56 and Is it possible?

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Gary_vaulter
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Re: 56 and Is it possible?

Unread postby Gary_vaulter » Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:04 pm

Glad you're still at it!

I too have been working on my "come back". After a brief set back following indoor season (2 heart stints installed) outdoor has shown improvements for me in form and finally, in height.
I started my "Come back" with CrossFit. I was re-starting from ground zero and it took a personal trainer to help me keep an eye on my "not over doing it" and to keep motivating me to stick with it. I had to do about 9 months of general "core" strengthening before I felt ready to pick up a pole again. While I am in the best shape I've been in since I was 20, I can still only manage to vault about once (or maybe twice) a week and then it is strength and conditioning another 2 days a week. My experience is that I can be as strong and fast as I was when I was a teen ... but not for nearly as long. Also, when I do get hurt it takes me MUCH longer to recover than it used to. :(

Another challenge? - I was a pretty successful stick vaulter back in my day so this whole "bending pole" thing is a brave new world.
I broke my very first pole at my last meet.
I'm not sure what goes through a high school kid's mind when THEY break a pole but the first thought I had when I hit the pit was,"Darn! $300!!". Then I saw the horrified expressions on the face of the crowd and I thought, "I wonder if I am hurt. DARN $300!!!" :P

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KirkB
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Re: 56 and Is it possible?

Unread postby KirkB » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:01 pm

Gary_vaulter wrote: I was a pretty successful stick vaulter back in my day so this whole "bending pole" thing is a brave new world.

Straight pole vaulting in 1981? What planet is your state in, and what kind of pole? :confused: :D

I don't mean to be rude, but maybe you got the year wrong? :confused:

BTW, 13-3 ain't bad for a straight pole. :yes:

Kirk
Run. Plant. Jump. Stretch. Whip. Extend. Fly. Clear. There is no tuck! THERE IS NO DELAY!

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Gary_vaulter
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Re: 56 and Is it possible?

Unread postby Gary_vaulter » Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:38 pm

KirkB wrote:
Gary_vaulter wrote: I was a pretty successful stick vaulter back in my day so this whole "bending pole" thing is a brave new world.

Straight pole vaulting in 1981? What planet is your state in, and what kind of pole?


LOL
I was from the planet where Fibreglass Poles apparently came in lengths of 14' and longer. The available weight ratings were not nearly as vast as these kids have today or (apparently) as precise! My dad (who is in his 70's and still coaching ) recently went and flex tested an old, black Catapole from back then. It was rated as a 14' 125 but based on the 20 other poles he now has, it flexes closer to being a 135!
Anyway ... in 8th grade I actually used an aluminum pole (lots of "CLANG!" and no bend). Got to HS and found that they owned ONE pole and had no interest in buying anymore. Seems like it was a white, 14' 165lb Pacer. I weighed around 107 ... maybe ...after a big lunch. My dad hunted around and somehow came up with a 14' 115lb pole. Suffice it to say I wasn't go to bend that guy.

I guess technically speaking, by the time I was a JR in HS and was going around 11'6" I was able to hold high enough on the pole to start getting what I can only call an "impact bend". It gave just enough to keep me from ripping my scrawny arms out of my sockets and get into the pit. Keep in mind that back then there were no rules as to how close in you could move the bar. My Senior year my dad splurged and bought me a 14+, blue SkyPole (can't remember the weight) and I was able to sneak my hand up to around maybe 13' 6". I just had good stick vaulting form. I had literately been vaulting since I was old enough to hold my own weight on the pole (my dad would move the pole for me and I would swing up over a high jump bar and into a pile of blankets) so I had that form down but was never very strong or fast. I was always proud of the fact that I could vault above my top hand by as much as 6" or so with a straight pole.
Since I couldn't get a fibreglass pole that was close to my weight(physical ability) I guess I was lucky to have a dad/coach who had vaulted with bamboo poles and had gone 11' on something called "Swedish Steel" poles. I had to learn that technique.

Now that I am getting the "big boy bend" I am trying to learn a slightly different plant and very different timing. I get a BIG bend and then can't seem to get my hips back along the pole before it unloads ... this of course throws me down into the bar instead of up and over it. :confused:

Looking forward to figuring it out though! As far as I am concerned, when it all goes right on a jump ... there is no better feeling in the world! :D

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Re: 56 and Is it possible?

Unread postby KirkB » Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:19 pm

Ah! That explains it!

