Elite Level Pole Vault, Throws and Track

News about Elite US pole vaulters and elite competitions that occur on US soil.

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Elite Level Pole Vault, Throws and Track

Unread postby ADTF Academy » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:59 am

In the past couple months there has been a fair share of posts on how poor US Vaulting has been doing. The recent showing at World Championships doesn't help against that. I ran across an interesting post by Adam Nelson on the current state of Shot Put in the US and throws in general. The entire Track and FIeld system is built for people to fail. Adam's post made this even more clear. When you think US Shot Put and Adam Nelson you think yep thats a guy who is doing well. He puts things in perspective when he says "if I don't finish top 3 in the world I barely make the poverty line." Imagine if your day job stated that if you were not one of the top 3 sales people in the world you would make less than 20k a year. I don't mean to rant or make excuses, but I wish to defend my fellow coaches and the athletes in the trenches trying to succeed at the world level in a system and sport that does nothing to support its stars. Take a moment in their shoes and wake up tomorrow think about all your bills and imagine if you couldn't pay them or didn't know where your next pay check would come from. How much would this weight on you daily, weekly and monthly? Would you make a change and give up what you loved to do and was one of the best in the world at doing it, but couldn't survive doing it. I've had to watch a minimal of 4 athletes who contacted me about training quit the sport this year because reality was they wouldn't make more than 5,000 doing it and these were people IMO who had world class potential. There is no long term thought process its either get better now and make money or quit and get a job. Any logical coach knows everything takes months and years to work. Changes at the world class level take years to show up and our athletes don't have years they have months. The post by Dan Steele sums it up perfectly what can and does happen when someone is put in a position to think I need it now, who has the answer. This is our system after college.

I personally want to say congrats to all the post collegiate vaulters for surviving another year in this sport. Best of luck during your off season healing up and recharging the batteries. May the 2012 season bring more opportunities and ability to survive and jump high.


http://www.effortlessthrow.org/

Click on My Thoughts. (weird message board... The post was made on 9/8/2011 so you have to click previous days till you get to 9/8/2011)

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Re: Elite Level Pole Vault, Throws and Track

Unread postby ADTF Academy » Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:04 pm

Thought it was better just to copy and paste it....


From effortlessthrow.org

nellie
09:32 GMT, 09/08/2011

my thoughts.

1) World's - All of the American guys feel like we failed. All of us were in shape for a much better performance. No excuses.

2) US system rewards results only. Hence, our training and competition plans have to balance our cash flow needs throughout the year. So you have a choice: Train for the major championships or schedule your training around the Diamond League series and our US National meet. The first is an all-in bet that you will perform at the majors to make up for the missed income opportunities throughout the year. The second is "safe" plan that at least insures a bit of cash flow throughout the year and almost guarantees less than optimal performance at the majors.

Side note: If I won World's, I would have netted $160k in prize money and bonuses over the next year. If I win all the diamond league meets, I'd make about the same. If I place 4th at worlds, that number drops to $15,000. If I place 4th at all of the Diamond League meets, I make $21,000. We don't receive bonuses for placing below 3rd. Diamond League meets only pay prize money. So I have two scenarios: make a lot of money or make below poverty money.

What about sponsorships? Sponsors help a little, but only if you win. My base sponsorship package covers less than half of my monthly expenses. US throwers don't receive large base contracts. We get paid for performing.

Other countries invest in potential. I spoke with one Javelin thrower who receives 6000 Euro/month in support for training expenses. His coach receives the same amount. Athletics Canada covers virtually all of Dylan's training expenses, travel expenses, and coaching expenses, plus a monthly stipend. When you have that kind of financial support, it's possible to train with major championships in mind all the time. Oh, and it helps that the national championships are usually an afterthought.

