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Conference Sessions | CWA Summit 2019

2018 CWA Summit

conference Sessions

The Summit brings together indoor climbing industry members to learn and grow professionally. This year, we've invested more resources than ever into our conference session lineup, and we're proud to bring you high-quality content from industry leaders and business experts. The content we've selected will address key issues facing the industry, such as flooring and diversity. We've also selected topics to help you deepen your skill set as an indoor climbing professional.

Read on for descriptions of the 2018 conference session offerings. This page will be updated as sessions and speakers are confirmed.

 

SPORTS SURFACE TESTING FOR CLIMBING GYMS

Speaker: Michael Gentile, Executive Director, Sports Labs USA

Conference Track: Plenaries

Description: This session will cover the type of testing used to assess a wide variety sport surfaces. We will cover many types of testing that will include materials, product impact attenuation, surface performance, in-situ and more. Then onto a look at what specific sports have done to include performance and safety testing parameters. After discussing number of sports will dive into the specific testing that has been performed by Sports Labs USA on climbing fall systems with a closer look at bouldering and top rope flooring systems. Our final portion will cover standardized testing and will include some of the ASTM tests used to quantify flooring characteristics. We also cover the new EN 12572 European standard for climbing gyms.

Goals:

 - The nature and use of testing used in sports surface industry. This will cover turf fields, running tracks, playgrounds, trampoline parks, etc.

 - Characteristics and attributes of fall surfacing.

 - Discuss the testing we have performed on climbing fall surface products. This will cover both top rope and bouldering areas.

 - A review standards ASTMs and the EN 12572, European Standards for climbing gyms.

About Michael: Michael Gentile is Executive Director and a founding member of Sports Labs USA. Sports Labs USA has become North America's largest and most trusted recreational surface testing and inspection firm. Sports Labs holds every major sports testing certification and provides testing services for 1,000+ fields per year in North America alone. They have provided services for clients and events that include the FIFA Women's World Cup, World Rugby, Super bowl, NFL stadiums, Major League Soccer teams, IAAF Track & Field and many major universities.

 

PANEL: WOMEN IN CLIMBING

COMING SOON

Moderator and Panelists: TBA

Conference Track: Plenaries

 

Description: 2017 was a landmark year for the sport of climbing, and many of these accomplishments are attributed to women. Despite climbing’s roots as an elite male sport, climbing today is stacked with role models who transcend this history, and within the sport of climbing there is tremendous opportunity to smash gender stereotypes and impart values of equality. Equally in a workplace environment, we wish to hear about the experiences of professional women in the indoor climbing industry and offer insight towards developing progressive, inclusive workplaces.

This panel will explore the history of women in climbing in athletic and professional contexts, celebrate accomplishments, identify past and existing challenges, and provide the tools to help develop and nurture climbing communities and professional environments that are inclusive of women.

Goals:

​ - ​Explore and celebrate the athletic and professional accomplishments of women in climbing throughout history

​ - ​Acknowledge the challenges historically faced by women in athletic and professional contexts, and explore the parallels in sport and business

​ - ​Provide a pulse check on the status of women in climbing today: progress made and challenges yet to be overcome

​ - ​Offer strategies for climbing gym owners/operators/staff/route setters/program managers to cultivate gym communities and workplaces that are inclusive of women

 
 

ROUNDTABLES

Format: Roundtable discussions are a gathering of people interested in a given topic, generally with similar job functions and experience. This type of session helps facilitate discussion and debate on the topic and the circular layout provides equal right to participate, as opposed to a lecture-style session. Attendance to these sessions will be capped in order to keep them as productive as possible. Details for signing up will be released prior to the event.

Topics: Through input from our members and industry partners, the CWA has selected a group of roundtable topics and/or functional areas, including:

 - Flooring

 - Routesetters

 - Independent Gym Owners

 - Gym Managers

 - Women in Climbing

 

Moderators for these discussions are currently under selection and will be announced as soon as possible.

 

Speaker: Justen Sjong, Climbing Sensei

Conference Track: USA Climbing Coaches Symposium

Description: This session will layout a conversation addressing the importance of investing in a quality coaching staff and the value this staff will bring to your gym. You will find answers to questions such as:

 - What determines a quality coach?

 - Does your community have a good youth program but struggle with building a program that works with adults?

 - What are some next steps for building dynamic adult programs in your community?

