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Visualization and Climbing

Tips, tricks, workouts, injury advice.
 

Postby ksolem » Wed Nov 11, 2009 6:08 pm

Yes - "In the zone."

I think this connection can be trained.

I also think the experience can be transcendental.
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Postby RayMondo » Wed Nov 11, 2009 6:31 pm

One of those times I got into the zone was when playing my Badminton Coach, then UK National champion. Normally I'd get whopped 15:1 or 2. That match I got 15:11 and yet my ranking was rock bottom. Features of it were - apparent slow down of motion yet faster pace of thought. Total automatic action with superior movement, and visual tunnelling. Enhanced tactics. I was on the border of an astounding win, but then he turned up the volume by match experience. (Anyone who has not watched top level Badminton, please take a look). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrz3KIbL ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtWVCDvlqAw&NR=1 (nice music too)
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Postby Guyzo » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:45 pm

Ray, I know what you mean about the "zone"... Your body makes movements before your brain tells them to. This lets your mind relax and take it all in, so it can do "thinking" things, like strategy.

In racing you do this, the first few years everything is going on way way way to fast to comprehend but with experience it slows down. You finally get to a point where the movements go on automatically and you can analyze the situation.

Eric Horst, has an excellent discussion on this in "Training for climbing". He points to something every body is familiar with: riding a bike. At first you concentrate so hard at working the pedals and steering. After a little while you can ride and talk and look around and pretty soon your riding no-hands and reading a comic book....

Good luck
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Postby Dow Williams » Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:00 am

I am amazed at how many sub par athletes way over think climbing or running for that matter...unless you are pushing the boundries of your particular sport, climbing is like a good f___, relax, breath properly and go with the flow.....you will be better at it.
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Postby Guyzo » Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:07 am

Dow Williams wrote:.... climbing is like a good f___, relax, breath properly and go with the flow.....you will be better at it.


Dow, I know some, who never get better at it.

Perma-n00bs :roll:

gk :wink:
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Postby rhyang » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:12 am

I've met people who have been climbing for a decade or more and don't seem to be very good at it. I don't think they care much. They do it because it's fun, and because they have other things in their lives they can't spend every day doing it. Oh well .. it takes all kinds.

I've been riding mountain bikes since 1993 or so. I still suck at it. Mostly because I don't care to get better at it and hurt myself again -- that was the year I broke my ankle in a motorcycle crash and spent three months in a plaster cast. My left leg looked like a chicken's after that. Fuck the stunt riding and downhilling, I just ride for fitness and scenery and enjoyment. And after breaking my neck I've read about people who crashed their mountain bikes and became quadriplegics, unable to walk ever again.

Climbing is a little different though. Seems to me that the more precise, smooth and controlled I get, the more I flow, the better I'm going to enjoy it and the safer I'll be. When I'm leading sometimes I do think through my moves, though usually I prefer that my body sort of figures it out automagically.

--
One thing I have been contemplating lately though is giving up ice climbing. My body doesn't work as well as it used to before the accident.

One problem is body temperature regulation .. I get cold easier, and if I'm not careful to keep my core warm, I get tremors in my left side muscles and sometimes the fingers of my left hand become paralyzed -- utterly unable to move, much like right after the accident. The doctors I've asked have no idea what the deal is with that .. so I try not to let that happen.

Another issue is a lack of upper body strength. I've been working around that in rock climbing by improving my footwork and over time sort of adapting the way I climb (hard to explain). I found that swinging my quarks (ice tools) really hurt my shoulders after a day, so I sold them and bought some lighter tools. Probably on really cold days when the ice is brittle I'm just going to be SOL .. better to go find a nice cup of cocoa ..

My PT friend said I should just give it time and be patient. Funny, that's what I told her about leading .. don't rush it. I hate when I have to take my own advice :)
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Postby RayMondo » Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:23 pm

Guyzo wrote:Ray, I know what you mean about the "zone"... Your body makes movements before your brain tells them to. This lets your mind relax and take it all in, so it can do "thinking" things, like strategy...

...Good luck

Guy, that's exactly it. It was like everything physical - the leg movement, the arms, the shots were all happening without any conscious input. My ability to then see the openings was so enhanced that I had control of the game. To this day, I don't know what switched it on (or rather, how I melted into it), especially as I'd never heard of the zone. I understand that in more recent years, for training you can get your head wired up and use the brainwave display to learn how to melt into it. I'm certainly going to work on this aspect as how the heck am I going to beat guys now much younger than myself.

This vid shows someone in the zone: Frost Hansen (taller player). I've seen him play live too. Observe his eye focus and blank unruffled expression, his breathing totally relaxed amidst a very strenuous series of actions. His reactions are astounding, and he's rarely got his head down - always on the game. The audience would have been totally out of his thoughts. Whereas the Asian player has his head down extracted from the game and loses it because he lost his focus and belief. He just didn't have it in the eyes too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RDVBuDTvMA&NR=1
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Postby RayMondo » Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:43 pm

rhyang wrote:...One problem is body temperature regulation .. I get cold easier, and if I'm not careful to keep my core warm, I get tremors in my left side muscles and sometimes the fingers of my left hand become paralyzed -- utterly unable to move, much like right after the accident. The doctors I've asked have no idea what the deal is with that .. so I try not to let that happen.

