Resource Centre

Learning never stops. In fact, the more I have learnt, the more I realise how much more is out there to keep progressing as a coach and educator; and that doesn’t only include from climbing sources or from professional courses either. However as wonderful as the internet is and as much as it provides us with the answers to almost any question we could have, the online world usually provides us with multiple answers, sometimes in the hundreds of thousands.

Hence the decision to establish and develop the Resource Centre of Prowess Coaching. Here, I intend to share not only my own original articles and ideas but also to share and identify anywhere that may prove useful for both climbers and coaches alike.

It is no secret that as well as being a climber, coach and parent, I’m also a writer. I have had articles published with, Professional Mountaineer and elsewhere but these are original articles and often original ideas too.

It is broken down into two sections: one for the climber and one for the coach. However don’t let that stop you exploring the other sections too. I’ve yet to meet a climbing coach who isn’t a dedicated climber and some of those resources may come in handy for your own personal work as well as work with your students. Likewise, any climber trying to improve is effectively a self-coached climber and knowledge of education may come in handy too.

As usual, for more information, please contact me. And remember, I am available to hire as a coach or as a coach educator.

A Quick Note Before You Browse

All of these resources are provided to you completely free of charge. I’m a big believer of helping people however I can. Sadly, they are not free to create, often taking a substantial amount of time and research to create. If you would like to help support me, you can Buy Me A Coffee, with whatever donation you wish by clicking the button here.


There is a wide variety of articles here, from pieces about projecting to ideal ways for you to train but they are all to help you develop your own personal skills. More will appear regularly.

Prowess Articles

Original work exclusive to Prowess Coaching. Please note many of these articles and ideas are currently belief based models and not evidence based models that have yet to be ratified with evidence or external support. Nevertheless, I believe they still have merit.

For the COACH

These articles are written with the coach in mind. They deal with session content and teaching methods to be implemented with your clients in your own sessions.

Prowess Articles

Original work exclusive to Prowess Coaching. Please note many of these articles and ideas are currently belief based models and not evidence based models that have yet to be ratified with evidence or external support. Nevertheless, I believe they still have merit.

  • Becoming a Climbing Instructor… Or a Coach? The Pathway Explained. Starting your journey to become a coach or instructor in the UK can be confusing. Here, we break down all the different aspects and acronyms to simplify it. As much as I can at least
  • HOT, POT and MOT. A complicated and interesting set of theories based on making the most of the holds, positions and movements involved when coaching
  • A Moment On The Lips, A Lifetime on The Hips. A long winded title, this is all about the importance of teaching trunk rotation to climbers
  • Floor Exercises and How Crucial They Really Are. This piece looks at how to simplify complicated climbing techniques by removing the climber from the complex situation they are in and replicating the movement in a simpler way for them to understand
  • The DCBA Scale. Having the right attitude is key to performance and this article looks at the right way to get your climber’s head in the game
  • Replication Training. A method of coaching to isolate and target individual and specific weaknesses in climbing; heavily associated with the TTPP Model
  • Warming to Each Other: Safeguarding Ourselves as Coaches. How do we safeguard ourselves as coaches to avoid injury when working with clients without demotivating or demoralising them?
  • Risk Free Belay Instruction. A method for coaches and instructors to teach belaying without the need to place a student in harms way. IT IS NOT A SELF-TEACH METHOD OF LEARNING TO CLIMB and should only be used by qualified and experienced instructors as part of a wider learning context
  • Grades: Help or Hindrance? An article that discusses whether our preoccupation with climbing grades can help improve performance or slow it down and how we as educators can use them to further our students’ learning
  • CARI on: A Model to Aid Analytical Observations of Sessions. Shadowing is all well and good but without an idea of what to look for, they can be a little haphazard. This belief-based model gives a starting point for those shadowing sessions
If You Enjoyed That…

All of these resources are provided to you completely free of charge. I’m a big believer of helping people however I can. Sadly, they are not free to create, often taking a substantial amount of time and research to create. If you would like to help support me, you can Buy Me A Coffee, with whatever donation you wish by clicking the button here.

The Bookshop

For all that the internet can be a fantastic place to read and learn, many of us still really value printed books. Prowess is a retailer of outdoor books, with many available for sale on your session or course.

The following (in no particular order) are the titles that I have for sale. In short, if I stock it, it’s because I recommend it.

Climb Smarter – Rebecca Williams
Mental skills and techniques for climbing
Rock Climbing Tehnique –
John Kettle
A practical guide to movement mastery
The Science of Climbing Training –
Sergio Consuegra
An evidence based guide to improving your climbing
The Self Rehabbed Climber –
Andy McVittie
Everything you need to treat climbing injuries
Rock Climbing – Libby Peter
The official handbook of Mountain Training’s schemes
Beastmaking –
Ned Feehally
A fingers-first approach to becoming a better climber
Climbology –
Craig Berman
An innovative approach to master movement
Coaching Adventure Sports –
Smith and Wilkinson
Academic theory in practice in adventure sports
Training for Climbing –
Eric Horst
The definitive guide to improving your performance
Climbing Games –
Paul Smith
Challenge and train your hands, feet, body and brain
Climbing Wall Leading –
Ian Fenton
Learn to lead efficiently on climbing walls
The Coaching Bible –
Hus Bozkurt
Practical exercises for coaches

Plus, as a reminder, anyone on a course or session is entitled to a 10% discount on the listed price

Specific guidebooks and other titles may be available on request. Please contact before your session

Other Titles

There are other books that come recommended, primarily for coaches.

eg Myths of Coaching

External Resources

The following are sources that exist completely independently of Prowess Coaching. They are generally well tested and well established principles and ideas that have merit when incorporated into climbing coaching.