About Justen: Justen is an accomplished coach. He has been coaching climbers since 1994, and in that time he has helped people of all abilities push their limits. He specializes in evaluating climbing movement and provides drills to improve an athlete's weaknesses. With a balance of intensity and light-heartedness, he explains complex ideas in a simple, logical manner so that his clients understand the long-term direction and goals.

IMPORTANCE OF QUALITY COACHES

 

COACHING FOR WINNING AND LIFE LESSONS

Speaker: Tyler Johnson, Positive Coaching Alliance

Conference Track: USA Climbing Coaches Symposium

Description: The research and experiences of great coaches across the country is clear: Positive is Powerful. In this highly interactive two-hour workshop – sparked by video-based advice from top pro athletes and coaches on PCA’s National Advisory Board – attendees explore why and how to pursue both winning and the more important goal of teaching life lessons through climbing.

 

Each of your coaches will leave the workshop as a PCA-certified Double-Goal Coach, knowing how to: Fill Emotional Tanks; Coach for Mastery of Sport (Not Just Results); and Honor the Game.

About Tyler: Tyler was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, moving to Iowa when he was five. Tyler played about every sport out there, eventually finding success as an all-state running back and elite all-state track athlete. He received a scholarship to play football at the University of Northern Iowa, where he served as captain, and helped the Panthers to two conference titles and NCAA playoffs. Getting a degree in business and economics he used that to work in professional sports working for the Chicago White Sox, Denver Nuggets and helping launch the Colorado Chapter of Positive Coaching Alliance. Currently Tyler does workshops for Positive Coaching Alliance, works with Denver NeuraPerformance Brain Center and works with high school and collegiate athletes through his company Elevate Educate Rejuvenate. His mission is to help athletes become the positive leaders that our teams, schools and communities need. Also enjoys novice indoor rock climbing!

 

Speaker: Arno Ilgner, The Warrior's Way

Conference Track: USA Climbing Coaches Symposium

Description: Motivation can move us toward willingly engaging stressful competitive situations or create anxiety, dreading competition. By understanding motivation we're less likely to fall victim to its limitations and better able to capitalize on its strengths. We can create a habit that utilizes the helpful aspects of motivation and have practices that strengthen it.

The audience will leave understanding a key habit that shifts attention to the helpful aspects of motivation and practices that support it. These can be utilized themselves or when teaching climbers and competitors to maximize performance and enjoyment. 

Attendees will learn how to:

 - Understand the strengths and limitations of motivation
 - Create a foundational habit that motivates us to engage stress

 - Identify practices we can focus on that support this foundational habit

About Arno: Arno Ilgner distinguished himself as a pioneering rock climber in the 1970s and 80s. In 1995, after searching the literature and practice of mental training, Ilgner formalized his methods, created The Warrior’s Way, and began teaching full time. Ilgner has taught clinics across the U.S.A. and abroad. He holds a BA in Geology, operated a geological consulting firm, acted as CFO for a company, and attended the Army Ranger School. He lives and climbs in Tennessee.

A KEYSTONE HABIT

THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING

CLIMBING BIOMECHANICS: FORCE INSTRUMENTED CLIMBING HOLDS

Speaker: Ben Spannuth, Tension Climbing

Conference Track: USA Climbing Coaches Symposium

Description: Measuring the forces applied to climbing holds throughout a movement is one means of providing information about how climbing moves vary between movement type, climber, and attempt. Coaches and setters interested in the requirements of a climber to perform a given move and how to maximize climbing efficiency may benefit from attending.

About Ben: Ben is a co-founder of Tension Climbing and past physiology instructor and neuroscience researcher.

 

DATA SCIENCE: HOW MEMBERSHIP ANALYTICS CAN IMPROVE YOUR OPERATIONS

Speaker: Dan Ruch, Director of Business Intelligence and Analytics, The Front Climbing Club and Vertical Solutions

Conference Track: Management & Leadership

Description: You have hundreds of people consistently walking through your doors every day and interacting with your brand on a number of different levels and in a variety of ways. Who they are, what they like, what they do, and how often they do it, all formulates an important dataset that you should be harnessing to make informed decisions. This session will do a deep-dive into the types of information you should be monitoring and collecting, a few tools to record and store this data, and how to get started in your gym. Many small businesses would kill to have this type of volume on their data, and climbing gyms are in the perfect position to utilize this information and react to it quickly. This session is a must-attend for any smart business owner looking to increase operational efficiency.

