Coaching Profiles > Coaches in the US


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Joe-CzerwinskiJoe Czerwinski
Mesa, Arizona
Climbing Gym: Focus Climbing Center
Phone: (480) 718-5258

I am an old-school coach, with an old-school approach. I believe if you work hard, you will get results.  But there is always something more to it. My approach begins at the bottom, or foundation of everyone’s climbing: basic footwork and movement, and build from there.  If it’s a new climber, I want to make a base with him/her, and constantly build on top. If it’s an experienced athlete, asses the holes in their climbing, so I don’t have to worry about fixing anything later. Generally, I don’t have a need to go back and teach a skill, but refreshing specific movements whenever climbing/training is crucial for these movements to become 2nd nature.

My overall goal is to teach these kids how to climb for themselves, and love what they do. From the moment I get them, I am grooming them to not need me. Teach them how to listen to their body, and react accordingly. Create different scenarios; both real word and competition, so they are as prepared as possible when it’s finally “go time”. I have found from the past 13 years of coaching, if you love something, you will suffer for it.

Training isn’t fun- and I don’t care what you say. I have trained as a higher end climbing athlete, and hated every minute of it. This is one of the harder aspects of youth training to manage, as kids (like girls), just wanna have fun. It’s great to say you want to be a National Champion, but do you really know what that takes? Do you really want to suffer for it? Are you mentally prepared for disbelief and doubt? Creating an environment where the athlete can develop a positive belief in their mind, and you as a coach is incredibly difficult, but its importance cannot be understated.  Understanding the psychology of where your athlete is with regard to mental and physical toughness is how you learn to push them in the right direction.


Coach Melanie LockeMelanie Locke
Los Angeles, CA
Climbing Gym: Sender One
Disciplines: Sports Psychology, Cognitive-motor Learning
Phone: (213) 298-1234

Approach: As a coach I enjoy sharing my passion of climbing with my students and try to help them understand what drives them to be better climbers. Throughout my time coaching I often find that students already know what they need to work on to improve their climbing. What is missing most often ends up being the ability to make a detailed plan, realizing that failing is part of succeeding and persistence does produce results. Finding an optimal learning style is key to being successful in climbing and respecting an individuals process is essential. What I love about climbing is how diverse a sport it is. My goal is to teach anyone who is willing and committed to learn. At Sender One I work with both the Rec and Comp Team to explore every option to help our kids, parents, and coaches become part of the climbing community.

District of Columbia

Coach Aleksandra DaguntsAleksandra Dagunts
Washington, DC
Climbing Gym: Earth Treks
Disciplines: Kinesiology, Biomechanics

Approach: My coaching approach draws heavily from my studies in biology. I focus on how subtle changes in the positioning of one part of the body affect the overall movement of the climber. I aim for my climbers to not just know climbing techniques, but to have a deep understanding of how and why they work so that they can apply them to out-of-the-box, novel situations.


Oleksii ShulhaCoach Oleksii Shulha
Atlanta, GA
Climbing Gym: Stone Summit Climbing & Fitness Center
Disciplines: Sports Psychology, Kinesiology, Biomechanics
Phone: (404) 451-7990

Approach: Primarily focused on coaching for speed climbing, ​I consider climbing as a means of developing and improving the personality through sport activity.

My coaching approach based on three aspects:

  1. Teaching a climber how to interact with the wall and minimize muscle efforts, how to use momentum, body positioning and understanding mechanics of the body.
  2. The mind is a key to high performance and competition success.
    Progress starts with a positive mindset.
  3. Everyone is unique. Training in climbing cannot be stereotypical and should be based on individual needs.


Jessi HaynesJessi Haynes
Carmel, IN
Climbing Gym: Hoosier Heights Indianapolis

Approach: Two primary approaches guide my coaching and that of my coaching staff at Hoosier Heights. First is a foundational concern for the athlete as a whole person and for their experience within the Team community. Through our mentorship program, older, more experienced athletes volunteer their time to “coach”, and bond with, their younger teammates for one hour of practice time per week. Additionally, prior to championships we do team building practices during which climbers write affirmations and positive statements to their fellow teammates and engage in team-building activities. This has not only fostered a sense of security and belonging among members of our team but has also contributed to the overall strength of the community within our program. It is our belief that youth athletes cannot compete or train at a high level with gaps in their emotional support system, and we aim to make the team a significant source of emotional support for our climbers.

