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Coaching Reviews

Read a coaching review of a day with me on


Here's a climbing bloggers coach review of their experience


"I found out about John through a UKC thread and wasn't sure what to expect. The first thing to say is that he has a very clear mind. He really understands climbing. The second is that he is great at communicating his understanding to you. He is patient and considered. I've been really surprised by the amount of attention he's given my weaknesses and how thorough he's been in his guidance to address them. He seems to coach and climb for the right reasons (ie enjoyment) and it's fun working with him. My coaching was via zoom and emails, including videos to which he'd give feedback. That combination worked well and is an efficient alternative to in person coaching, especially during lockdown or if you're time pressed like me. You can work through the feedback and revisit it whenever suits you. I've significantly improved and also reflected in a positive way on why I climb and what my goals are."

Ollie, Devon,shire trad climber after one month's remote coaching

"Hi John, Just to say I lead my first 7a+ a couple of weeks ago! Finally decided I was in the right head space so would try on lead. It was a lot more sketchy than my top rope attempts as I was very nervous, but I still managed it first go. I am very pleased after the year I've had that I was able to do it! Just wanted to say thank you for your coaching and encouragement! 

Just in time as well as my back went into severe spasm last week, and I'm now properly out of action. I'm not feeling too worried about it though as I've now found a really great physio who has given me some great advice on calming down my hyperreactive nervous system, so hopeful that will help me make some great progress over the winter! So that I can train hard and climb even better next year."

Elsie, Scottish sport climber and boulderer

"Hey John, I just had an awesome trip to Spain and despite sport climbing not really having been part of the plan I found all the movement practice, tactics and aerobic capacity really helped! Habitual use of wide feet and extending my thoracic spine have definitely got me up some things that otherwise i would have just pumped off. I can reach without pulling! Slightly shocked me sometimes how often this helped. Pacing improvements on vert walls also really helped with onsighting and flashing things. Got to the point where I was reliably onsighting 7b to warm up by the end of one trip."

Tim seeing bonus sport climbing results on his way to E9 and font8A, after a 1 day Technical and Physical assessment.

"Just a line to thank you for the coaching conversation. I came away interested and inspired with some really useful tools for my climbing and much else as well. You have a gift for coaching."

Betina 50-something trad climber, after a 1 hour Coaching Consultation

"I can't praise John enough. He's one of the few coaches out there who actually knows how to coach. The amount of time and effort he's put into becoming a coach is plain to see in his delivery and results. He's not a celebrity climber, but you don't need one of those, you need someone who has the tools to analyse you in a subjective manner, communicate effectively and send you off with the info that will improve you. I've been coached in different sports by a few different people (including climbing) and done plenty of MLTE and BMC training, assessments and CPD. He's the best I've come across by a long way in climbing, both as a coach and a teacher."

Andy; coach, sport and trad climber


"Working with John, in the space of the last 6 months, I've gone from a best redpoint grade of 6b+ to 7a, which is a pretty strong endorsement of his coaching abilities, especially when you consider that I've been climbing for 38 years and have recently turned 61"

John at 61, trad turned sport climber after monthly sessions

“With few opportunities to climb, I decided that some intensive technique coaching would help me sort out some of my frustrations with climbing and improve my grade. John proved to be an excellent coach, patient and methodical he started from the basics and worked up, ensuring sessions were kept short but intense to prevent information overload. After each session I was sent away with a list of things to practice before the next one. The sessions I had with John have really helped me climb harder but also more efficiently both indoors and out and several people have commented that they have noticed a real improvement in my climbing. I would thoroughly recommend a few sessions with John, even if you are not local to Kendal it is worth the journey!”

Izzi student trad climber, Essex

"What John has done for my climbing in just a couple of hours has completely revolutionised the way I think about moving on rock. I jumped literally two grades overnight and I now have a far deeper understanding of what really makes a skilled climber. If I were to think about all I've spent on climbing gear over the years then I'd consider a few sessions with John to be my wisest investment. Being coached by John is like being coached by Yoda"

Mike sport and trad climber, on his way from 6b to 7b

"I was stuck at around V5/6C and came to you for some help/advice. So it's a year on, I turned 42 a few weeks ago and I'm pleased to say I stuck with the plan and last week did my  first 7B+ boulder, followed by a 7B yesterday! Wanted to say a big thanks again for the coaching session - it has really stayed with me and helped me progress. 7C next year!

Best regards”

Gary, boulderer from Devon after a day of one-to-one

"I can honestly say I learnt more about technique in six hours than I have in the past three years, there was a raft of movement stuff I don't think I'd have ever happened upon for a long time otherwise. The pleasing thing was the stuff I have trained, like my footwork, is up to muster and now I know what I need to do, it's just a matter of working away to get improvement.

It's like a bit of a veil has been lifted and I'm feeling pretty psyched to sort stuff - I've been such a donut with my breathing!"

Kelvin sport climber and boulderer, Northhampton

“Just thought I would drop you a quick email firstly to say thanks for the excellent coaching I recieved during my session with you at Kendal wall over Halloween.You really helped me to understand topics which I had read about in books but not fully understood in any practical way. I feel your coaching has helped me to focus on areas I need to address(left/right balance), and when practising at the wall recently I had one of those lightbulb moments - things started to really click, in how if I kept pushing with my feet (during same side in exercise) I could relax my arms and take the weight through legs and core. So I am working away practising the movements and trying to build up the neural pathways - down the wall 3 times a week.Thank for all your help.”

Graham trainee mountain instructor, Northern Ireland 

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