3 Ways Climbing Helps Equip Kids for Life
Climbing develops many character traits and skills that are useful for long-term success in life. Here are three:
1. Climbing helps kids not to fear failure. In climbing, you cannot make much progress without falling. Failure is a regular part of the growing process. In the gym and outdoors, kids can observe that the best climbers are not those who avoid failure. Great climbers seek challenges, try different approaches, and fall a LOT in the pursuit of improvement. (Safety first, of course!)
In climbing, you literally have to pick yourself up and try again. It is an object lesson in determination and resilience, essential traits for success in life.
2. Climbing cultivates problem-solving skills. It is fascinating to watch skilled climbers read a route and employ different approaches depending on their particular strengths. A climber's height, muscular build, reach, and flexibility will all factor into the method he or she will use to get to the top of a route successfully. The analytical aspect of climbing exercises kids' minds as they try to discover the best way for their own bodies to ascend the wall.
Climbing gives kids many opportunities to think of and try new solutions, perhaps ones that have never been done before. Out-of-the-box thinking is a great skill to develop, and is helpful in many of life's circumstances.
3. Climbing encourages kids to respect and celebrate the successes of others. Climbing has an extremely supportive and friendly community. Whether climbing for fun or competing for a prize, among climbers you will most often find a sense of respectful camaraderie rather than bitter rivalry.
Competitions pit the climbers against the routes on the wall, rather than against one other. Climbers discuss beta and share strategies with one another during competitions - not something you see in other sports. It's also not unusual to see top climbers cheering enthusiastically for their fellow competitors, and congratulating them for finishing a hard climb that they themselves were unable to do.
Learning to support and honor others (even when their performance eclipses your own) shapes kids to be better friends, family members, and future co-workers.
Climbers on different teams often willingly share beta with each other at competitions.
As a parent, I am thankful for how climbing and the climbing community has provided my kids opportunities to grow and learn in ways that will benefit them for the long haul. Do you agree? Let us know in the comments!