Bending the pole and over bending the pole

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Bending the pole and over bending the pole

Unread postby RJmackey36972 » Thu May 12, 2016 5:09 pm

Hey I'm Ryan I'm a first year pole vaulter I've cleared 10' and I've gotten over 11' in the air. I weigh about 133 lbs and have wrestled most of my life. I'm currents having a problem with my pole now though. When I first learned to bend the pole I quickly started over bending and blowing through our 130lb pole and then moved up to our 145 but now I'm starting to over bend this pole and blow through with it and the pole is pretty new too. I don't understand why I would over bend it though it's a 12'4" pole and I'm pretty far under it weight wise I tried to move up to the 150lb pole but have found the transition pretty rough and I'm not even capping the pole. So I'm wondering if their is a reason I'm over bending it cause I know a lot of pole vaulters who use poles under their weight with no problem and if theirs nothing I can really do to fix it what can I do to make the transition easier I'm holding at about 11' on the 150lb 12'6" pole. Please help it's getting close to the end of the season and I wanna clear 11 I know I have the ability too since I've gotten that height before

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Re: Bending the pole and over bending the pole

Unread postby GasPasser » Fri May 13, 2016 2:55 am

Without videos, it is hard to give you advice.

First, many HS vaulters, especially boys, tend to overly focus on bending the pole. The event is "pole vaulting" not "pole bending". I'm going to guess that when you learned how to bend the pole, it was by focusing on locking out the bottom arm. This is not good - it is actually detrimental to a vaulters progression.

As to the pole weight - the weight rating is given to the pole by the manufacturer by means of a flex test. They use the same span (distance between supports) to see how much the pole will flex with a fixed weight hung from the middle. They use different spans for different length poles. So it would be wrong to think that a 150 is one step up from a 145 if the poles are different lengths. The weight rates are somewhat comparable when held just below the weight label. The more you are below the label, the stiffer the pole will be. The rule of thumb most coaches use is that for every 6 inches below the label, the pole gets 10 lbs stiffer. Watch this video to see it explained in detail. Hat tip to Shawn Francis for making this video!

So if we are talking about comparing a 12'4"-145 to a 12'6"-150, the difference is more likely 8 lbs rather than 5. Also, the weight rating is not to the pound. They uses a range of flexes for a given weight rating (that only changes every 5 lbs). So if you have one pole that low (soft) in the range for 145 lbs, and a 150 lb pole that was high (stiff) in it's range, their could be almost 10 lbs of difference. Likewise, if the 145 was stiff, and the 150 was soft, they could feel almost the same. BTW, poles don't soften up from use or age.

Look at some of the posting under video review section here on PVP and see if you can find some advice there that may help you. Without seeing a video of you jumping, it's hard to give you advice. I suspect that your issues are more likely technique than pole issues.

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