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Debating with your friends who’s the best Rock Climbing coach?

Udo Neumann, Justen Sjong, or Kris Peters?

Here is our list of the best Rock Climbing coaches of all time.

Do you agree with our picks?

Best Rock Climbing Coaches:

  1. Udo Neumann
  2. Justen Sjong
  3. Mark and Mike Anderson
  4. Chris Sharma

#1 Udo Neumann

  • πŸ† Achievements: Pioneering climbing coach, author, and visual artist
  • πŸ“…  Years Active: 1980s–Present
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: German National Climbing Team
  • 🌐 Nationality: German

Udo Neumann is widely recognized for his innovative coaching techniques and contributions to the training methods in rock climbing. As a coach for the German national climbing team, he played a significant role in developing the team’s competitive edge, particularly in the disciplines of bouldering and lead climbing.

His work extends beyond the realm of physical training; Neumann is known for his application of creative problem-solving and exploring the psychological aspects of climbing performance. His insights have been influential in shaping the way climbers approach the sport both mentally and tactically.

Neumann’s legacy is also captured in his written work. He is the author of “The Art and Science of Bouldering,” which revolutionized the way climbers think about movement, training, and the sport as a whole. His approach has inspired a generation of climbers and coaches to think more deeply about the nuances of climbing.

#2 Justen Sjong

  • πŸ† Achievements: Renowned climbing coach with a focus on mental training
  • πŸ“…  Years Active: 2000s–Present
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: Individual athletes, Team of Two
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Justen Sjong has made a name for himself in the rock climbing world as a coach who specializes in the mental components of climbing. Known for his ability to help climbers break through personal barriers, Sjong has become a go-to coach for athletes looking to elevate their performance.

Sjong’s philosophy centers on the notion that a climber’s mind is just as important as their physical strength. Through his coaching services, including Team of Two, which he runs with fellow coach Kris Peters, he helps climbers develop their mental fortitude to approach climbs with confidence and clarity.

Having worked with some of the best climbers in the sport, Sjong’s impact on their achievements is well-documented. His capacity to inspire and instill a growth mindset in his clients continues to make him one of the most sought-after coaches in rock climbing.

#3 Mark and Mike Anderson

  • πŸ† Achievements: Creators of the Rock Prodigy training method
  • πŸ“…  Years Active: Late 1990s–Present
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: Climbers of all abilities through their training programs
  • 🌐Nationality: American

Mark and Mike Anderson are not just coaches but also innovators in the climbing world. The brothers co-developed the Rock Prodigy training program, a systematic approach to climbing training that has gained widespread popularity and acceptance.

Their method is detailed in their seminal book, “The Rock Climber’s Training Manual.” It outlines a comprehensive training regimen that has helped many climbers achieve breakthrough performances. The Anderson brothers’ scientifically grounded approach to training has democratized high-level climbing coaching, making it accessible to the masses.

Both Mark and Mike are accomplished climbers in their own right, and they continue to test and refine their methodologies through their own climbing experiences. Their contributions to the training and coaching realm of rock climbing have left a lasting impact, enabling climbers of all skill levels to structure their training and progress systematically.

#4 Chris Sharma

  • πŸ† Achievements: Legendary climber, established top-grade routes, shares climbing philosophies
  • πŸ“…  Years Active: 1990s–Present
  • πŸ‘• Teams Coached: Climbing community at large, through clinics and his climbing gym
  • 🌐 Nationality: American

Chris Sharma is one of the most iconic figures in rock climbing, known for pushing the boundaries of the sport and establishing some of the world’s hardest routes. While his main focus has been on his professional climbing career, Sharma has also taken on a mentorship role within the climbing community.

His climbing gym, “Sharma Climbing,” serves as a hub for climbers of all levels to learn and train. He occasionally conducts clinics and workshops where he shares his climbing philosophies and techniques, effectively coaching aspiring climbers indirectly through his vast experience.

Chris Sharma’s name is synonymous with inspiration in the rock climbing world. His contributions to coaching may not be in the traditional sense of leading a team or individual athletes, but his influence on climbers globally through his achievements and shared knowledge is undeniable.


Who is the greatest rock climbing coach of all time?

It’s subjective, but Ueli Steck is often celebrated for exceptional achievements and training techniques, influencing climbers worldwide before his death in 2017.

Who was the most successful rock climbing coach?

Heinz Zak is one of the most successful, known for coaching and photographing elite climbers, and contributing to the popularity of sport climbing.

Nic Hilditch-Short, an English football enthusiast and former player, has a rich background in sports despite a knee injury that shifted their focus from football and skateboarding to climbing and hiking. Their early years were marked by their involvement in the Manchester skateboarding scene and playing football at a local and university level, influenced by their professional footballer father. After their injury, they transitioned to climbing and hiking, engaging in indoor bouldering competitions and enjoying outdoor climbs and hikes around the world, from the UK to Australia, New Zealand, and China. Their love for Arsenal football club has remained strong since 2001.

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