What does it take to climb in the WCH final?

»Turn your mind off and just do the thing.«

Table of Content

World championship in Moscow was the highlight of my competition season and my expectations were high. It was time to take on the battle – the one in my head.

World Championship Moscow

Right before leaving for Moscow, I had a feeling that I was physically ready but it’s really hard for me to actually convince myself into believing that. This was a problem throughout the season and it was time that I put an end to it.

I did manage to end it and I climbed in my first world championship final. Super proud of that. The whole experience would have been perfect if I didn’t have to use tapes in the finals. But hey, I managed to show 100% in that situation and I am really happy with that.

Photo by: Jan Virt

Overall, I managed to show strong performance throughout all rounds and that is surely a sign that I belong among the top climbers in the world. “Among the top climbers in the world”, huh I wish that thought could just stay in my head. Sadly, it’s not that easy for me.

Back to the Start

Now let’s circle back to the basics and talk about the things that led me to this moment.

Some of you reading are probably wondering, what does it take or maybe what did you change to be able to climb in the world championship finals?

The most important component is training. Without training and improving your weaknesses, there is small progress. Additionally, there is also sport nutrition and related activities that help me keep my bodyweight in check.

That is why I choose to work my ass off every day!

The Mindset

Nevertheless, things don’t come together without the right mindset! And this was the secret for my success in Moscow. Looking back now, it’s funny realising all the mistakes I had to make in order to learn that. The whole season was definitely a huge life lesson and I feel I evolved as I climber.

No matter how many mistakes I made, I am happy that I came this far. From nutrition problems in Meiringen, to not believing in myself, to having trouble with setting priorities. This year it’s definitely been more of a mental battle than physical.

The biggest low for me was after the competition in Innsbruck. There I was so sure, that I was ready for the podium, that I made it my job to do it. But as easy as that sounds it’s far from it. Bouldering is a really specific discipline and I think that everyone who makes it in the semi-final has a chance for the podium. It all comes down to if they’re having a good day or boulders suit them really well, …

And if you think you can easily control a situation like that, you are, just like I was, WRONG. The thing that I discovered during this season was that, it’s good to have clear goals. But for me, there is a fine line between reaching goals and being so obsessed with them, that in the end I’m sometimes not even enjoying my climbing, because I am so afraid of not reaching my goals.

Photo by: Jan Virt

That’s exactly what happened in the semi-final round in Innsbruck. I was afraid of failure, to the point where my climbing felt so underwhelming, that I just wanted the round to be over.

After the competition the awful thing was that I didn’t really know what happened, which made my poor performance even worse. It took me more than two months that I fully realised what was happening with me and what I needed to change in order to perform better.

You can read more on this here: BWC Innsbruck 2021

In the meantime, I again blamed my bad performance on lack of my physical strength and my body weight.

Consequently, it took two more competitions (TAB & Triglav the Rock) for me to realise that the problem is elsewhere. “You can probably picture my performance at these two comps.”

Results Triglav the Rock

The Realisation

But then one day, something clicked. I decided that it was not worth working my ass off every day and then throwing everything away just because I was stressing about so many things. And that was the moment, when things started to get in the right direction. Starting with world cup in Kranj.

Photo by: Jan Virt

I finished WC Kranj on decent 28th place, which I was quite happy with. Although I was quite stressed before starting the first route, I managed to shake the stress off and give a 100%. I did even better on the second route.

You can find the full results here: WC Kranj Results

That gave me just the right amount of self-esteem in order to elevate my performance during trainings. That lead to more self-esteem and to even better climbing, later at team trainings and nationals.

The Final Component

To complete my self-esteem journey, I reminded myself of one really important thing.

“You need to have fun while climbing!”.

Coming to that realisation also happened at a time, when I was training by myself, due to the fact that my coach was travelling with the youth national team. I think that period really helped me get more in touch with myself. I was able to adapt the situation to fit my needs and I started enjoying more with every session. And that’s when my progress really showed. Over the course of a week my climbing went from 100% to 200% and it felt amazing! Later all of that led to climbing in the final of the world championship.

There you have it! My answer to what does it take to climb in finals. The journey is always long and different for everyone. Hopefully you can learn something from mine and use it to help you on yours.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *