Belaying is not a simple or easy task. It takes practice, experience and good decision making. When on lead belay, especially on single pitch were you have a clear view of your partner, it is very important that you keep your eyes on your climber and be ready to catch a fall at any moment. Lead belay education should continue and improve thru your years of climbing. If you have been belaying the same way for 5 years, its due time for you to learn something new.
Here we have Kevin giving us a quick demonstration of an attentive partner and a not-so-attentive one.
One the first photo he is prepared to jump in the air and give his partner a dynamic belay (soft catch) on vertical wall. On the second photo he is demonstrating a non-dynamic way to belay, which during a fall can cause your climber to break an ankle or worse.
You can find more tips and tricks on the article 25+ Ways To Be A Better Belayer written by Julie Ellison for Climbing.com.