Don McGrath Episode ArtOn the science of bad habits, fear and stress management on the wall, and training the brain game for the vertical world

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Don McGrath is a climber and author of Vertical Mind, 50 Athletes Over 50, The Five Climbing Mindsets, and his blog at In his newest book, Vertical Mind, Don McGrath and his co-author Jeff Ellison seek to understand fear, doubt, and how to break the bad habits that we learn as climbers. There’s a lot of science and research that went into this book and it is a great read for anyone looking to master their vertical mind.

Show Notes for the episode with Don McGrath:

  • What spurred his interest in training the brain for climbing
  • How schemas and scripts write habit into our climbing
  • How those habits can ultimately hurt us and hold us back
  • How to create productive scripts in our climbing
  • The fear of falling and the fear of failing
  • Methods for dealing with fear
  • Stress management on the wall
  • How to recognize our own bad habits
  • How to be a better climbing partner through ‘co-creative coaching’
  • How to coach significant others without ending up in the doghouse
  • What exactly is a flow state and how to attain it

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