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joerockclimbs


Apr 8, 2002, 5:12 AM
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Mental Block
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I have heard of stories when people are starting to lead where they zone out on the rock and don't know what to do, i.e. freak out on the rock and freeze up. Has anyone ever heard of this and as someone who is starting to lead how can I control that? What can I do?


miagi


Apr 8, 2002, 11:22 AM
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Happened to me when i started lead; not a serious case but just a case of the scares and not wanting to move. It still happens at a lesser degree on problems that I dont feel comfortable on and I know there is some danger (IE: I was on a route with poor bolt setting that could have gotten me hurt). Anyways the only way to get rid of the jitters is to:
1. Trust your gear and belayer. Take a few "controlled" falls and it will make you feel better about falling.
2. Climb up the ladder. I mean, start off leading on somethign really simple and progress upward. For me, I led a 5.9 first and worked my way up to 5.11's. It will help you to get adjusted.
3. Just practice climbing: Try some more adventurous moves. For me, I started off doing some pretty hard deadpoint moves, and campus moves. After I got the feel of that, I started to work on dyno's (which i can say is very scary when you first try them out on lead).
4. Your mental state is VERY important. Dont think about falling or failure. Think about climbing on whats presented before you. Dont think about how you look or who is watching you. "Zone out" from the rest of the world and focus on what your doing. Mental strength can be hard to achieve and its different for every in regards of how to achieve it. Just work on it buddy!


crap


Apr 8, 2002, 2:01 PM
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Its hard to modivate yourself to move when you've only got bad/unfriendly places to move to. I like to refocus my thoughts when things get bad, then start playing around with holds and placements that are available and see where it gose from there. A lot of it is in doing the mental work before you get there. Mental work such as determining what modivates you and having the mental controll to use it to get yourself moving. There are books on that, "flash training" has a chapter on it.

[ This Message was edited by: crap on 2002-04-08 18:24 ]


miagi


Apr 8, 2002, 5:18 PM
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Just another point from what crap made. If your in a jam and there isnt alot of good holds make sure your on solid holds. If the holds your on right then are not that good and your using alot of strength to hold on to them then make your decision fast. I find myself doing this sometimes and i need to work on it. If your looking for holds and cant find any and "play" around with them too much you will physically and mentally weaken. Physically by simple means of tiring out. Mentally weakening because you will be frantic and nervous because your strength is failing and there isnt anywhere to go. The best climbing I ever do is when i can move up the rock in smooth flowing motions without having to pause for too long.


crap


Apr 8, 2002, 5:34 PM
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Yep, thats a bad spot to be in. Can't find anything, and running out of juice at the same time. When I'm on an unformilure kind of rock this usually forces me to learn it fast, but when I'm on my home town rock its dyno time.

Alot of the mental preperation is designed to help you feel comfortable on the rock. The more comfortable you feel, the less energy you spend. You're loose and calm and only use the musecles you need to get the results you want. Its the Yoga of rock climbing, and it starts in your mind.


miagi


Apr 8, 2002, 5:50 PM
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Yup, crap got it right on the nose. If you want a tip when your in that kind of situation you can do 2 things...at least thats all i can think of.

1. Downclimb if its within your reach. If there is some nice solid placement within your reach below you and you can get to it without falling then do it! You can recover there and stare down the problem thats ahead.
2. Make a sudden lunge of faith. If you know there is nothing good for you to hold on then you can: Make a huge dyno to the closest and most solid hold you can see, or burst out with a huge amount of strength on the holds that are near you. Dont coward down and tell your belayer to take up slack because you cant do it. Go out with a blast of glory....if its safe of course.


crap


Apr 8, 2002, 6:15 PM
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"coward down" is not an option when you lead multi pitch trad, alpine routes, or any long route. You gotta be getting somewhere fast when you're climbing even if you've taken a wrong turn. Traversing or using aiders can help, but you gotta keep moving because spending an unplanned night on the rock is a pain and dangerous. In most cases the fastest way to safety is over the top and down an easier route. But in any case, with mental preparation you'll know how far you're willing to go to survive. As the saying goes, "your body is your slave" the mind commands the body so its important to have your mind together.


roadtrip


Apr 8, 2002, 11:07 PM
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"When in fear place gear, when in doubt run it out!"


tygereye


Apr 9, 2002, 1:51 AM
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I just shut everything else out and GO FOR IT!!!


miagi


Apr 9, 2002, 3:17 AM
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Well joe, considering you just started lead, I would strongly advise you to start on easy problems. If possible, try some gym sport routes or outdoor sport routes. Once you get that hang of that and you feel comfy, move on to trad. Once you experience your first lead climb, you will understand what we are talking about.


mountainrat


Apr 9, 2002, 4:14 AM
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I just started leading some Sport too, man; I know what you're talking about as far as "locking up," but mine isn't from fear, it's from indecisiveness, usually. For me, to stop and think too long, worry, second guess when I KNOW better, and that sort of crap = the beginning of the end, man. Move I must, or peel I will.


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