Previewing Your Rock Climbing Route Prior To Competition
For a passionate athlete, competition is the only medium through which he can test his ability. Competition offers the athlete an opportunity to establish himself in his field. By stating how important competition is for an athlete, you realize that when participating in a competition, nothing less that complete physical and mental preparation is required. You would need to follow strict training schedules, which may involve both aerobic and anaerobic exercises.
If you are participating in an on-sight indoor rock climbing competition, the organizers would offer you a route-preview, as a part of their program schedule. This amenity is offered to reduce the adaptability and increase the technique factor in competitions. You can preview and analyze the track, only before the competition commences. Notably, every climb requires a different approach and climbing-speed.
The approach factor is governed by your strength, level of fitness, climbing technique, body-mass ratio, and the amount of experience you have generated from other tournaments. The preview assists the climber in solving these problems, finding shortcuts or crux areas, and visualizing climbing sequences. The factors given below will explain the necessity of the preview and why an athlete must take a complete use of the opportunity provided to him.
Rule Clarification: The preview offers the only opportunity to get your theories and questions clear, before the competition. On the field, listen to the head and assistant routesetter. The following common points noted as a part of the preview:
. Locating walls, holds and cracks that are considered off limit and clarifying the boundaries on both sides all the way up.
. Minimizing errors of routes by canceling routes closer to the opponents and cross-checking the limits.
. Checking the minimal and maximum use of flagging and smearing techniques.
. Improving communication with the route setter and asking him to suggest 'non-hold' features of the route.
. Determining the two hand start-two hand finish.
. Understanding if the modification in techniques like a touch, slap or other usable movement will affect the points allotted.
. Can you start a little further away from the start hold?
. Does repositioning your hands or feet on the start hold be considered as a foul start?
Locate Crux and Shortcut areas: Crux areas are areas that offer more than a single solution to a climb. A crux area offers you an option to modify your route or increase your holds, so as to improve on your timing and technique. A tournament route can offer two or three crux areas, which should be utilized to the maximum.
Judging your potential: Check and see if the climb involves routes that demand more agility and endurance than otherwise and if so, identify the spots where you could rest and relax.
A route preview assists in reading moves, visualizing sequences and deciding on the strategical climb. However, good previewing requires practice and takes skill to master. Development of your previewing ability will enable you to improve your moves, save your energy and finally help you achieve a top-spot among your competitors.
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