Goals:

 - To educate attendees on concepts surrounding data-driven decision making
 - To educate attendees on understanding what types of information you want to measure in your climbing gym membership
 - To educate attendees on tools and methods to measure your membership in a repeatable way
 - To educate attendees on analyzation techniques that inform decisions to increase your operational efficiencies

About Dan: After an education in biochemistry at Boston University, Dan headed west and started his career in various roles from analytical chemist, to distillery production manager, to Moab guide. A career switch into software engineering saw him becoming a database architect. At the Front Climbing Club and Vertical Solutions, Dan uses these skills along with his extensive analytical background to create ways to collect and analyze datasets, present it to stakeholders, and make better business decisions.

 

SETTING THE STAGE FOR SUCCESSFUL EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATION

Facilitated by: Tiffany Paino, Training + Operations Coordinator, Vertical Endeavors

Conference Track: Management & Leadership

Description: This session is for managers and supervisors who oversee staff. Together we will identify factors in the climbing community that contribute to the unique work environments at climbing facilities and talk about how to establish objective parameters and policies to help prevent employee conflict. The goal will then be to learn and practice effective methods for facilitating conflict resolution with staff members while understanding the importance of timeliness and documentation when addressing conflict scenarios.

About Tiffany: Tiffany began climbing in 1996 and later began working at Vertical Endeavors teaching lessons and guiding groups outdoors. With a Youth Development Studies degree emphasizing Recreational Sports Management, Tiffany set off to work with alternative youth in support group settings and as an adjunct professor in Group Dynamics and Sociology. She returned to Vertical Endeavors in 2012 as an Assistant Facility Manager before helping to open their 44,000 ft2 location in Illinois as the Facility Manager. Since 2016, Tiffany has served as the Training + Operations Coordinator for all Vertical Endeavors locations.

 
 

Speakers: Aaron Larner, Co-founder, Climbalytics; Brandon McPhail, Operations Manager, Ascent Studio Climbing & Fitness

Conference Track: Management & Leadership

Description: Data has the power to transform the indoor climbing industry. Grocery stores carefully place products to maximize revenue. E-commerce sites custom tailor the shopping experience to individual customers. We believe that these same techniques also apply to your gym, allowing you to improve routesetting, marketing and ultimately better serve the climbers who enter your doors.

Climbalytics and Ascent Studio partnered to run a detailed three-month study of climber behavior to test this belief. Over the course of the test we collected climbing activity for each route in the gym, including attempts, sends, flashes, average time to complete, etc. We then tied activity data to individual climbers who volunteered for the study.


In this talk we'll discuss the methods we used to collect this data as well as the insights that we gained from running the test, spanning marketing, routesetting, and climber engagement.

Goals:

 - Discuss the benefits of using a data-driven approach to gym management.
 - Share insights we learned from collecting a boat load of data in Ascent Studio.
 - Explain how a gym might run their own similar study.

About Aaron: Aaron Larner is co-founder and jack-of-all-trades at Climbalytics, developing a fitness tracker specifically designed for climbers. He is a Nutella addict, software developer and climber.

About Brandon: Brandon McPhail is co-founder and Operations Manager at Ascent Studio Climbing & Fitness, a full-service climbing gym in beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado. He has two wrists, a smartphone, some software engineering experience, and boatloads of enthusiasm for testing prototypes for the Climbalytics team.

ANALYZING CLIMBER BEHAVIOR FOR FUN AND FOR PROFIT

 

WEBSITES: 5 CONVERSION CASE STUDIES FOR INCREASING LEADS, RANKING HIGHER & LOOKING BETTER ONLINE

Speaker: Timothy Sarazen, Director of Operations, 97 Display

Conference Track: Management & Leadership

Description: This session will cover Internet Marketing through websites, lead generation & 2017-18 trends for the modern fitness gym. Part one will help you understand traffic sources, including clickfunnels, landing pages and websites - what you need, why you need it, how to use it. Part two will cover 5 mistakes that fitness businesses make that ruin their website's performance.

You'll Learn:
 - How to get more web visitors to TAKE ACTION on your website
 - What Google is looking for in fitness websites for 2018
 - Little mistakes that almost ALL fitness websites are making that kill conversion rates

About Timothy: Timothy Sarazen is the Director of Operations at 97 Display, a company that works with hundreds of fitness businesses on websites, SEO, and lead generation.

