Climbing Squads

Boulders climbing squads are our unique way of investing in talented young climbers that could be the superstars of the future. Running throughout the academic term time the our various squads will meet for training and coaching sessions. The focus is purely on competition sport climbing and bouldering, with the main target of the year being success at the British Mountaineering Council’s Youth Climbing Series. and BMC Youth Open Events.

Being a member of the Squad is a big commitment and only for those wanting to push themselves competitively. Throughout each academic term the these young climbers meet for supervised training sessions. During these sessions young climbers will be pushed hard, coached and shown ways to structure their training, improve there technique, tactic’s and overall performance.

Our Squads are split into three distinct groups based on the needs of young climbers as the move up through out development path way. Each squad has its own ethos and aims, which are all targeted to helping the individual become the best they can be.

Foundation Squad

Typically aimed at young climbers between 7 and 10yrs of age who show a desire to push their own standards in climbing. Our focus will be in setting a great foundation to their climbing futures by encouraging a work hard and smart ethos. Typical coaching sessions will concentrate on ABC’s and Climbing Literacy, agreed goals will be set each term between the climber and coach to monitor progress and foster motivation.

The Foundation Squad of which their are two train once a week, either on a Wednesday or Friday.  along side this squad members must attend either a Gecko’s or Spiders class to continue NICAS training. This is to increase there knowledge of rope work and basic climbing how to that will not be covered in Squad sessions.

Development Squad 

Primarily aimed at young climbers that have shown an aptitude to pushing themselves and have embraced the work hard and smart ethos. These climbers will typically (but not exclusively) be between 9 and 16 years of age.
The main Aim of for the development squad will be ‘Learning to Train’. Following the Longterm development pathway. Our coaches will introduce appropriate training methods along side their ‘window of opportunity’.
The Development Squad train twice a week, on a Tuesday and Thursday and are encouraged to put in time at home as well as additional climbing time during the week.

Competition Squad

Primarily aimed at young climbers who have demonstrated an aptitude to training and a strong desire to compete on a national and international stage. Youth c and above
To provide high end individual coaching and training guidance for athletes showing a high level of desire and aptitude towards the aims of the Squad.

 ALL Squad members

Will sign and agree to an ‘Athlete code of conduct’
Will have and wear uniform to all training sessions, and when representing Boulders at events.
Will compete at BMC YCS, and additional competitions were possible.

Requirements prior to selection

Each of our 3 Squads are strictly focused on coaching young people’s climbing performance.  Due to this there are technical entry level requirements that the child must demonstrate before they can potentially attend selection.

To attend Foundation Squad the child must be able to demonstrate they can climb and belay safely in a top roping system. Having NICAS L2 certificate is sufficient proof.

To attend Development Squad  the child must be able to demonstrate they can climb and belay safely in a lead climbing system.  Having NICAS L4 certificate is sufficient proof.

To attend Competition Squad the climber must have finished in the top 10 of a national standard event in the previous season, and show a strong desire to compete on a National and International stage.

How to attend selection

To become a member of one of Boulders Squads you must first be invited to attend an Squad selection. Selection will take place in the first week of every academic term. Invites will come from one of three places:

  1. By being involved with either the Spider Monkey or Gecko. Our climbing instructors will talent spot you and invite you to attend the next selection.
  2. By Golden ticket. Every member of staff at Boulders is constantly on the lookout for talented youth. If you’re not involved with the Spider Monkey or Gecko training sessions but are consistently putting in strong performances on the climbing walls you might just get a golden ticket to selection!
  3. Those already in the each of our squads will have an automatic invite to the next selection.

Squad selection

Climbing academy selection takes place at the start of every academic term. Once the squad for that term is selected, they will train together for the full Academic term. At the start of the next term, there is no guarantee that anyone in the squad will keep their place. Every squad member will be expected to maintain the high standards set by the Squad and its Coaches to maintain their place.

Squad Kit

Squad members will be invited to purchase training kit and members will be expected to wear kit at all times representing Boulders.

Squad Training

Training takes place during term time with advice given on out of term training. Training days are fixed for each squad, and it is worth noting that as a young climber moves through the ranks the days may change.