Hey Drew! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Drew Caywood and I’m 15 years old. I am from Bentonville, Arkansas and will be a 10th grader at Bentonville High School this coming year.
How long have you been climbing and what got you interested?
I’ve been climbing for a little over a year. I started just a couple months after Climb Bentonville opened their doors. I became interested when a friend invited me to join him one day at the gym and I immediately got hooked. The next day, I went with my dad and bet him that I would be able to get past a point that he couldn’t. After one try I did it. Seeing the potential and hard work that goes into this sport, I fell in love right away.
How has being a part of the youth team improved your climbing?
Being a part of the youth team has really opened my eyes to not only climbing on a team, but being a part of a great community. All three of my coaches: Andy, Blake and Cory have given me support and guidance that is invaluable to my climbing. Andy has been my primary/personal coach even through the whole Covid pandemic. He took me under his wing and has graciously helped me improve with new training tactics.
What level/grade were you climbing at prior to youth team versus now?
When I first joined the youth team I was climbing 5.9 and V3 on my best days, but after learning new techniques and some training I have improved my skill level to climbing a 5.13 and i’m even working on a V10 outside. My passion for climbing is stronger than ever.
What is the one thing that you have learned through the youth team at Climb that has made the biggest difference in your climbing?
I think the biggest thing that has helped me improve my climbing is the encouragement from such a positive climbing community. Everyone has been so welcoming and willing to help me grow.
Who is your biggest influence in the world of climbing?
My biggest influence, and someone who has truly impacted my climbing journey, is my coach Andy Stover. Andy is an amazing coach and friend who is always willing to help and share his knowledge. He has helped me improve not only physically, but also mentally. He’s given me training regiments for the past couple months. I consider him, as well my very supportive family, to be my biggest influence and inspiration that drives me through my climbing journey.