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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion
General Climbing Discussion
|Mind games, visualisation & being in the 'zone'.
On 15/06/2005 steph wrote:
>I also find i climb better when slightly nervous. It's
>also easier to shut things out and focus when you're 99% sure you're about
>to fall...or die to be more dramatic. I can always onsight harder when
>in a comp situation or when trying to redpoint some outdoor bia*#h of a
>climb that I know backwards in my head. Yes, I turn pale and need to be
>force-fed food, but focus-wise its a great method to send.
Unfortunately you will not performing maximally by utilising the high psychological arousal state produced by nerves. Optimal arousal states can be controlled through psychological practices, as too high a state will result in a loss of coordination and reduced performance!
Psychological tools such as a pre competition routine - including good visualisation and preparation is key to optimal performance in each competition. Using these tools also produces a repeatable process which you will be able to fine tune for each competition (and hard onsights outdoors as the mental preparation is the same).
Good resources for more information -
Performance Rock Climbing by Dale Goddard and Udo Neumann (still IMO the best overall book on training principles for climbing)
And hundred of Sport Psychology books such as The New Toughness Training for Sport by James Loehr...
Psychological control is a facet of climbing which isn't practiced enough, but will produce results of equal value for performance as will another session in the gym.
On 15/06/2005 The good Dr wrote:
>I have found on a number of occasions that I have been thinking about
>doing a climb and have just got up and had to go and do it (when I am at
>the crag, not on the other side of the world - unfortunately). I have always
>onsighted or completed a project when this mood has taken me. How it happens,
>I don't know, and I have not been able to make it happen.
Yeah, I've found similar sort of thing too. If I'm having trouble committing to a move, I might still be feeling really freaked out then all of a sudden a little voice in my head just says "shut up and go!!" and it makes me push through. It seems to happen pretty randomly
Do you find these same tools useful when competing in triathlons?
Very OT Rob668, but definitely!
Though coordination isn't quite as critical running or cycling as with climbing, where non repetitive movement is required (also why you can handle higher muscle lactate in tri's vs climbing as this also impacts coordination) keeping an optimum arousal state is key.
Sport Psychology tools are definitely beneficial during race preparation, such as pre comp routines already discussed. Also racing (I race up to Ironman distance) which can be up to 10 hours in duration, your physical and psychological state can fluctuate considerably. So knowing tools to manage this is very important.
X-posting from Climbing & Anxiety thread by rhinckle 02/08/05 (because I think it's also relevant to this thread);
>the reason i climb is that i'm naturally anxious.
>fear can stop you in your tracks, or provide the chemistry to transcend your limitiations.
>you all know the difference between being gripped and passing through that barrier.
>the joy of passing through your fear.
>if you are just cruising up something easy, you don't find yourself hyperventilating and over gripping and generally pumping out in head, heart and body.
>the fact that the barrier exixts is what makes the slow and strenuous art of getting up a hill by the most difficult route possible something worth doing.
>the crux of the matter is how one makes that decision to make the impossible possible.
>fight or flight is a problem in the 'real' world, because mostly there is no chance to turn that reflex into action. you can neither kill your boss nor run away and hide.
>passing a personal crux dabbles in that psychological zone where instead of backing off and being reasonable, you commit, face death, win (or lose) and, like childhood games of bovinepersons and native americans, you get to count to ten and be alive again.
>(except if you're soloing, then it's even better).
A little deception I've been using to good effect lately is not to look in the guide. A few weeks ago we went to an old, out of the way crag that had some new lines on it. At the time we thought no guide existed for it. I got on what I decided was a 17 to warm up. I had to work for it but I made the onsight with no falls. To cut a short story shorter, we got hold of a guide for the crag a week or two later. The "17" was a 20. at the time, I was very comfortable on 17's and only doing 20's on a good day, and I ceartanly didn't onsight them.
I've done another half a dozen 19 and 20's , trad and sport, in the same fashon, since then and now I'm actually looking at lines I know the grade of but judging if I can do them from what I can see rather than what I've read.
I accidently got myself into a good headspace but what it resulted in is a better focus. I'm thinking about what gear I'll need and how I'm going to employ it. I'm working out sequences and lines before I get off the ground. So I'm not dragging redundant gear up trad lines and I'm climbing more efficiently on sport routes.
Over all, while I still have to work for them, I'm no longer at my limit on 20,s. Thats a solid three grade improvment in about six weeks. I've challenged myself to be doing 23 sport routes by Xmas.
This is really worth a crack. Next time you are at an unfamiliar part of the crag, don't open the guide book, just look at a line and ask yourself if you can do it. Works for me.
great thread guys, i haven't had time to read all, but stuff ive been interested too, (it seems almost taboo to talk about mental training seriously so its great to see)
some good links i thought id add from the master of psycho mentally chanlenging climbing:neil gresham (read, climbs E10s on gear, the dude who almost killed himself on meshuga E9 [the one at the end of hard grit] then got back on it a year later)
on mental training in general
On 6/08/2005 socialclimber wrote:
>This is really worth a crack. Next time you are at an unfamiliar part
>of the crag, don't open the guide book, just look at a line and ask yourself
>if you can do it. Works for me.
I used to do that all the time, right up untill i was climbing what i thought was a sport route only to find i needed gear, which i didnt have, and running out just under 1/3 the route to the anchors, chraracter building, but not recomended...
Ok so,I must be in the zone, think clearly, concerntrate on the climb, block out all external noises, go with the flow, visualize the moves, understand the climb, be extra nice to the belayer but not too nice because you might break your intence but controlled frame of mind, make sure you can see the positive "CHI" from the north and um...............oh yeah CLIMB!
There are 49 messages in this topic.
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