Secondarily, we conduct testing and track data on a variety of skills related to each individual climber. We consistently track and record anthropometric factors such as speed and difficulty completion rates in power endurance activities and physical measurements of the climber, biomechanic factors such as finger and pull strength, footwork efficiency, and muscle recruitment, as well as various bioenergetic factors. We use this data in our daily practice plans to ensure athletes are being adequately challenged and are meeting their own goals and benchmarks as well as those goals and benchmarks set out by their coaches.


Justin Wyse
Reno, Nevada
Climbing Gym: Mesa Rim—Reno
Disciplines: Sports Psychology, Cognitive-motor Learning
Phone: (443) 743-9945

Justin Wyse climbing at the Red River Gorge. Photo by Jennie Jariel

Approach: My primary approach in coaching our athletes at Mesa Rim focuses on the sports psychology end of the coaching spectrum. I specialize in helping athletes perform at their greatest capacity while under immense internal and/or external pressures. I focus on coaching emotion management, and expectation control, within competitive and risky environments both indoors and outdoors. My goal is to give the athletes I coach the mental skill sets necessary to take charge of their own emotions in any and all situations, and to have the ability to access the flow state whenever they choose. My aim is to build decisive, consistent, and confident climbers through mental mastery.

My secondary approach to coaching is cognitive motor-learning. I seek to take athletes from unconscious incompetence in their movement through the competency spectrum, ending in unconscious competence. Simply put, I focus on coaching athletes through movement they haven’t ever had exposure to, perfecting the movement over time, resulting in replication of the movement under pressure without being consciously aware. I specialize in dynamic, risk intensive movement which is becoming increasingly popular within the competitive climbing world.

New York

Mauri DiMeo
Sackets Harbor, NY
Climbing Gym: NNY COOP, Central Rock Syracuse
Disciplines: Sports Psychology, Kinesiology
Phone: (401) 641-1415

Approach: I am an Enlifted Language Coach, and a Military Master Fitness Trainer. I have been coaching climbing on and off since 2008. My ideal clients are… 1- The dedicated climber: this climber has a background in climbing specific training and wants to get better. They may have been on and off of the injury train. They lack focus, time, or have jumped from program to program. I help them build consistency and learn how to effectively use the gym, and strength and conditioning to improve their climbing. 2- The former athlete: in the past this climber has stayed fit by participating in sports. They got bored, burned out, or injured. Just lifting/running/training for the sake of training without a purpose is boring and not interesting for them. This climber found climbing as a fun, and social way to challenge themselves, and have fun while staying fit. They know how to train in a gym, and want to learn more about training for climbing specifically.

I get climbers stronger with or without access to climbing. This is done by teaching diet, training, and mindset principles/techniques, that allow climbers to identify where they are holding them selves back. This can be in their climbing or in their life. The interesting thing is, when climbers improve their relationships, decrease stress, and feel satisfied at work, their climbing ALWAYS improves.


Coach Gabe La Mont of Rogue Rock GymGabe La Mont 
Ashland, OR
Climbing Gym: Rogue Rock Gym
Disciplines: Sports Psychology, Cognitive-motor Learning

Approach: Approach: My coaching approach can be roughly summarized around 7 main elements of training. Different athletes will focus on these elements in varying degrees based on their current skillset and goals.

  1. Developing the climbers awareness of movement and understanding of climbing mechanics.
  2. Improving general efficiency of movement on the wall to help climbers move while exerting the least amount of energy possible.
  3. Establishing a large vocabulary of different movements and tools with which the climber can then apply to the wall.
  4. Going in depth on sequencing/beta to learn how to effectively apply all of the tools they have developed.
  5. As the athlete continues to push themselves, more and more emphasis will be placed on physical training, workouts, and training plans based upon the climber’s strengths and weaknesses.
  6. Mental training for maximum muscle recruitment in order to get the most out of every workout and every attempt.
  7. For climbers with competitive goals in mind, I delve into the intricacies of competition strategy, strengthening their head game, onsighting, goal setting, and expectation management.

Climbing is a huge part of my life. It has made me travel, meet new people, and made me the person I am today. This is why I believe as coaches we have a great responsibility to inspire those we mentor. Who knows where climbing could then take them! If I can help climbing make the same or greater impact on someone that it had on me, I will do everything in my power to chase that. I owe climbing that much!


Coach Mike Rougeux of Bend Endurance AcademyMike Rougeux 
Bend, OR
Climbing Gym: Bend Endurance Academy, Bend Rock Gym
Disciplines: Sports Psychology, Cognitive-motor Learning
Phone: (541) 419-5071

Approach: All of our coaches with Bend Endurance Academy are committed to providing a safe and encouraging place for individuals to grow as athletes and as individuals. We value hard work, commitment, respect for the sport and a willingness to continually strive for improvement in all aspects of life. Our coaches work hard to be the coach that each individual needs on any given day and support our athletes in all aspects of their development on and off the wall.