 

BEST PRACTICES FOR USING THE LATEST ROCK GYM PRO FEATURES

Speaker: Andy Laakman, Owner & Lead Developer, Rock Gym Pro

Conference Track: Management & Leadership

Description: In this session, Andy will give a demonstration of the latest Rock Gym Pro feature updates, including RGP Cloud - a new deployment option for a remotely hosted version of the software. With RGP Cloud your database and RGP information can now be hosted entirely on a secure and remote server that we maintain! Andy will explain why this is a big deal. You'll also learn how to easily keep track of waivers for specific group events with the the long-awaited Group Waiver Management feature. We'll also dive into the Improved Retail functions that have been added to RGP as well as preview the upcoming online store functionality. Time will be provided at the end of the session for open Q&A.

About Andy: Andy is the owner and lead developer of Rock Gym Pro. He has over 20+ years of software product development experience, and having launched RGP back in 2008, he is intimately familiar with the multiple challenges climbing gyms face in their day-to-day operations.

JUMPING IN THE DEEP END: OUR FIRST TWO YEARS AS A ROCK GYM

Speakers: David Kortje, Owner/Operator and Josiah Kortje, Marketing Director and Manger, Bliss Bouldering and Climbing Complex

Conference Track: Startups & Business Formation

Description: This session will offer Bliss Bouldering and Climbing Complex's narrative of  opening a climbing gym in a non-climbing market. They will cover topics such as financing and their unique use of an IRA option, their opening day with 130 people at the front door, their attempts to balance the needs of local climbers with the rest of the community. They will discuss their multiple attempts (many failed) at marketing as well as obtaining business coaching.

Goals:

 - Offer a real world look at the challenges, triumphs, and learning opportunities of opening a climbing gym in a very non-climbing part of the country

 - Help attendees understand what they can do to prepare for the many issues that will likely come up as they embark on a similar journey, including financing challenges, creating balance between strong climbers and birthday party participants, and navigating legal and business regulations

About David: David is the owner and operator of Bliss Bouldering and Climbing Complex in Wichita, KA. His first experience with rock climbing was on a small college wall in 1993. He's been hooked ever since. Traveling the nation with his son Caleb attending USA Climbing competitions, he began to see the potential for a state-of-the-art gym in his home town of Wichita, KS. Obviously a very tough sell to lenders, he eventually obtained financing and Bliss Bouldering and Climbing Complex opened their doors in 2015.

About Josiah: Josiah is currently a student at Wichita State University majoring in business and marketing. His early climbing experience came from family vacations to Colorado and a local YMCA climbing wall. He has worked the last two years as Marketing Director and Manager at Bliss. Other passions in life include video production, mountain biking, long boarding, and cooking.

 

QUIT YOUR DAY JOB: HOW WE POSITIONED OURSELVES FOR CLIMBING GYM SUCCESS

Speaker: Jake Crine, Owner, Übergrippen Indoor Climbing Crag

Conference Track: Startups & Business Formation

Description: Most aspiring climbing business owners have the ability to dream big but not to self-fund the entire business. As a result, you have to transition in some capacity from a consistent paycheck coming from "the man," to being self sufficient, and this can be the scariest time of your life. This talk will be about our journey, what we did to mentally prepare ourselves for entrepreneurship, and how you can position yourself to tackle your new business head-on with confidence. When starting a climbing facility, most assume that the only hurdles are tangible things like financial resources, finding a passionate underserved community, or learning about "black art" areas of business management. This session will address the intangibles such as having the drive and confidence to master FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt). Cutting the life-support from your day-job isn't easy; this session will get you much more comfortable with the idea.

Goals:

 - Tell a dreamer-to-doer story to other aspiring climbing facility entrepreneurs
 - Discuss the intangibles that come up when making the leap into entrepreneurship
 - Create confidence in the audience about tackling fear, uncertainty, and doubt head-on
 - Discuss the mental preparation associated with successfully opening a climbing gym business

About Jake: Founder and Crag Executive Owner of Übergrippen, Jake is a unique combination of mechanical engineer and entrepreneur that has a passion for small business development and most importantly: climbing. A lifelong learner that has 14+ years experience developing mechanical systems for spacecraft, Jake and his wife Kim hung up the daily grind in their successful careers and traded it in for their dream job as owner/operators of Denver's most authentic indoor climbing crag.

 
 

APOLOGIES TO JUDGE JUDY: YOU AND THE LAW

Speaker: Robert Angell, Principal Attorney, Angell Law Offices

Conference Track: Finance & Legal

Description: For operators planning to open a facility and veterans needing to update their policies and procedures, this session will survey the common and uncommon legal issues that a gym operator may face in the course of business. Participant accidents, equipment failures, slips and falls, documentation issues, criminal and domestic matters, and regulatory issues in a rapidly growing industry all have the potential to affect your operation and your bottom line. The session will give you a legal/risk management checklist to help you stay between the lines. Also included will be a brief Q & A on the Ohio climbing facility statute that went into effect in March 2017.

