Balancing the Bar-Influence of Social Behaviour on Sport Climbing Performance

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Aug 6;19(15):9703. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19159703.


Background: For high performance in sport climbing, various factors must be taken into account, however, social interactions during climbing sessions have not yet been considered. Methods: For this study, four assumptions were made: (1) elite climbers share similar patterns of behaviour; (2) these behaviour patterns influence the climbing performance in a positive way; (3) the behaviour patterns had to be formed over time, and the process of changing behaviour was catalysed by formative experiences; and, (4) the social behaviour of elite climbers shows a tendency to be on their own rather than in the centre of social events, while their behavioural roots date back to their school life. Six male higher-elite-level climbers participated in semi-structured in-depth interviews. Results: In school, all participants perceived themselves as not being at the centre of social interactions. Moreover, all participants described a development from egoistic behaviour towards more supportive behaviour. Two participants were able to outline specific, formative experiences (crucibles), that drastically shaped their behaviour. Conclusion: All participants performed best in the absence of social tensions and when the atmosphere between the climbing partners was positive. Positive atmosphere was achieved by finding the optimal personal balance between supportive and egoistic behaviour.

Keywords: behaviour; climbing; elite; interview; performance; qualitative study; sport.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mountaineering*
  • Social Behavior
  • Sports*

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.