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The Travelling Coach Chronicles - Ellis Whitson

The Travelling Coach Chronicles - Ellis Whitson
The Travelling Coach Chronicles - Ellis Whitson
The Travelling Coach Chronicles - Ellis Whitson
August 02, 2013 -  Ellis Whitson    

In my time as a coach, I have always enjoyed traveling and working in a variety of mediums as a means towards training, instructing, coaching, and even learning myself. I have had the opportunity to work with several different teams recently in various spots around the country.


In mid-July I travelled to Columbus, Ohio to teach a clinic at Vertical Adventures and check out the gym and the area itself. Vertical Adventures is typical of many gyms throughout the Midwest and other areas, fairly small with plywood walls and a split of top rope, lead and some bouldering. The gym has a surprisingly great hold selection, which is no doubt tied to the great management team operating the facility. The owners were gracious enough to invite me out to the gym; the dedication and energy the staff put into the gym was immediately evident from the short amount of time I was there.

The clinic that I held was for the competitive youth team, focusing on developing and understanding movement techniques and refining specific skills. We covered a large range of topics over a three hour period including- proper warm up, foot placement and weight application, sequencing and route reading, dynamic energy, and much more. We also talked a great deal about how these concepts relate to attaining individual goals of the climbers, be it indoor climbing for fun, outdoor, competition, etc.

I was pleasantly surprised with the abilities of the climbers from the team, most of the kids were younger (14 and under) but had a great attitude and worked hard throughout the clinic. Thank you again to Vertical Adventures for having me out and for the opportunity to work with the kids. Be sure to check out the gym if you are ever in the Columbus area-

After Ohio I was back in Maryland for a few days before packing some things up to head to Kentucky for two weeks to climb and help out with a great group of kids from the lone star state- Team Texas. If you’re familiar with competitive youth climbing in the US, chances are you have heard of the behemoth that is Team Texas. The team is one of the longest running and by far the most successful in the youth circuit. Check them out at

I am in the gorge until August 10th before making my next move, adios until next time.

Photo credit: Jennifer Morgan

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