Why is climbing great for children of all ages?
What is a great sport for children of all ages?
Why do kids love climbing so much and why is climbing so good for children?
Climbing is an all round sport, activity and form of exercise which uses every muscle in the body, and many, many parts of the brain! Climbing is awesome for children and kids love climbing, so you won’t have to drag them away from their computer game to get them to our Nationally Accredited Award Scheme - NICAS Rock Club.
Our climbing walls have all the thrills they need! If your child has not yet managed to engage with sport or exercise in general then it is likely that climbing will be the key, so keep reading! Plus with the sports first appearance in the Olympics this year we are already seeing a rise in interest and popularity for the sport.
If you have been worried that your child spends a little too much time with eyes glued to a screen, be it a smart phone, computer, tablet or the TV, then you’re going to want to read this article. Your Active Kid tells us how too much focus on technology and not enough ‘get up and go’ is a massive detriment to long term physical and mental health.
When you face a climbing wall, all outside influences wash away and leave your head clear and ready for the task at hand. Climbing a wall requires focus and concentration. Children learn very fast that if they must pay attention if they want to progress. They also see very early on that belaying (managing the rope for the climber) is of paramount importance and they are responsible for someone else’s life (fret not, all ropes in instructed sessions are also held by an instructor). While the goals we set ourselves in climbing are very personal, we must work together as a team to ensure we are 100% safe. The bond created between climbers introduces great teamwork and trust from a very young age.
Climbing a wall teaches children great hand, feet and eye coordination. They must look, plan and then move their hands and feet to the chosen spot. This awareness can then be transferred to all other aspects of life and to other sports. It is also a great way to reinforce the understanding of left and right!
Every route on the climbing wall is a puzzle that needs working out. Problem solving requires patience, planning and analysis in order to successfully crack the code. Many new, beginner climbers, tend to approach each problem as they climb the route but as they progress, climbers learn to visualise the route they will take, what hand and foot will be placed where and work out the roughest part of the climb (the crux) before they set out.
When children can set their own goals and then continually keep pushing themselves out of their comfort zone to achieve them - it creates great self esteem. The height can be a limiting factor for some children, but working together, building trust and confidence step by step, will help overcome fears. Once your children have overcome some of these fears they will be mentally strong and able to handle what comes their way in other aspects of their lives. It can take children a long time to find their ‘thing’/ something which they can really shine at. Climbing, with its endless challenges and possibilities, allows kids to set and achieve goals every time they come to the climbing wall.
Using the National Indoor Climbing Award scheme our clubs for youth climbers are progressive and for truly dedicated climbers there is the option to try out for our Development Squad which in turn can lead to being a part of our main Youth Climbing Squad. Members of our Squad have been hugely successful in National and International Competitions and a few have been selected for Team GB!
Climbing is so much fun that children and adults do not even realise that it is exercise! With so much focus and concentration on achieving the goals they set themselves will allow them to forget any concerns they have about their body. With time, the sport builds body confidence, self awareness in addition to physical strength.
These incredible outcomes and benefits of climbing speak for themselves, but if you need a little more convincing, read on to find out what other people have to say…
‘The amount of goals you can set yourself is limitless. Setting individual goals and meeting them gives you a great sense of achievement, which in turn can help build everyday self-confidence.’ NHS
‘Climbing requires a lot of problem solving, mental concentration and focus, so it helps sharpen your brain. A lot of people like it as it allows you to escape everyday worries and just focus on the climb. It also can give a great sense of achievement.’ The British Mountaineering Council
‘Kids acquire all kinds of positive skills. Because climbing requires a combination of creative thinking and physical output, less athletic kids often shine, surprising even themselves. Kids also learn problem solving. Climbing is a puzzle to unlock, sometimes requiring the ability to back off, look at the route anew, and start again.’' Portland Family
Check out our "Getting Started for Juniors" web page or get in touch on 0345 363 1177 and find out how to start your child on this amazing journey!