Advice and resources for lockdown

We've pulled together information, advice, fun and training tips that we've seen and produced over the last few weeks and added to a climber ideas and tips page. If you've got other tips and ideas to add for your climbers, do contact us. From a wall and coaches perspective, we've pulled together the following information about support we're aware of, research that is underway, and some ideas for lockdown activities and planning.

Help for the industry

We are in constant talks with others in the industry such as the Association of British Climbing Walls (ABC) about when it is possible to get back onto the climbing walls, and also back into the great outdoors. The OIA has set up a helphub and is working to lobby the government with input from stakeholders across the outdoor industry including the BMC, and are adding a voice from indoor walls too within this work. We are updating our news page as we know more. some key areas to be aware of:
ABC Working Groups The ABC created a number of working groups in the initial lockdown who looked at four key areas: Furlough implications, Cashflow, Managing wall members and Planning for re-opening. All related news is being kept updated here. OIA Industry Helphub The Outdoor Industries Association (OIA) has a useful regular update. You can subscribe here, and also access their help hub for the industry here. Sport and Recreation Alliance The Sport and Recreation Alliance is providing updates and news on it's website including details on support, grants and loans. Other help/advice Verticalife is working on a "Strategy Outline for Covid-19 Risk Mitigation in Climbing Gyms" with international input including from Ged Macdomhnaill, owner of the Climbing Hangar Group. Details are on their website.

Free resources for coaches

  • Mountain Training Association (MTA) ran webinars in the Summer with experts on topics from coaching to ecology. These remain online to view, pick a video and enjoy here.
  • UK Coaching is providing coaching resources for free at the moment. Not all is specific for climbing but there's a load of options so do have a look at their website if you want some ideas. As an example, check out this brief podcast about "the C system" of coaching children.
  • There is a website called Innerdrive which aims to use psychological research to help people achieve their potential in Education, Business and Sport. They're offering free resources for parents, children and coaches. Check these out here.
  • BBC Bitesize offers all sorts of educational resources, again these are not climbing focussed as such but still a good source of information. If any of you are parents or carers in lockdown it's well worth a look.

Lockdown: keeping climbers interested

Are you in contact with your NICAS Climbing and NICAS Bouldering teams? Are you able to get hold of them/are they looking at your social channels. Have you been able to keep motivation going with your students if so? Let us know and if you're happy for us to share your ideas for keeping up the engagement we'd love to hear them. We've heard that walls are running sessions online, not only on fitness and skills but also socials such as an online quiz.

We've been given a great quarantine climbing quiz (ready to go on PowerPoint) by a member of our Coach Development Team, Juliet Scott. She's kindly offered to share: email us and we will send it over!

Free workouts, films, podcasts, other stuff for you and your climbers

Our friends at ClimbScotland have been busy with keeping climbers fit and entertained, with daily challenges and also a great new podcast. Other ideas and initiatives out there for keeping up fitness and flexibility include free virtual live sessions from Catalyst Climbing, the #stayinworkout initiative from Sport England, with lots of ideas for exercise of all types, plus a range of free videos and resource cards aimed at school children from the Youth Sport Trust.

For entertainment, we've enjoyed listening to various climbing podcasts (such as "the curious climber" series) during lockdown as well as checking out some films. There's the "top five trad climbing films for lockdown" on BMC TV for a start. UKC are running "in isolation", a weekly chat show of past season action. WomenClimb also have a lockdown programme of events running.

youtube page

Video resources: NICAS Climbing and NICAS Bouldering channel

The NICAS Climbing and NICAS Bouldering team now have a YouTube channel where we will be adding our own content and linking to other videos that are great for reviewing skills, techniques, and anything we feel seems relevant to our participants and coaches. Do have a look. Also, feel free to share your top videos with us e.g. ones you always recommend your climbers watch as NICAS homework, and we can add them to our playlists. Once we build up this resource we can create some great "NICAS Climbing and NICAS Bouldering homework playlists".

Let's get social!

Come and see us on instagram, twitter or Facebook. Tag us with @nicasteam and @NICAS Boulderingteam and we are happy to share content via our channels. It's been great seeing the various ways walls are engaging their climbers, with challenges from baking, to lego building, to daily workouts and quizzes.

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