World Cup Gold Medalist Brooke Raboutou Is All About Her Mental Game

Written by Erin Kelly

Brooke Raboutou has quite the decorated resume. Known throughout the climbing world as one of the best all-around rock climbers of her generation, she began making headlines at the age of nine, when she became the youngest female to send (reach the top of) V10, an advanced climbing route typically reserved for experienced adults. Since then, her accomplishments have only gotten bigger. She competed at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and won her first World Cup gold medal earlier this year at the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) climbing competition in Boulder, Colorado.

Raboutou comes from a family of climbers, so perhaps it’s not surprising that she excels at the sport. But at 22 years old, this is just the beginning for the talented young athlete. We teamed up with e.l.f. Cosmetics to learn more about her, what fuels her motivation, and what she’s looking to accomplish next.

1. In her teens, she questioned her desire to compete.

Both of Raboutou’s parents are professional climbers, as is her brother, so she was quite literally born into the sport. Much of her childhood memories involve climbing, allowing her to fall in love with the sport quickly. Yet there was a time in her life when she doubted her desire to perform at a professional level.

“I’ve been climbing since I could walk and always loved the movement of the sport, but through my early teenage years, I questioned if I wanted to compete at such a high level or just be a ‘normal’ teenager,” says Raboutou. In the end, though, “my passion for the sport continues to grow every day.”

2. She has a degree in marketing and a keen interest in psychology.

Raboutou is known for her athletic achievements, but she’s also accomplished in the classroom. She graduated from the University of San Diego in January, and while she majored in marketing, her enthusiasm is palpable when she talks about her minor: psychology.

“I love to learn,” she says. “I’m very interested in the way the brain works and how humans interact, so I’ve enjoyed learning about that through school, books, and talking to professionals in the field. In the future, I want to use my degree and passion for the mental side of climbing to help others reach their goals and increase their well-being simultaneously.”

3. Her beauty aesthetic is “natural.”

Raboutou is a makeup minimalist when she climbs, and while she’ll go for a more decorated look for competitions and nights out with friends, she still prefers a natural aesthetic. That applies to her look and the ingredients in her cosmetics: She sticks to natural, non-toxic products that aren’t harmful or disruptive to herself or the environment.

“I love a natural look and appreciate products that feel natural on my skin as opposed to heavy and clumpy,” Raboutou says. “That’s why I love e.l.f. Cosmetics’ Liquid Poreless Putty Primer as a base to even out my face and keep it hydrated when I put makeup on.” Additionally, “spending a lot of time outdoors and in harsh conditions really dries out my skin, especially my face,” she says. “It’s a necessity for me to keep my face hydrated, and e.l.f. helps me do that.”

4. The secret to her climbing success is a strong mental game.

Although climbing requires a great amount of physical strength and power, it’s also a mental game. Raboutou often climbs solo for hours and needs to dig deep to overcome any negative emotions or thoughts that may interfere with her performance.

Improving and maintaining her willpower involves solo work, like meditation and mindfulness every morning, as well as working with coaches and mentors to learn strategies to regulate her emotions in the moment and increase her mental fortitude. Helping others master their mental resilience is something Raboutou hopes to pursue in the future: “I want to continue pushing my limits within the sport and also dive deeper into the psychological component of sport, working on my mental game and helping others do the same.”

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