Call it specificity, on the wall finger training, or whatever you want. Is your energy being devoted to the right things?
I’m no expert on climbing, but I noticed when I was doing combat sports that those people who only did technique training got their asses kicked by those who did loads of sparring… and those who did loads of sparring got their asses kicked by those who combined sparring with other forms of training. If the same would apply to climbing, then climbing would indeed be the best training - but far from complete. So a Venn diagram wouldn’t quite capture reality as those who only do climbing could have holes in their game.
But again, I have no idea if the same would apply to climbing
I’m thinking an animation would work well to explain what I mean. You’d have a Venn diagram with little overlap between all those circles. As time progresses, climbing will pull the other circles towards the middle, creating overlap. And as time progresses, training other areas could help push the other circles towards the middle. By doing both, you create the overlap and prevent holes.
If it said climbing should be the only training for climbing, I’d agree. I’d wager the vast majority of people are missing the intentional part, in which case it all falls apart anyway.
But I do have tons of visual ideas I wish I had time to animate!
I’m not sure if my comparison works for climbing in the first place. In combat sports, sparring is a wonderful tool to get better - but you can’t spar with full contact (not for very long, anyway). So you need a heavy bag and other tools for that.
Perhaps with climbing, you could train everything with intentional climbing… I’m a bit skeptical if I’m honest, but I don’t know enough about the subject to predict what kind of holes in your game you would develop if all you did was intentional climbing.
I imagine it would be different for different folks, since none of us are perfectly intentional, and will miss areas where we could improve. There’s also an available time component that surfaces for the majority.
However, the point remains that I see far too many people (in my opinion, and only counting those who I know want to improve) either missing the intentional part of their climbing (they often believe time = better automatically), spending too much time on easier to control strength training, drills, etc (they often believe training = better automatically) and not enough time in the game, or even worse, both.
Frankly, even transfer from a board to rock is difficult. Transfer from a hangboard is harder. From deadlifts harder still. The one thing I know - and literature loosely supports - is that time in the game makes transfer easier. Miss that, and it’s possible your deadlifts and hangs won’t transfer at all.
Hell, even transfer from one rock type to another rock type can take weeks for some climbers.
Sounds like you probably need a coach to get it right! After having done a dozen of other sports, I find it remarkable how many climbers try and get everything right all by themselves. It’s very nice to have someone in your corner