Reviews of Vertical Mind

“In Vertical Mind, Elison and McGrath psychologically define many of the mental training tips I’ve learned through decades on the rock. Now, climbers have a clear blueprint and exercises to follow in order to psychologically prepare for climbing.” —Lynn Hill – First person to free climb the Nose on El Capitan

“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.” – Amazon Reviewer Rocks are People Too…Read More

“Absolutely fantastic book! This takes Arno Ilgner’s concepts 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.” – Amazon Reviewer Scott Jons …Read More

“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.” – Amazon Reviewer HC …Read More

“With clear, authoritative yet conversational prose, the excellent Vertical Mind fills a much-needed gap in the climbing literature: that of the basic human psychology underpinning climbing and how the various scripts constantly running in our heads are actually holding us back—and how we can easily, through the fun exercises, paradigms, and philosophies presented in the book, reprogram ourselves for success. Climbing takes place almost entirely in the head, and Elison and McGrath, both PhDs and longtime climbers, get to the heart of the matter in a unique and insightful way that explains how—and more importantly, why—we sabotage ourselves, usually unknowingly. This book will breathe fresh life into your climbing game.” —Matt Samet – Author of the Climbing Dictionary and Death Grip

“Mental training has been a huge focus for my climbing pursuits, including competitions. I have used several mental tricks to get rid of the jitters, and there is no way I could have been successful without the mental training piece. I’d say that once you’re fit, the rest is all mental. So that piece is HUGE. Vertical Mind has captured what every climber should know about the psychology of climbing, and turned it into a step-by-step way to improve your mental game. Climbing is such a mental endeavor and now climbers have a tool to help systematically train to get mentally stronger.” —Bobbi Bensman – Winner of more National climbing competitions than any other US Competitor to date.

“Vertical Mind takes the reader on a cognitive neuroscientific climb that fuses the outer world of rock climbing with the inner world of neurons, muscle memory, and scripts.” —Robert Demski, Ph.D. – Professor of Psychology