About Robert: Robert Angell is the principal attorney at Angell Law Offices, LLC in Columbus, Ohio. His practice emphasizes administrative law and recreation law. Mr. Angell was a member of the CWA Board of Directors from 2006 to 2013 and Association counsel in 2014. He has been involved in regulatory matters on behalf of the indoor climbing industry across the country, and was the primary draftsman for the new Ohio climbing facility statute in 2015.

REAL ESTATE AND EXPANDING YOUR GYM EMPIRE

Speaker: Bob Richards, Climbing Wall Advisors

Conference Track: Finance & Legal

Description: This session will review and discuss the decision criteria for leasing or owning real estate and then explore how real estate can be used to provide funding for business expansion into new gym locations.

 

Goals:

 - Understand decision criteria for leasing versus purchasing real estate for gym expansion
 - Learn how real estate can create financing opportunities for gym expansion
 - Create understanding of potential structures for real estate/gym developments

About Bob: As founding principle of Climbing Wall Advisors, Bob Richards has provided strategic planning, development and risk management services to the climbing wall industry since 2004, assisting gym owners in planning, developing and opening facilities. Mr. Richards founded Rockreation Sport Climbing Centers in 1991 and managed the expansion of the company in Utah, California and Nevada, selling his interest in 2004. In 2003 Mr. Richards founded the Climbing Wall Association and served as a board member through 2011. He is a regular presenter at CWA conferences. Prior to his work in the climbing wall industry Mr. Richards was an executive with various global consumer packaged goods companies. He also worked as a CPA and consultant with the international accounting firm, Ernst & Whinney. He also holds a Certified Global Management Accountant designation.  

 

SPOTTING EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION AND PREVENTING SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Speaker: Jason Pill, Attorney, Phelps Dunbar LLP

Conference Track: Finance & Legal

Description: Hardly a day goes by without headlines of new sexual harassment claims that bring ignominy to the accused individuals and the companies employing them. This risk is compounded by the burgeoning number of employment discrimination claims that are being filed against companies of all sizes, including climbing gyms.

Many climbing gyms have not been hit with employment discrimination litigation and incorrectly assume they are immune to such issues based on their size, employee base, or merely some bad advice that they received. This assumption, however, is simply incorrect. Employment discrimination and harassment litigation is increasing nationally and can result in staggering legal costs, reduced employee morale, loss of business reputation, and a host of other significant consequences for private employers.

Despite these issues, most instances of discrimination and harassment can be eliminated with proper training and policies and, most importantly, a fundamental understanding of the anti-discrimination laws in place. This presentation will cover these issues and provide helpful guidance that can be applied to any gym.

About Jason: In addition to climbing for the past 15 years and previously managing a climbing gym, Jason Pill is a partner with the law firm of Phelps Dunbar, LLP in Tampa, Florida. Jason practices in the area of labor and employment and assists clients in handling unique issues that arise at the intersection of law and technology. He represents employers regarding claims involving employment discrimination laws, wage and hour laws, medical leave laws, enforcement of non-competition agreements, customer complaints, and various employment-related torts. He prepares employment contracts, employee handbooks, and assists clients in implementing and managing technology in the workplace. He regularly appears in state and federal courts across the country to represent a broad range of employers in the financial services, energy, retail, hospitality, health care, transportation, construction, engineering, and manufacturing industries.

 

LOANS THROUGH A LENDER'S EYE

Speaker: Matt Roberts, Partner, Vertical Adventures

Conference Track: Startups & Business Formation

Description: Debt financing is used in the construction of nearly all climbing gyms. But for first-time applicants, understanding the process and the policies can be a nightmare. Dr. Roberts sits on the Board and loan committee of a community bank in Ohio, and reviews applications on a weekly basis. In this session, we'll go over the types of loans available for gyms, who might make them, and what criteria are used to make the loans. We'll discuss how banks score applications and red (and green) flags for applicants.

 

Goals:
 - Understand the types of loans available to climbing gyms
 - Understand the factors used to evaluate loan applications
 - Improve the quality of your loan application to increase your chances of success

About Matt: Dr. Matt Roberts is an economics consultant and speaker and also a Board Member and Loan Committee member of Sutton Bank, a $500m community bank located in North Central Ohio. Dr. Roberts is also a partner in Vertical Adventures of Columbus, OH.

