Training : climbing performance coaching

Training : complex task ! You might wonder how the demands on a competitor at an international boulder comp relate to that of a general climber, who might have goals in for example rock climbing. If it is a higher overall competence in all climbing situations you are aiming for, your goal is remarkly similar to that of top competitor— to be prepared for whatever the climb demands!

What the climb demands and if we’ll be ready for it, is already difficult to foresee in a formalized competition context. And obviously much more complex on rock, outdoors or wherever your climbing goals are. There are commonalities though, that Udo Neumann, coach of the German Bouldering Team, is trying to outline in this text. As we will see, improvement in climbing can be greatly facilitated in the right conditions…

Designing Training

“My approach to practice session design is to start with the ‘WHAT’. And get to the ‘HOW’ by adjusting the complexities. No one can directly teach the learning system how to organize. All the coach, physical therapist or movement expert can do is create conditions that optimize the self-organizing system’s chances of finding generally valid principles of satisfactory solutions.


Everybody is different. And every climbing position is (ever so slightly) different .  Telling you where to put your hands and feet won’t cut it for long term improvement . It is more important to understand the underlying principles.

Guided Discovery

My role as a climbing coach is in sharing what I know and providing guided discovery to my athletes. I’m neither a a drill instructor, who shouts at you to do one more rep. Nor a motor-learning guru that feeds you specific information about exactly how to do a move. Human beings are self-organizing systems. They will develop good movement patterns and therefore improve in climbing.

The movements patterns and solutions that you have deveIoped will be staying with you much better than somebody elses solution, regardless who this somebody is — you OWN them! I completely trust in that with careful guiding, you will discover the deep skills you already have (from millions of years of evolution, moving about in trees) under the right conditions.

My role as a climbing performance coach is in providing these conditions.

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