You made it! If you have read parts one and two of this series, congrats! You are well on your way to advancing in your climbing and, most importantly, thinking like a pro climber. 

So far, we’ve covered proprioception, coordination climbing, and route reading. As a quick review, proprioception involves being aware of your body positioning and the space it occupies concerning the climbing holds on the rock wall. Coordination climbing requires understanding momentum (generating and stopping momentum) and body awareness. Route reading is like reading a book, with the goal being picking up any book, reading it, and understanding all the words perfectly.

This leaves us to discuss the final two components of acquiring the skill set of an advanced climber: mindset and projecting. We want to point out that mindset is grouped with projecting because we focus on delineating the most effective mindset for a successful projecting session. However, mindset plays into every moment of our lives, whether climbing-related or not. It will arguably be the most difficult to master because many factors influence mindset. So, remember to be patient with yourself and understand that advancing in climbing, like in life, is not linear. 

Here are the final two top skills for advanced climbers. 


Are you catching on yet? Many advanced climber skills are related to the mental rather than the physical aspect of climbing (proprioception, route reading, mindset). World-class climbers can calm their minds and be fully present on the climb in front of them. By stepping up to the starting holds, they understand and are aware of what they can and can’t control. Adaptability, a climber’s best friend, is born through a calm yet focused mindset. Instead of falling and entering a downward spiral of negative self-talk, a seasoned climber can breathe and reevaluate. Instead of falling victim to tunnel vision, they ask what isn’t working and what they can try differently. Suppose they didn’t send the climb they wanted at the end of a session, competition, or outdoor trip. In that case, the advanced climber will take the opportunity as a learning experience and identify places of weakness to work on in training. A good practice is to reduce expectations yet stay focused and enjoy the process more than the outcome.  


For climbers, self-actualization comes from pushing limits and achieving goals. This typically involves sending a ‘project’ or climbing well in a competition. The standard project definition is “time spent working on a singular goal” (ex., A specific boulder or sport climb in the gym or outdoors). While ‘project’ is a noun, projecting is a verb and skill.

Truly committing to a projecting session (yes, a whole training session, not just 30 minutes intermittently) takes patience and perseverance. The process includes working through every move on the boulder problem or route. This means not trying every attempt from the start but isolating one or a handful of moves and working them repeatedly until you can move with your eyes closed. Over multiple projecting sessions, you may build up to linking longer sections together. Still, the goal should be to drill every movement into your brain, muscles, and nervous system so it becomes as intuitive as walking.  

Resting in between project attempts is crucial because you want your best effort, both mentally and physically, to dial in the sequences. The more pumped you are, the less focus each movement will have; hardwiring sequences require the energy to complete the move, be intentional and be aware enough to identify alternatives. 

Finally, the most critical part of the project is understanding and accepting that the aim of projecting is not to send; it’s to work out the moves so you can send. If you send it during a projecting session, that’s amazing; but that should always be a happy surprise rather than your initial mindset. Reorient your expectations, and focus on being present. This goes for competitions too. Work on those boulder types and competition styles/formats which you might expect to see. 

We hope you understand that these skills (from the entire three-part series) or explanations are not meant to intimidate any climber looking to advance their skill level. Climbers of all ages and abilities are constantly working towards developing every skill on this list. Have patience and enjoy the process; we promise you will improve. If you have any questions or want to share your thoughts, please comment below!