As a coach, I focus on improving movement efficiency as well as the tactical and psychological approach to performance-based climbing.

South Carolina

Coach Will Snader of The Mountain GoatWill Snader 
Greenville, SC
Climbing Gym: Climb Blue Ridge
Disciplines: Kinesiology, Biomechanics
Phone: (864) 616-6060

Approach: My approach to coaching is rooted in the passion I have for climbing and desire to encourage others through the sport. I strive to inspire climbers, of all ages, to better know the value of the sport and understand their own abilities as athletes.

As a coach, I examine the tendencies of each climber to pinpoint the specific strengths and weaknesses. Training will be determined from this assessment. I then consider an individual’s characteristics to formulate the most appropriate training program using applied kinesiology/biomechanics. In training, Weakness are supported by the strengths until both variables level out.

I train and coach entry level to advanced competitive climbers, both individuals and teams of various ages. Goals for each climber will be discussed. Training will be planned and executed based on assessments to achieve goals.

Any climber is welcome who is ready to work hard, apply themselves and enjoy the struggle. I look forward to working with you!


Coach Arno Ilgner of the Arno Ilgner
La Vergne, TN
Climbing Gym: The Warrior’s Way
Discipline: Sports Psychology
Phone: (615) 406-3404

Approach: The Warrior’s Way focuses on improving the mind/body connection. We do this by developing specific mind drills and body drills. Observing behavior and language help athletes refine how they use their minds; observing body movement help athletes refine how they use their bodies. This whole process is grounded in developing awareness of mental and physical limitations, and then focusing attention more intentionally to perform our best.


Coach Taylor FosterTaylor Foster
Alexandria, VA
Climbing Gym: Sportrock
Discipline: Sports Psychology

Approach: Working with young athletes always poses its own set of challenges. I prefer to focus on effort over ability, especially when first developing their skills as a climber. I see this as a means to creating a base level of confidence that grows in tandem with the climber as their athletic ability improves.

While I do work on training to compete, my primary focus remains on the act of climbing as a whole. What does climbing mean to the athlete when you strip away the pressure to win competitions? Will you stay in the gym your entire climbing career, or do you plan to venture outside and explore other styles of climbing? By understanding what the climber wants long term I can be flexible in my coaching technique to better develop a passion and commitment to the sport.


Taylor Reed 
Photo of Coach Taylor ReedSpringfield, VA
Climbing Gym: Sportrock Performance Institute
Discipline: Cognitive-motor Learning
Contact me

Approach: The discipline I use revolves around cognitive-motor learning. My goal is to help athletes develop a broader range of movement while also strengthening their existing movement skillset. I use specialized teaching skills to help the athlete understand, refine, and internalize highly technical movement. I supplement this approach with an understanding of kinesiology and biomechanics to strengthen the muscles required, and increase the flexibility needed, to support the desired movement patterns.

My second role is as a strategist. I excel at identifying the needs of the athlete and providing recommendations as to direction, trade-offs, unintended consequences, and balancing training needs, identifying opportunities, and overcoming challenges. I love teaching for both real rock and competition.


Coach Matt JonesMatt Jones
Redmond, Washington
Climbing Gym: Formerly Earth Treks
Disciplines: Kinesiology, Biomechanics
Phone: (202) 213-7642

Approach: I try to come at climbing with a holistic approach, applying all that I’ve learned in a lifetime spent around a wide range of sports such as soccer, track & field, basketball, and weight-lifting. With a degree in Kinesiology and as a Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist in addition to a decade of climbing coaching, I understand that there is no magic formula to becoming an incredible climber.

Creating healthier, happier human beings, finding unique ways to motivate and train every athlete as an individual, and keeping it fun are always my goals.


Kris Hampton of Power Company ClimbingKris Hampton
Power Company Climbing
Lander, Wyoming
Disciplines: Cognitive-motor Learning, Bioenergetics

Approach: At Power Company Climbing we specialize in remotely training and coaching adults, as well as working with youth teams across the country. We know there isn’t a single approach to progression that works across the board, so we take an individualized approach to both physical training and skill practice.

We’ve spent a considerable amount of time developing systems of practice to help expand the styles and strengths of climbers, as well as figuring out how to communicate these systems and apply them to a regular practice. Between our podcast and our work with thousands of climbers across the country, we’ve developed an incredibly diverse set of skills and methods for learning.