YCS: The Coach’s Perspective

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Who entered from Manchester Climbing Centre?


Junior Academy (7-10yrs)

Isaac Sutton (Male Youth D)

Lily Duggan (Female Youth D)


Youth Academy (11-18yrs)

Isaac Bridgman (Male Youth B)

Charlie Dagg Alan (Male Youth C)


First of all, a very big well done to all of our academy crew that entered round 2 of the YCS competition on Saturday 26th January 2019 at Stockport Awesome Walls! I’m very pleased with the results of this round and I’m sure the academy guys are too. It was a pleasure to be their supporting them and helping them throughout the competition. Thanks to Bella from the youth academy for joining us too. She was invaluable to us all with all her knowledge and experience of competitions. Unfortunately, she couldn’t enter herself as she’s now just out of the age bracket and has ventured into the senior category with us old ‘ens.


What were the results?

Starting with our juniors:

Isaac Sutton managed to place 4th overall in this competition and is currently joint 4th overall. Lily placed 9th in this competition and is currently joint 9th overall.

There is 5 routes in total for each category and since our juniors are category D it meant that they were top roping the same routes. The first 3 routes didn’t seem to be too much of a problem for most of the kids, Isaac managed to top all 3 and Lily got very close to topping all 3.

The 2 routes that Lily didn’t top had a big reach for her height which meant her only option was to dyno for a crimp and the other route had a tricky cross over move and/or match in a slopey pocket which unfortunately spat her off – she went for the match option. The final 2 routes of the competition stepped it up a gear! Route 4 had lots of crimpy moves and tested their power endurance. Turns out our juniors did very well on this route getting up to 25-26 moves out of a total of 30 each. Only a handful of kids managed this route. The final route of the day was an overhang with a nasty long reach at hold number 13. This is where pretty much every kid fell including our Isaac and Lily. Only a handful of kids that had more height managed to tackle this move without too much hassle and kept moving up to bag more points.

Next up, our youths:

Charlie Dagg managed to placed 6th in this competition and is currently 4th overall. Isaac Bridgman placed 5th in this competition and is currently 11th overall.

As Charlie and Isaac were in category C and B it meant these guys were lead climbing and on different routes from one another too, so they couldn’t necessary work together on route reading like the juniors did.

Starting with Charlie: he managed to get the most score in his first 3 routes and topped one of them. I remember very clearly on the corner route the crowd all being behind him yelling at him to keep going! The corner route was proving very difficult for him due to his height, as he couldn’t always reach the next hold and had to find his own funky beta to get up bridging on smears. He managed to top that route, but it was after 6 minutes so he didn’t get the full score. The final 2 routes proved to be hard for him too with very reachy moves, so he only managed to bag a few points on each of these routes.

As for Isaac: he started very strong topping the first route but clipped the anchor from the top of the wall and not the final hold, so he lost a point for that and it wasn’t classed as a “top”. For the next 4 routes he managed to get about half way scoring 12-16 points on each route before falling. I feel their was a bit of fear of falling and fear of committing to the moves between the clips as it would mean bigger falls, which is stuff we can work on back at the centre.

What are some of things we need to work on before the next competition?

Route Reading – this is invaluable to competitions and all of our competitors! Knowing that you have one attempt on each route means you want to know every single detail about the route from bottom to top. This can be everything from clipping positions, no hands rests, feature foot holds, the types of holds, the techniques involved in the climb – the list goes on and on!

Dynamic Movement – this one is definitely aimed at the juniors and Charlie! If the hold is out of your reach, then you must become more dynamic and commit to launch for a hold. It may even mean cutting loose if the hold is really far away – dyno style

Twisting – twisting will allow our smallest competitors to gain a few more inches in reach and make it less taxing on their arms, which could be invaluable on those long reachy moves that they may not reach climbing front-on.

Fear of Falling – Fall practice / pushing yourself on something that’s hard for you until you fall is something I encourage everyone to do, as it helps you keep climbing and committing to the next few moves without fear of the drop! In competitions this could be the difference between winning and losing as it’s based on how many holds you’ve gripped, so go a bit further and take the bigger fall and you may have just bagged more points then any other.

Climbing faster – this one is for Charlie. If he managed to climb a little faster he would of topped that corner route with full points. This also comes back to route reading – if in your mind you already know the moves it is much less taxing then trying to figure them out on route

Cross Over Moves – Practice and gain confidence in cross over moves for Lily.


When are the final two rounds?

The first round was at Boulder UK. This was the second round and the final 2 rounds will be in March at The Depot Manchester (bouldering) & Kendal (roped).


Final words

Don’t forget it’s the best of 3 rounds, so don’t give up if you feel one round hasn’t been particularly good!


The competitions are free to come and watch, so please feel free to come join us and support the academy crushers at The Manchester Depot on the 2nd March. I’ll be there with the crew and hopefully Bella again too.

Anyhow, time to go train and get really strong for the last two rounds!