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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 49
Author
Mind games, visualisation & being in the 'zone'.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
17/11/2004
4:53:54 PM
Fluid climbing, when everything 'clicks', ... flowing from hold to hold across stone with fingertips barely registering the texture ......
~> unthinking bliss!

There have been 'technique' articles alluded to, or printed in climbing mags from time to time, and I am sure that elite athletes are probably well versed in similar mental / motivational stuff ...

What about the 'average' climber out there?
Has anyone dabbled in these esoteric arts?
Did/do you find it useful?
What works / did not work?
Is mental preparedness a regular part of your routine?

vwills
17/11/2004
7:47:05 PM
Focused anger for redpoints at my limit tends to work well, though I doubt I ever look as mean as Ryan Bailey.
I tend to think being in the zone as onsighting- and you are thinking about climbing rather than falling. are well rested, well warmed up on easy routes, have a trusty belayer and on a favourite style of route.I don't think I've ever been in the zone climbing a crack.

JBM
17/11/2004
9:19:17 PM
Check out Mark Twight's thoughts on synchronizing mind and body to more easily achieve the "zone" in his book Extreme Alpinism. He lists a number techniques that are helpful in preparing oneself for a climb, including such products as "HemiSync". I use it regularly to help quiet the "noise" that invades/erodes concentration.

As for "Is mental preparedness a regular part of your routine? " - you should get in the habit of mentally preparing yourself for anything you do. Start small - concentrate and visualize before your morning crap and then go from there....


adski
18/11/2004
11:41:56 AM
I have heard of this focused anger you speak of Vanessa ;-)
Some things you can control, some you just can't hey? In terms of making things flow, being adept at all the little nigglies for when they pop up would help alot - knowing how to deal with them and moving right on.

Such as when you get short-belayed on a long clip, I find that making direct eye contact and with my belayer and yelling *once more and I'll do to you what God did to the Sodomites!* Really clears my mind and allows me to focus on the tasks at hand.

Nottobetaken
18/11/2004
11:59:12 AM
Regarding mind games - especillay for scarier predicaments - I've found that plain confidence in your own ability works wonders. As soon as I start coming out of 'THAT zone' - I've got something to worry about. In such cases, music can take your mind off the dangers at hand.

I haven't read all of it yet - but Arno Igner's book 'The Rock Warriors Way' seems to have some good advice in it as well.

mousey
18/11/2004
12:04:43 PM
i stuck an article sort of related ni this months pinnacle sports newsletter but it appears to have been taken offline?

IdratherbeclimbingM9
19/11/2004
3:04:08 PM
Some interesting responses here, (liked the humour adski).

Being confident and adept ~ fair enough.
Focussed anger ? ~ ... yeah, I can see how that would work on a Sport Project, but what about in a Trad scene?

Do you / have you required refocussing during the course of a long day or a multipitch ?

Have you ever had your confidence / focus shattered right at the start of the day/climb?
... If so did you manage to 'regroup' ? / how ? (ie this question is different to the one above in that it assumes you are not already committed enroute).

mousey
19/11/2004
3:23:13 PM
re:long routes, in masters of stone dean potter was saying 'if i look up and see how far i have to go i can become overwhelmed, but if i just look in front of me and the holds im on, take it move by move, stay in the moment...'
which births a new thread!!

rodw
19/11/2004
3:50:35 PM
I think most people have suffered from Crag virus at one time or another. Its symptoms include, all slopers seeming more slopey, not being able to find large enough crimpers to pull on, the soles of your shoes just cant sick to anything, you feel all moves as being hard, not being able to crank or hold onto anything, gravity feels like it doubled..the list goes on.

At times like those you just gotta accept it gonna be a hell of a day...

mousey
19/11/2004
3:53:27 PM
>At times like those you just gotta accept it gonna be a hell of a day...
why?

rodw
19/11/2004
4:50:29 PM
On 19/11/2004 mighty mouse wrote:

>why?

Or you could just dog up the route on tope rope claening the holds with a tooth brush:)

mousey
19/11/2004
5:36:20 PM
haha damn good call
mikl law
20/11/2004
7:12:11 AM
It seems like my base state (day to day) is a bit of a pendulumn, sometimes not so good, sometimes good. Fear of failure and foolishness appear a bigger problem than the actual consequences of failure (a bit of air time). Once I realise that, compared to anyone under 30, I don't have a chance anyway I can just go climbing. Beyond that, sometimes you have to listen to your body to avoid a nasty epic/injury.

