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Headline Speakers
Focus Talks

We have 3 fantastic sessions for you to attend at WCSx Liverpool!


Delivered by 5 top-level climbing coaches (including one of the most sought after experts in the field of climbing psychology), these coaching workshops and focus talk are all designed to help you 'Train your Brain'.


Click on the links below for information about each of the sessions or scroll down the page to read about them all.

    Climbing tactics Esther Foster and Sally Lisle | Climbing Coaches

    Climbing under pressure Gracie Martin and Jemma Powell | Climbing Coaches

    Training your brain Dr Rebecca Williams | Clinical Psychologist & Performance Psychology Coach

Session 1 WCSx

Absolutely crucial, yet often overlooked. Whether you boulder, climb routes, climb indoors or outdoors, using good tactics will often make the difference in whether you get to the top of a climb. This session will develop your route reading skills and your ability to remember and visualise moves, providing you with techniques to assist you in completing ongoing projects and/or flashing that new route you have your eye on. We'll share lots of practical tips and takeaways that you can practice in your own time and you'll leave the session with a clear understanding of what you can work on and how you can work on it to become a more savvy climber!

One of the Women's Climbing Symposium Directors, Esther Foster has spent 20 years rock climbing and mountaineering throughout the UK and internationally. With a career coaching, guiding and instructing in both climbing and mountaineering, Esther is one of few women MCI's (Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor) within the UK and a member of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI). Having seen the value of climbing and mountaineering as therapy, as skill mastery, and as simultaneously an empowering and humbling experience, Esther is passionate about removing barriers and promoting inclusivity so that climbing, and the climbing community, is accessible to all. Want to know more about Esther? We interviewed her here so check it out! Read here. | IG: @esther_foster

Sally Lisle describes climbing as a harmonious obsession in her life. Expanding her abilities on the rock, and experiencing the tight bonds that form in climbing partnerships fill her heart with joy. Coaching based out of Kendal, Sally has spent the last 20 years using climbing and the outdoors to empower people to redefine their limits. A fully qualified rock climbing and mountaineering instructor (MCI) and member of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors, Sally has a first class degree in Sports Science (with Outdoor Activities) and believes in applying sports science theory in all her workshops to make them as meaningful and effective as possible. You will find her articles around the web, such as her article "Playing with Fear" on | IG: @sallylizzle

Session 2 WCSx
Climbing under pressure

Does your climbing performance drop when others are watching you, or when you feel the pressure to achieve? Do you struggle to really push yourself, or want to find ways to improve your stress levels during climbing? This workshop will give you lots of practical tips and tuition for managing stress and pressure when climbing, enabling you to better enjoy your climbing experience which ultimately enhances your climbing performance.

Gracie Martin has been climbing for around 15 years. With a background in competition climbing, Gracie now works as a climbing coach and freelance route setter, setting all over the UK and beyond. A regular WCS coach, she's been coaching climbers of all ages and abilities for a number of years and loves being able to help people try harder than ever before to reach their climbing goals.

IG: @graciemartinclimber

Jemma Powell has over 25 years of climbing experience, having spent 10 years competing internationally for GB Climbing, as well as becoming British Champion for five consecutive years and achieving several international podium places. Currently working as a climbing coach for Lattice Training, Jemma has worked with intermediate to elite level athletes from around the world. With a Masters Degree in Applied Sports Science, Jemma also completed experimental research into the impact that performance pressure can have on sporting performance through attentional losses and impaired problem solving. | IG: @pow.coaching

Session 3 WCSx
Training your brain
Dr Rebecca Williams (SHE/HER)

Pressure, stress and anxiety can have a huge impact on our performance and enjoyment in climbing, however training our brain not to be hindered by negative emotions and/or fears can feel like an impossible task. This session will provide you with valuable insight into how and why your brain reacts as it does to certain climbing situations, and provide you with practical tools you can utilise and takeaway to begin training your brain, improve your climbing headgame and better enjoy your climbing experience. 

For over 20 years Dr Rebecca Williams has been coaching climbers on mental skills for climbing, working with hundreds of climbers every year on all aspects of their headgame to develop their confidence and improve their climbing psyche. A qualified Rock Climbing Instructor and author of Climb Smarter, Rebecca prides herself on being a psychologist first and foremost. In order to improve her clients climbing performance Rebecca makes psychological theory practical; utilising psychological formulations and evidence based techniques and tools, and adapting and applying the latest sports and clinical psychology research. Rebecca is also trained in a number of therapies and techniques including cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and behavioural techniques such as exposure and systematic desensitisation, commonly used to help people with fears and phobias (e.g fear of falling). | IG: @smart_climbing

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