If you’ve been following our Facebook page, you already know that our hard-working Head Setter Adam Koebel along with Hive route-setters; JC Reinosa and Hamish Thomson are dreaming up amazing blocs for our opening set. Today, we have pleasure announcing The Core Climbing Gym’s Head Coach and Programs Manager; Brady Mcewen.
Brady has been a climbing coach for the last six years and has also been climbing for the better part of two decades. During that time, he has also been running his own personal training practice. Before climbing competitions were mainstream events Brady switched his focus from climbing to compete on team Canada track and field. Here he had the opportunity to be coached by multiple Canadian Olympians and was ranked as one of top pole vaulters in Canada. Brady’s formal education is in sports rehabilitation massage therapy and anatomical function. His passion for climbing, fitness, and living life is contagious amongst every climber that he has trained with.
If you are wondering about the rec, youth or open programming at the Core Climbing gym our interview with Brady will shed some light and should answer a lot of your questions.
Why is coaching so important to you?
I’ve been an athlete pretty much my whole life. I started climbing at age 8 and I was lucky to have had a lot of positive mentors that helped me develop as an athlete. This made me realize that sports and training are essential to any balanced lifestyle. I think climbing is an excellent vehicle for personal development and I want to share it with everyone through coaching and creating programs.
What's the toughest part about coaching climbing?
Climbing is an individual sport. That makes coaching a 'team' of climbers difficult because each climber has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. At the Core I will be implementing smaller team sizes to give more attention to individual athletes of any ability that have the drive to progress and improve.
Managing programs and teams of any size is also the fun part of my job. If you're up for the challenge aligning a group of strong and talented individuals creates results that often surprise even myself. I'm constantly in awe of the talented athletes that I have the privilege to work with. We can do many wonderful things on our own but our true test is how well we work with one another. But that's why coaching makes me happy and I feel very much rewarded after a day’s “work". The next morning, I wake up to a new challenge.
What's going to be unique about the Programs at Core?
Goals first. I don't assume I know how to coach any individual before learning their backstory, present athletic ability, and their future goals. After this is establish we can build a program that caters to the athlete's individual mental and physical strengths and weaknesses.
Focus on what works. Often open and recreational climbers that want to improve don't have that same pool of time as the youth do. That means those programs require even more attention to develop because you need to give them the best bang for their buck with their time while keeping it safe in terms of recovery.
Full commitment. Alex Lowe said himself, "The best climber in the world is the one having the most fun." I believe this is true. Further, what I've found for myself and my athletes is that, "The climber excited and addicted to improvement is the one having the most fun.”
The perfect program is the one that is easy to follow. For most coaches it’s actually not that difficult to create an ideal training program. But that said, it is difficult to create one that also keeps the fun aspect of climbing alive. Many climbers scare aware from training because of this. But you can have both!
Being the programs’ manager at Core means building programs that develop physical and mental skills in all levels and ages of athletes, and having fun while doing it. That's what attracts kids to get into recreation climbing. It's what turns recreational climbers into competitive climbers. It's also what keeps older athletes involved, committed, and enjoying climbing to their full ability.
Anything non-climbing related you want to share with us?
I’ve been raising my three pet turtles since I was 10 - Kermit, Ernie, and Bert. They eat a well-balanced diet of pellets, veggie scraps, and gold fish.