6 April 2010

One dimensional coaching, or self-coaching

More climbers these days are starting to take advice from coaches, or from mentors among their peers, either directly or in written form. Great! But while the organisation of climbing coaching is still somewhere between primitive and non-existent (depending where you are in the climbing or geographical world), there are some big problems.
You’ll have heard of the expression; “For the man holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail”. Be aware that the advice you receive from climbing coaches is much more related to the background of the coach than your needs!
It’s also of true of other fields such as law, medicine etc. See a physiotherapist and they’ll provide a therapeutic answer to your problem. See a pharmacist, they’ll prescribe some pills etc..
Climbing coaches based and schooled indoors are likely to offer you solutions involving things you can do in the climbing wall. Thats fine, but it might not be all you can do, by a long way.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave

I like many,have found myself in this place... where I am taking advice from all sources (coaches,piers,internet, past experience etc..) but I suppose one has to build a collective system that relates to oneself.

I'm seeing allot of contradiction of advice (as before), but I suppose that's the nature of climbing...

Enjoying the site..,keep it coming...

regards Mark

Scott said...

I just got back from vacation at Hueco Tanks. While climbing out there I met a climbing coach from LA and one of the kids he works with. For three days, I got to climb with both of them and simultaneously receive coaching. I've got to say that it definitely made me think that some direct coaching would be beneficial. But I get home and read this post! Dave, you make a great point here. The coaching I received in Hueco on real rock is probably going to be drastically different than what I'm going to receive in Dallas on a climbing wall.

Now I'm re-thinking about getting some private coaching.

Neal said...

What's the solution to improving instructor standards then? As someone who started some coaching in Ireland (irishclimbingcoaching.ie) but felt uncomfortable giving advice to many climbers due to wanting to advice them correctly (I've extensive experience of climbing - 12 years, 15 countries - but no formal sports science training), how do we go about targeting such issues? I could talk all day on advice about how to improve technique/strength/focus and did so, but how do you really get climbing instructors to stay on page?