9 Out of 10 Climbers Make the Same Mistakes Paperback – 25 Nov 2009
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From the Back Cover
9 out of 10 climbers make the same mistakes - navigation through the maze of advice for the self-coached climber
9 out of 10 climbers are stuck. They are stuck on the same things. Some of the things that hold climbers back from improving their climbing standard are the same as they were twenty years ago: motivation, managing time, and not being able to analyse and correct their own basic technical or tactical errors. But they are also stuck for a new set of reasons.
Twenty years ago, the problem was that no one knew how to train for climbing. Information was scarce and couldn't travel fast among the participants. Today, it's the opposite problem. Book after book lists techniques for climbing, exercises for climbing, tips for climbing. Navigating this barrage of information, filtering out the irrelevant and homing in on what matters to your life, your climbing and your circumstances has been the limiting step for today's climber.
This book is the first to present the science of improving at climbing in a way that will actually help you make confident decisions and stay focused on the things that will make the biggest difference.
About the Author
Born of Canadian parents in Princeton, New Jersey, Dave Macleod's awareness of the cultural differences between the two countries began at an early age. He moved to Canada in 1975 to study forestry, and in his spare time he learned to construct crossword puzzles. His puzzles have appeared in the " New York Times, Los Angeles Times " and other newspapers. Dave lives in Nelson, BC.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Throughout the book Dave describes a series of common mistakes climbers make, and I've filled the book with post-its where he's been describing a bad habit and I suddenly realised, "Damn, that's me!" It's far easier to work out which bits of advice you need to follow than a normal training manual, and Dave's holistic approach is far more likely to make you change your habits and improve than a book full of exercises and a caption saying "Do lots of this."
The sheer practical knowledge and experience Dave has is obvious, I don't think there's a single climber in the world who won't find themselves wincing as he describes a bad habit or thought process as though he's been watching them climb for years, and subsequently full of relief when he reveals practical steps that will help. Don't expect miracle cures, but do expect to realise the effect of identifying your mistakes and working hard at them is likely to be the same.
I think this is one of the most important climbing books out there: if, like me, you've spent your climbing career psyched but confused by the vast amount of information about climbing improvement this book puts into plain words where you're going wrong and how to put it right. There's nothing too complicated to understand, and nothing too obscure to mentally write off as personally irrelevant.
I will say that if you're a regular devotee of Dave's blog and have attended one of Dave's training lectures, a good chunk of the basic ideas will be familiar, but having it compiled and organised is still incredibly useful.
The fear of failure, is spot on. As a relative beginner its great to read, "So what if you fall off V1 boulder routes at the climbing wall, when you think everybody else is climbing V7's - nobody cares except you. You will improve, just get stuck in - try things and learn."
For a change I spent an entire session today climbing the boulder slab: Previously eschewed for not looking 'tough enough' to the 'audience'. I can feel my sense of balance and quality of foot hold selection has improved already. It was particularly fascinating to deliberately try different foot positions on different holds, and experiment with those that 'roll' when launching a dyno. It was also great to deliberately use the foot to 'pull' the body into the wall, and use a stiff torso to transmit this force to the hands which in turn lessens the effort required on the hands to pull into the wall.
This book really opened the door to applying a 'scientific method' of 'idea, try, feedback, modify, try again'.
Dave Macleod has produced 164 pages of good advice. It is not a polished volume, there are mistakes but then Dave is not retired and sat at home in his study!(Nor is he into paying editors it would seem!) But to give it one or even two stars on these grounds would be 'Throwing the baby out with the bathwater' (As one of my Psychology lecturers used to say) This is a very useful opportunity to analyse yourself with the assistance of some probing questions and telling suggestions from one of the best 21st Century climbers in the UK.
Think of it as a lecture perhaps, get your pencil out and as one of the other reviewers suggested some post-it notes and use this as an opportunity to give your climbing an MoT. I'm finding it both reassuring and encouraging at the same time - my best coaches (not in climbing) have always led me to the answer and not just presented it to me, this is what Dave tries to achieve here. Do not expect a Rannulph Fiennes epic or an Eric Langmuir handbook, instead think of it as some 'good advice'. It is not all 'Sport Psychology' based - he does discuss training sessions and 'Training Rhythm' but it is very heavily bedded in psychology.
I thought it a bit expensive at the price but then what's the going rate for a seat in a lecture?
It's hard-hitting, no messing around. You feel exactly as if the author were standing there talking to you - in some places, giving you a talking-to. If this sounds hectoring, it's not - it's thought-provoking and encouraging.
The essence of the message is to re-think which aspect of climbing you're putting the effort into, since it might not be the most effective for you in terms of improvement, particularly if it's something you've been doing for a while which initially helped a lot but has started to level off. He breaks down all the factors that contribute to improvement and explains how to work on each, eg fear of falling (covered in detail), strength, endurance, weight. The underlying psychology behind things is covered far better than you'd think such a short book could manage.
It's opinionated. Eg climbing is always referred to as a very specific thing - movement up rock; not sure that ignoring cardio would be wise given the long walk-in and home that might well be part of trad/winter; but that's fair enough I guess: if that's what you're into, you'll know already you need to include that too. Tiny quibble, great book. I look forward to more and I'm enjoying his blogs.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My partner loves this book and says that any climber is likely to enjoy it as wellPublished 3 months ago by Pauline
3 stars because good editorial input would have made a world of difference - the layout/presentation could be hugely improved and the typos and little... Read more
Insightful book about the core elements to improve climbing, and the common pitfalls why climbers fail to progress.Published 12 months ago by P. Vass
Great book so far. Bit of a beginner climbing wise but good read so far.Published 12 months ago by Martin
Great book, clear & concise - A bit repetative in laces but still worth reading. Pointed out some things that were holding me back !Published 14 months ago by John M