so you want to be a rock climbing coach? Part VI – A Coach’s Challenge

A Coach’s Challenge

Aurora and Audrey

Aurora and Audrey celebrating post compeittion

Oh goodness! The one thing I should have checked from the start. Her scorecard was labeled appropriately, she was supposed to be registered as a Beginner but the front desk put her in Intermediate. Her family simply did not know how to register her and I didn’t even think to double check this fundamental piece of the competition. I thought, Aurora will be crushed to be last in Intermediate. She would be 2nd in the Beginner category, but how do you fix this when the awards had all been distributed and announced?

I found all the right people, we re-tallied, investigated what happened and found the error. The gym took half responsibility, but I have to take the other half. They corrected the category, which put Aurora in 2nd place and put together a winner’s package for her. I was relieved. I’m thankful to work with an understanding group of people at the gym. I felt bad for the 2nd place person who was now knocked to 3rd. I also felt bad that Aurora was gypped the proper acknowledgement for her first experience competing. She, on the other hand, was elated to hear the results and receive her goodies.

We watched the finals together and had a blast. Lisa Chulich’s fall from a final hold, Sidney Trinidad’s flash – in style, Kyra Conde’s speedy tear down and everything in-between on all of the problems was just what she needed to see, in person. If you climb, you can relate to the feeling of being soo close and then not able to seal the deal. Or getting stuck and running out of time before figuring things out. Or a sequence revealing itself on your first go that no one else uncovered. Or being the only person to do a climb when no one else could. We were horse at the end of the night from all of our cheering.

Even after 3 coaching strikes, I think I recovered and Aurora’s determination to look into the various climbing teams in the area I think is testament to how well the competition went for her. I’m sad to lose this opportunity to work with her going forward, but she will be better served in a team surrounded by a host of like-minded youth and dedicated team coaches. Pretty soon, she will be joining the kids outdoors with their parents, alleviating some of the pressure on hers.

As her parents said, who knows where Aurora will take this. Maybe it’s a fad, or phase, or a for-now thing, maybe it’s for life. To them it doesn’t matter. As long as she enjoys it, she will have the opportunity and support to take this as far as she desires. For me, I’m grateful for this experience and the trust they have in me and my coaching abilities.

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About Audrey Sniezek

Audrey Sniezek is a rock climbing athlete, climbing coach, computer software/technology enthusiast and occasional enjoys baking, cooking and fine wine.
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