses.
4. Talk amongst yourselves
If you watch a World Cup round you'll see the competitors getting together when they first look at the climbs and having a good old chat about the best approach (we assume - it seems too jolly to be a baiting session).
Group coaching teaches you to talk through your climbs. Asking for and giving help is an essential element of climbing success. It helps you think about your own experience and movements, 'try' out a range of different approaches and benefit from alternative ideas on solving the problem. And that particular way of tackling an arete might be transferable to another problem on the circuit - sharing the knowledge will build skills faster.
Dan told us that one of his top tips is to "relax and talk to people, ask for help, offer help. Everyone is lovely". So you'll not only improve your climbing, but you'll have more fun as well.
Which leads nicely on to our last point....
In this case, Keep It Social Stupid!
Climbing might be a solo activity but it's certainly a social pastime. Single minded ambition suits some, but certainly when you're starting out enjoying the whole experience will keep you motivated to keep coming back, and that will improve your climbing. We know that people who climb with mates come back more frequently and for longer, and if you can make some more mates at the wall then so much the better!
Coaching puts you in touch with a group of people at the same stage of their climbing journey as you. By the end of the sessions you will have fallen off, hurt yourself, sworn, been frustrated, been elated and probably achieved more than you thought you could alongside these people. That's pretty powerful stuff. And it's likely to continue well after the coaching has stopped.
Dan's climbing ambition is currently to set himself the challenge of completing all the blues in one session under Coach Mike's watchful eye. And he's giving it a good go!
Dan is a runner first and foremost, volunteering with Dockside Runners and the prestigious Saturday Morning Jog Club, both of whom he has brought to the Hangar to show off his new found skills. He's also our resident photographer and can be found setting up atmospheric shots around the Hangar, equally as comfortable behind the camera as on the wall.
Our beginner's coaching sessions run on a Monday and Wednesday evening. Check availability and book online.