Gary_vaulter wrote: Now that I am getting the "big boy bend" I am trying to learn a slightly different plant and very different timing. I get a BIG bend and then can't seem to get my hips back along the pole before it unloads ... this of course throws me down into the bar instead of up and over it. :confused:

I used a Swedish steel in Grade 10 (10-6 on a 10-0 pole), and when I started using fibreglass in Grade 11, I too thought that I needed to focus on bending the pole, and it would somehow shoot me over the bar. Big mistake, but there weren't any coaches around to tell me otherwise. This was in 1967 - about 14 years before your HS days.

From one over-the-hill guy to another, my best advice to you is to NOT forget your swinging technique that got you over 13-3 with a straight pole. You should NOT be making such major changes to your technique (riding the pole), unless you don't care about technique and PRs, and you're just out for a joy ride on the pole.

Almost every competent coach today will advise you to focus more on swinging just as you used to in your straight pole days, and GRADUALLY get more and more bend in the pole. Note that I didn't say put more and more bend in the pole. I know you're having fun with the big bend now, but the natural swinging action of a straight pole vault should be your starting point for advancing your technique and your PR.
Gary_vaulter wrote: I broke my very first pole at my last meet.

Clearly too much bend.

I know you didn't ask for this advice, but I hope you can appreciate it.

Kirk
Run. Plant. Jump. Stretch. Whip. Extend. Fly. Clear. There is no tuck! THERE IS NO DELAY!

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Gary_vaulter
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Lifetime Best: 13'3"
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Favorite Vaulter: Bob Seagren

Re: 56 and Is it possible?

Unread postby Gary_vaulter » Sun Aug 03, 2014 12:31 am

KirkB wrote:I know you didn't ask for this advice, but I hope you can appreciate it.

Kirk


Thanks Kirk. I'm old enough now to know I should listen to anyone who is willing to offer help.
I still have to figure out what will work for me but I've realized that if you stop listening you just might miss that ONE thing that you needed to hear!

Don't know if any of you might be going to the Henderson Street Vault next Friday night but I vaulted today and determined I'm fit enough to give it a go!
Hope to see lots of "masters" there.

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souleman
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Re: 56 and Is it possible?

Unread postby souleman » Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:01 am

Kirk is dead on with his advice. I find that with my new and new/old vaulters I keep them on a stiff pole pretty much for the first year. (Sessions are once a week during the "no snow" months). It's probably been said already but I think it bares repeating. A bending pole will hide a lot of technical flaws whereas a stiff pole will color those flaws florescent yellow, (metaphor there). As he said the swing seems to be the hardest thing to get back so therefore lots of time should be spent on relearning or improving that. One of the drills that I have my vaulters do coordinates with DJ's step chart as a guide. We have a big ol' stiff pole that is marked according to the grip section of his chart. 9' 10" actual on the pole is marked 8 feet . 10' 2" is marked 8' 6" and so on. Then from 3 lefts we work our way up the pole with a cross bar at the prescribed height to the chart and the first left being the mid mark on the chart. At some grip and step and bar height the vaulter will stall or just about stall. At that point we go back one grip and after making the bar we move the bar up six inches and try to make that with the previous mid mark and grip. Once made we move the bar up and try to make that. Over time you'll be jumping two to three bars higher than the prescribed grip and step on the chart. The only way to do that is to swing up and get over you grip. Just like we had to do with that old 16 foot red Gill steel pole. Bubba calls it "face your Demons" I call it "jumping the chart". It's made a big difference with a lot of my vaulters. A couple of years ago I had 2 boys jumping over 12' 6" with an 11'5" grip (DJ'S prescribed grip for 10'6") from 3 lefts (38') on a stiff pole. I don't know if any of this will work for you but because your brain is still in "the days gone by" mode it would be a great way for you to maintain technique as you are learning and timing out a flexible pole. Good luck and keep on keepin' on. This is a great event and once you start hanging out with and meeting all the rest of us crazy geezers that vault, it will even be more enjoyable.
Later
Mike

Todd Haire
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Re: 56 and Is it possible?

Unread postby Todd Haire » Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:32 pm

Mike, allow me to respectfully disagree. One benefit of the flexible pole is that it allows one to hold higher than you can otherwise.
I say embrace that fact. There is a time for short run straight pole work but at 50plus the bigger bars are going to come with higher grips and timing up with the pole/grip/run combination you use in competition. If you only get to jump once a week I ask why spend that time jumping from 3? You would be better off doing rope drills
and high bar for spatial awareness and body control but actual jumping should focus on plant and takeoff. Dial in a six or seven left run up, accelerate through your take off with both hands reaching high. Work up through a few poles, challenge yourself and then time your swing/rock back with the pole that you can safely work with.
It just does not make sense to try to accustom oneself to the feel and response of a very flexible pole by straight poling.


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