I tell myself I'm competent on 21's, and everything else is desserts.

But I can't make those occasional good days happen:- I recently onsighted a bunch of 12b's at NRG, and then a week later, got very pumped on some 11's and onsighted one 12 (because I really struggled to maintian the "standard" I'd set myself ) and wickedly cricked my neck, drove 6 hours home looking 2 o'clock right.

Lesson? shoulda had fun instead.

wombats
20/11/2004
9:28:48 AM
On 17/11/2004 A5iswhereitsat wrote:
>Fluid climbing, when everything 'clicks', ... flowing from hold to hold
>across stone with fingertips barely registering the texture ......
> ~> unthinking bliss!
>
>There have been 'technique' articles alluded to, or printed in climbing
>mags from time to time, and I am sure that elite athletes are probably
>well versed in similar mental / motivational stuff ...
>
>What about the 'average' climber out there?
>Has anyone dabbled in these esoteric arts?
>Did/do you find it useful?
>What works / did not work?
>Is mental preparedness a regular part of your routine?

Controlled Movement of Spirit & Energy in Harmony !
Slow movement where you have total control over all muscles and balance. Feel the fine line between pulling-balance-pushing, feels great and creates a nice flow.
Particularly easier when traversing low level( dont have the head voices to interrupt)
I find this works well for me when getting prepared, of course as always there are days when everything turns to crap.
Goodvibes
22/11/2004
8:44:55 AM
"Reach, don't whine." I think it was from Arno Illgers book but this is one of the best phrases I have ever read. If ever I find myself hesitating I just say it quietly to myslef and try and get on with the job. I find it helps quite alot in trying to get in "the zone". It helps to keep your focus on the moves.

Funny that people have said that they find it happens more on onsights, for me it is redpointing where i can really feel the flow etc. On hard redpoints you have to do everything perfect, so if I am not flowing I end up falling.

Tel
22/11/2004
10:34:02 AM
On 19/11/2004 A5iswhereitsat wrote:
>
>Have you ever had your confidence / focus shattered right at the start
>of the day/climb?
>... If so did you manage to 'regroup' ? / how ? (ie this question is different
>to the one above in that it assumes you are not already committed enroute).

I think it was my fourth time climbing outdoors, I felt really excited and keen. I did my first abseil that day and was pretty comfortable with that.
My first climb however, top roping a 15, my head went. I dogged my way up this route and pretty much at the top, the nervous tension which had been building, thouroughly set in. I think the term is gripped. My belayer ( who shall remain nameless) fortunately is a top bloke, and he talked me through it. I was that close that under normal circumstances I could have untied his laces. It is hard to describe exactly how uncomfortable the feeling is, but my hands were locked on these holds, and my breathing was shallow fast and erratic and I felt that any second I would fall to my death. When I did top out there was no exileration, more just totally embarrassed, worthless ect. I tried one other climb that day, maybe a 13, and had to get off half way up, I just couldn't do it.
How did I regroup? I didn't and haven't.
I thought long and hard in the following days, and that was pretty much the end of my rope climbing. My opinion is that in moments such as the above, dangerous situations can/ could arise and I could be resposible for putting someone else in a dangerous situation which I feel is selfish ignorant and stupid. Maybe I am just not cut out for hanging on a rope.
I can say I have done one other roped climb since then, 2nded a 17, which I did clean and in fine style { I think ;-) }...
But since then the rope and harness just gather dust.

Now I boulder, and love it. Each time out I feel more and more confident in my ability and try various techniques to aid improvement. When bouldering I use previsualisation all the time. I have found this helps. I have also noticed that controlled breathing also helps on cruxy moves. Then if I come off I laugh instead of rant and this also keeps everything relaxed. These tips I read in eric horsts book, training for climbing.
butter_fingers
29/11/2004
10:11:47 AM
If I may add my 2c

Not everyone visualises... some of us need to 'read' the sequence... crimper to pocket to jug to jug to jug dyno to huge pocket and sidepull to top... before we can see it.

I try to prep as best as I can, but as nmonteith (sorry if I spelled it incorrectly) said (and I shall paraphrase), some days 'the standard [you] set' can screw you up for the rest of the week...

