If you occasionally struggle with the fear of falling, then this podcast is for you!
While the fear of falling is most acute among beginner and intermediate climbers, it’s a fact that advanced climbers and the pros also experience a bit of falling fear from time to time. After all, fear is an important self-protective response—the goal, then, isn’t to eliminate fear, but to manage it…which is the focus of this podcast.
Ultimately, learning to expertly manage fear is a long-term endeavor—there are no quick fixes—and so I hope this hour-plus-long podcast will help kick-start your journey to becoming a more confident, in-control, and courageous climber!
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I was happy to join Dei and Ben (and their YouTube channel viewers) for this online coaching session, in which I answer their fear-related questions and share a variety of mental training tips to better manage fear and advance their climbing ability. No matter if you’re an indoor climber, boulderer, or sport climber, I trust you’ll find some useful tips and techniques to address your unique vertical-world concerns and fearful experiences.
1:07 – Introducing Jerry Moffatt’s MASTERMIND!
2:04 – Eric’s intro to coaching the fear of falling.
3:45 – Beginning discussion with Dei & Ben of “Day in Nature”
5:00 – The goal of controlling fear rather than letting fear control you!
10:00 – Legitimate fears vs. phantom fears.
11:30 – The importance of taking practice falls (in a very safe, controlled setting).
13:40 – How to combat fears of the rope getting cut…or a bolt pulling out.
18:45 – Developing the skill of managing fear is a long-term process….that takes effort over months & years.
19:30 – Why do some people conquer fear faster than others?
22:30 – A look inside Alex Honnold’s brain (via MRI)…and his “quiet” amygdala.
27:23 – How to handle fear of runouts between bolts?
37:00 – Mental training should be comprehensive…and not just focused on managing fear. This is a rich area with potential for huge breakthroughs in performance!
38:12 – Mental training literally changes your brain (neuroplasticity).
38:30 – Using breath-focused meditation as training (at home) and for performance (at the crag).
40:50 – For expertly skilled climbers, further improvement often comes down to mental training…and getting stronger!
41:15 – What about grabbing the rope (or quick draws) when falling?
43:10 – Tips for returning to climbing after an injurious fall.
48:45 – Why are children often less scared of falling than adults?
53:10 – What about fear when clipping the second bolt of a route?
56:23 – How to assess a fall…determining a “safe fall” vs. a dangerous fall situation?
59:55 – What about climbers who never fall (because they climb so far below their maximum ability)? How much harder might they be able to climb by becoming willing/able to fall?
1:03:50 – Who was the most fearful that I’ve ever coached or climbed with?
1:06:00 – The difference between Anxiety vs. Fear
1:07:01 – The importance of “mete-cognition”…for improving your mental game and performance (in anything).
1:08:45 – Recognizing and breaking fear “triggers”.
1:10:16 – Just as you train your muscles with exercises…it’s essential to use mental training exercise to strengthen your mental muscle!
1:12:20 – My two favorite mental training exercises are….
1:14:44 – How to do effective visualization? (Hint: It must be more than just a mental rehearsal of sequence!)
1:16:30 – Closing comments by Dei & Ben.
1:17:30 – Eric wraps up podcasts…and asks YOU to share it with a few friends!
Music: Misty Murphy
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