Worst indoor season ever ?

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SlickVT
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Re: Worst indoor season ever ?

Unread postby SlickVT » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:02 pm

altius wrote:"we need these kids to vault for 4 more years to reach potential." Absolutely - Plus the opportunity to experience international competition! But clearly this is not possible in the US unless they have wealthy relatives, or are prepared to make enormous sacrifices over several years to achieve a goal - with no guarantees that they will get there!


I agree completely! I do have something to add...

I have not seen a mention of the mental toll that comes with post-collegiate vaulting. There a several exceptions across the board, but in general, vaulters are a very educated and dedicated bunch. Brian can attest that during our college (and post-collegiate days), we were diligent about diet, sleep, recovery, etc. Its not easy to for a college kid to decide that during the college years of his life, he is going to give up beer, fatty food, late nights, relationships and alot of "college" experiences to dedicate himself/herself to the vault.

When the eligibility is up, the vaulter has a choice: Continue on the same diligent path in training and life only to vault facing even more struggle (travel, cost, equipment, etc) with the mentioned NO GUARANTEES; OR get a job in your field, eat, drink, relax, and vacation all you want... and make some money.

Additionally, that choice and struggle become MUCH harder and the gap in the two lifesyles opens WAY up when you have a bad month or bad year of vaulting after graduation. The grass looks alot greener on the other side during or following of a bad year.

I was never an "elite" vaulter. I tried to play the role for two years, and we at VT trained hard and trained smart. In the end, struggling as a sub-elite scrapper was too much when faced with the choice of entering the engineering field with a MS degree or continuing on struggling. I have now turned to helping out with some coaching.

I can imagine the difficulty that vaulters with higher PR's face in the same circumstances to be that much closer...

Its tough.
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Re: Worst indoor season ever ?

Unread postby wtfisup » Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:23 pm

A great depiction of post collegiate vaulting in the States is in the movie "The Wrestler." Only with a smaller fan base, no steriods, and not as much wrestling haha.
Bottom line, win a medal or jump 6m or both if you want to "make a living" polevaulting. Other wise, no one really wants to pay you or watch you jump and even then not many American know what 6m is or any other olympian besides Phelps. You have to do for yourself and really love what you do.

I'm not on the elite level but I've trained in the US post university and now in Europe under the club system. I would say that it is "easier" to get sponsorship and financial opportunites in Europe but it's still not easy. Polevaulting is a blue collar event, you gotta work and pay to play. There's little return but its the self satisfaction of knowing you battled and (hopefully) overcame stuggle.
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Re: Worst indoor season ever ?

Unread postby VaultNinja » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:52 am

wtfisup wrote:A great depiction of post collegiate vaulting in the States is in the movie "The Wrestler." Only with a smaller fan base, no steriods, and not as much wrestling haha.
Bottom line, win a medal or jump 6m or both if you want to "make a living" polevaulting. Other wise, no one really wants to pay you or watch you jump and even then not many American know what 6m is or any other olympian besides Phelps. You have to do for yourself and really love what you do.

I'm not on the elite level but I've trained in the US post university and now in Europe under the club system. I would say that it is "easier" to get sponsorship and financial opportunites in Europe but it's still not easy. Polevaulting is a blue collar event, you gotta work and pay to play. There's little return but its the self satisfaction of knowing you battled and (hopefully) overcame stuggle.


I agree with this guy. Very well put.

Does anyone have anything to add about what they are doing personally to help the problem rather than just site fact and ramble on about technique per usual? I'm curious. If not I feel like this 5 page thread is truly meaningless. Action speaks, talk is cheap.
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Re: Worst indoor season ever ?

Unread postby VaultisgOOd » Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:17 pm

I would say that all the struggling college vaulters (like myself) are contributing just by staying in the game and pushing through the hard-ships. The more vaulters we have willing to give up everything for the vault, the better. This way we ( current struggling college vaulters) have been through the process and can push to change the system one day, and hopefully help younger vaulters avoid or battle through what we have/are going through. I know personally I will never drift away from this sport and will strive to make it a much more opportunity-filled sport in the future, so that the younglings have the chance to love this great event as much as I do.

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Re: Worst indoor season ever ?

