Climbers find ways to stay active in preparation for 2020-21
July 10, 2020 | Lynchburg, Va.
Rock climbing has only been an official Liberty University Club Sports offering for the past four seasons, after making its debut in Fall 2016, but it has grown steadily and reached new plateaus in both quantity and quality of climbers every year.
Fifth-year Head Coach Elliot Gaunt hopes that trend continues even as the Flames and Lady Flames recover from a spring season cut short by COVID-19.
"It's been an interesting time for all of us," Gaunt said. "It is definitely disappointing because a lot of them have put in a lot of time in training and effort to get where they were throughout the year. But we have to roll with things sometimes and make adaptations as needed … to promote our industry by reacting in an appropriate way. They understood and were able to take it in stride really well."
More than half of the roster was made up of underclassmen, leaving a solid foundation in place for the 2020-21 season, when many more incoming recruits and walk-ons are expected to join the team for tryouts.
"We hit the ground running really well this year and we're excited to see hopefully that momentum roll into next year," Gaunt said. "We set a really good stride at the beginning of the year and we were primed and ready to go for the season, but we are still very proud and happy to see where everyone was heading and we'll see where it goes this year. We're hoping to take some of the structured training styles that we got into a groove in and carry them into this year."
He has challenged his returning climbers to stay active in the sport, if possible, over the summer, either indoors or outside, and to maintain their physical fitness in preparation for returning to competition this fall.
"A lot of them are doing more cross-training styles of workouts, such as running," Gaunt said. "There are a lot of different ways to supplement training for climbing and we've been working and staying in contact with all of our athletes throughout the summer to make sure they stay in good shape and stay motivated through the down time."