We need only take a moment to consider the consequential benefits that arise with confidence to understand why it is an essential tool in helping students to thrive and flourish both inside and out of the classroom. With direct links to improved academic achievements, social relationships, and overall wellbeing, encouraging confidence in the classroom seems to be a no-brainer.

Climbing has long held many benefits when it comes to increasing confidence both in adolescents and adults. The very nature of climbing relies on equal parts of physical and mental ability, proving to boost and increase the overall self-esteem and confidence of those who participate in the sport. This is due to several aspects, some of which are explored below.

Learning to not fear falling or failing

Climbing is a sport in which the individual’s main opposition is themselves. Each climb presents an opportunity for the climber to set clear goals which, when fulfilled, facilitates an overall boost in confidence and clear feeling of accomplishment. This is not to say that there won’t be times in which certain goals are not met, or a climb is left unfinished, rather that these opportunities present themselves as moments in which a climber can reflect and learn from their mistakes, encouraging a growth mindset. In essence, they grow by learning not to fear “falling” or “failing”, but rather see them as tools of development and improvement.

Social connections increase student confidence

At its core, climbing is a social sport, the benefits of which lend themselves to promoting confidence in students and individuals of all ages. Community, communication, and comradery are all essential to success within the sport of climbing, and allow for all individuals to feel part of a team. Where students find belonging, they find connection, which needless to say, lends itself to boosting the overall self-esteem and confidence of the child.

Learning to take Risks (in a controlled environment)

Climbing presents a perfect opportunity for students to explore their individual physical and psychological boundaries. Risk-taking is a natural part of adolescent development and climbing provides an excellent opportunity for this, with the benefit of it being in a controlled and safe environment. As students become more confident in their ability to assess and take well considered risks, they will become more confident in all aspects of life, from approaching new social situations to feeling assured enough to ask questions and engage in classroom activities.

With benefits such as these, there seems to be no question as to if we should allow opportunities for confidence building and considered risk-taking on the playground, but rather the best way in which to do so (a climbing wall being an excellent way to go).

Additional Resources:
https://positivepsychology.com/self-esteem-for-children/
https://www.trainingbeta.com/whitney-boland-fear-and-confidence-in-climbing/