THE "GRIT TALK"
ROCK CLIMBING MIND GYM
Dr. Edward Linch, Ed.D.
Sport & Performance Psychology Educator
Grit Talk LLC
Climb with me and experientially learn how to engage your mind to achieve great heights. Bouldering (a form of rock climbing without ropes) requires a high degree of mental fortitude. As you solve and master each move in a boulder problem, you will become more confident and determined to achieve other tasks within and outside the sport of climbing.
Why is Rock Climbing considered a mind gym to train sport & performance psychology interventions (tools and skills) to increase mental and physical performance for any athlete?
Rock climbing is a multidisciplinary activity that encompasses forms such as bouldering, top roping and lead climbing on natural and artificial climbing surfaces.
Climbing is rapidly growing worldwide. As a matter of fact, it is one of the newest Olympic sports.
Rock climbing, in general, is a physically and psychologically demanding sport requiring both cardiovascular and muscular strength, endurance, and stamina, plus the ability to understand goal setting, self-regulation, imagery, and self-talk in order to succeed.
Climbing is a lifelong sport that can be started at a young age and continued throughout life. It can also satisfy, in a broad sense, all of the elements required for self-determination (autonomy, competence, and relatedness, the three psychological needs that athletes seek to satisfy in order to optimize their goal potential) while teaching physical and mental skills transferable to other sports as well as life.
Climbing boosts several mood-related chemicals in our brain, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, helping to lift our spirits. Research findings provide evidence that therapeutic bouldering may offer an effective treatment for depression.
Climbing promotes feelings of self-efficacy. Recent research demonstrated that rock climbing can improve self-efficacy in youth 6-12 years old. +Climbing has been found to promote positive youth development, personal and social responsibility, improvement of mood states and reduction in anxiety, improved problem solving skills, and improved ability to manage fear through goal setting.
Climbing builds trust, confidence, self-esteem, humility, problem-solving, decision-making, and could increase family cohesiveness.
Rock climbing develops individuals in the essential motor movements and is one form of integrative neuromuscular training (strength, flexibility, agility, balance, plyometrics, and fatigue resistance training) that can be transferred to other sports to increase performance as well as reduce injury.
Climbing builds character, confidence, and self-esteem and can provide a sport for less confident kids who could feel out of place or pressured on traditional sports teams.
Climbing requires a high level of concentration and coordination, which engages both body and mind to move in a cohesive, fluid way. Every climb can bring a sense of achievement even if the athlete only climbed a little higher than they did on their last attempt.
Climbing is an adaptive sport for people who have physical disabilities.
The climb tests your body and mind’s endurance, strength, agility, and balance.
Rock climbing is a self-critiquing sport and the sport itself can teach athletes valuable lessons that cannot be expressed with words.
Climbing supports a solution-focused, growth mindset intertwined with character virtues and strengths that allows the client to successfully fail forward toward a purpose and passion while dealing effectively with adversity, failures, setbacks, and obstacles.
Climbing is a form of wilderness therapy, which takes people out of their everyday environment and places them in an unfamiliar setting where there is an opportunity for development and growth.
GRIT TALK: PERFORMANCE WHEN IT COUNTS