I've recently taken up bouldering (climbing without ropes).

My novice ass went along to the local wall yesterday with a friend who took it up around the same time as me but has done around double what I have.

It shows. He was scuttling up a few walls I couldn't yet do.

Climbing, unlike some of the sports I work with people from offers a unique opportunity for me to watch athletes making all their moves fairly slowly without much of a change in angle (at least on the walls we're currently climbing).

I watched him get stuck and figure out various routes yesterday and then he came to one he just couldn't step across widely enough for.

As my business is helping people do things that they haven't found ways to do and no amount of chat can do something about, when he came off the wall I asked if we could try something.

On the ground, we began to reenact a reaching movement very similar to the one from the wall, with the legs and arms reaching in varying directions.

After a little investigation with my hands to see how certain parts of him were playing part in the overall movement, he commented that he felt like his ankle was really stiff. Suddenly, he loosened there got back on the wall and did this previously impossible reach.

We did something similar to the same effect later in our climb. Each little change was made in less than two minutes.

Given a little longer, he would have figured out how to make these moves without my help, especially climbing at the level we were. My assistance made things quicker in this case. 

Extrapolated over time, it's easy to see how getting a little bit more out of yourself per session can make large differences in skill.

Now this may sound like a "look at what I do - isn't it bloody fantastic?!". There is a bit of that - I'm good and you probably could benefit from seeing me if you want to improve your athletic performance - but what I'm getting at is more general. I want you to benefit from reading this whether you're my client or not.

The benefit of an extra set of eyes cannot be understated. 

When you're on the wall, you just can't see what you can when you're off it. Your closeness to it restricts your vision somewhat and you're busy concentrating on just keeping on the wall.

A friend or a coach can see what you can't and used sparingly can be a very valuable resource.

If you don't have a coach for your sport or you're like me and don't have any friends, I suggest either getting a life or at least becoming your own friend/coach.

Imagining you're in the position of an observer watching your own performance can be ultra-useful to see where you can make changes to upgrade your performance.

It can give you that little bit more in a session that over time can make a big difference.

Arton "Off the wall" Baleci

P.S. any coaches in the house - it may be worth your while coming to learn some more off the wall ways to improve what you do with me and Prof Richard Bailey in a few weeks time. You could find this stuff out yourself but this will get you there quicker.