Teaching Theory and Activity
  • UK Coaching. The go-to for all things sports coaching. A mass of resources from the best in the country. The only downside being the subscription to access the best stuff
  • The Spectrum of Teaching Styles, Mosston and Ashworth. This is the cornerstone of my entire coaching philosophy. Included in this site are a free download of the sixth edition of the book as well as explanations on both the spectrum, developmental channels and much more.
  • Centre for Self Determination Theory. Developing our students towards Instrinsic Motivation (or motivation that comes from within, rather than in search of external reward such as praise or medals) is crucial for long term participation. Self Determination Theory is a cornerstone of working towards intrinsic motivation, covered in depth on this free website.
  • BMC School Activity Cards. The BMC have created an excellent resource that, while primarily aimed at school teachers, has some excellent activities for any coach or instructor. These are loosely based on similar themes to those found in the BMC FUNdamentals workshops.
  • Play Their Way. “Child-First Coaching” at it’s best, there are stacks of resources here for budding coaches to put the children at the centre of the learning experience. [Note: if you’re particularly interested in coaching children, check out the BMC Coaching Children worshop]
  • I Coach Kids. Another fantastic set of resources designed to help coaching working with under-18s. Check out the “Learn” button at the top of the home page
Technical Skills Pages

These section includes links that will help you with the technical aspects of rock climbing; such as ropework, kit advice, belay techniques, etc.

  • Animated knots. Learning knots can be tricky and isn’t something you can pick up when with your coach or instructor. In order to practice on your own, this is an excellent website with very clear and concise directions to tie almost any climbing knot. Think you know them all? You’d be surprised and i dare say there’s not many of us that know of the Distel Hitch. Well worth checking out.
  • Weigh My Rack. These guys have been steadily building a massive site with all things kit related. They’ve got some really interesting articles and advice on there, well worth a look.
Grade Related Pages

I wasn’t sure what to call this section, so expect the name to change at some point. Here, we will list any pages related to grading, grade conversions or how we think of climbing grades. Remember though that all grades are subjective and any conversions across systems – and especially across disciplines – are a very rough guide to demonstrate what you could be climbing if you developed the requisite skills.

  • Rockfax Grade Conversion Charts. For many, these are the definitive conversion charts to move from, say a British Trad style to a Yosemite Decimal System. Bouldering and Mountaineering charts are also included as well as descriptions of the different systems.
  • Bergfreunde Climbing Grade Calcultor. Wow, what a concept! This page allows you to input your bouldering grade, for example, and gives an indication of the very rough equivalent for ALL other disciplines of climbing. Speaking to some all-round climbers, it seems to hold water, pretty much, although some conversions are largely spurious (bouldering to ice climbing for example). However, further down gives an excellent and comprehensive explanation of all types of grading systems, as well as their limitations.
Training Links

Possibly the most searched for climbing links for those trying to improve, and possibly the biggest minefield. There is so much information out there; some much better than others. Here is the best that i’ve come across to date.

  • Training Beta. I love this website. I first stumbled across it through their excellent (if slightly lengthy) podcast and regularly click through to see what’s new. Granted, i don’t really have time to listen that much any more but for training programs, nutrition information or just psyche building, it’s a great resource. Note: there is a fee for the training programs but much of the other content is free.
  • Training for Climbing. Eric Hörst is a bit of a training legend and if you’ve got a spare few hours (or weeks, this website is huge) there is plenty to browse and investigate. I’ll be checking out the video on rotator cuff exercises myself very soon.

Listening to information has become incredibly popular. Podcasts have become a stable part of our lives these days and having made a series myelf, I know how hard they are. While I don’t often get chance to listen to many, here are some either well established or personal favourite pocasts out there:

  • Training Beta. Again, Training Beta is a popular podcast among climbers, with a nutritionist and several coaches discussing all things climbing. Some great episodes on here
  • Strong Mind. Strong Mind is run by elite-level climbers Hazel Findlay an Angus Killie but don’t think this is pros giving their own opinions on complex topics. Both of these climbers are well versed both in coaching and academia, with Hazel having studied at the Flow Centre in the States
  • The Sport Psych Show. This one is very academic and very high brow, so not to be taken lightly. But if you can hack the technical terminology (the episode names seem to resemble academic paper titles) there is a world of coaching insight here
  • The River Tiger Podcast. Presented by Marianne Davies from Dynamics Coaching, this is labelled as “the equestrian podcast” and I only initially listened as Marianne is an old friend of mine. I’m glad I did. Yes, it’s horsey focused BUT not 100% and there’s heaps of useful coaching insight. As with the Sport Psyche Show, it is very academic based though
  • Outdoor Lives by Mike Raine. Another old friend, this podcast focuses on the people working in the outdoors. It provides a good insight into people like myself (yes, I was on this one) who have decided to turn their passion for climbing and the outdoors into their livelihood