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Bouldering Regionals - Dallas, TX

Here’s something fun: I have come on to the Ozark Climbing Team as the assistant coach. Since September, I have been working at the OCG as the instructor for the recreational class, and have really enjoyed that. But starting this month, I’ve begun working with the competitive team. The head coach, Brendan, is off to study in France for several months, so I will be helping Jason, the owner of the gym, with team stuff. Because of Brendan’s experience, I am super intimidated and nervous about even being an assistant coach, especially considering my own experience with competitive climbing is minimal. But I love working with the kids, and I’m super excited about learning about USAC. This competition in Dallas is the first big one I’ve attended, and I can’t wait to go to more of them.

This particular competition was Onsight, meaning the competitors could not see any of the climbs until their 4 minute time slot. The climbers are kept in ISO (isolation) until they are called out, and once they get to their station, they have to sit in front of the climb until the climber before them is finished, and then they have 4 minutes to get as high as they can on a climb before their time is out. The scoring is based on what holds they were able to show control on as well as the number of attempts it took them to get to the holds, or to the top. The top ten climbers of each age group are the ones who are able to make it to Divisionals.

While the kids on my team climb, no one is allowed to give them any instructions; this includes telling them what to do on a climb or talking about any other climbs they will have to do or have done already. So my “coaching” consisted of vague encouragement such as, “You’ve got this! Good job! Come on! Let’s go! Nice!” Which stresses me the heck out. I’ve already decided that onsight is my least favorite.


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