Three times a week at BETA you’ll find a group of dedicated climbers. They meet under the lead wall around 5pm. Led by three coaches, theses crushers warm up, train hard and climb even harder. You’ve probably seen them warm up on your projects (or at least mine…) That’s the BETA Climbing Team. A group of kids ages 11 through 17 that have the spark of competition in their souls and the love of climbing in their hearts. After months of training, six of these climbers are heading down to Reach Climbing in Bridgeport, PA for the Youth Sport and Speed Nationals this weekend. Let’s wish them luck! Send everything BCT!
Below is a short interview with Head Coach of the BETA Climbing Team, Jeremy Meza.
Q: Do you have experience with being a competitor yourself?
A: Yes, a very very very long time ago. I competed on the youth circuit for 4 years from 2001 to 2004. I made it the national level at that time. In 2001 it was originally Junior Competition Climbing Association (JCCA) when I started.
Q: What is your role as a coach?
A: When it comes to coaching climbing, it has an artistic side to it because it’s so open for each individual. Coaching is about learning how to communicate one idea to 50 different kids, each kid will receive it differently. You also have to learn how to build people constructively. The main goal as a coach is to have a structure for each kid. It’s a lot its fun.
Q: How has it been coaching BCT since BETA opened?
A: Un-expected. You don’t uproot completely from one side of the country [California] to the other and expect in a new gym to send half of your team to sport and speed nationals. They came from a different background and I think I gave them something different that assisted their growth. Overall it’s been unexpected and surprising. Each kid brings something different to the team. I love the challenge that each kid brings.
Q: How have they progressed?
A: Their confidence has grown in each of them.
Q: Favorite part about coaching?
A: When you’re learning how to climb and you have an aha moment, I can relive that moment through these kids. For example, when they learn how to clip or learn a specific boulder movement and it clicks to them. I can live vicariously.
Q: One tip for any young climber?
A: The best climber is the one having the most fun. I remember those trips the most where I spent a day climbing a bunch of v2s over my big sending trips.
Written by Kody Tolentino
Edited by Nora Maklad