Getting Ready for Boulderfest ’15 – 9/26/15
This post is written for kids as preparation for USA Climbing Youth Competitions, but it’s really about climbing your best and not getting in your own way (so it’s relevant to adults, too). The first section goes over the procedure for Boulderfest. The second is full of helpful tips to help you climb your best, whether you’re at a competition or just having fun. If you’re not competing, just replace the word “comp” with “practice” or “session.”
About the Comp
This competition is a USA Climbing Local Bouldering Comp. It will be held at Active Climbing on September 26, 2015. For more information, click here.
You will need to compete in two local comps to qualify for Regionals, later on in the season. Regionals will be held on December 12 at Vertical Ventures in St. Petersburg, FL. You will need to become a USA Climbing member for this competition to count towards regionals. You can join at http://usaclimbing.net/shop.
The style of the competition at Active is called a “red point competition.” A red point comp has different climbs, each with a different point value. The higher the point value, the harder the problem. Your five climbs with the highest point value will be counted for your score. The number of attempts will serve as tie-breakers in the event of a tie.
Remember, you must start with both hands on the start hold and finish with both hands on the end hold, to show control. You can’t touch any holds that aren’t taped for the climb, or the attempt will not count.
Each of you will get a score sheet. There will be a list with all of the boulder problems on it. Each time you fall off an attempt, you will put a tally in the “Falls section.” When you finish the problem, you need to get the initials of two people who saw you climb the problem. If you forget to do this, your climb won’t count!
At the end of the comp, or when you think you’ve finished, you can turn your score sheet in at the desk. We’ll count up everybody’s scores and then have the awards ceremony, where you’ll hear the results of the competition.
Check with your parents to see if they’ve gone to www.activeclimbing.com/comps for information on how to register.
If you’re in Youth D or Youth C
You and your parents will check-in at the gym between 8:00 AM and 8:40 AM. After registration, we’ll go over the rules. You’ll have time to warm up in the other room while your parents are checking you in. Climbing will begin at 9:00 AM and end at 12:00 PM. That means you have 3 hours to complete your 5 best climbs.
After climbing ends, we’ll add up everybody’s score and present the awards at 1:00PM.
If you’re in Youth B, Youth A, or Juniors
You and your parents will check-in at the gym between 11:15 AM and 11:45 AM. After registration, we’ll go over the rules. You’ll have time to warm up in the other room while your parents are checking you in. Climbing will begin at 12:00 PM and end at 3:00 PM. That means you have 3 hours to complete your 5 best climbs.
After climbing ends, we’ll add up everybody’s score and present the awards at 4:00PM.
Tips for the Comp
Before the Comp
Eat plenty of food the day before and drink lots of water. If you want to climb your best, your body needs plenty of fuel. If you don’t drink enough water, your muscles won’t be able to work as hard as you want them to.
Get Plenty of Rest
Your body needs to rest so that you can be ready to perform your best. Take a break the day before the competition. Don’t do a bunch of pushups or exercises because you want to be stronger for the comp. It will make you more tired the next day.
It’s a big day. Competitions are so much fun. You get to see and hang out with your friends from other gyms and learn from the other climbers your age.
Pack Your Things for Tomorrow
Get your things together. You’ll want your shoes, chalk, some snacks, and some water. You don’t want to get to the comp and realize you forgot your chalk bag at home.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
This is super important. You have a big day ahead of you. A good night’s sleep will make sure your brain and your body are ready to go the next day.
During the Comp
Don’t Climb All the Hardest Things First
If you try to climb all of the hardest things first, you’ll be too tired to make the hard moves on problems you’d normally crush. Start off with some climbs that you’re pretty sure you can get in two or three tries. Once you’ve finished five problems, then it’s time to give that cool, hard project a try.
Rest Between Attempts
Give yourself a full 4 minutes to recover before you try your climb again. Drink some water, shake out the pump, but give yourself the best possible chance to complete your problem in as few attempts as possible.
No More Than 3 Attempts at First
Don’t try a climb more than two or three times at the beginning of the competition. If you’ve fallen three times, it’s time to move onto a different route. You’ll get tired and you might not even be able to complete all five of your climbs.
No More Than 5 Attempts Total
You might be tempted to spend 30 minutes climbing the same problem. There’s just one move you’re having trouble with and you’re almost there. You know what I’m talking about. If you don’t get a problem in 5 attempts, move on. Talk to your coaches about it. Maybe you can come back to it later, once you filled out your score sheet a little more.
Look at the Whole Climb Before You Go Up to It.
You know when you see the older climbers moving their hands around in the air while they’re looking at a climb? They’re visualizing themselves on the problem. That means that they’re imagining themselves climbing each move. They’re looking for all of the footholds. They’re also making sure they don’t put their hands in the wrong places. Try to figure out how the climb goes before you get on it.
Use your feet!
Good climbers spend as much time spotting footholds and they do handholds.
If it’s not working, stop trying it!
You might have the wrong sequence. Take a step back and look at the problem again. There might be a better way up the climb.
Watch how somebody else does it
You’ll have climbers all around you, trying the same climbs. If your beta isn’t working, try their method.
Go up to every problem with excitement. You’re not nervous. You’re not scared. You’re excited to see where the climb goes. These problems were made just for you and we want to see you crush them!
Climb every problem with a smile.
After the Comp
If you think you could have done better, don’t get upset. You were there to have fun! Use your new experience to crush at the next comp! Take what you’ve learned seriously, but not personally. Sometimes things don’t go your way. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad climber. It just means you’re human. Learning from past experiences is what will make you great. We’ll figure out what you had trouble with and work on it, together, at practice.
If you did well, be proud. Be happy. You worked hard and it paid off! Don’t let it get to your head, though. The other kids in your division are going to be working even harder to train for the next comp. You will need to, as well.
We can’t wait to see you on the 26th!