Climbing coaches

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 Martino90 20 May 2022

Hi all,

I’m currently looking for a climbing coach, does anyone have any advise? Is it worth it?

I have been climbing for 3 1/2 years, I would like some coaching to highlight weaknesses and areas of improvements.

im based in Cheltenham but happy to travel where needed.

thank you,


 henwardian 20 May 2022
In reply to Martino90:

This is a pretty random idea but I would guess that if you film yourself doing some climbing on some different routes and put it on UKC, you will get a load of pointers on what you are bad at for absolute free (at least that's the way it works for Franco Cookson) and that'll give you loads of things to go away and work on. I'm not even joking here (except for the Franco bit.... partially).

 SFM 21 May 2022
In reply to Martino90:

I think it’s worth it if you are looking to achieve a certain grade or target certain types of climbing. If it’s more “to get a bit better” then perhaps look at group improvers sessions that some walls do( normally split up into grades).

I’ve only had a few coaching session(bought as a present) and mostly learned new training techniques to improve finger/arm strength. I had been climbing for about 20 years by then so was already highly aware of my strengths and weaknesses 😁

 mike123 21 May 2022
In reply to Martino90:

I didn’t end up having a session with her but did corresponded with Katherine Schirmacher ( website - love to climb ) old mates from Sheffield concur she is very good . I think finding somebody who you “ click” with is important . A couple of different people who coach around here wouldn’t be for me but had I got sone coaching I’m sure Katherine would have been . 

 seankenny 21 May 2022
In reply to Martino90:

It’s definitely worth it if you see the right person. But what do you want a coach for? Is it to provide you with a training plan to improve your strength or endurance, or one to help with movement skills, or one to help your head game? Work out what you want and you’ll be a lot closer to working out who to see.

 AndyRoss 21 May 2022
In reply to seankenny:

I agree - work out roughly what you want to work on first. If you want someone local then I've seen Nathan Bonnie, working in the area and his sessions looked good. 

In reply to mike123:

Not much to add other than another vote for Katherine. Myself and my partner both did a course with her a couple of years ago. Highly recommended! 

 Paul at work 21 May 2022
In reply to Martino90:

The first thing is what are you trying to achieve. 

 Siderunner 22 May 2022
In reply to Martino90:

I’ve had some coaching and came away a bit dissatisfied. But I think in hindsight I was really looking for a training plan that focussed on my weaknesses, and instead ended up gaining some quite specific movement tricks that are not widely applicable, and not much else. I did have more than 10 years experience at the time and I think had basic obvious movement stuff like accurate feet already reasonably well dialled, thought there was a lot I could have been taught (eg a detailed treatment of heelhooks and their uses). Another (group) session I did with a different coach ended up with a list of weekly training that amounted to 10+ sessions a week, that were roughly “everything you could train that might make you a better climber” … was totally unrealistic for a wage slave and failed to narrow it down to what I should focus on. Admittedly that was not 1 on 1 coaching.

Probably a lattice assessment and plan would have been perfect for what I wanted.

Just emphasises that you need to know if your goal is to improve headgame and tactics, technical movement, or physical limitations. Of course maybe you want to know which of those is the limiting factor, as I did. I now think a clear answer is hard to provide, even for an excellent coach, unless you’re clearly unbalanced across those areas. You can always improve each area, and perhaps need to improve all 3 to make big jumps in grade.

Good luck and let us know how you go!

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