Coaching Tip: Unlock Your Twistlock

Early into my coaching career I recognised that I would have to find a foolproof way of explaining a potentially complicated movement. A movement that does not come easy for many in either concept or execution. I needed a method that removed any ambiguity or guesswork from the equation, one that could be grasped by youngsters and adults alike.

What’s known best as the twistlock or Egyptian, is perhaps the single most important movement for any climber, old or new, to learn. I call it the Eureka movement of rock climbing. Once this technique is autonomous, real progress is possible.

I had to think hard,  to chunk down, find the essence. 

I had to forgot the WHY. I had struggling students in front of me. I focused on the HOW. And then I let go!

Great coaches make concepts simple and immediate, climbers need them to be foolproof.

So I  pondered.

I pondered a bit more.

At some point of it’s own accord, my own eureka moment came.

Just ask one question!

Which hand do you want to move?

It was that easy.

Ask your student. Ask yourself.

Novices, experts, coaches, kids - ask the same question to everyone.

Which hand do you want to move?

If you want to move your left hand, you turn your left hip in. If you want to move your right hand, you turn your right hip in. 

Left Hand Left Hip, Right Hand Right Hip.

Got it?

Simple to visualise, simple to remember. Why didn’t I think of it before!

It is the essence of the twistlock movement, the rest is icing on the cake.

But we love icing, so fear not. I will dive in and explore all the sweet sugar coated detail in future posts.

Bonus Coaching tip - If you are left/right challenged like me then substitute all the fancy  left and right business for ’same hand same hip’.

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