Get hands-on learning straight from Arno Ilgner in Climbing’s online video-course series Overcome Your Fear of Falling. Being afraid to fall is hardwired into every climber, but in this comprehensive course Ilgner gives specific drills to push past this evolutionary limitation. Sign up now, learn from home, and climb your level best.
The main point I’d like to make as we wrap up this series is to reiterate the importance of understanding your motivation and the mindset it creates. Remember, your mind is motivated by achievement, causing you to easily slip into practicing falling to get it over with. This motivation negatively impacts your falling practice. The goal is to shift your motivation so it’s learning-based and to tune into your comfort (or stress) level as you practice. This will help create a mindset that engages your attention in the moment and allows you to more easily enjoy the process.
Specifically, moving forward, you’ll want to integrate falling into your climbing. Some climbers do this while projecting routes, but for most of us, integrating falling into our warm-up works best. Climb up several bolts, clip one above your head, and take a fall. Then climb to the next one, clip it, and continue climbing until the clipped draw is by your waist and fall. Then climb to the next one, clip it, and climb until it’s by your knee and fall. Slowly increment to longer falls as you get higher on the route.
Doing a little falling practice frequently is better than doing a lot occasionally. This shift speaks to the shift from all-or-nothing thinking to the incremental steps I’ve introduced in this series. Integrating falling into your warm-up changes how you view falling. Instead of seeing falling as something you have to do, you see it as something you willingly engage. Falling becomes an important part of your climbing—just like any other type of climbing training.
Integrating falling into your climbing maintains and grows your proficiency with this often- misunderstood skill. You approach falling as a skill that needs regular exercise, just like our muscles need regular exercise to grow strong. Enjoy, and be attentive to your practice.
These lessons are taken from the recent online course I did with Climbing Magazine: Overcome Your Fear of Falling Here’s the outline for this series of lessons:
- Introduction and history
- Falling is a skill
- Understand your fear
- Know your motivation
- Incremental skill-building
- Skills and drills
- Conclusion and ongoing practice
- Risk: Nothing, not even instruction from a coach or this online course, can eliminate the risks associated with practicing falling. Accept responsibility for any information you utilize for practicing.
- Experiential knowledge: It’s important to realize that you know how to fall when you experience falling properly. This can only be gained from proper instruction.
- Motivation: Your mind’s achievement motivation can get you into trouble, pushing you to take risks that aren’t appropriate. So, you need to be wary.
- Best option: Get a coach to help guide your practice. We have a network of Warrior’s Way trainers across the USA and abroad who are experts on teaching falling.
- Next best option: Utilize my online course, which outlines the process thoroughly with videos, photos, text, interviews, homework, Q&As, and more.
- Worst option: Practice yourself without these resources. If you do, then do it in small increments.