Master Class


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Scholar Master Class


At Southern Rock, we believe that we have the right ingredients to get any climber to achieve their climbing goals in a supervised, fun and cost effective manner. To achieve this we have created the Southern Rock Master Class, which aims to deliver high quality and affordable coaching to all members of the KZN climbing community. Our Master Class program draws on our expertise, passion and history in climbing, enabling us to provide a personalised and monitored program for each participant.

How it works:

Initially, there will be 3 Scholar training sessions allocated per week for any participating KZN Scholar Climber. If required the number of sessions may later be increased to accommodate more climbers. Each time slot can take a maximum of 20 participants with on average 1 coach for every 6 climbers. The participants are expected to pay the monthly fee upfront, at the beginning of each month and will need to commit to a minimum of 4 training sessions per month. Booking is essential as we anticipate that some of the places in the program will be in demand.


Current Sessions:

Monday           4 – 6pm

Monday           4 – 6pm

Wednesday     4 – 6pm

Friday               5 – 7pm



The costs of joining the classes are over and above your Southern Rock entrance fees, irrespective if you use a day pass, quarterly pass or debit order to enter the gym. The coaching rate is discounted as the number of sessions you participate in per month increases. The fees are paid monthly and can be added to your existing debit order if you choose.


4 coaching sessions per month: R120

8 coaching sessions per month: R180

12 coaching sessions per month: R240


The Program:

Ideally our athletes should enrol in a year-long program that intensifies before the season when peak performance is required. There will be Building, Maintenance, Peak and Rest phases. The program will be divided into core Modules and Metrics.


We have identified the following focus areas:jordan-rings

Metrics – activities subject to assessment to obtain and review performance data

  • Base Limb Strength
  • Finger Strength
  • Core Strength
  • General (Cardio) fitness
  • High-Intensity Training (H.I.T)
  • Fingerboard/campus board/system board
  • Pull-ups – multiple variations
  • Training of Antagonist muscle groups
  • Flexibility, Stretching
  • Free weight training


Modules – Coaching sessions targeting specific performance related topics

  • Bouldering Starter Packs
  • Advanced Bouldering
  • Sport Climbing Starter Pack
  • Advanced Sport Climbing

Under these core Modules we will engage in activities that are pertinent to that module. This includes but not limited to:

  • Planning your year – Periodization and Goal setting
  • Beginner and Advanced Movement Challenges
  • Footwork
  • Body Position
  • Foot Positions etc
  • Lead climbing – tricks and techniques
  • Mental preparation
  • Fear of failure and falling
  • Route Reading
  • Nutrition and Lifestyle planning
  • Youth climbing injuries, prevention and age appropriate strength training
  • Fine Tuning & Taping techniques
  • Accelerated recovery techniques

Our Vision:

Our passion for all aspects of climbing has resulted in the following goals – to share our passion and expertise while providing a structured and fun training environment that raises the performance of motivated members within the KZN climbing community.


How we will achieve this:

We have established a training program that can be tailored to climbers of any level. The goal of this program is to provide the coaching structure that will improve their climbing strength, techniques and knowledge while working towards specific events – such as competition season or an upcoming climbing holiday. All our the athletes performance on metric related exercises will be measurable, enabling our coaches to accurately track each participant’s performance and then make informed decisions about how best to modify their individualised training schedule.  Your program will then be adjusted to improve your performance in underperforming areas. Assessment eliminates the majority of the guesswork and allows us to better maximise your overall potential. We will generate data that will be recorded and presented as follows:

lesson-structureFigure 1.1: An example of our lesson structure.



Figure 1.2: An example of our performance metric

We have secured some of the top local coaches – all with experience coaching at schools level – to be involved in the program and to provide their expertise in guiding our climbers along the path to their full potential. Mikey Van der Ham and Dr Roger Nattrass will oversee the program. Roger is a medical specialist and his 34 years of climbing makes him one of South Africa’s most experienced lead climbers. He is attributed as having founded sport climbing in South Africa. He is a past winner of the Rock Master Competition, opened some of the countries hardest sport climbs (up to grade 8b – 32) and at 52 years of age recently redpointed Jack of all Trades 8a (30).  Michael Van der Ham manages Southern Rock Climbing Centre and is an accomplished Boulderer and competition climber. He has bouldered up to grade 8A (Witness the Sickness) at Rocklands and finished 3rd in the Rock Master competition in 2015.

Having more than one coach per session will enable us to focus on the tiny details, thus enabling us to fine tune our climber’s performance and make adjustments to their form. Numerous coaches will also give the athlete the chance to take advantage of the different strengths of each coach, therefore providing the opportunity to round out the ability of the climber.

We will be working hand in hand with SANCF, KZN Climbing and SASCOC to ensure that our coaches will meet the still to be established SASCOC statutory requirements for coaches in this sporting code. The training will make use of the entire Southern Rock facility. Our diverse wall features, volumes and climbing grips will test a variety of climbing styles and techniques. We have the only Treadwall in South Africa, a unique training tool designed to focus on enhancing power endurance and endurance aspects of our athletes. These traits are particularly important when preparing for any lead or rock climbing events. The infamous ‘Gun Room’, has fingerboards, system boards and campus boards – all stacked with potential exercises.


Benefits of the Master Class Program

  • Coaching expertise
  • Attention to detail
  • Targeted schedule aimed at a specific date for performance peaking
  • Measurable performance
  • Superior training facility
  • Diverse climbing walls
  • Training with like-minded athletes
  • Fun Social Setting
  • Cost effective


The Southern Rock Team are excited about this program and what it can potentially achieve. If you would like to book or find out more about the program please contact us.


Email:           or          Call us on: 0317053842


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Kids love training at Southern Rock Climbing Centre.

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Strengthening fingers on the wood grips.