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“My plan gives me confidence”: OnePlan meets climber Toby Roberts ahead of Paris 2024

British athlete Toby Roberts is competing in Sport Climbing at The Olympic Games Paris 2024. Having qualified in late 2023, his plan for Paris has been 9 months in the making. Toby’s approach to planning shares similar attributes to how The Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 is being planned in OnePlan - and for both Toby and OnePlan, Paris 2024 is a first Olympic Games. Here’s Toby’s story of how he plans for success.

How have you planned for Paris 2024?

Toby: “After qualifying in Laval, France at the end of October 2023, I had around 9 months to prepare for the Olympic Games Paris 2024. With my team, the first thing we did was not to panic - there was a good amount of time and we spent around 2 weeks discussing and brainstorming what we wanted to achieve before Paris.

“We started with the competition date and worked backwards to the current day. We created a plan that included a 2 month base phase with a focus on strength and conditioning, followed by trips to the best training facilities in Tokyo and Innsbruck before the World Cup season began in China.

“We planned and delivered a strategy that has got me in the shape of my life - physically, mentally and technically.”

Toby Roberts
Head of Games IS
Paris 2024

“We had a phased approach breaking the months up into strength and conditioning, power, technical skills and execution. Using our available time, we planned and delivered a strategy that has got me in the shape of my life - physically, mentally and technically.”

How do you get in great shape for competing at major events?

Toby: “An analogy we use is about 'baggage'. Before a competition you have a certain amount of baggage whether its training, logistics, illness, mental preparation, even things like jet lag and countless decisions that have to be factored in and worked through - these are all things that have a huge impact on a competition.

“The aim in the build up to a competition is to 'offload' that baggage - by systematically working through the steps required to turn up and compete in great shape... carrying no baggage.

“Before The Olympic Games Paris 2024, there was 9 months of baggage and a huge amount of training, competing and planning to be done. By the time Paris 2024 arrives I will be ready knowing I have made the maximum use of the time available.”

What’s the most important element for how you plan?

Toby: “Maximising the use of my time is the most important thing for my planning. By having a high-level overview with all my objectives mapped out I can then focus on the day-to-day training and the immediate tasks in front of me.

“Breaking down what I need to into small steps makes it a manageable and efficient process.”

OnePlan has made a digital twin of where you’ll be competing at Le Bourget. We’ve done this in partnership with Intel, worldwide partner of the IOC. Is it useful seeing a VenueTwin of where you’ll be competing?

Toby: “Seeing the VenueTwin of Le Bourget was the first time I saw where I'd be competing at Paris 2024. Suddenly it felt like I was in the stadium.

“I genuinely wasn't expecting to feel anything but all of a sudden it felt like I was there. So my first reaction was probably one of realisation - suddenly seeing where I'd compete after working towards this for 6 years.

“Seeing the VenueTwin of Le Bourget - suddenly it felt like I was in the stadium.”

Toby Roberts
Head of Games IS
Paris 2024

“Then practically it’s really useful just to have an early mental image of how things would look - the layouts, the colours, the spectator seating. It all helps to visualise and you start mentally preparing. It would definitely be useful for any event.”

You're given a few minutes to look at the climbing wall before competing. How do you approach this crucial moment of pre-event planning?

Toby: “The competitors all get six minutes in front of the climbing wall to plan their routes. I’d say the feeling for me is 'focused and intense' more than anything else. I’m both trying to memorise what's in front of me and brainstorming at the same time. And thinking really dynamically and trying to visualise the best solution at speed. I think about the options and techniques required and trying to get in the mind of the route setters.

“At this stage, I’m calling on all of my experience so when it's time to climb I’m the most prepared I can be.”

As well as this being a first for both you and OnePlan, we also share similar roots. You’re from Guildford in the UK, which is where OnePlan started. How do you train and relax when you’re at home?

Toby: “I spend a lot of time travelling but it's equally important to rest. When at home I remain pretty active going for runs and bike rides around the local area which is incredible.

“There are some local climbing facilities which help me to keep ticking over - but mostly it’s just a really nice place to relax and recover. As soon as I'm ready to go again it’s well connected.”

We’re in full admiration of Toby’s detailed approach to planning and give him our very best wishes for competing at The Olympic Games Paris 2024!