Worlds is always a huge challenge for me in many more ways than the difficulty. The style is different, my mentality is different (usually for the worse), the place is different, everything is just so different it's hard for me to adapt. This was only my second international competition, so its not so bad that I feel this way. However, this year did teach me so much more than I would have expected. I learned how to adapt to my anti-style and climb fast with quick shakes rather than slow and long rests, how to execute cruxy moves without hesitation, and learned how to stop and prevent stressing out on the wall, even better than I have been before. Sadly, this all came to me not so much during the competition, and more before and after, but as long as I can apply it to my training I know it will help me improve. It's all progression. Anyway, here's how it went:
World Youth Championship 2013, British Columbia - Nick Bradley
After Nationals this year, I was psyched to get stronger than ever before (like always) and crush in Canada. Training was hard due to my finger injury coming back, but I managed to do it carefully. For two weeks or so after Nationals I tried to ramp up my training to peak fast by training purely endurance for one week, and power endurance the other to work my weak points. I felt good, and set off to Canada where I would train for an additional two weeks on the same wall that the competition would be on. There we focused mainly on on-sighting, which went a few ways for me. The style of climbing I was not used to at all, and had to adapt fast. However, some routes I excelled and easily flashed, and others I fell very low, whether I was pumped or not. Again, I just had to learn how to adapt. Eventually they closed the wall for setting, and we were left to train in a bouldering gym. The very last couple of training days, my worst nightmare came by. I warmed up on jugs in the beginning of the day, and my finger was excruciating. I had to take four days off before the competition, so all I could do was hope it would be okay.
The first day, qualifier one, came and my finger was fine. I warmed up, watched a few climbers go, and it was my turn. I was confident, calm, and ready to go. Despite that, I climbed awfully, and came in 26th that day. The next day came, and the same situation happened. I was falling low when I wasn't pumped, and shouldn't have fallen, but no excuses, I just have to learn from it.
The third day was slightly different. Semi-finals came, and I was the first one out. My mindset was totally different, I knew I could turn it around and do so much better than the previous days. I did okay. I stalled out on a hard move for a very long time, and once I stuck the move I freaked out and botched the sequence. I ended in 16th place at this competition. My goal from the very beginning of the year was to make finals, which would be 8th place or better. Eight places. I missed it by eight places, which I would give so much to be ahead by. Next year, that's all I can say.
For now I will be taking a month off. Once I got off my Semi-final route my finger was destroyed. I couldn't open or close it fully without a huge amount of pain. Once I get over this and heal bouldering season starts. Time to learn how to climb powerful again.