Coaching Reviews

Read a coaching review of a day with me on


Here's a climbing bloggers coach review of their experience



"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



"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 blown away by the difference. Went from ~40 moves and totally pumping/cruxing off to 90 moves with energy to spare"

Van trad climber and boulderer, after a remote technique assessment (lives in Brooklyn NYC)


"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 trad turned sport climber after monthly sessions


"Just to say thank you for an excellent coaching session. I've just had an amazing week with lots of progress, learning and starting to implement what I've learnt:
 - Fell off a route going for a move (in two places). (Just had to increase my process goal for the year from two falls going for the move to ten, because I hadn't intended to tick it in the first week!).
 - Did my hardest onsight (6c), however I'm most proud of how hard I had to try on it, I've never tried this hard before on a route outside. I was so pumped I thought I was going to fall off clipping the chains. Felt quite liberating, fear usually prevents me from trying that hard on lead outside, especially when onsighting.
 - Toproped a 7a+/7b and discovered that I could do all the moves, which is pretty exciting!
Found the breathing exercises super helpful, I've already used them a lot, work great when I'm warming up for settling the nerves, and I also found them super helpful on trad, as a way of calming myself down, when there isn't as much gear as I want, or I am not super confident in my placements. I think the breathing exercises are going to make a massive difference both to my enjoyment of climbing and to what I can do!
Pretty excited to see what more progress I can make, as I work on all the things that you suggested over the coming months."

Elsie, Edinburgh sport climber


"Hi John, I was stuck at around V5 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, drove up from Devon for a day of one-to-one



"It's been an enlightening week and the more I think about the sessions with Mr Kettle - the more optimistic I am. One on one with him, driving to Kendal, a hostel, it all adds up but it's been a worthwhile investment already. He has a great way about him, rather than saying this is right, do this, not that, he enables you to listen yourself to what's happening whilst you climb. It felt like a session of discovery rather than one of instruction, almost like I was finding my own failings rather than being told what they were.

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 Northampton based sport climber and boulderer

"Thank you so much for your time and knowledge. Your keen eye spotted many things that can be improved in my climbing that have gone relatively unnoticed for 10 years.  By the time the session had come to an end, I was amazed at how much new and useful information I had learned from you. I now have many more tools to be aware of my climbing habits, and a new set of motivations to affect change and improve my climbing."

Tom Bristol-based sport climber and coach



"Hello John,

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


“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, flew in from Northern Ireland for a 2 hour session



"Ok. There is a definite difference in my climbing since the coaching session with you. I've just got back from Almscliff. I've been trying the Wall of Horrors traverse for 9 months on and off and couldn't get close to the hard move. Nowhere near. Well, I just tried it again. I did the hard move. Then I ran laps on it. With body positioning and footwork improvements since the coaching it felt easy. No desperate slaps, no long reaches to slopers. As you say " it's the feet, always the feet" Thank you"

Pete juggling trad climbing with fatherhood



“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 in Essex

07764 936802

Kendal, Cumbria, England, UK

  • Instagram Social Icon

© John Kettle