Case Study: Rock Climbing Technique

Topics: Climbing, Learning, Motor control Pages: 9 (3168 words) Published: February 11, 2013
Perfect Your Tech:
Undercling, Hand-Jam, and Dyno
By: Brian and John

Case Description
Jacob’s Sport and Fitness Center has hired Brian and John as instructors to teach three specific rock climbing skills to intermediate skilled climbers. The three fundamental rock climbing methods we are teaching are an undercling, a dyno, and a hand jam hold. Learner Characteristics

According to Fitt’s and Posner’s Three Stage Model of motor learning the climbers are in the associative stage of learning. This is the stage where the climbers acquire perceptual-motor associations due to the fact that they have enough experience to recognize patterns in climbing surfaces. The climbers have developed some self-detection of errors because they have grasped the fundamental characteristics of the skill. They are beginning to experience improved performance of rock climbing skills. This stage is also known as the refining stage because while the fundamentals have been learned, they can still be improved. This needs to be considered when performing new and complex holds that require skill in more rudimentary components of the skill. According to Gentile’s Two-Stage Model the climbers are in the initial phase of learning. The climbers have developed adequate skills to succeed in climbing difficulties of 10-12. This is reflective of a successful movement coordination pattern, but does not allow the climbers to be consistent/proficient in their activity. This is where the addition of the new grabs come into play. Finally, according to The Dynamic Theory of Coordination and Control, the climbers are roughly in the second stage or “skilled” category. This means that these climbers have begun to release degrees of freedom but cannot fully exploit external forces during skill performance. The three new skills that will be learned allow the climbers to efficiently navigate more advanced climbs. Skill Analysis

There will be three skills taught to the intermediate rock climbers. The three rock climbing techniques are “hand-jam”, “undercling”, and “dyno.” The hand-jam technique is utilized during a climb when there is a crack in the rock face. This skill is performed by sticking the hand (fingers extended and together, flat palm) into the crack and then making a fist (with thumb tucked into curled fingers). This allows for pressure within the crack resulting in a extremely stable hold. The undercling is a category of holds that are utilized when there is a notch on the rock face that is pointing towards the ground. This skill is defined by gripping the rock with an upward facing palm. The body must remain close to the rock face to minimize the lateral force. The dyno is possibly the hardest skill to learn in rock climbing because of the danger factor. This skill is defined by both of the climber’s feet detaching from the rock surface in the pursuit of the next hold. If both hands and feet of the climber are off the rock surface before the next hold has been grabbed, the individual is performing what is called an “all-points-off dyno.”

A One-Dimensional Classification of the skills of interest involves classifying the skill in three categories; size of musculature, movement beginning and end, and stability of the environment. The undercling, hand jam, and dyno are all discrete skills. The dyno requires coordination of the legs and arms but is not repetitive as are serial and continuous skills. Their motion is one movement with a definite beginning and end. The undercling utilizes fine motor muscles of the hand, forearm and upper arm in order to grasp the underside of a hold. The hand jam requires fine motor skills of the hand, forearm, and upper arm as well. Use of musculature is on a continuum where the hand jam utilizes the finest musculature when positioning the fingers into a fist, while the undercling relies less on fine motor movements and slightly more on gross muscles of the upper arm to form a firm grasp on the rock. The dyno skill...
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