Unread postby altius » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:58 pm

Interesting to consider the difference that Skipper could have made to the scene this winter had he persisted. A great talent - certainly a 6m plus vaulter - wasted.
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Re: Worst indoor season ever ?

Unread postby CowtownPV » Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:28 am

At what point in life does a vaulter decide they are tired of struggling to make ends meet to chase a dream and begin thier life away from the track? Every vaulter has to decide this.
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Re: Worst indoor season ever ?

Unread postby wtfisup » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:18 am

I think it depends on your support. (family, friends, job, etc) and when you feel like you can't (don't want to) improve anymore. Injuries also play a major role. Just depends on the athlete, how smart they are to allow themselves to continue. I haven't hit a PR in 3 years now but still pushing because I think I can.
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Re: Worst indoor season ever ?

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:12 pm

Maybe the best thing someone could do to help US pole vaulting is offer financial motivation to Tommy Skipper to get back in the game.

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Re: Worst indoor season ever ?

Unread postby dj » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:10 pm

hey

i think if Tommy Skipper wanted in the game he would be in the game...

I'm pretty sure there are coaches available…

The better coaches i know have always made themselves available to coach the elite or emerging elite.. usually for free...

the athlete has to come up with room, board and transportation…. And if they take a full time job there is little time or energy to train..

the real down side is you are more susceptible to injury.. which is what I ran into in 70,71,72 in training for the decathlon. Full time teaching PE… couldn't go to the track when high school season was in because the coaches took me away from my training to help them coach… only could work with a vault coach on Sunday… and if the wind or weather were bad you didn't get a session…

if you have the talent and get with the right coach you could/can get sponsored in a short time… those are long shorts…

Tim Mack was/is a great story of success but it took him 9 years and a lot of support and help from friends and family…

I do think that USATF should be helping with recognizing talent and giving that talent a better opportunity… I know we have SanDiego… but I don't think the best coaches were there. Maybe good but not the best…

Just some thoughts

dj

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Re: Worst indoor season ever ?

Unread postby achtungpv » Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:43 pm

rainbowgirl28 wrote:Maybe the best thing someone could do to help US pole vaulting is offer financial motivation to Tommy Skipper to get back in the game.


He'd have to figure out a way not to NH 90% of time which is what he did is last two years and what probably led Nike to drop support.
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Re: Worst indoor season ever ?

Unread postby VaultPurple » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:40 pm

When it comes down to Skipper, he has a family to support and he will not be able to do that while training if he does not have a major contract. As far as no heighting, that is something he will only know or those close to him. But I do remember a interview with Brad Walker talking about him training with Skipper and how Skipper liked to enjoy other aspects of life and not have the vault completely consume his life. So this goes to show, that even with a guy like Skipper who is arguably one of the greatest pole vault prospects to come through the United States, pole vaulting is a massive commitment and you have to be completely dedicated and willing to make huge sacrifices to be the very best.

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Re: Worst indoor season ever ?

Unread postby VaultPurple » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:45 pm

I also had a thought on how the elite can help out themselves. Since the majority of the issue with training and livelihood comes with money.

I grew up racing motocross and there were several guys out there just racing on the local circuit who were making a living (nothing high class) by just racing the local pro circuit (not the guys on TV). Then there were some on the TV pro circuit that struggled to make a final but were still traveling the nation going race to race. But several of these guys pretty much had two jobs.

Job 1) Train

Job 2) Look for money

But unlike just getting a job to get money, several spend a large part of their time just making phone calls, sending emails, and going door to door to businesses looking for sponsorships. And not just the big contracts like most people think it is Nike's job to pay all the pro track and field athletes in America. They went everywhere, mom and pop stores, local clothing stores, grocery stores, and local banks.

The key thing here is that no one would pay them anywhere enough to make a living, but every little bit counts. If you can get a local store that wants to help out one of their own to chip in $1000 a year and you find several places to do that, then you can get enough to live off of.

You just need a good sails pitch. In sports like motocross, almost everyone had most of their logos on their trailer or somewhere people could see it because you can not really see logos on a dirt bike while someone is riding. That is kind of like in pole vault where you are only allowed a certain size logo on your jersey. But most athletes have pole bags and cars, they can decorate them as much as they want to. You can also list them on your website and blogs.


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