Another great example of investing in potential: UK Discus and US distance - We've seen the rise of the UK discus throwers this year. Next year might be a bit early for big performances at the majors, but it wouldn't surprise me to see one of them step up. Shaun's doing a good job getting them exposure and helping the coaches in whatever way possible. US Distance runners are improving steadily, because they receive massive amounts of funding from their sponsors and other track clubs. In effect, they can train as a professional athlete.

Just to stress that point, how many high level athletes from other countries have to consider getting a job to pay their bills? It's a serious question that many US throwers ask themselves each year. In fact, I have to seriously considerate for next year.

3) Nick Garcia is/was the best short, fat shot putter I've ever seen. He did more with his limited abilities than most ever do because he dedicated himself wholeheartedly to throwing farther. While 60 feet might be considered a mediocre result, it would have placed or won at all but maybe the top 5% of other countries national championships. No offense Nick. I have nothing but love for you.

4) Reese/Christian weight gain - I happen to agree that they would both be better off a little bit lighter. The problem is that we get set in our ways. Reese moves well for someone his size and he's way more agile than he looks. I'm often amazed at how well he moves for someone his size. Christian has the capacity to carry a lot of weight and still be powerful in the ring. Christian has been around the same weight for the last 3 or 4 years, so you can't say he's too heavy. He did have a surgery in February. My guess is if he had thrown the same distances as last year consistently, we'd be saying his HUGE rather than he's heavy. Incidentally, you can't criticize them for the weight gain without looking at Dylan. Dylan weighed over 350lbs earlier this season and I think he only lost weight due to a serious case of food poisoning.

5) No right way to train - There a thousand ways to train. As long as you're not hurting yourself and you believe in the method, it's probably the best. There are some best practices slowly taking hold. IMO, there's been a big push for developing athletes rather than lifters. I credit this to the acceptance of Bondarchuk's specific training. The key take-away isn't the crazy throwing volume or use of lots different throwing weights, but what his programs intend to do: make a thrower stronger and faster in the way that he is supposed to move.

In the shot put, power is the great equalizer. Dylan has consistent performances with marginal technique. It's improved a lot, but he's able to have decent technique and still throw far because he's MASSIVELY powerful. If he improves his technique as much next year as he did this year, he will throw high 22m.

Christian is massively strong, but didn't have the reps under his belt this year he needed for his confidence. A surgery in February will do that. My guess is that he'll get healthy and come back firing.

Storl rocked it at Worlds. He reminded me of Gunther and there's definitely more in the tank. The question: what path will he pursue? If he continues to do what he's been doing, he should be fine. However, sometimes you feel the need to change things to "improve" results. I've been guilty of this most of my career.

6) As for myself - Early in my career, I focussed almost exclusively on the major championships. I'd compete only when it fit with my training or I felt like it. Since 2008 I've had to compete to make money because I didn't have sponsor. While some problems can be attributed to my age, most of my problems most likely were caused by competing when I shouldn't have or forcing my training programs to fit a competition schedule rather than fitting them to what my body needed to do to prepare for the major championship. As a result, my training has been plagued by inconsistencies and injuries.

This year started off poorly as I was experimenting with different forms of training. After the indoor season, I was able to regroup and make some adjustments. Then, for the first time in 4 years I was able to string 4 months of consistent training. As a result, I threw well at Nationals.

July was awful. Nationals killed me. My training was inconsistent at best until the last ten days of the month. It started to improve and my confidence came back. I threw 21.45 just before departing to Korea and that was a significant under performance.

If I'm 100% honest with myself, I knew that I was 6 months away from where I would have liked to have been for a major championship. 4 years of injuries and rehab programs have left me pretty weak. This year my best lifts were: Clean - 160k, Bench 170k, Squat 230k. I was able to do a lot more non-weight room training for the first time in years and I think that made a big difference. So for me, this year has been a great success because I've relearned how to throw weak.