Since having a big stress epic, my adrenals are overactive, putting me in "flight" mode (as in fight or flight), this affects my circulation. It will resolve when my head is totally sorted. But for now I get bitterly cold fingers when it's just 5 C, so I don't go winter climbing at all.

To protect the hands, there is a battery-pack device which attaches to the body and fools the system that the core is warmer. The amazing result is that full bloodflow then goes to the fingers and guys in the Arctic have completely warm fingers. Yet there is no adverse affect to the core. I'll try to find an article on it
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Postby rhyang » Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:12 pm

RayMondo wrote:
rhyang wrote:...One problem is body temperature regulation .. I get cold easier, and if I'm not careful to keep my core warm, I get tremors in my left side muscles and sometimes the fingers of my left hand become paralyzed -- utterly unable to move, much like right after the accident. The doctors I've asked have no idea what the deal is with that .. so I try not to let that happen.

Since having a big stress epic, my adrenals are overactive, putting me in "flight" mode (as in fight or flight), this affects my circulation. It will resolve when my head is totally sorted. But for now I get bitterly cold fingers when it's just 5 C, so I don't go winter climbing at all.

To protect the hands, there is a battery-pack device which attaches to the body and fools the system that the core is warmer. The amazing result is that full bloodflow then goes to the fingers and guys in the Arctic have completely warm fingers. Yet there is no adverse affect to the core. I'll try to find an article on it


Very interesting .. I'd be curious to know what you find out about this device.

The reality is that I'm pretty stubborn, and if I'm dreaming about ice climbing, then I'm probably not going to give it up :) Managing body heat when ice climbing is a challenge even for healthy people -- I simply have to be more careful and dress warmer, and I end up using most all the tips and tricks I know of.
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Postby Guyzo » Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:55 pm

Ray, yes you get it.

I usta see it in JB's eyes when he would roll up to the base of "Enterprise" and put down the boom box.... :wink:

And buddy Rob.... hang up the Ice tools for a while and go climb in the "sunshine", JT, The Alabama Hills, Toll House and the "Kern" await... all good, warm sunny spots.

Get a nice sun tan and be ready for summer in TM. :wink:
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Postby JHH60 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:59 pm

Dow Williams wrote:I am amazed at how many sub par athletes way over think climbing or running for that matter...unless you are pushing the boundries of your particular sport, climbing is like a good f___, relax, breath properly and go with the flow.....you will be better at it.


Speaking as an admitted subpar athlete in several of the sports I enjoy :) , mental challenge (fear, worry) comes in to play not only when you are pushing the absolute boundary of a sport, but also when you are pushing your own personal boundaries. For me it isn't usually fear of death or injury but rather fear of not meeting my own goals or holding back my buddy or the team. "Just relax and enjoy it" is good advice, but visualizing successful completion of the task has helped me do that.
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Postby RayMondo » Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:57 pm

So, does anyone like this sport I play - I mean from the all-round action of it. Those guys are incredible athletes. The load on the knees is massive. Those smashes reach speeds of 305km/hr
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RDVBuDTvMA&NR=1

Game psychology: It's quite different to climbing because we have an opponent. You can give away your feelings (give the game away, literally) to the opponent in the body language - signs of fear or coolness. Bjorn Borg (Ice Borg) is one of the greatest at showing cool. Though he did say that he was "boiling inside".
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Postby CClaude » Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:47 pm

JHH60 wrote:
Dow Williams wrote:I am amazed at how many sub par athletes way over think climbing or running for that matter...unless you are pushing the boundries of your particular sport, climbing is like a good f___, relax, breath properly and go with the flow.....you will be better at it.


Speaking as an admitted subpar athlete in several of the sports I enjoy :) , mental challenge (fear, worry) comes in to play not only when you are pushing the absolute boundary of a sport, but also when you are pushing your own personal boundaries. For me it isn't usually fear of death or injury but rather fear of not meeting my own goals or holding back my buddy or the team. "Just relax and enjoy it" is good advice, but visualizing successful completion of the task has helped me do that.


Actually the opposite holds true for me. I try to have no preconcieved notion of "success" and I don't even visualize that. I can visualize individual moves from the ground/belay and that is all I do. If I concentrate on doing it right, it will come. Getting something clean or falling are just outcomes which will happen.
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Postby JHH60 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:55 pm

CClaude wrote:
JHH60 wrote:... "Just relax and enjoy it" is good advice, but visualizing successful completion of the task has helped me do that.


Actually the opposite holds true for me. I try to have no preconcieved notion of "success" and I don't even visualize that. I can visualize individual moves from the ground/belay and that is all I do. If I concentrate on doing it right, it will come. Getting something clean or falling are just outcomes which will happen.


I'm not sure what that I'm describing is opposite - it's just walking through the steps in my mind, up to and including completing the task, with a mental image of myself having completed the climb, or race, or dive, or practical exam, or whatever.
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Postby CClaude » Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:00 pm

For me I have no mental image of completing the climb just moves.
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