This video of our man Joey Kinder is a great insight into the level of detail required when you are memorising your sequences.
Here are some visualisation and memorisation tips:
- Sit at the bottom of the route, close your eyes and climb the route in your mind. If you get to a bit you can't remember, open your eyes, look up, get it sorted and start over.
- If it helps you, give specific holds names i.e. "the brick" or "the contact lens".
- Imagine vividly how each hold will feel on your skin.
- Like Joe, visualise how each finger will sit on each hold, particularly if it's a subtle or tricky grip.
- Don't just concentrate on hand sequences. On difficult routes you must also know 100% what you are doing with your feet and what your body positions are. This represents heaps of data and might be very hard to memorise, but you simply have to do it. Start with the hands, but begin to expand your mental program to foot movements and body positions to make the sequence more and more detailed and realistic.
- Get your climbing partner to quiz you. Mime to them the entire sequence, talking it through as you go. Moving your arms and feet is very helpful.
- Sometimes there will be a section, or a subtlety you will continue to forget on route. Come up with a trigger phrase like "Stand tall" or "Pull in right hand" or simply (as is often the case) "Breathe!" and have your belayer yell this at you at the appropriate time. When you are running through the route in your mind, think about that section, and say the trigger phrase to yourself. Do that multiple times. Really embed it deeply. You'll find you'll begin to remember the section very well.
- If you are a visual person, compile a route map. This is a sheet of paper where you draw the route, the holds, mark L hand and R hand, draw little arrows, mark clipping holds etc. If you can do this accurately for the entire route, you are well on your way to having a good sequence locked in your memory. Now let's hope your sequence is the most efficient one :)
|Joey getting his bling on at the annual Rifle clean-up. © L Cujes 2010|