teaching safe rope climb to beginners

by Rick McCharles

A group of experts brainstormed the best ways to introduce rope climbing to children at a recent clinic.

I volunteered to put together a short video of the techniques discussed.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Note that none of the activities shown have children climbing high. In fact, we said any athlete who wants to climb to the roof must first prove ability to climb half way, down, half way, and down. Then you can be sure they have the “stuff” to get to the top.

We also asked every demonstrator to climb down with feet. This reduces the risk they might be tempted to slide down, burning their hands.

Not yet included in the video is this point emphasized by Keith Russell:

Knots at the end of a rope are a danger when “flicking” through the air. They also make the rope deteriorate more quickly. (If you must have a knot, make a figure-8. And remove it once the activity is finished.

Better is to set a “no knots” rule. And be sure to buy your rope long enough so that it lies flat on the ground:

Want to know more? One website documents the decline in the popularity of rope climb.

I’m not so sure about that. There are more kids climbing ropes better today than ever in history, I reckon. Thanks to gymnastics coaches. It’s one of our very best activities.

If you have any suggestions or additional drills for the video, leave a comment below. Thanks.

Published by

Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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