7) The US vs The World - We have more talent that gets identified than any other country in the world. That's just a fact. Every child in the US gets the opportunity to compete in sports at youth leagues or school sponsored programs. We have a lot of sports competing for kids. Most of our top talent goes to baseball, basketball, and football. The talent we do get, we don't develop for Olympic/World Championships. We develop for the NCAAs. Then, we don't support the talent properly. Our training reflects a system that forces us to compete and disrupt our preparation for the majors.

Most Europeans wouldn't make it past college in our system in the shot put, because they aren't throwing far enough to make international meets by the age of 22. The only exception I can think of off the top of my head is Storl.

So who has the best system? I think the non-American systems are better for Olympic style competition. Who has the best training? That's a bit more subjective.

Finally, I'd like to congratulate Jill for her performance at World's.

Adam[/url]

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Re: Elite Level Pole Vault, Throws and Track

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:17 pm

Good post by Adam, I was also meaning to cross post it here, as the same issues affect pole vaulters.

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Re: Elite Level Pole Vault, Throws and Track

Unread postby KLocke » Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:10 pm

Check! Cuban athletes are not living large and stepped up

Check! U.S. pole vaulting in Korea was simply awful

Check! USOC (Chula Vista) support is offered to elites

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Re: Elite Level Pole Vault, Throws and Track

Unread postby ADTF Academy » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:14 pm

KLocke wrote:Check! Cuban athletes are not living large and stepped up

Check! U.S. pole vaulting in Korea was simply awful

Check! USOC (Chula Vista) support is offered to elites



Tried on 4 occasions to get funding to Chula Vista for the athletes I worked with and was shot down every time. Both were A level athletes as well and were told no room available. Unless you want to go there and be trained by the coaches on site, its not easy to get in. There are athletes there with beds who don't even live there just keep the beds in case they want to come back. They actually stay off site. The number of beds that are available for Track and Field is very low. I was out there three times this past year, they have way to little housing for all the sports who use it. Those that are lucky enough to get one keep it for years. All that was granted was temporary use pass while we paid for hotels in the area. Not exactly support.

The cuban vaulter stepped it up for sure when it mattered most, but what is the standard of living in Cuba for an athlete compared to a non athlete? What is the standard of living in the US for an athlete compared to a non athlete. No clue what the standard of life is like in cuba. I would actually say the Polish athletes stepped it up even more, but once again no clue what their funding is like.

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Re: Elite Level Pole Vault, Throws and Track

Unread postby KLocke » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:42 pm

There is no shortage of support for field events down there. I love the choosy- begger thing. It's becomes not good enough when you don't gain entry ?

I think we will see some improvement. Our recent successful athletes are turning to coaching. I spoke to Nick Hysong and he's coaching. Toby is coaching, Mike Tully.


ADTF Academy wrote:
KLocke wrote:Tried on 4 occasions to get funding to Chula Vista for the athletes I worked with and was shot down every time. Both were A level athletes as well and were told no room available. Unless you want to go there and be trained by the coaches on site, its not easy to get in. There are athletes there with beds who don't even live there just keep the beds in case they want to come back. They actually stay off site. The number of beds that are available for Track and Field is very low. I was out there three times this past year, they have way to little housing for all the sports who use it. Those that are lucky enough to get one keep it for years. All that was granted was temporary use pass while we paid for hotels in the area. Not exactly support.

The cuban vaulter stepped it up for sure when it mattered most, but what is the standard of living in Cuba for an athlete compared to a non athlete? What is the standard of living in the US for an athlete compared to a non athlete. No clue what the standard of life is like in cuba. I would actually say the Polish athletes stepped it up even more, but once again no clue what their funding is like.

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Re: Elite Level Pole Vault, Throws and Track

Unread postby KLocke » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:13 pm

Stacy Dragila has also began coaching in San Diego

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Re: Elite Level Pole Vault, Throws and Track

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:40 pm

KLocke wrote:There is no shortage of support for field events down there.


