You are ready for this competition, it is what you have set as your number one goal for the entire season: now, you get to show everyone just how good a climber you are. The training leading up to the competition has gone well, you are feeling stronger than ever, and you nailed your warm-up. You are going to send everything today. The music is pumping and you are ready for this.
Now you are sitting on the mat in front of that first problem after you haven’t even been able to get to zone in your first four attempts and nothing seems like it is going right. Instead of the flowing, confident climbing you have dreamed about leading up to the competition, everything feels forced and is a struggle. The one-minute warning goes. Well, might as well give it one more shot, what have I got to lose? You pull on, notice a far foothold you didn’t see on the other attempts, and easily climb to zone. The top is just two moves away but in your haste you miss the sweet spot on the last hold and fall to the mats. You know what you need to do now but there are only 15 seconds left. Definitely not enough time to send but you pull on once more and hear the buzzer for time to end as you hit the zone hold again.
You can’t believe you didn’t see that foothold earlier! That problem wasn’t even hard, if you had just seen that foothold you would have flashed it. No problem, you say, I will get the next problem, you tell yourself as you sit in the isolation chair trying to get that pump out of your forearms. That problem just wasn’t my style, just weird setting. This setter always sets like this, nothing really makes sense. Hopefully the next one will be more my style. I can’t believe I’m so pumped…
But you can’t get the thought that you should have sent the first problem out of your mind when, all of a sudden, the crowd roars and someone sits down beside you, smiling: they flashed the problem. You give them a big grin and a fist bump, feeling less happy for them than you are showing everyone right now.
Slumping down in the isolation chair after the next problem, you can’t help but notice that you were the only climber still on the mat at the end of the time. Heck, you were up there by yourself for the last two minutes because everyone sent so quickly while you struggled to get off the ground. Everyone is probably talking about you right now. Everything just feels shaky. I probably didn’t eat enough this morning, I’m low on energy. But I didn’t really feel like eating much because my stomach was a little weird when I woke up. And that hotel pillow was way too big, how can anyone sleep on those things? I still can’t believe I missed that foothold on Problem 1!
OK, three more problems. Not that it matters anymore, there is no way I am going on to semis. And after all the time I dedicated to training this year. What a waste of time, I could have been outside climbing instead. Oh well, there are much better ways to spend my day than sitting in isolation for hours. At least I can climb in the Citizen’s Comp tomorrow…
One of the biggest struggles athletes have in climbing competitions is being able to have the performances they envision on the day they need to have them. This performance camp will work on the tactical and psychological aspects of competing at boulder competitions. Work will be done on mental preparation, competition strategies, and how to adjust these during a competition so that performance you are hoping for is not only possible but in your control.