About The Warrior's Way - Practical Mental Training
Develop mental strength to enjoy rock climbing
(and life) more often.
Short of breath after the last 4 feet of climbing on small and awkward holds, you finally clip some pro just above your head while on an ok rest stance. But this next section is what has you nervous.
The moves are within your ability (you think) but there is no rest till the next stance, which is where the pro is, 10 feet up.
Your friends yell, “just do it! You got it!” You feel less certain. Can you make the moves to the next stance without pumping out? What if you miss the clip and fall?
Being scared, uncertain, or a nervous wreck is common but rock climbing doesn’t need to be that way.
Climbing Made Confidence
Or maybe you’re confident in your climbing but you:
- always fall a move or two before the anchor
- secretly never push your comfort level
- wear headphones during a comp to attempt keep nerves away.
Climbing is hard. That’s why many of us love it and find it so frustrating.
We feel the same. But our trainers and students use The Warrior’s Way process to engage fears, frustrations, and nerves. They climb to the next stance, to the top of the climb to ‘send the route feeling in control and confident.
Climbing Training with Intention
You’ve heard “just take practice falls” or “ya! Do it! You got it!” or “just breathe” while your legs are shaking like Elvis. Well meaning advice but as we’ve heard, and you know, the advice is not actually helpful.
The Warrior’s Way process will help you because it is:
- built on 20+ years of feedback
- proven to create results for boulding, sport climbs, trad climbs, and comps.
- for elite climbers like Nina Williams, Heather Widner, Chris Sharma, Alex Honnold
- for weekend warriors like Brad Beggs, Alex Ransom, Robin Gresin
- for climbing competitors to combat vets and those in an office.
Each Rock Warrior’s Way course focuses on easy and specific incremental steps to do before, during, and after each climb.
Specific exercises like “Catch and Release,” “Follow Your Eyes,” or “Continuous Climbing” help you control your mind, your attention, and keep the body relaxed (which influences brain chemistry).
Trainers support you with individual feedback and listen to what you need and your concerns.
Feel more confident, climb better, and enjoy the climbing more with the Warrior’s Way mental training.
Our Mental Training is For…
The Everyday Climber
You arrive, fairly pumped, at a clipping stance on a sport climb. You’re ten feet out from your last bolt and very anxious to get clipped in. You’re tense, over-gripping, and out of balance.
Gritting your teeth, close to falling, you finally make the clip—and instantly relax. Immediately you find another good handhold within reach but now you wonder if the struggle to clips means you should give up.
The Climbing Competitor
Or, perhaps you’re a competitor and feel confident in your climbing, aren’t afraid of falling, but get frustrated, disillusioned, and discouraged when you fail.
You can’t seem to make progress on your project or experience performance anxiety in comps. You’d do anything to get back in contact with how fun climbing used to be.
The Combat Veteran
You are returning from war and still walk around in combat mode, hyper-vigilant, alert for an attack and an issue around the next corner.
You don’t think you have a problem, but at the same time you have trouble sleeping and feel a disconnect with your family and work.
For Those In Business
Or, you’re at work and wish you could just find a job that you enjoy. You wonder why your job has no meaning and can’t wait for Friday. You love Friday because finally the meaningless work is done.
At the same time, you hate Friday because you know you’re just wasting your life.
These situations (above) describe a life not fully lived. Whether you’re a climber or not, you want to find a way to move beyond fear and anxiety so you can flow.
The Warrior’s Way ® is the oldest mental training program for rock climbing.
- reclaim and build your mental power.
- practical tools to face your fears (yes, you have them, even if you don’t think you do).
- power-up your attention so you can flow on the rock and in life.
The Warrior’s Way ® mental training program was tested and refined in the medium of rock climbing; we continue to use rock climbing to teach these lessons.
FAQs About Warrior’s Way Mental Training Courses
A camp is 6-8+ hours per day outside while a clinic is 4-6 hours inside. Camps allow more practice time and refinement of your understanding.
Usually with the host gym or guide service. If it isn’t clear, please call or email the gym/guide service.
Max size for 1 instructor is 6 students.
About 25% lecture / 75% practice. We know what we experience; our goal is to give you plenty of experience.
We do! We email a .pdf file to you after the clinic; during the clinic, we provide a reminder laminated “Espresso Card” for future reference.
Yes. Mental training is more than falling, it’s how you commit to the moves, your internal voice, how excited (or not) you are before a climb, your reactions to not ‘sending. Climbing harder requires refinement of the subtle details in your motivation, awareness, and use of attention. No matter how hard someone climbs, they still pursue physical training; the same is needed for the mind. In fact, the harder the climb, the greater is the need for a stronger mindset.
It’s important to have a base of experience with climbing. Have you climbed 1x per week consistently for more than 6 months? Do you know the basics: tying your knot, belaying on toprope (or on lead), and climbing 5.9 without falling or hanging on the rope? If so, then yes, it’s appropriate for you. You will get the most out of the clinic if you have some experience with lead climbing and lead belaying, but it’s not required.
For reading, one or both of our books help, especially Espresso Lesson, which presents the material in the same way we’ll use it in the clinic. Additionally, we’ve worked with Climbing Magazine to publish a number of Tech Tips. You can find them here https://www.climbing.com/author/arno-ilgner/
No, we don’t force you to fall. We work with you by finding the edge of your comfort zone and then creating a small fall that that YOU are willing to take. We nudge you outside your comfort zone; we don’t force you into your panic zone. We leave it up to you to decide when you’re ready to take a fall or take another step up. The falling practice goal isn’t to take a big whip; rather, the goal is to learn the process of how to practice falling, regardless of the level of fear that you start out with.
You can take this solo! No need for a partner. If you do take it with a partner, we may separate you based on ability, experience, weight, or other reasons.