Our talks programme is the mainstay of this year's theme - 'wcsconnect'. Our three plenary sessions will lead the way, with further focus talks on a range of topics requested by the WCS community. Each talk will provide inspiration, give you practical tips on how to turn that into a reality, and build in plenty of time for your questions.
Sophie has been a Clinical Psychologist for 25 years (the same amount of time she's been climbing, running, swimming and travelling!) She specialises in working with people's physical illness and health, people who have experienced trauma, burnout, and a range of mental health conditions. She brings learnings from her work, and shares how she has applied it to her own climbing, sport and life in general.
Emma is a qualified cognitive hypnotherapist and trainee sport psychologist. She’s been working with climbers for the past 4 years of all ages and experience levels. She also works with the GB youth and paraclimbing teams helping them to develop an optimal performance mindset. Most of her work involves addressing fear of falling and failure - whether that’s in a competition, projecting outdoors, or just during sessions with friends. She’s also been climbing for around 10 years.
Ella is a climbing coach and legal counsel for Lattice Training. In her 18 year long climbing career, Ella has sport climbed up to 8b+, on-sighted 7c, and bouldered 8A+. Her long-term goals are to try and red-point an 8c, and get stuck into multi-pitching and big-walling across Europe and the USA. Ella has a particular interest in the impact of hormonal fluctuations on training and performance and she is keen to support and present at further women’s-specific events.
CLIMBING AND MINDFULNESS
HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR FEAR
TRAINING FOR PROJECTS
Do you use climbing (or any sport) to connect with friends, to achieve goals, to feel good about your body, to manage your mood? Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT) helps us to understand how we regulate how we feel, think and behave. So we can use the model to understand our feelings, behaviour patterns, helpful and unhelpful thoughts that might happen when we are climbing. We will cover topics such as:
maintaining motivation for climbing
How fear and self criticism get in the way of me enjoying my climbing
Climbing as a way of connecting with others
Moving forward: making a plan to help you get what you want from your climbing
This will be an interactive session, with opportunities for you to reflect on your own experiences in climbing and try a short mindfulness exercise.
Emma’s talk looks to sport psychology to help understand fear of falling and failing, and what we can learn about this from performance blocks in other sports (such as diving and gymnastics). We’ll start by taking a closer look at the detail of your fears in climbing - how is this actually working? With this understanding, it will (hopefully) become clearer what techniques might help you specifically. We’ll then go through some practical, evidence based solutions to help you overcome whatever is holding you back.
In this focus talk Ella will walk through key principles when it comes to planning your training with a particular focus on goal setting and preparing for your outdoor projects. She will talk about how to periodise your training, including how you might approach your base training and specific preparation for a peak phase. Ella is very keen to ensure that you leave the talk with a pathway to help plan your own training so she will use case studies from volunteers in the audience to give helpful practical illustrations when it comes to structuring your training.
Motherhood is one of the biggest journeys some of us undertake as women, and as climbers we might well be concerned about how this affects our bodies, our minds and our climbing goals...
In this discussion-based session, Lizzie will get a feel for what topics you would like covered, then share information and her experience (as well as input from other members of our community) on climbing and pregnancy, getting back to climbing postpartum, and tactics for climbing with children at the wall and crag. There will be plenty of space for questions, sharing and discussion.
Debbie is a secondary school teacher who lives in Derbyshire with her son. She started climbing when studying psychology at university in Leeds and has been climbing for 27 years. Debbie has on-sighted E6 on trad and redpointed 8a on sport climbs. One of her long-term goals is to on-sight E7. Debbie enjoys all types of climbing and has climbed in Europe, Africa and the USA. Her passion is trad climbing and the adventure this involves. She enjoys cragging as well as mountain and sea cliff routes
Climbing and the menstrual cycle
KAYA PRESENTS: BRAVE STEPS: PATHWAYs into the outdoor industry
Does your menstrual cycle affect your climbing, sport performance and physical activity? It's a topic increasingly being discussed, and can have a huge affect about how you feel at the wall or the crag and how your body and mind responds. This session will introduce the menstrual cycle, discuss facts and myths, explore some symptoms and then relate this all to how if might affect you and your climbing.
Debbie’s talk will cover how goal setting has been used to achieve different aims through many years of climbing. It's also the story of how Debbie set herself a huge challenge to celebrate turning 50 years old. The challenge of climbing 50, E5 grade routes, on-sight or ground up, in a year. Working on this challenge would not only be a huge amount of fun but would also help Debbie to achieve one of her long-term trad climbing goals. The coveted E6 on-sight!
The last 18 months has turned work on its head and made a lot of us take stock in what we want to do going forward. Is now the time to make that brave step into working in the outdoor industry? Can you really make a living doing what you love? How do you even start? Join the Kaya panel chaired by Kim Ang to hear stories from women who have made that step in route setting, guiding, and outdoor companies. Bring your questions - it is all about you!
Keen to get into trad or to raise your all-round trad game? Join Sam for her Top Tips! Includes:
Technical: Racking, placing and clipping gear, managing rope drag, the practical skills required to climb trad well, creative thinking while on route, gear management, when and how to retreat.
Tactical: Planning your route, before, at the base and during, avoiding, anticipating and solving problems, where and when to place gear. Choose your moment, what to do when, making active choices - the right route, at the right time, with the right partner.
Physical: Efficient climbing, training, multi-pitch routes and multi-day trips.
Physiological: Prep before the route, the one move at a time mentality, MANAGING FEAR.