 

SUPPORT DIVERSE COMMUNITIES THROUGH PROGRAMMING AND OUTREACH

COMING SOON

Speakers: Representatives from Leading Organizations

Conference Track: Program Management

Description: Learn from thought leaders and action takers on the topic of diversity and equity in climbing and the outdoors. Details are in the works, but you can expect these three sessions to dive into strategies for engaging underrepresented groups through your programming. We've invited a group of innovators on this issue to present the work they're doing and their vision for the future of climbing and the outdoors. We will post final session titles and descriptions here as they become available.

 

SOCIAL, ENVIRONMENTAL, FINANCIAL: RUNNING YOUR GYM WITH A TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE

Speakers: Hilary Harris, Founder & Owner, EVO Rock + Fitness

Conference Track: Program Management

Description: Do you want to learn how to make money for your gym and raise money to protect our crags at the same time? In this session EVO Rock + Fitness will share with you how we dedicated a month to raising money and awareness for the Access Fund. Not only were we able to raise more than $5K, we discovered that our gym community was more than ready to engage. Each week we hosted clinics, movies, and events that benefited Access Fund, with a blowout party at the end, tied into a successful membership drive - gaining 50 new members in one day.

Goals:

 - Learn how to increase gym membership, build community and simultaneously raise money for non-profit groups

 - Learn how to use the power of your gym as "the gateway drug" to climbing to mitigate the impact climbers have as the sport becomes more mainstream

About Hilary: Founder and CEO of EVO Rock + Fitness, Hilary is responsible for directing the overall vision, brand and strategy for company growth and development. An architect, retired professional climber and coach for more than 25 years, Hilary has a unique skill set in building design and development as well as climbing gym business planning and project execution. Hilary has been intimately involved in the start-up, ownership and operations of all EVO gyms.

 

DEVELOPING YOUTH PROGRAMS

Speaker: Nicole Brandt, Program Director, Momentum Indoor Climbing

Conference Track: Program Mangement

Description: Are you considering building a Youth Program at your climbing gym? This session examines the challenges and benefits of running youth programming for all age/ability levels in a facility. It looks at staffing, program structure, youth policy, facility challenges, how youth interact with members and ultimately why to run a Youth Program.

This session includes how to create youth programming and policy, and also discusses support tools for program development and for staff training. There is also discussion on the challenge of maintaining balance between gym members and youth climbers. 
Current youth generations are the climbers and gym members of the future. This 75 minute session will help guide new program developers and gym operators in confidently and systematically sharing their passion for climbing  through carefully developed youth programming.

Goals:

 - Look at youth programming structure: how to organize programs, ages, levels

 - Discuss the challenges of youth policy: belaying, leading, codes of conduct, staffing, member perceptions

About Nicole: In 2012, Nicole started as Momentum's Director of Summer Camps. In 2013, she moved into the greater role of Youth Program Director. Since that time, she has elevated Momentum's Youth Program to a new level, making it one of the largest and most comprehensive in the nation. Currently there are 650 kids ages 3- 18 enrolled in the Momentum's Utah Region, and over 100 already enrolled in Momentum's brand new gyms in Texas. Nicole most recently has taken on the role of Program Director with Momentum and is now overseeing all Youth programming and Member programming.

With a background in Outdoor Recreation, Nicole describes being Momentum's Program Director as her dream job. She has been in facilitation roles since her first job on a ropes course at age twelve. She has also held roles as a summer camp counselor, high ropes course director, trip manager and corporate team building facilitator.

 

PROGRAMMING YOUR TRAINING PLANS: TEAMS, CLASSES & INDIVIDUALS

Speaker: Keith Kubiesa, Owner and Head Climbing Coach, Summit Strength & Fitness

Conference Track: Program Management

Description: This session provides tools for gyms to create sustainable programs to promote safe and specific growth to their clients.

 

Goals:

 - Recognizing the need for programing in your market
 - Explore various levels of youth climbing teams
 - Understand training vs. practicing

About Keith: With a background in strength training and collegiate athletics, Keith found a void in the climbing training niche. After coaching a climbing team for five years, he ran out of space and resources to fully develop his clients and the team kids as climbers. This is what ultimately led to the founding of Summit Strength & Fitness. He wanted to provide a distraction-free facility in which people can train to be better athletes and learn how to be better climbers.

