Interview: Will Bosi
Will Bosi recently became the youngest Britain to climb 9a, which is really impressive, but in reality it’s just one facet of his climbing. He’s also climbed V14, podium-placed in multiple European Youth Cup events and won many of the UK Lead and Boulder Comps. These kind of accolades however, often overshadow the hard work and never-ending process that goes into building up the ability to perform. We have been working with Will for a number of years now and it’s been great to see someone put so much dedication and consistency into their training. No complaints, no grumbling…. he just gets on with it!
We thought it would be nice for some of you out there so hear a little about what goes on behind the scenes and why your ultimate goal might be more possible that you think.
Ok, let’s start with something both of us hear about a lot in climbing – “That climber, he’s just talented! He was always amazing”
Yeah, that’s something I’ve heard a lot, said about a lot of people. It’s an interesting thing, because I do think talent is involved with climbing, but it’s not the major factor. I’ve seen some really talented climbers, but they don’t train and then they end up going nowhere with their climbing ultimately. So yeah, it does play a part but it’s quite a small one.
Now that you’ve climbed 9a I’ve heard quite a lot of people saying William Bosi is talented. What do you think? Do you have an advantage?
Well one of the odd things is that my dad has been climbing a bit recently and he’s never done any training or anything in his life and he can get on a tiny crimp and pull really hard on it! It really surprised me. So I think I probably have quite good finger strength. Although I do remember when I first came and tested with you, you said I didn’t.
Ha! Yeah, sorry Will. The numbers never lie… I’ve had to tell a few other good climbers that over the years! Talking of that, do you remember the first session we did together you couldn’t lock off at all at 90 degrees on a big jug?
Yeah it is quite amusing. I remember on the first 2 yrs that I was on the GB Junior Team and I used to do terribly on the physical testing – I was always the worst. But then the year after of starting work with you and working really hard that winter something changed. I went to the next training and Molly Thompson-Smith was laughing at me saying “It’s the lock-offs now, you won’t be able to do this bit…” and then I got on the hold and held it for the maximum time with a massive grin on my face. [ed: We didn’t ask him to say that!]
Do you ever find it hard trying to convince other climbers that you were once weak and it was simply a case of going away and working really hard? It wasn’t just free?
I know a lot of people that can’t do a lock-off or whatever and say they can’t do it, but then they’re not prepared to go away and work on it. You just need to go away and work on it progressively.
Do you find that 9a is a big deal for you? It is something you were scared of? Or is your performance outside simply a consequence of training hard inside and then getting on with doing something you love outside?
It’s something I’ve thought about quite a bit in the past. If people think about a hard route, a 9a, Rainshadow, Hubble, whatever, I think they just feel it’s too hard. That was the thing about Rainshadow for me, I thought about how hard I’ve worked, how hard I’ve trained – and I went at it with the attitude of how hard can it be. I feel like people can get trapped into the thought if someone good has tried the route and they didn’t do it, then they can’t also.
Having now climbed a hard grade, do you find it puts pressure on you?
No, I don’t feel any pressure at all. Always from a young age, I had in my head that you can keep progressing. I knew that if you worked hard you would keep getting better, so it’s sort of satisfying to know that this has still stayed true for me. Having done that now, I know I can do harder and keep doing more. I definitely feel like it’s a big stepping stone in my climbing and it’s really motivating…. I’m just, let’s keep working hard and see what other routes I can do.
Do you get the same feeling that I do when I complete a hard project I trained for – I find that only a day or so afterward I’ve completely forgotten about the achievement and I’m already looking for what’s next and how I’m going to improve myself more. Is that similar for you?
Definitely. It was amazing when I did Rainshadow and I had 5 mins of smiling and then I was back to thinking about what was next. I don’t feel guilty about it or anything, just happy that I could have done something that I’d seen years before and thought that it would be insane to do! It’s really opened a door and got me more psyched overall.
Ok, I’m going to come back to one last training question at the end. Do you think hard work or consistency is more important for progress?
I think hard work. I mean, you have to go climbing regularly of course. I think that as long as every time that you go to the wall and whatever you do, that you try your hardest at each thing. This will always keep you improving in some way.
Thanks for answering some questions Will! Keep up the good work and I’m sure plenty of people out there will be inspired to work harder now 🙂