After IMF Sports Climbing competition in 2018, I can proudly say that I am a good climbing coach. I always believed in sharing the knowledge with others. Coaching gave me that golden opportunity, quite early in my climbing career.
I still remember the first day when I started training Smita Gokhale. Along with excitement, there was anxiety. In spite of teaching Martial arts to kids for 3 years, I was not confident about training her. Probably, because I was aware that Smita was quite different than other kids. She does not trust anyone for climbing guidance, first I had to prove myself as a mentor in front of her. I knew training her would be a task and regular teaching methods won’t work for her. As I had expected, the initial days were terrible. She would not obey my techniques, rather she would continue her own
climbing. Though it was frustrating, more than that it was demotivating me. Despite that, I kept focusing on giving my best.
There was a ray of hope, as her parents were still confident about me. Things began to change. Slowly she realized that my techniques were improving her skills. I noticed she was now considering my suggestions. Our wavelengths were matching and our bond kept growing, my confidence as well!
Now it was time for Zonal competitions. After tough training for the Zonal competition, Smita won gold medals for Boulderingand Speed climbing. Thus, she was selected for the 23rd IMF Sports Climbing Championship. The vigorous training began, starting at 5 in the morning to 8 in the night. Bouldering for some time then Speed. At times I would get frustrated by her weak performance, at times they would surprise me with excellent moves. I changed all my priorities according to her training. I made myself always available to her so that her schedule and academics do not get affected.
All this going around, I could sense vibes that people are not confident about her, but with each day passing by I was sure that will prove her worth. A moment of pure happiness, hundreds of congratulations coming to me when she won a gold medal in Bouldering at the 23rd IMF Sports Climbing Championship in December 2017.
I knew it was the inception of Medals, more than that victory of a coach. Not getting overwhelmed by this achievement we started vigours training for the next IMF Sports Climbing competition in April, May, June 2018. It was yet another challenge, earlier all the 3 events, bouldering, lead and speed climbing was held under one competition. As per new rules, these 3 events were going to be held separately in different venues within a month’s gap between each competition. Of course, the training schedule and pattern changed.
Expectedly Smita won a GOLD medal in Bouldering held in Indore in April 2018. Unexpectedly she won a SILVER medal in Speed climbing in Jamshedpur in May 2018 at IMF sports climbing competition. Honestly, the gold medal at Bouldering did not mean that much to me, as I was sure she would definitely achieve that. I also know what difference it makes coming in the second position and not first. In spite of that, I am happy from within because silver in Speed climbing is an unexpected victory. I say this because Smita is someone who never enjoyed Speed Climbing. Her performance in the Nationals last year for Speed Climbing was pretty weak, but I did notice her mistakes. Apart from that, we had only 1 hour for training due to her academic exams. This time we togetherly worked on improving her shortcomings. We did a wonderful job it seems.
Last but not least, she boastfully won a SILVER medal in Lead too in Srinagar in June 2018. All the 3 events ended with big success.
I always say this and will repeat again, ONLY GOOD STUDENTS MAKE GOOD TEACHERS. I am really lucky to have the most mischevious yet obedient student!