Background Existing literature has connected heightened levels of conscientiousness and grit and lowered levels of neuroticism to greater general athletic performance (Courneya & Hellsten, 1998; McEwan, Boudreau, Curran, & Rhodes, 2019; Steca et al., 2018). Rockclimbing is a growing field of interest and the question of whether conscientiousness, neuroticism, and grit are correlated with rock-climbing performance and improvement remains unexplored.

Methods To assess relationships among conscientiousness, neuroticism, grit, and rock-climbing performance, twenty-three undergraduate students with no significant climbing experience participated in a two-part study at a small religious university in the Midwest. Participants were recruited through professors known by the researcher, who passed sign-up sheets to their classes. Upon participation, students were given informed consent forms and scales measuring grit and Big-Five traits, including conscientiousness and neuroticism, then were measured climbing three routes at varying difficulty levels on two occasions, six weeks apart.

Results Data were analyzed using repeated-measures ANOVA tests, and no statistically significant interactions were found between conscientiousness, neuroticism, or grit and rock-climbing performance.

Conclusion The lack of statistical significance suggests that the anticipated relationships did not exist in the sample surveyed. However, the sample size was small, and a floor effect existed for one of the operationalizations of rock-climbing performance. Therefore, our conclusions regarding the relationships between conscientiousness, neuroticism, grit, and rock-climbing performance are regarded as tentative.