I was lucky enough to be asked to coach Gwyn for his upcoming competition in London at BMC PARA CLIMBING SERIES at the Castle Climbing Centre.
We are into our third week now and have shifted both my understanding of Gwyn's blindness and his understanding of what is actually achievable by him with our joint agreement on an intense training and coaching plan that has seen us begin on 6b+ to watch him working two long 7a's today at the Beacon after a tough weeks campusing and working a higher level of power endurance on the wooden blobs of doom!
|Gwyn working the problems in our session preparing for London|
Training the body to improve is not too hard, just takes effort and time - training the mind to adjust to climbing at a higher standard is harder, but still not so hard - finding ways to understand what it really feels like with impaired sight was terrifying! I tried climbing a 6c with my eyes shut on lead and have never been so frightened going over a bulge above a bolt (and I have done some reasonably scary shit in my time).
Finding methods to tag holds as we climb through the blind spots has been working a little, but we have 3 weeks to go before Gwyn's first competition... Trying new ideas and training harder as the programme increases in intensity before the taper towards the Competition, towards London.