I find that the times I flow are the times when I am paying the _least_ attention to my thoughts and preconceived notions. The more I want to climb well, the more I tend to screw up. I know a lack of experience has something to do with it, but in reality, it's all in my mind.

I try and let my body climb so that my mind doesn't get in the way of a potentially great day.

In hindsight, I haven't _really_ flowed on any climb as of yet.... I've had moments of insight.... but I believe I've alluded to them in another topic (living in the moment?)

I don't believe that there is any one 'perfect method'... but there are 'tools of the trade'
Being aware of one's thoughts, both the concious 'ooh this will be fun' and the unconcious imagery, audio, dialogues and sensations... can help to make you aware of what sets you up for a bd days climbing.

for me, I motivate myself by lookign at the rock and imaginaing myself incontact with the textures of the rock. Feeling the sun, and smelling the air. Listening to the sounds of the bush really helps clear my mind. Once I'm calm I try and visualise myself completing the climb, not doing the sequence, but topping out and feeling the feeling of elation that I have sent another climb.

I try not to be too specific with my dreamings because I have found that my past memories (i.e. falling oncrux moves) tends to help me repeat the activity I wish to avoid.

as bruce lee would say

"Absence of stereotyped technique as substance means to be total and free. All lines and movements are the function.

Non-attachment as the foundation is mans original nature. In it's ordinary process, thought moves forward without halting; past, present and future thoughts continue as an unbroken stream.

Absence of thought as the doctrine means not to be carried away by thought in the process of thought, not to be defiled by external objects, to be in thought but to be devoid of thought."
-The Tao of Jeet Kun Do, Lee.

I know ol bruce was referring to fighting, but he has a point. "All vague notions must fall before a student can call himself a master"... preconcieved notions act as 'primers' if one expects to do well, then doing well is more likely. If failure is the main concern... well, I'm sure you get the drift. I also think he was referring to the subconcious mind (a popular term which refers to the part of your brain that controls every part of your body that you are _not_ conciously aware of... heart rate, when to go to the toilet, how often to drink/ eat/ sleep... etc though sometimes we become concious of these processes e.g. time to eat) and letting the subconcious mind assist one to 'flow' up the rock.

I have been told by a number of rather good climbers (read damn good) that technique is 'not that important'... and by others that it's more important than strength. I think trying to achieve 'perfect technique' gets in the way of good climbing. I know I spend a lot of time dicking around trying to position my foot thus or hold this or crank that. More often than not, when I'm trying to climb well, I'm looking stupid. When I'm just having fun (thanks neil) I tend to climb better.

I hope I made some sense, I tend to be a bit random and prone to taking my thoughts off onto unusual tangents....

MOD, delete this if it's a waste of space.
butter_fingers
30/11/2004
9:56:52 AM
My goodness... I think I killed the thread... : /

Anyone with some real experience gonna add any more useful stuff (preferably in a more rational style to my ramblings)?

IdratherbeclimbingM9
10/12/2004
5:36:23 PM
On 30/11/2004 butter_fingers wrote:
>My goodness... I think I killed the thread... : /
I don't think you killed it. Though it seems to have slowed a bit since I have been away for a while.
I am savouring (slowly) the process of unravelling your ramblings! I have come across martial arts comparisons to climbing type subjects before and continue to marvel at the implications.

>I have been told by a number of rather good climbers (read damn good) that technique >is 'not that important'... and by others that it's more important than strength. I think >trying to achieve 'perfect technique' gets in the way of good climbing. I know I spend a >lot of time dicking around trying to position my foot thus or hold this or crank that.

Yeah, sometimes its easier to 'just do it'. It can be a mind opener when after having 'dicked around' getting the foot just right, then committing to the move only to look down and realise that the perfect foot placement has shifted and now your still on the rock and simply using the scabbiest of smearings !

>More often than not, when I'm trying to climb well, I'm looking stupid. When I'm just >having fun (thanks neil) I tend to climb better.
I think this relates to your quote
~"Absence of thought as the doctrine means not to be carried away by thought in the process of thought, not to be defiled by external objects, to be in thought but to be devoid of thought."~
-The Tao of Jeet Kun Do, Lee.


butter_fingers
15/12/2004
12:35:20 PM
uhh, m8, were you a5?

thanks for the feedback.

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