MOJO Athletes and Families,
As the 2015-2016 USAC Bouldering Season winds down, all of the MOJO coaches would like to congratulate our athletes on an incredible season! The opportunity to experience a shared passion for the sport of rock climbing with the next generation of tremendously talented climbers is one of the things we treasure most about working here; we are immensely thankful for this opportunity.
To our team parents and families, we would also like to extend our sincere gratitude. MOJO would not exist without your kids, but coaching would be much more difficult if it were not for the time, energy, and support that you put in each week. Whether it’s carpools, help with fundraisers, asking questions, volunteering at competitions, or just simply supporting the enthusiasm of your strong, motivated kiddos, we cannot be thankful enough for all that you do to make the team possible.
We are excited that four of our athletes- Domingo Jones, Joshua Le Rexford, Katie Bone, and Saskia Bauman- are all headed to USAC Youth Bouldering Nationals next month in Madison, Wisconsin. Additionally, another twenty-eight of our team members moved on from our Regional competition and represented Stone Age at Divisionals in Tuscon, Arizona. MOJO had more team members at Divisionals than any year in the past, truly a testament to the strong future of the MOJO and the Stone Age climbing community.
As coaches, we endeavor to further hone and improve the experience we are able to offer MOJO athletes each season. Looking toward the 2016 USAC Sport climbing season and beyond, small changes will slowly take place within the structure of MOJO so we can continue to provide the best coaching possible.
First and foremost, the coaches felt unanimously that the single best way to improve the experience for our athletes is for each athlete to receive more personal attention from coaches during practice. To approach this goal, our team for the 2016 USAC Sport season will consist of 48 spots, with 16 athletes per team. Currently, we invite 18 athletes per team.
Secondly, we will be updating our expectations outlined in our team contract to require at least 1 more day spent climbing outside of weekly practices in addition to enforcing the existing obligations. Our hope is that, by increasing our ratio of coaches to athletes at each practice and ensuring a high level of commitment to MOJO from the athletes, both coaches and athletes will have more to offer and to gain from MOJO moving forward.
Finally, MOJO was founded on the idea of “creating climbers for life.” A crucial element of this mission statement is providing athletes with a diversity of climbing experiences outside of the gym. MOJO’s outdoor climbing trips up to this point have been some of our favorite experiences as coaches, but they have simultaneously proved a significant financial barrier to effective operation of the team. As coaches, we want to offer as many outdoor climbing opportunities as possible to the athletes who value them without sacrificing other aspects of our programming.
Beginning next season, outdoor trips will be offered on a pay-per-trip basis. By charging per trip, we hope to schedule and adequately staff more outdoor trips per season, and make available more climbing trips for those athletes passionate about climbing outdoors. Bryan, Maggie, Lance, and Aaron are currently reworking our MOJO budget to see if and how these changes will affect the cost of our team dues. As soon as the numbers are available, we will communicate any changes in price or payment structure to all of our team families.
In the meantime, we’re excited to finish this season’s workouts in high spirits, truly proud of all the team has accomplished this year. We look forward to tryouts for the Sport climbing season, and all of the new challenges and rewards each MOJO athlete is sure to provide us in the coming year. If you see our athletes that are representing MOJO and Stone Age at Nationals next month, please support them and congratulate them on their hard work and terrific performance.
Thank you for being a part of the MOJO family,
MOJO coaching staff