I guess the amount of support you might get in Chula Vista depends on how much certain people like you. ADTF hasn't had the same luck your athletes have. There certainly doesn't seem to be much consistency with how the rules are applied.

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Re: Elite Level Pole Vault, Throws and Track

Unread postby KLocke » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:57 pm

Bottom line.... If you want funding and you're told you're not good enough. Become good enough. It's easy to fantasize about what you will become if you have more money. Don't ignore what you already have especially if it is talent.

My Polish friends move around the world freely. My Cuban friends are forbidden to do so. Poland's economy is considered robust. The average salary for Cuban workers is around $21.00/month


rainbowgirl28 wrote:
KLocke wrote:There is no shortage of support for field events down there.


I guess the amount of support you might get in Chula Vista depends on how much certain people like you. ADTF hasn't had the same luck your athletes have. There certainly doesn't seem to be much consistency with how the rules are applied.

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Re: Elite Level Pole Vault, Throws and Track

Unread postby ADTF Academy » Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:17 am

KLocke wrote:There is no shortage of support for field events down there. I love the choosy- begger thing. It's becomes not good enough when you don't gain entry ?

I think we will see some improvement. Our recent successful athletes are turning to coaching. I spoke to Nick Hysong and he's coaching. Toby is coaching, Mike Tully.



This has become much more than I had attended. I am not exactly sure what you mean by the Choosy - Begger thing comment. If you don't believe mental pressures can and do affect performance than you have either never been an athlete or coached a successful athlete who has struggled due to life influences. Your comments puzzle me in terms of "If you want funding and you're told you're not good enough. Become good enough." The comments initiated with a post made by Adam Nelson in which his comments were if I don't finish top 3 in the world I make around 20k. That's a big difference than someone who can't even make the B standard. If in this example poverty is considered good enough than yes there is an issue.

If I stated anything that was incorrect than I stand corrected.

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Re: Elite Level Pole Vault, Throws and Track

Unread postby CowtownPV » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:15 am

The fact that it is hard to be a top class track athlete and pay bills as an adult is a known fact. It makes it very hard to train and work 8 hours a day. That though is the way it has always been and probably always will be in America. There is not much money in track in America. When a company sponsers someone they want big time exposure for that sponsorship. How much air time do the best vaulters in America get on TV? How often do they jump in front of large crowds? As great as Chula Vista is, how many 25 year olds want to live in a little dorm room and eat in the cafeteria all the time? With so many other sports in America that pay well its obvious why many of our top athletes are not staying in track. Untill we find a way to make the sport more attractive and get more exposure things won't change.
Winners find a way to win, losers find an excuse.

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Re: Elite Level Pole Vault, Throws and Track

Unread postby hiphipjorge » Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:50 pm

It's not an either or situation. If you're good enough to make it, then you make it. There might be some less then ideal scenarios but those circumstances don't all out prevent athletes from being successful. Derek miles worked a full time job for 6 years of his professional career (2000 - 2006) 2 world teams and and Olympic team during that time. Ranked top five in the world also. Was it an ideal situation, possibly not, but working a job and training simultaneously didn't prevent him from being successful. Now you have to find the right type of job that works in the equation but they are out there. It took years of that combo before he found success. The combo of winnings and employment can and does work. Jeremy Scott does the same thing now also. I think what klocke was saying is that the sport has a way of properly defining "world class". If you can jump 5.80 a few times and do it in some big meets then you get more opportunities to prove yourself and make money that will sustain you. Then other doors of financial opportunity open from there. If you're not a 5.80 guy then you're prob in that emerging elite category that represents the future of the sport. A lot rides on you and no one is going to give it to you or make it easy. But one thing is for sure, the system can't be to blame for an athletes decision to quit. If you want it and your good enough you'll find a way to bridge the gap until your performances show that you have arrived. It's tough no doubt, but that's why it's so special. These young guys are hungry and will step up and the calluses they get along the way will make them tougher competitors down the road.


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