Psychological Performance Coach and Climbing Instructor
Thank you to Rebecca for letting us interview her at the 2018 Youth Climbing Symposium at Oakwood Climbing Wall.
Who you are and what do you do?
My name is Rebecca Williams and I’m a psychologist. So that means I help people with their climbing performance through helping them with their thoughts and feelings about climbing.
What was your first climbing experience?
That’s a good question. I’ll be going back about 20 years now and my first climbing experience was on a National Trust holiday. We had a day off in the middle to go and do climbing and a guy called Nick Dixon, who you guys won’t know but some of the older generation will know, took us climbing and I absolutely loved it. I was kind of petrified but I loved it, and that was climbing outside. It was really cool.
How did you know that climbing was your thing?
I think to me it’s really similar to gymnastics and gymnastics was the very first thing that I did, that I loved. I really enjoyed solving all the problems, I really liked bouldering particularly and I loved thinking about things, trying things out, trying something different when it didn’t work. I really enjoyed the problem solving bit, plus you get to do it outside.
Where is your favourite outdoor climb?
Tough choice that one. I really like the slate quarries where I live. They’re really great to climb on. I also really like Cornwall for really nice sea cliff routes.
What has been your proudest climbing moment?
Probably, onsighting my first E1. That was my proudest moment. That was climbing quarries.
What are your ambitions?
My ambitions right now are probably to get back into climbing again because I’ve been having kids for the last 4 years. So it would be nice to get back into climbing again. [laughs]
Lead, Speed or Boulder and Why?
Definitely bouldering. I really like it because it’s sociable, you can problem solve, but you can also do it on your own as well. I like the way you really have to concentrate to figure out a solution to the problem.
What are your most liked and hated healthy foods?
So I know everyone think that porridge is really healthy but I actually hate it, and the reason I hate it is because I spent 3 months eating it for breakfast everyday with malaria tablets when I was in South America. So, to me it just tastes of malaria tablets. So I hate porridge. My favourite healthy food is avocado, probably.
If not climbing, what sport would you be doing?
Probably, eventing on horses.
Give us an inspiring quote (either yours or someone else’s).
“..free climbing the Great Roof was an opportunity to demonstrate the power of having an open mind and spirit”.
By Lynn Hill from page 234 of her book Climbing Free
For more information about Rebecca see her website Smart Climbing.
Interviewed by Abigail Gent