Monday, 16 September 2013

“Believe you can and you're halfway there. “ Theodore Roosevelt (with additional words by Rachel Carr)

Confidence is one of my biggest issues. A year ago I had no confidence in my ability, I could excel in training and then go to a comp and get so psyched-out that I would do terribly and it would keep happening every comp. I never believed I was good enough. I still struggle with this at European comps, but I have something that surprisingly helps with this.

Ivan at the YCS finals (photo by Sandy Carr)
 Ivan Bialy is a 14 year old boy from Edinburgh who has been climbing for only 3 years. Ivan started climbing with his school at EICA:Ratho and comes from a non-climbing family (just like me); we hit it off from the start.  When I first started mentoring him he was a v3 climber who could barely climb 6c top-rope. He has now managed ‘Cubby’s Roof’ outdoors and a V9 problem during the last EICA:Ratho bouldering comp, much to the admiration (and envy) of everyone there.

Ivan at the YCS finals (photo by Sandy Carr)

Ivan suffers from the same issue I've had in the past. He can climb harder than me occasionally and only fails when his height gets in the way (he’s short for 14 years old) so the fact that he can manage most of the moves I can is incredible. He has hesitated to compete nationally due to the fact he thinks he’s weak. Also he is in one of the hardest categories for competing (Youth B boys) where there are at least 7 boys nationally at a strong enough level to compete internationally. 

I believe that he has got the ability to do incredibly well, but I can see he’s where I was. It’s me telling him that he is capable that makes me realise that I’m the same. I need to learn to take my own advice. In the short time I've been mentoring Ivan I’ve seen him progress so fast. I think he’s very much like me. Physically strong, but lacking in confidence. 

Every time I tell him that he’s capable, that he’s strong, that he can do well if he just believes, I realise it’s what I get told, but the difference is he knows it’s true and I still struggle. I think it’s about time he started mentoring me. 

On way back from Injury. (Photo by Sandy Carr
Working with him, as well as the others I mentor less often, really helps me to become better and progress with my ability as I can see climbing from a different view.  I can see different ways of climbing; I can see someone with the same problems I have and I can see a way to solve those problems for both of us. I can feel confidence when I see how much they look up to me. I think that with or without my help Ivan has the ability to become one of the best climbers in Britain if he starts to have some confidence, and that gives me confidence that I can get better abroad and not worry in the future. It’s seeing people like Ivan improve so much in just 3 years, and slowly build up confidence that gives me the motivation and confidence to be the best I can. That’s all anyone needs.

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