 

SPEED CLIMBING: BEGINNER TO ADVANCED TECHNIQUES

Speaker: Chi Harris, Assistant Coach, Multnomah Athletic Club

Conference Track: Coaching & Training

Description: This session on speed climbing will primarily focus on teaching how to coach beginning and intermediate speed climbing athletes, and will touch on advanced techniques to try with more experienced speed climbing athletes. We will start by talking about the basic fundamentals and etiquettes of speed climbing and move on to discuss different techniques specifically targeted at Youth C/D climbers, Youth B/A/JR Females, and Youth B/A/JR Males. Video review and photos will be used to demonstrate the various techniques. The end of the session will be reserved to answer questions and talk more in-depth about any speed climbing beta.

Goals:

 - Give coaches the tools to start coaching their athletes in speed climbing
 - Give coaches techniques to help improve their speed climbers' times
 - Communicate Speed Climbing Etiquette
 - Display Speed Beta for C/D Climbers
 - Display Speed Beta for B/A/JR Females
 - Display Speed Beta for B/A/JR Males

About Chi: Chi Harris is an Assistant Coach for the MAC Climbing Team, based in Portland, OR. He has coached athletes for six years in all three disciplines of climbing, and has helped send numerous athletes to USAC Nationals and IFSC events. Chi has been climbing for 13 years - both competitively and recreationally - and continues to compete in Open competitions in the Pacific Northwest. His favorite places to climb are Maple Canyon and Ten Sleep

 

ADAPTIVE CLIMBING THEORY LAB

Speaker: Jillian Yatsko, Adaptive Team Coach, Mesa Rim

Conference Track: Coaching & Training

Description: With climbing gyms becoming more cognizant of creating an inclusive culture, the adaptive climbing movement is on the rise. This workshop is intended for gym staff/owners/managers who are interested in starting adaptive programming and want to learn about the real life application of adaptive sports theory. Attendees will learn how to coach adaptive athletes including making training plans that can be altered to include all different levels and abilities of climbers as well metrics that can help track progress. We will do hands-on exercises to practice real life situations that happen in climbing gyms and how to negotiate obstacles with adaptive climbers. We will also have prosthetics available for attendees to learn about including general limb prosthetics as well as climbing-specific prosthetics. Attendees will also learn adaptive rigging to ensure each climber is using proper gear. The goal is to have attendees return to their gyms and be able to train their staff on these lessons.

Goals:

 - Learn how to coach adaptive climbers
 - Gain hands on experience using adaptive equipment
 - Learn about climbing-specific and general prosthetics

About Jillian: Jillian started an adaptive climbing program at Mesa Rim Climbing Center in early 2013. Shortly after the program started she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and began competing in Adaptive Climbing Competitions alongside the Mesa Rim Team. Since then they have expanded their program to include a competitive team, a veteran branch, autism and cognitive disorder branch.

 

PREVENT AND REHABILITATE FINGER PULLEY INJURIES

Speaker: Jared Vagy, The Climbing Doctor

Conference Track: Coaching & Training

Description: Learn how to prevent and rehabilitate the most common climbing finger injury. Go from pain, inflammation and tissue overload to gaining full mobility, strength and eventually pain-free climbing movement. Bring these skills back to your gym to help your members climb injury-free and push their limits.

Goals:
 - Learn how to prevent and rehabilitate a pulley sprain
 - Understand how to unload muscles and tendons with taping
 - Learn stretching and strengthening exercises to perform
 - Improve climbing movement to reduce injury risk
 - Learn the sets and reps of each exercise, and how often
 - Know when to advance to next stage

About Jared: Dr. Jared Vagy is a climber and doctor of physical therapy (DPT). He is also a professor at the University of Southern California, the number-one-ranked physical therapy program in the country. He lectures internationally on the topic of preventing climbing injury. Dr. Jared Vagy has published numerous articles as well as two books on the topic. His most recent book, "Climb Injury-Free" is an Amazon #1 best seller in the rock climbing category.

As a DPT in clinical practice, he has completed an additional one-year residency program in orthopedics and a one-year fellowship program in movement science, totaling 9 years of concentrated study. He is a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

 

COACHING CLIMBING MOVEMENT

Speaker: Heather Reynolds, Climbing Consultant

Conference Track: Coaching & Training

Description: This presentation will review the physiological and mental strategies and techniques that coaches can use as tools to expand performance potential. Through this overview, examples of how these elements are interrelated and must be integrated to prevent injury and to encourage a healthy approach to climbing. Bringing awareness to the value of developing a language and approach to improving movement patterns will improve the professionalism of coaching strategies for climbing athletes and recreational climbers alike.

