The One Principle that Makes Climbing Training Effective

The Transfer Principle suggests that learning and performing one activity affects the performance of related skills and activities. This principle is essential for following climbing training programs that have the greatest positive impact on competitive performance. Correctly applying this principle you can save training time while accelerating results.

The goal for climbing training coaching is to select practice activities and use instructional techniques that optimize positive transfer to the competitive arena. Positive transfer means that practice on one activity results in improvements on another activity. Negative transfer means that practice on one activity interferes with the performance of another activity. Negative effects occur when two skills are performed in a similar environmental context, but the movement characteristics are different. Two situations that are especially vulnerable involve a change in spatial locations and/or the timing of a movement. Zero transfer occurs when previous experience has no influence on the performance of a new skill or change in the context of an existing skill. A bilateral transfer occurs because the learner-climber already understands what is required to achieve the goal of the skill.

Coaching Tips for Applying the Transfer Principle to your Climbing

1. Identify similarities between previously learned climbing skills and new skills.

2. Maximize the similarity between training activities and real climbing conditions. Simulate various elements of the sport (e.g. arousal level, climbing intensity, style, angle ) occasionally during training sessions, particularly during the in-season.

3. Prove yourself the experience with fundamental skills before advancing to more complex and difficult climbs. Well learned lead-up skills can positively influence climbing performance in more demanding conditions at the next level of play.

4. Develop more general climbing capabilities, such as critical finger strength, core, footwork and forearm endurance, that apply to a variety of climbing situations. For example, in granite bouldering, the precise footwork, crimp and lock position are key elements needed for the send.

5. When you have a training program followed by a successful climbing season you realize how training activities improve sport performance. For example, call attention to the shifting of weight, the hip lead, and the arm movement in climbing when practicing dynos.

For more coaching tips, check out the Premium Collection of climbing workouts by going to this link. This e-book gives climbers some useful instructional techniques that speed up your ability to learn and perform skills and strategies in sports climbing and bouldering.