Climbing is not the typical activity offered in PE class and is often overlooked by parents who are deciding which sports their children should try. However, more and more playgrounds and gymnasiums are adding small-scale module rock walls for kids to climb on. The popularity of indoor climbing gyms is growing across the country and even in Prescott! Climbing will even be featured as an Olympic Event at the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Rock climbing can benefit your children by:
Improving Strength and Endurance
Climbing is a physically demanding sport. It’s a great way to start building full body strength, from your fingers to your toes. Every muscle gets used and builds over time. Climbing provides a mix of strength and cardio. Long climbs require endurance and will quickly improve cardio strength as well.
Even if your child is learning left from their right, climbing can help! Hand, foot and eye coordination is necessary when the goal is to complete a route. It takes planning and focus to work through each movement. These balance techniques will develop over time and are beneficial in other sports as well.
Life can be tough on kids. Giving them a fun way to “check out” is beneficial for both the child and parents. Climbing reinforces focus. When fully engaged on the wall, there’s nothing to think about other than reaching for the next hold. A great climbing session can be the ultimate reset for your child. Implementing climbing as a stress relief outlet at an early age can be extremely beneficial as your child grows.
Improving Communication Skills
Climbing is mostly an individual sport, often competing against one’s self, pushing your skills. However, the belayer or spotter shall not be forgotten! Communication is key with your climbing partner. Clear and concise communication is mandatory in order to climb efficiently and safely. Your child will learn to speak up and give and receive directions with confidence.
Developing Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills
There are often more ways than one to “get to the top.” At first, your child may only progress one move at a time. As they gain experience, they’ll begin to plan and visualize the route all the way to the top before they even leave the ground.
Building Confidence and Self-Esteem
Their first few climbs may be intimidating. As their strength builds, they’ll keep reaching for new heights. Challenging the comfort zone, setting a goal, working toward it and finally achieving that goal of getting to the top is a huge confidence boost! Confidence found on the climbing wall will be beneficial to many other areas of their life.
Your child will burn energy, build strength, both mentally and physically, improve decision-making and communication skills without even knowing it! Also, climbing connects people on new levels. Lifetime friendships and memories evolve around climbing.
Give your child the chance to explore climbing and its many benefits. Who knows, maybe you’ll want to climb out of your comfort zone too! QCBN
By Kay Ziegenhagen
For additional information or to try your first climbing session, visit PrescottRocksandRec.com, or call 928 227 1975 or visit Prescott Rocks & Rec in the Iron Springs Plaza. Prescott Rocks & Rec is next to Iron Springs CrossFit located at 1201 W Iron Springs Road.
Kay Ziegenhagen is a local climber and owner of Prescott Rocks & Rec. For more information on the benefits of climbing, visit PrescottRocksandRec.com.