We’ve recently had the opportunity of doing some performance coaching with a client and I’m very excited to share the experience with you.
Tom approached us and asked me whether we could do anything to help his climbing ability from a mental perspective. He told me that he gets nervous when he is going to start a climb that he feels is at the top end of his ability. When he gets nervous he has feelings of self-doubt and anxiety. After watching him on climbs of varying difficulty it was clear that this mental process was interfering with his physiology and his climbing technique. Tom climbs at around a V1/2 level of bouldering and felt he wasn’t achieving his potential.
A few days prior to our trip to the climbing centre we had done some belief changes that definitely enhanced the effects of the anchoring process that I did at the climbing centre with Tom. During one of our breaks we sat down in the café and we stacked resource anchors for Tom to use. Just before a climb he would fire his resource anchor and when he completed a climb he would add that experience to his existing anchor to increase its potency.
We all use anchors every single day without even realising it. Stopping at a red light when driving, getting a feeling of nostalgia when we listen to a certain song and being reminded of certain people when we smell a particular fragrance are just a few examples. These are all naturally occurring anchors that we install into our life unwittingly for better or for worse. By using the same process purposefully, we can install anchors that allow people to be in resourceful states at will. By creating a resource anchor we can attach a resourceful state to an action so that when the action is done the individual goes into the resourceful state.
On top of these newly installed resource anchors I used some visualisation and goal setting techniques. This was used to achieve the best results we could during the session and to consolidate the anchor as much as we could. By the end of our climbing session Tom was well and truly in his positive, resourceful state before he climbed each time and was able to increase his climbing grade dramatically. He went from climbing V2 problems to a V6 problem by the end of the session! For all you non climbers I’ve attached am image showing the different climbing grades. (V4 upwards is above average for most climbers.)
This is an excellent result and a solid foundation for Tom to build upon in future climbing sessions. These techniques have given him the ability to replace the negative emotions of anxiety and self-doubt with positive states that he can activate just before he starts a climb.
I look forward to catching up with Tom soon to find out how his anchor is opening doors for him in his climbing.