Meet Head Coach Liz!
A graduate of McMaster’s Kinesiology program, Liz has been climbing, routesetting, and coaching youth for almost a decade. We had a chance to catch up with Liz and ask her a few questions. Here’s our brief interview:
Thanks for finding the time to chat with us Liz. Let’s start with an easy one, when did you first get into rock climbing?
In 2009 I started working at the High Ropes Course at McMaster and discovered a love for climbing. With my previous experience in team building and working with kids, coaching youth climbing was the natural next step. I started coaching a recreational youth program at the small climbing wall at McMaster, and never looked back!
How does your background in Kinesiology impact your coaching style?
My degree has provided an excellent base of knowledge for my work with kids and adults alike. It has helped me understand the differences between child and adult anatomy, as well as given me insights into the psychology of sport. Each individual requires a unique approach and presents a new opportunity for me to learn to be an even better coach.
Could you describe your "vision" for Gravity’s youth program?
I would like to work with Gravity to create a comprehensive program where every climber is given the tools and support to reach their goals. With its large facility, tall walls, and open-concept training areas, I believe Gravity has the potential to become a premier training facility for elite climbers, while providing a fun and welcoming environment for recreational climbers as well.
What do you do in the off-season when the kids aren't competing?
Whenever I get the chance, I take my climbing outside. The summertime is a perfect opportunity for me to travel. In the past I have spent part of my summers out west climbing in Wyoming and Colorado, but am always open to visiting new areas and exploring the rock closer to home!
So, I hear you're a sponsored athlete..... any chance of some free swag from your sponsors?
Hooooowww about some free stickers? Everyone loves stickers right?
Lastly, where do you see youth climbing going in the next 5 years?
Now that climbing is part of the Olympics, I think interest in the sport will only grow. If Canada wants to be a player on the world climbing stage, we need to step up our game to get more youth involved in the sport. We also need to provide more, higher caliber, competitions for our elite. Since speed is part of the 3 required disciplines, I predict a huge increase in interest, even though traditionally it has been seen as quite apart from the bouldering and difficulty disciplines. It’s time to get speed climbing, kiddos!
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us Liz. Enjoy your summer on the rocks, we’re psyched to get down to business come the fall!
Thanks, guys! I am looking forward to meeting more of Gravity’s excited climbers as the summer progresses, and I can’t wait to start training with everyone in the fall!