About Heather: Heather Reynolds, author of Climbing Your Best, has been pursuing her passion to understand climbing movement and to share what she understands since 1997. As a kinesiologist, author, instructor, climbing coach, and program coordinator, Heather continues to explore what makes someone a great climber. Heather further attempts to share this understanding in ways that enable beginners and advanced climbers to continue to progress and to return to climbing post-injury.

 

TRAINING TO FAILURE & OTHER UNLIKELY STRATEGIES THAT BUILD COMPETENCY FAST

Speaker: Jeff Jackson, Professor and Coordinator, Algonquin College Outdoor Adventure Guide Diploma Program

Conference Track: Management & Leadership

Description: How do we train staff fast? Emergent findings in social psychology and cognition point to the limitations in the way we learn and perform in safety-critical situations. Training, it turns out, is highly over-rated. This session challenges our long-standing assumptions and training methods, and provides research-based alternatives proven to build the skills we need to see in less time.

 

Goals:

 - Provide alternative model of safety performance and safety training that focuses on coping skills at the boundaries
 - Provide training approaches that build competency fast

About Jeff: Jeff Jackson, Ph.D., is a Professor and Coordinator of Canada's Algonquin College Outdoor Adventure Guide diploma program. His research on safety performance has helped outdoor organizations re-think their training priorities and practices. Jeff is an award-winning educator who has been invited to speak around the world on safety culture, risk management, and instructor performance. He has provided expert opinion in legal cases and consults with outdoor oriented insurance providers and municipalities. He is co-author of Managing Risk, an outdoor program-based risk management text, widely adopted by Canadian and American college outdoor programs.

 

FROM BEGINNERS TO CRUSHERS: A DISCUSSION ON COMMERCIAL AND COMPETITION ROUTESETTING

COMING SOON

Moderator: Amanda Ashley, Climbing Writer

Panelists: TBA, currently being confirmed

Conference Track: Routesetting

Description: As routesetting becomes more professionalized as a career and discipline, questions have arisen around managing routesetting programs to keep a diverse set of users happy, challenged, and coming back for more. This panel will discuss whether a difference exists between commercial and competition setting and how the differing needs of various user groups have played out in their facilities. The panel will offer strategies for routesetters to balance the needs of all their customers and discuss how climber feedback can be a useful tool.

 

SETTING FOR THE FUTURE

Speaker: Tonde Katiyo, Director of Routesetting, Bouldering Project

Conference Track: Routesetting

Description: By listing route setting tasks, Tonde will identify and describe key aspects of the work, provide his vision on the state of the industry and provide suggestions as to how and why we should improve on them. Topics include safety, setting methodology, movement diversity, presentation of the climbing product, circuits, hard boulders and why they matter, athletic empathy, the Risk Intensity Complexity scale. Tonde will put all these points in the perspective of what the future of our sport looks like and discuss with all present how to prepare today the skills and regulations for tomorrow's climbing gyms and culture.

About Tonde: Half French and half Zimbabwean, Tonde Katiyo has set many climbs in many countries. He really loves routesetting and has applied his experience in design to shape his setting process. Lately, he has also taken on professionalizing routesetting by giving courses geared towards sustaining creativity and empathy in commercial setting and fairness and diversity in comp setting. He is a setting coordinator for the IFSC's World Climbing initiative and the Director of Routesetting for Bouldering Project. He lives in Seattle with his wife and 1 and a half kids.

 

THE COST OF SETTING

Speaker: Nick Foster, Director of Setting, EVO Rock + Fitness

Conference Track: Routesetting

Description: If you're a gym owner, manager, head setter, prospective setter, or part-time setter, this session will serve as an eye-opening experience. Come hear about current trends and concerns of this industry from the perspective of setters. As companies grow and gyms continue to pop up, it's more important now than ever to ask: what are gyms doing to retain their setting talent and provide opportunity?

This session is intended to bring attention to what the climbing industry is doing (and not doing) for setters. We will discuss the hurdles and hoops that the industry faces, setting as a career, and what we can do to make it a more viable and financially sustainable career path.

About Nick: Originally from Portland, ME, Nick Foster has set for gyms across the USA in both commercial and competitive pursuits. Last year, he moved to Louisville, Colorado, to take the position as Head Setter for EVO Rock + Fitness. His goal has been (and continues to be) the implementation of a setting style that's both creative and explorative for the customer base. He encourages the setters he teaches to think outside the proverbial box, to be unique, and push the climbing industry forward.

 

CONTACT US

720.838.8284

events@climbingwallindustry.org

©2019 Climbing Wall Association, Inc.

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