The USA Climbing Coaches Symposium is coming back to the 2018 CWA Summit! Join coaching experts and thought leaders hand-selected by USAC for in-depth training that will give you tangible takeaways to implement in your programs.


Connect with fellow coaches and share tips, tricks, trends and techniques for coaching and training your youth team.


Leave with tangible takeaways from the conference, which is stacked with sessions focused on coaching and training.


See the latest and greatest innovations from your favorite gear companies in the exhibit hall, showcasing more than 60 companies.

My experience at the USAC Coaches Symposium was extremely positive! The selection of presenters over two days allowed for great conversation and exchange of ideas. It’s so exciting to see how passionate coaches are and being able to network with each other in an environment like this creates long term relationships with other programs. I walked away energized for another season!

Justen Sjong, Team Solo Coach



In addition to access to the full CWA Summit schedule, the Coaches Symposium offers a lineup of focused conference content and an opportunity to network with your industry peers.


FRIDAY MAY 18, 2018

8:30am - 9:45pm

Ben Spannuth, Tension Climbing

10:00am - 11:15am

Justen Sjong, Climbing Sensei

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Facilitated by: Amy Manson, Positive Coach Alliance


Date: Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Location: Aspen Daisy, Embassy Suites Conference Center

Cost: $150 for conference attendees

Description: Creating a positive, character-building youth or high school sports experience requires organizational leaders committed to creating and maintaining a Development Zone™ for developing “Better Athletes, Better People.” This workshop helps your leadership team do exactly that.

One key outcome of the workshop is a written action plan for your leadership team, created with the guidance of the PCA Trainer (workshop facilitator), specific to the needs and circumstances of your organization and the population it serves. Throughout the workshop, and reflected in the action plan, is an emphasis on PCA’s “Single-Goal” Leader model, in which shaping the culture of your organization is the primary task of your leadership team.

Leaders attending this workshop will receive the book Developing Better Athletes, Better People: A Leader’s Guide to Transforming High School and Youth Sports into a Development Zone.

About Amy: Amy has been with the PCA for 3 years, and ran professionally for Nike. She qualified for 3 Olympic trials. Amy served on the 2014 coaching staff with the US Track & Field Team. Currently, Amy directs a youth track & field program that was voted one of the top youth sports programs in the United States by the National Council of Youth Sports in 2014. 


Speaker: Justen Sjong, Climbing Sensei

Conference Track: USA Climbing Coaches Symposium

Description: This session will layout a conversation addressing the importance of investing in a quality coaching staff and the value this staff will bring to your gym. You will find answers to questions such as:

 - What determines a quality coach?

 - Does your community have a good youth program but struggle with building a program that works with adults?

 - What are some next steps for building dynamic adult programs in your community?

About Justen: Justen is an accomplished coach. He has been coaching climbers since 1994, and in that time he has helped people of all abilities push their limits. He specializes in evaluating climbing movement and provides drills to improve an athlete's weaknesses. With a balance of intensity and light-heartedness, he explains complex ideas in a simple, logical manner so that his clients understand the long-term direction and goals.


10:00am - 12:00pm

Amy Manson, Positive Coaching Alliance

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8:30am - 9:45pm

Tyler Johnson, Positive Coaching Alliance

11:30am - 12:45pm

Tyler Johnson, Positive Coaching Alliance

3:00pm - 4:15pm

Arno Ilgner, The Warrior's Way

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Speaker: Tyler Johnson, Positive Coaching Alliance

Conference Track: USA Climbing Coaches Symposium

Description: The research and experiences of great coaches across the country is clear: Positive is Powerful. In this highly interactive two-hour workshop – sparked by video-based advice from top pro athletes and coaches on PCA’s National Advisory Board – attendees explore why and how to pursue both winning and the more important goal of teaching life lessons through climbing.


Each of your coaches will leave the workshop as a PCA-certified Double-Goal Coach, knowing how to: Fill Emotional Tanks; Coach for Mastery of Sport (Not Just Results); and Honor the Game.

About Tyler: Tyler was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, moving to Iowa when he was five. Tyler played about every sport out there, eventually finding success as an all-state running back and elite all-state track athlete. He received a scholarship to play football at the University of Northern Iowa, where he served as captain, and helped the Panthers to two conference titles and NCAA playoffs. Getting a degree in business and economics he used that to work in professional sports working for the Chicago White Sox, Denver Nuggets and helping launch the Colorado Chapter of Positive Coaching Alliance. Currently Tyler does workshops for Positive Coaching Alliance, works with Denver NeuraPerformance Brain Center and works with high school and collegiate athletes through his company Elevate Educate Rejuvenate. His mission is to help athletes become the positive leaders that our teams, schools and communities need. Also enjoys novice indoor rock climbing!



Speaker: Arno Ilgner, The Warrior's Way

Conference Track: USA Climbing Coaches Symposium

Description: Motivation can move us toward willingly engaging stressful competitive situations or create anxiety, dreading competition. By understanding motivation we're less likely to fall victim to its limitations and better able to capitalize on its strengths. We can create a habit that utilizes the helpful aspects of motivation and have practices that strengthen it.

The audience will leave understanding a key habit that shifts attention to the helpful aspects of motivation and practices that support it. These can be utilized themselves or when teaching climbers and competitors to maximize performance and enjoyment. 

Attendees will learn how to:

 - Understand the strengths and limitations of motivation
 - Create a foundational habit that motivates us to engage stress

 - Identify practices we can focus on that support this foundational habit

About Arno: Arno Ilgner distinguished himself as a pioneering rock climber in the 1970s and 80s. In 1995, after searching the literature and practice of mental training, Ilgner formalized his methods, created The Warrior’s Way, and began teaching full time. Ilgner has taught clinics across the U.S.A. and abroad. He holds a BA in Geology, operated a geological consulting firm, acted as CFO for a company, and attended the Army Ranger School. He lives and climbs in Tennessee.


Speaker: Ben Spannuth, Tension Climbing

Conference Track: USA Climbing Coaches Symposium

Description: Measuring the forces applied to climbing holds throughout a movement is one means of providing information about how climbing moves vary between movement type, climber, and attempt. Coaches and setters interested in the requirements of a climber to perform a given move and how to maximize climbing efficiency may benefit from attending.

About Ben: Ben is a co-founder of Tension Climbing and past physiology instructor and neuroscience researcher.



Register online by May 9 to get the best pricing!

See pricing details for more info.