How can our talents reach the Olympics?

By Ben Vroom & Jörg Franken

Let’s face it. Dutch (youth) climbers haven’t reached the international top yet. We still have a serious way to go. Nowadays, countries like Belgium, Germany, France, Austria en de USA have better climbers and far better facilities. We have to compete with them at all levels.

If we want to reach the Olympics, we need to fully consider climbing as a top sport. Young talented climbers have to train at least as often and as effective as top talents do in well performing countries. Even harder, if possible. That’s different stuff! West Coast Climbing will do anything to create the necessary conditions. We need to break on through to the other side!

What do we absolutely need?

1 Talents
Young talented climbers who are able to train 15 – 30 hours a week (depending on their age) and do anything they can to reach the international top.

2 Personal coaches
Experienced personal coaches such as Jörg, who can train and coach a small group of talented climbers in a very intense and effective way. Who can work with the talents from Monday to Friday each morning and evening. Who can be present in the main (international) competitions. Coaches who know enough about the private situation of the talents and maintain good contact with the parents.

3 Effective training
Highly effective, well-structured training programs, aimed at the best possible performance at major international competitions. For example, the PUC training from Patxi Usobiaga, the coach of Adam Ondra and Chris Sharma.

4 Money
Financial means to pay personal coaches for the many hours they spend every week on training and coaching their talents. And all the work that comes extra.

5 Facilities
Training centres in which the talents can work out everything they need to be able to climb the best they can, like for example Stuntwerk or the Sharma Climbing BCN. Lead and boulder halls with high quality routes. IFSC style boulders and routes. Speed routes.

6 Sports medical support
Good guidance by experienced sport physiotherapists and nutritional specialists.

7 International competition experience
Participate in international competitions as often as top (youth) climbers from other countries do. Dutch climbers should be guided by their own personal coach, thus being able to learn as much as possible from each performance.

Creating necessary conditions

West Coast Climbing has several young climbers who have the talent to reach the Olympics. We increased the number of training sessions. We aim at 5 morning and 4 evening training sessions during the week (and free training in the weekend). We started with PUC training.

We try to set up our own climbing fitness gym. We will start cooperating with sports physiotherapists and dieticians.

And we are looking for sponsors who identify with our ambitions and want to support us financially. So that we create a solid basis for the next years. We welcome every suggestion!

Only one choice

Ultimately there is only one choice if we want to bring our talented youth climbers to the international top: fully go for it. Bring all conditions at international level. Otherwise we will never succeed.