May 14, 2024

What is the Strong Mind Course for climbers?

Hazel Findlay

Course Outcomes

We've seen some phenomenal results from the 500 students who have gone through the course so far. We've had people climb their first of the grade, attempt climbs they thought they were too scared to try and redefine past boundaries. The most satisfying testimonials have been from students who've told us that they have fallen in love with climbing again. Climbing is a scary sport for many reasons and we know that fear can take over and rob you of that enjoyment, or at least that capacity to try your hardest. This course aims to empower you with the tools, techniques, strategies and practices to train your mind and manage your fear in climbing. Mental training is becoming more popular but it's still a difficult area to tackle on your own, which is why we've created a community alongside the course so you can ask questions, share experiences and meet new friends who also want to build a strong mind for the sport we love most.

Here's how the course breaks down:

  • Video lessons delivered by Hazel or Angus with theory, practices, homework and reflective questions.
  • 6 chapters to complete at your own pace.
  • The content will be available for at least 2 years.
  • App-based learning, audio-only versions of all the lessons and PDF reminder sheets for learning on the go.
  • Everything we teach is evidence-based and has been tested and proven over years of coaching and teaching climbers.


  • You won't be left on your own to get on with it. We'll be there to answer your questions in Slack and you can share experiences with fellow students.
  • Discounts on 1:1 and in-person coaching with Strong Mind coaches and first access to new Strong Mind projects and products.

Who is the course for?

The course is for any climber who wants to make a positive change in their climbing and they think this needs to come from a change in their psychology rather than their physiology. The course is for you if you have too many bad days climbing, find that your mind is often the thing that lets you down or that you could really be having a lot more fun.

Many of our students have found the course to be really impactful in other areas of their life which is one of the many beautiful things about mental training.

Make sure to sign up to the waitlist. Previous course launches sold out in 24 hours, so sign up to get first access. Make sure you check your spam/promotions folder to hear from us.

Full Course Curriculum:

Chapter 1 Mindset

  • What is 'mindset'?
  • What does your mindset currently look like?
  • 3 mindset shifts necessary to start a journey in mental training
  • How to take responsibility for creating your own climbing experience.
  • How to prioritise learning over small wins.
  • Adopt a growth mindset towards managing your fears.

Chapter 2 - Knowledge and Understanding

  • Tools and strategies for building self-awareness.
  • The science of stress and fear and how we learn and unlearn fears. What's going on in my brain?!
  • Zones of comfort, stretch and panic and the difference between eustress and distress for understanding and navigating challenge and stress.
  • How to use the indicators of stress: breath, eyes, sensation and tension for understanding the unique ways you create stress. Understand how to use indicators of stress to navigate challenge.
  • Why finding the right psychological challenge level is so important and how to find it.
  • Meditations to explore your inner world of thoughts, emotions and senses.
  • Homework tasks to build self-awareness and find your stretch zone.

Chapter 3 - Fear of falling, heights, injuries and exposure

  • What is fear of falling and why do we have it?
  • Your past, present and future relationship with falling.
  • Strategies and mindset shifts for risk management and why the distinction between 'objective' and perceived risk isn't very useful.
  • Understand the theory behind exposure therapy for fall practice and where people commonly go wrong.
  • Detailed instructions for top-rope falling practice.
  • Detailed instructions for lead falling practice.
  • How to be the best belayer and give soft catches from Angus Kille.
  • Detailed instructions for bouldering falling practice.
  • Learn how to add challenge to increase stress and decrease stress through relaxation tools to find the perfect challenge level.
  • How to apply exposure therapy for fear of exposure and heights including relaxation tools.
  • How to integrate falling into your climbing life and stay motivated for the practice.
  • Sample sessions to help structure your practice.
  • Tips on how to recover from accidents or trauma in climbing.
  • Supporting others: learn how to support climbing partners with fear of falling. Tips and tools for coaches and guides who work with people who are scared of falling, heights or exposure.

Chapter 4 - Fear of failure, performance anxiety and social fears

  • What is fear of failure and how does it limit our climbing?  
  • Mindset shifts to alleviate fear of failure.
  • Rewriting your own metric of failure and success.
  • The science of social fears and why they are so powerful.
  • Exposure therapy for social fears.
  • Tools and mindset shifts for performance anxiety and pressure scenarios such as competitions.
  • How to manage unhelpful comparisons and negative competitiveness.
  • How to approach self-doubt and self-worth.

Chapter 5 - Multipurpose mindtools

  • How to train 'attentional control'.
  • Notice – Distance – Shift, a tool for turning down the volume on negative self-talk and emotions and turning up focus for the task at hand.
  • Breathing exercises for managing stress and finding 'optimal arousal'.
  • Detached mindfulness: learn how to experience thoughts without reacting to them.
  • Notice and manage unhelpful thoughts with tools from CBT.
  • Connecting to the senses: how to be present when your mind wants to take you off into the past or future.
  • Tools to reset when things start to unravel.
  • Mantras for focus and letting go.
  • Gratitude exercises to increase positivity and alleviate anxiety.

Chapter 6 - Maintenance and Trouble Shooting

  • Habits and systems for continued learning and success.
  • How to transfer your knowledge from this course to other areas of your life.
  • Troubleshooting common problems and slow progress.
  • Personal well-being and fear management.
  • Fear-training and the menstrual cycle.
  • What happens next?

Join the waitlist to find out when we're launching next

DISCLAIMER: Strong Mind content may not be appropriate for someone suffering from a mental health disorder. If you are unsure whether you should try some of the techniques or advice referred to on this site or in this text, please consult your doctor or therapist first.

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