Mastermind by climbing legend Jerry Moffatt is a guide to mental training for climbers. Drawing on his own personal experiences, as well as inspiring stories from the current elite of the sport including Alex Megos, Adam Ondra, Alex Honnold and Barbara Zangerl, Jerry invites climbers and other sportspeople to explore and maximise their mental potential.
Broken down into easy-to-read sections, including Mind Control, Self Image and Visualisation, Mastermind will help you utilise the power of your mind to make the most of your existing strength, technique and ability so that you can perform under pressure – not just in climbing, but in all sport.
For anyone who's not familiar with Mastermind, can you sum up the Mastermind mental approach in one sentence?
Mastermind is a research-heavy educational sports psychology book containing techniques scientifically proven to enhance performance.
In Mastermind you draw on the experiences and contributions of other top climbers. Do you think the Mastermind approach is shared by many top climbers?
The content of Mastermind is based on many years of research into how to perform to the maximum of your skill set under pressure. Climbing is no different from any other sport or activity when it comes to how you should think. In researching this book I learned so much, it would have helped me even more when I was climbing. The advice I received from Prof Lew Hardy, a leading specialist in this field, changed the direction of the book.
Mastermind is a book of facts, it's not just a few ideas thrown out there with the thought of 'try this see if it helps'.
Do you think there are other mental approaches which athletes can adopt to make them successful at climbing? What other approaches did you notice among your fellow top climbers?
I don't think there are any other mental approaches to help climbers that are not included in the book. Otherwise it would be included, I wanted Mastermind to be comprehensive.
The idea of including the top climbers of today like Ondra, Sharma, Megos, Honnold and Hayes to name just a few was to show they all think in a similar way. When I interviewed Margo Hayes it was almost like she had read the book. She was doing practically everything I suggested in the book. Their contribution was just like the reinforcement of them saying I do it is well and it works!
When asking top sportsmen and the climbing contributors to the book what they think when they're at their very best the answer is generally "nothing". They are just in the moment. All the hard work should be done well in advance to make this happen as I outline.
I remember sending a bunch of stuff through to Adam Ondra to read and he simply replied there's nothing in there I don't agree with.
Things like visualisation are so important, it's a direct link to what you're trying to achieve. If you can't visualise it it's unlikely you can do it.
I would say to get the most out of the book you need to read it from the start to finish and not just dip in to bits of it. It needs to be read many times.
The Mastermind approach can help top athletes squeeze the most out of their physical performance. How can it help your average climber down the wall who wants to improve but is aspiring for 7a rather than 9a?
I wrote the book for climbers of all grades from complete novice to professional. Just because it has the best climbers in the world contributing does not mean it is just for elite climbers. If you are starting out as an athlete trying to do the long jump surely you would want to read a book by the guy who has the world record. Or if you are a beginner at golf say you want to see how Tiger Woods hits the ball, it's the same principle with Mastermind.
I believe I've put a book together which is if understood a life changer.
What you think largely determines what you will become.
Mastermind isn't laid out like your average book - there's colourful designs and self-writing sections to name a few characteristics. How do you think this design helps the reader to improve their mental approach?
The look of the book won't help the mental approach at all for the reader, it's just cool to look at in my opinion.
I was just lucky that the publisher's wife was a graphic designer who worked on the book for a couple of months. In normal circumstances when publishing a book it would put the price of the book up too much by the time you pay for her. I'm really proud of the way it looks, hopefully the reader will just enjoy the book more because of the layout.
I asked the top climbers to write a short account of their best day climbing to inspire the reader. So there are 16 super inspiring stores at the back of the book which will hopefully fire people up.
If you hadn't have adopted the Mastermind mental approach you did, do you think your climbing achievements would be different?
Absolutely my achievements would have been different. I was fortunate with my genetics and had real drive to succeed. Ultimately the drive is paramount to be a world beater. The time I needed to understand how my mind works when it was competing in the late 80s. Some people need a little more help than others and also people's mental strong and weak points are different. It's really important to find what your weak points are mentally and work on them. With work I went from struggling in competitions to being ranked number one in the world. I definitely would not have got there if I had not researched and worked on how I should be thinking for an optimum performance.
Are there any non-climbing areas of your life where applying the Mastermind approach has led to success?
I use all the techniques in Mastermind in my general life. Things like goal setting. planning, writing things down are really important in things like business. The mindset for people in the work place or people who are successful in any fields are very similar. It's all in Mastermind and the response over the past couple of years since writing the book from different climbers has been fantastic. Just hearing peoples stories has made it all worthwhile, it's nice to put something back.
The Climber's answer to surviving the never-ending UK Lockdowns.
With the huge rise and record-breaking numbers using Netflix, Amazon Prime and other home entertainment services in 2020, whilst seeing Cinemas forced to close and in complete crisis, can the UK's climbers learn...
'The Climbing Travel Guide' reaches fundraising goal in 19 hours
In just 19 hours the campaign to create the photo-book 'The Climbing Travel Guide' reached its 10K euro fundraising goal to promote sustainable travel.
15 Dec, 2020
KMF Christmas Special - 7 Day Festival Pass
11 Dec, 2020
Protect Our Winters UK calls on outdoor industry to target Net Zero
Climate advocacy NGO, Protect Our Winters UK, has called on the outdoors industry to take climate action and show ambitious targets towards Net Zero to help protect the environment it depends on through a new...
27 Nov, 2020
As climbers we strive to make UKClimbing.com the kind of website we would love to visit, with the most up-to-date news, diverse and
interesting articles, comprehensive gear reviews, breathtaking photographs and a vast and useful logbook system. As a result, an
incredible community has formed around the site - we’ve provided the framework but it’s you who make the website what it is today. If
you appreciate the content we offer then you can help us by becoming an official UKC Supporter. This can be a one-off single annual
payment or a more substantial payment paid monthly or yearly which includes full access to Rockfax Digital and discounts on Rockfax
If you appreciate UKClimbing.com then please help us by becoming a UKC Supporter.
Support the website we all know and love
Access to a year's subscription to Rockfax Digital.
Plus 30% off Rockfax guidebooks
Plus Show your support UKC Supporter badge on your profile and forum posts
Product News at UKC presents climbing, walking and mountaineering equipment posts that will be of interest to our readers. Please feel free to comment about the post and products on the associated thread.
Please support the following outdoor retailers who support UKClimbing.com: