Welcome to my Rock Climbing and Adventure Sports blog! I am starting this blog because, after having played almost every available team sport as a kid, my sports interests funnelled down to rock climbing, a sport that is not plagued by many of the issues that run rampant in organized youth sports. Through this blog I hope to get parents interested in a fun, growing sport for their children.
As a kid in youth sports, I was cut, yelled at, made to cry, benched because of clearly visible town politics, ridiculed by other players, not allowed adequate breaks for water, made to run as punishment until I vomited, suffered intestinal distress from heat illness, suffered numerous concussions and broken fingers and overused my knees at a time when I was growing very quickly (I'm 6'5'' now with not great knees). I played squash, soccer, lacrosse, cross-country, track and field, baseball, swam on the swim team, played basketball...the list goes on.
In every sport I played, I had good and bad coaches. The good coaches kept me interested long enough for the bad coaches to come along and cause me to quit. The more competitive the sport, the worse the coaches seemed to be. In college, however, I discovered an alternative: rock climbing. In rock climbing, everyone is hoping that you succeed, words of encouragement fly at the crag. It is a sport that is process oriented: it's not really about getting to the top, but how you get to the top.
When the emphasis on winning takes a backseat to learning, a wonderful thing happens. You enjoy yourself! I have not yet encountered any of the things that had turned me off to traditional organized sports. Instead, I have found an open, psyched community that only wants people do their best, learn, and most importantly, HAVE FUN safely. Rock climbing has taken me all over the world, from New Zealand and South Africa, to all over the United States. If competition is still your thing, climbing competitions such as the ABA (American Bouldering Association) have become increasingly popular among high schoolers. If any of this sounds better than watching your kid get yelled at and cry for not running through the bag on a base hit, and you can't keep your son or daughter from climbing trees, kitchen counters etc., contact your local climbing gym for some instructional time. I bet you won't regret it.