We have coached the Australian Youth Team for the past three years. This year the Sport Climbing Australia Board implemented a new Youth Selection Policy that raises the standard required by our young climbers to be able to compete at the annual World Youth Championships. We held a training camp last week to prepare the climbers for the new selection criteria. The new policy is aimed to push climbers to a higher level and ensure a greater achievement at the WYC.
Monday morning and 22 youth climbers from 5 states assembled, somewhat nervously SICG Villawood. Some were veterans of previous Australian Youth Teams, but most were first timers. Day one started with 5 routes that had been set at the same level as they will be on the Selection Day, March 17. To make the team, the climbers will need to flash 3 or 4 routes between the grades of 25 to 27. The climbers were able to try themselves out against the expected standard
The next two days were training days. Completing two training sessions per day, we gave them a sample of the workouts they need to do to achieve these grades and make the cut on the Selection Day. The workouts emphasized building the athletes’ stamina and resistance. Our first priority is to increase the amount the young climbers climb, they need more hours on the wall under their belts. All sport science indicates that to become an expert at any complex task (and what’s more complex than rock climbing?) you need to do 10,000 hours. So kids, it’s 10,000 hours of laps! This combined with two mental training sessions, stretching and social aspects of the camp made for a great few days for the athletes as well as ourselves as coaches.
We would like to thank the climbers who participated so enthusiastically and did everything we asked of them. Thanks also to Matt Klein who opened his house to the campers, the other coaches, James Kassay and Rob Parer, who assisted in the training sessions and the parents that helped out with the catering logistics. Thanks too to SICG Villawood for use of their amazing facility.
We hope to see them all in back again in March, crushing and hanging on forever!