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5 Reasons You Should Train with a Climbing Coach

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

Training with a climbing coach is becoming increasingly common (especially as an adult climber) as the sport's popularity continues to rise. You probably see climbing coaches at climbing gyms coaching the youth teams, but you might need to know that you can get a climbing coach too. The idea of a climbing coach for a recreational adult climber might sound silly, but it could easily take your climbing to the next level. Especially if you have big climbing goals and aspirations, think about more established sports like skiing. Many adults will not hesitate to learn to ski from an instructor. Why would it not be the same for climbing? If you're here, you're probably weighing the idea, trying to figure out if a climbing coach is good for you. Here are five reasons why you should hire a climbing coach.

Plateau Phase

Boy climber climbing in an indoor climbing gym

Let's say you've been climbing for a few years, slowly progressing comfortably. But then it stops. It's been three months, and with every climbing session, you feel you are repeatedly working on the same difficulty level. That is a plateau in climbing performance. It happens to almost everyone and can cause wall-slapping frustration whether you are stuck at a V4 plateau or a V8 plateau. If you are in this situation, this is the perfect time to start training with a climbing coach. A coach will recognize why you are stuck on this plateau and provide you with the resources and training you need to fight past it.

Pinpointing Weaknesses

Male climbing coach guiding female climber in climbing a rock climbing wall

So, how exactly will a coach help you fight past a plateau in performance? They will be able to pinpoint your weaknesses as a climber. Why is this important? Because whatever climbing weaknesses you have are what is ultimately holding you back from your climbing goals. Maybe you get aggravatingly pumped out of your mind anytime you climb higher than 20 feet, or you cannot hold onto that crimp on your gym project. You may have already self-diagnosed your climbing weaknesses since you are self-aware enough to realize you are a V8 climber on the face but a V4 climber on the 45-degree wall. (Here's the secret in this scenario, your climbing weaknesses involve climbing on overhanging terrain). Even if you feel comfortable recognizing your weaknesses, a climbing coach can dig deeper into why you struggle with overhangs and how to improve that.


Female climber happily listening to her climbing coach's assessment

Let's talk about motivation. How often are you sitting at work, thinking about how hard you'll train at the gym later, only to get there, see all your friends, and spend the session socializing and climbing without intention? Because climbing is such an incredible community, sometimes it's hard to stay motivated when you and your climbing bestie are sharing some gossip about Alex Honnold's newest expedition while bouldering. The social aspect of gym climbing will likely result in more talking and less time on the wall. Motivation in everyone is different, but a climbing coach will assist with discovering what type of motivation works for you and help you capitalize on it. The more training motivation you have, the harder you will work, and the quicker you will see results. Your climbing coach will be your biggest fan!


Male climbing coach giving pointers to his student

Another critical aspect of training with a climbing coach is having someone to keep you accountable. You might already know your weaknesses and what type of training you would like, but that knowledge is only helpful if you are accountable for your training! Training works best if you are consistent. A climbing coach will keep you responsible for all your workouts and assist with any other accountability habits you need to stay consistent.

Overall Education

Male climber, together with his climbing coach, planning on how to take a route

The learning factor of having a climbing coach is arguably the most important reason to hire one. They have a lot of knowledge about the different aspects of climbing, and they will share that knowledge with you. And this knowledge you can carry with you for the rest of your climbing career, coach or no coach. Hiring a coach could bring new ideas to your current training program even if you are an advanced climber and feel confident in your training knowledge. Two heads are better than one! And having a third-party opinion on your climbing habits, techniques, strengths, and weaknesses is valuable. More often than not, climbing coaches don't coach themselves. Many of them have another climbing coach because they see the value of having a coach who knows your climbing better than you know it yourself.

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