We all love climbing for different reasons. Some enjoy being outside, some the challenge and others prefer more solitary sports vs. team ones. Whatever the reason, it’s a particularly great sport for children. Why?
1. It promotes individual accomplishment vs. relative win
Team sports are quite popular, especially in the United States. However, they are not for everyone and many children who prefer smaller groups get the impression they are “not good at sports” when the reality is, they haven’t found something that suits their personality. It took me over 30 years to realize this!
Climbing is an excellent all-round sport for those who prefer small groups and individual activity.
2. It’s a full body workout
Unlike sports which focus on the same muscle groups or the same movement over and over, climbing is very dynamic. While certain groups are used more than others, it requires a wide range of movement, general strength and stamina.
3. Kids are just natural monkeys (climbers) anyway!
We all know this intuitively. Children are just drawn to climbing on things from furniture to trees and rocks. In many ways, it’s a far more natural sport than things like football or baseball and only a small “leap” in terms of new activity. Also far less rules to remember!
4. Climbing helps you overcome fear and improve yourself
Unless you’re lucky enough to be born without fear of heights, climbing is a great method to overcome many fears at once. This includes not just heights, but self-doubt and fear of taking risks. Best of all, your accomplishment is 100% your own. Nobody else gets you up a route but you.
5. Climbing teaches trust
Growing up, learning to trust others can be difficult. When climbing, you must learn to intuitively judge whether you can trust others with your life. You can get injured in soccer, but if you’re belayer messed up, that may be it for you. Learning to climb involves learning good judgement regarding very serious choices.
For another take on reasons to go climbing, check out The Adventure Lab or Backwood’s Mama’s guide to climbing with kids.