Top all-round climber and training author Dave MacLeod has announced plans to publish a book centred on early climbing development for young children.
With titles such as '9 out of 10 climbers make the same mistakes' and 'Make or Break' to his name, Dave is a world-respected guru on all things training and injury-related.
Dave's upcoming project is a title aimed specifically at very young climbers. Dave told UKC:
"Between the ages of 1-3 is a critical stage for developing motor skills, proprioception and the fundamentals of climbing: Agility, Balance and Co-ordination. There is currently little literature targeting this age group, perhaps due to the commonly-held belief that simply having fun and moving around is sufficient at this stage.
"As a parent of a young child, I've seen the benefits that getting into a healthy and rewarding activity such as climbing can have on a child's development in general, so it's not simply about progressing through the grades, it's about setting them up with physical and cognitive skills for life in a fun and balanced manner."
Regarding the content of his book, Dave commented:
"My book will feature fun but skill-focussed exercises that the child can use to build up their co-ordination and kinaesthetic awareness. At the end of each exercise is a short explanation of the energy systems and skills involved in the activity."
"I've also figured out a reward-based system involving Jelly Babies."
Dave has provided a preview of the chapter titles to be included:
- The ABC's of climbing
- The balancing act: keeping training playful
- Dealing with over-protective parents
- How not to lose your bottle
- Don't throw your toys out of the pram: Dealing with post-redpoint attempt tantrums
- How to deal with the (breast) pump
- How to make a break from nursery and escape to the crag
- Climbing with nappy rash
Jimmy Webster, aged 3, commented:
"I'm really looking forward to learning from Dave after having some time off climbing with chickenpox. I just hope I can learn to read soon, otherwise the pictures might not suffice."
Dave's daughter Freida MacLeod, aged 5, told UKC:
"I can't wait to read my Daddy's new book so I can finally burn him off on his projects."