What is beta? And why would I spray anyone with it?
Beta is a term used in the climbing community meaning tips or advice on how to climb a route.
The term “spraying beta” means giving out instructions without asking for it, typically while the climber is on the wall. There are going to be times when you are watching someone climb and you know they are messing up some aspect of the route or maybe there are missing a foot chip, keep it to yourself! Part of the exercise of competition climbing...is for the climber to not only read a problem, but to figure it. That's the fun part. The figuring it out part.....well that's the goal. and as a climber, when you do "figure it out", that sense of achievement is very satisfying.
During competition, kids are focused and working hard. As a coach or as a spectator, absolutely cheer your kids on, and the other kids too lol. I have always enjoyed watching not only my kids, but any kid, just destroy what I read as a nasty, difficult problem or route.
As a parent you always want to see you child have success. But spraying beta can not only get your climber disqualified, are you really qualified to give it lol?
During practice and just out climbing for fun,you will find that your kid krusher gets to the crux of a problem and can't seem to figure it out. Looking for direction on how to climb a particular boulder problem, is a great exercise in community and communication.
Your child may ask you or another climber: “Do you have any beta for this problem?” absolutely offer advice and guidance.That is completly acceptable and most climbers will offer as much info as they can to help someone finish a route.
However blurting out instructions: such "just do that or this???, move your foot over a bit, hey there is a hold just below your elbow,, even the tone used (like an instruction type tone)....is Beta. and in competition climbing...that's a no no.
Part of the exercise of competition climbing...is for the climber to not only read a problem, but to figure it. That's the fun part. The figuring it out part.....well that's the goal. and as a climber, when you do "figure it out", that sense of achievement is very satisfying.
We all want our kids to win, but climbing isn't just about winning, its about finding a solution to a problem. That is the skill to be acquired thru learning. And that is 1/2 the fun.
photo cred: GearJunkie