Listen to the Master: François Legrand
Advice from François Legrand three time World Champion and World Cup overall winner, with 9a RP and 8b OS routes to his credit.
BOULDER WITH ANOTHER CLIMBERS TO EXPAND YOUR TECHNIQUE
Watch how they do the problems that you’re trying. Then try their methods. Even if it doesn’t seem to fit your style of climbing, you will learn new positions.
I try always to move my body in the direction of the next move. I pull very quickly into position, often very high, higher than I need to be, then I move my arm slowly to the next holds, unless it’s dynamic climbing, then the body movements are combined in one.
NOT TOO FAST, NOT TOO SLOW
Try to be as fluid as possible. Not too fast and not too slow – and no stress.Try to be cautious, very precise and focused on each hand and foot move.
SOMETIMES FAST, SOMETIMES SLOW
Sometimes you must climb very fast through several moves and sometime slowly to recover and prepare for the next hard section. To always climb slow is to fall off when it gets hard and to always climb fast is to miss rests and go into sequence wrong.
CLIMB SWIFTLY WHEN YOU HIT THE PHYSICAL CRUX
Climbing faster is very mental. It’s a matter of motivation. When you’re tired, you may feel like you want to give up. But if you want to succeed you have to be strong mentally, you have to push yourself to go faster, and double the amount of motivation at that moment.
LOOK AT YOUR FEET ON WORKED ROUTES
If I were on a route before, I would spend a lot of time looking at my feet because then I would know where the handholds would be before I get there. Good footwork saves arm strength. By taking extra care with foot placements, I can achieve maximum control with minimum effort. Also, on very hard routes, the footholds are very small, so I must look closely to find them and determine how to use them properly.
CONCENTRATE ON HANDS, LOOK UP AND ON ONSIGHT ROUTES
With onsight routes, I have to look up, over and over again, both to find the holds and to figure out how to use them. Before I start a route, I study the line, pick out the holds, and develop a plan for using the various families of moves. I concentrate especially hard on my hands. I take time to feel the holds, not only to find the best way to grab them, but also to find out what is the best way to put my feet on them later.
When some people climb, they don’t breathe normally. If you focus on calm, even breathing, you won’t be focused on stress or the things you’re scared about.
Chtistian Griffith, François Legrand – positive thinking, "Climbing" No. 140, p. 48-49
Dave Pegg, Might is Right, "Rock and Ice", No. 126, p. 77-78
Eric Perlman, Families of Moves, "Rock and Ice", No. 70, p. 101