Speak Up!

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Attitude affects your climbing, and the right attitude can be worth two letter grades or more. The solution to a performance plateau may be as simple as rephrasing the things you say—out loud or to yourself—so you apply energy toward your goal, instead of allowing your words to create doubt. Climb harder by “speaking up,” not down. Speak down: “It feels too hard.” Instead, speak up with a question: “What’s possible here?”

More opportunities to speak up:

Orient yourself forward into action, not backward, away from errors. Speak down: “Don’t hold your breath.” Speak up: “Remember to breathe.”

Does climbing present problems or opportunities? When you speak down, you emphasize problems: “This looks gripping.” Speak up to focus on opportunity: “What can I learn from this runout section?”

You don’thave to do anything in climbing. Speak down: “I have to get better at crack climbing.” Speak up: “I choose to practice crack climbing.”

Don’t try—do. Create goals that relate to effort and actions (which you can control), and not end results (which you can’t). Speak down: “I’ll try to do it without falling.” Speak up: “When I start to get pumped, I’ll shift more focus to my footwork and keep moving up.”