What Climbers Are Saying About Vertical Mind
Rocks Are People Too (Amazon Reviewer)
This one is destined to become a classic. Before reading it, I wasn't convinced that there was much to say about the subject that hadn't already been said in books like Performance Rock Climbing, How to Climb 5.12, The Rock Warrior's Way, etc. It turns out there was quite a bit.
Usually, when someone offers advice, what they are really leading with is "be more like me". While that can be useful, it often doesn't translate to a richer understanding. Vertical Mind instead leads with "here's the current science of how our brains and our neural pathways work" and then proceeds to link the science with the authors' understanding of the climbing game, with a partial bias toward hard sport climbing. Whereas we have all (?) heard suggestions to take practice whippers, write down beta, climb with motivated partners, etc, this book explains in very simple terms the neurobiology behind why these habits can help, why other habits might hurt, and what we need to do as individuals when we recognize a need to change a habit.
It's fascinating stuff. It applies to climbing, and to much more than that.
Scott (Amazon Reviewer)
Absolutely fantastic book! This takes Arno Ilgner's concetps to a higher, more scientifically-based, level. McGrath and Elison beautifully combine science, psychology and a wealth of climbing experince to create a book that's not just entertaining to read, but will help you take your climbing to the next level. Whether you are a 5.7 or a 5.14 climber, stuck at a plateau or struggling to get past a self-imposed setback, this book gives you the tools and the science on why they will work when applied to re-engage and succeed. I have been climbing for over 15 years and this has been one of the best books that I have ever read on the subject. If you are looking to take your mastery to the next level, highly consider taking the time to read and apply the lessons learned from this book.
HC (Amazon Reviewer)
Fantastic book. I have been climbing for about five years and continue to improve. But I had not thought about the fact that I have more to learn than just physical improvement. The book covers so much. You can read it whenever you like, rest days, recovering from an injury, etc. I started reading it on an outdoor climbing trip and it was very beneficial. It covers so much I can't write in a review. I highly recommend it. It's not just about climbing, it also goes into how the mind works, which I find fascinating. Great book.
TJ Parsons (Amazon Reviewer)
I've read quite a few books on climbing performance, including the small number that effectively tackle the mental aspects. Overall, I found this book to be the most useful and most clear of the lot. It has the notable advantage of being really quite well written, and with a pleasingly lighthearted tone. Putting the contents into practice already has lead to some improvements for me.
Harrison (Amazon Reviewer)
After completion of The rock warriors way, I was interested in more literature I could get my hands on that could help aid me in my climbing progression. Never do I write reviews on items that I really enjoy simply because of time but this one was warranted. The rock warriors way Is a good starting point I feel like, but after just skimming the surface of this book it seem like the words within the rock warriors way were just words of encouragement compared to the data compiled within the pages of the THIS wonderful piece of literature. Being in the medical field it’s amazing how they get down to the exact neural response and formulate ways to create new “scripts” in order to get BETTER. If science isn’t your thing I can see the material being dry to a layperson, but then again, if you don’t find science interesting chances are your climbing journey will be short lived. My two “aha” moments in life were discovering my love for medicine and my love for climbing and I am truly greatful that such an amazing tool exist to help aid climbers everywhere. Im astonished that this book hasn’t gained popularity. It really seems like you kinda have to be looking for something like this in order to find it. If one can understand these principles and their entirety they can be applied to every day life not just at the crag. Will forever be thankful to you Don and Jeff hoping some day I might get the chance to run into you guys. Thank you again for such an amazing tool!!!