US Agent offering cash incentive for elite male vaulters

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Re: US Agent offering cash incentive for elite male vaulters

Unread postby KLocke » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:00 pm

Agreeing to disagree



ndirish23 wrote:Of course Facebook followers won't help anyone jump higher. However, there is the potential that social media can help to build a community that can in turn lead to gaining some financial support. And I don't think it is controversial to say that financial support does play a role in building a successful training environment.

And by the way, I'm not at all saying that these types of branding efforts will be what ultimately leads to success. There are clearly other issues to consider as well.

I just believe we should not discourage vaulters from sharing their experiences because it only can help build interest in the sport and taking this type of proactive approach to one's career is a positive and not a negative in my opinion.

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Re: US Agent offering cash incentive for elite male vaulters

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:23 pm

As a fan, I love getting insight and updates as to how our top and wannabe top vaulters are doing, and I'm someone already fairly in the loop. If this kind of stuff had been around when I was in high school, I would have died and gone to heaven.

Each person has to figure out if Twitter and the like is helping or hurting them. There are appropriate and inappropriate ways to use them.

Of course it didn't help any of the guys you mentioned Karen, this model of athlete-fan interaction did not exist during the majority of their careers.

Having said all of that, if you're offering to pay someone to stay off Twitter, more power to the both of you.

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Re: US Agent offering cash incentive for elite male vaulters

Unread postby hiphipjorge » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:23 pm

I'm not sure I've ever heard of anyone making 20-30k off of facebook or tweet followers. If you jump 80 then you make enough money to sustain yourself. If you don't, then you just need to find a job and work; which all of the pre-mentioned professional athletes did by the way. They ALL worked at some point in their career until they made it. Sitting at home and trying to squeeze 5k out of social media won't even cover a massage bill. Better to grab a "smart on your body" job to pay the bills, train hard and don't worry about painting an image for people to buy into, but rather jump a height that people will literally buy into. I really do think we have some talent, and I see a difference between posting a pic on facebook for grandma to see of your last meet, but we certainly can't be thinking that blogging and facebooking about a successful 18 or 18'4 clearance hoping that someone will donate to your cause or you'll pick up a sponsor is a valuable use of ones time. The simple truth is that it just doesn't work that way. Perhaps the issue with all this is that we just can't afford to view those type of marks a success, when the rest of the world is a foot better. If we raise our expectations, things may begin to realign. I really hope the young group can do it, the ability is there. Then again maybe being really old has made me too old fashioned!

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Re: US Agent offering cash incentive for elite male vaulters

Unread postby ADTF Academy » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:17 pm

Social media is for those who wish to follow someone's path. If you don't want to follow don't check them. If you're against it and are checking them anyways well I guess it's purpose is working. To share their journey to family, friends and fans. If you're against it and post on your own twitter, Facebook or whatever giving your remarks good or bad I actually think that's worst. Give tips or advice. Tell stories about how you did it. Joe Dial just did this on youtube go check it out. So far only Karen has stepped up and said ok guys here is a carrot. I applaud her for that.

At the end of the day there is no money in social media for track and field. The sport is struggling when it comes to advertising or marketing for that matter. Our sport is in deep trouble financially. Meets directors, agents, athletes and coaches are all feeling it. Opportunities are at an all time low. A 1,000 pay day at a big meet is the norm for first now. You have top 10 ranked people showing up at meets where the pay is 500.00 cause they can't find meets either. The ability to get off a plane and jump is not being practiced enough not to mention the 500.00 price tag for the athletes to travel poles to meets. Meets don't tend to help cover this cost. Europe meet directors throw every mark out achieved on US soil. They don't exist. Jump 5.80 they go didn't happen if done on US soil. Prize money low appearance fees to select few is the way it is.

For me at the end of the day there is a difference between posting updates and bragging. I don't see any bragging taking place. I see stories of journeys. I don't see a guy jumping 5.50 saying he is the man. I see many of these guys competing week in and out all over, I feel their frustrations. They are working their tails off some with very good coaches to achieve the heights needed to be medal contenders. I wish there was more I could do too. No facilities or training camp right now. Sadly!


In regards to jump 5.80 and make bank. That doesn't exist anymore. If you're not top 8 in the world there is no money. If you don't get into meets you cant be top 8. Contracts are small or non existent. Meets are fewer and fewer. There is a major void in our system. The guys who are 23 to 27 should not be our top guys they should be striving to beat our top guys between 27 and 33. That group is nonexistent. I am finishing up a project that is looking like it will show if a guy jumps 5.70 in every meet available in the US the highest he can rank is like 14th in the world. The unfortunate prime example of our broken system is Becky Holiday who made the Olympic final and could not even get into any Diamond League meets. Sadly it seems if you only jump on US soil you won't get invites. Period!!!! I really wish that wasn't the case. But no money how can you afford going over seas.

With the disappearance of that generation of US vaulters the new concept is make a US team and you will get opportunities. Therefore do you blame them, when they see a golden egg they reach for it instead of long term development. Sadly the Becky example shows that isn't the case.

Personally the problem is not our current guys per say. It's where did the generation go we lost or is non existent. The guys who should have been right behind Mac and Toby. Walker is still here but where are the others. The us system is not based around 24 years old excelling. It's based on 31 year olds. We don't have many in that age bracket. Instead of it being oh snap I need to jump 5.90 to make a team it's become I need to make the A standard to make the team. The bar has been lowered way to far. Holzdeppe is a prime example. The German system was loaded he had to step up and jump high to even make the team and look it resulted in bronze.


Maybe we say jump 5.85 or no team??????? Create imaginary athletes that are leading us pole vaulting.

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Re: US Agent offering cash incentive for elite male vaulters

Unread postby hiphipjorge » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:37 pm

ok so that pretty much wraps up exactly what I said. I mentioned that updating grandma on your meet is great, not faulting social media from that perspective, not even faulting social media at all in fact. Only that there seems to have been a shift to more of a focus on that type of thing, from T-shirts, business cards, etc. A loss of focus if you will. Its all just a small part of the bigger problem. As for using my own face book for advice or tips, that's exactly what I was trying to do. I simply offered the advice that perhaps a shift back to the model that worked for the old dogs. Job, train, raise your level of expectation and go where ever you need to go to get it done. If place A didn't work move to place b. I applaud Hollis for it seems as if he is following this exact path. He's shutting down his stuff and letting his wife do his social media, looking for a new place to train that will help him reach his goals, and he seems focused on the right things. Could jump high as a result. No one has the answers for each individual since each is different but there is a problem. There are the late 20 year olds that are out there that can step up. They are not missing, they are here, they just haven't arrived yet. The College kids are jumping higher right now, Freshman in college has the highest US mark? Something is amiss. Just my opinion, throw it out if you like. As for jumping 5.80, it will always open a door or two of opportunity. Once you get that opportunity you have to back it up with a 70 or higher. And you can make a top 10 in the world living if you're consistent at 5.70. It will always be in the top 6 at major meets. Maybe not the WC or Olympics but you will survive and have a sponsorship. It requires that one jumps 70 a lot and consistently and it will come together which to me, that was the whole point of my post. Don't sweat all the little things. Update grandma as much as you like, lets just raise our standards to 5.70 and higher, forget about how many twitter followers we have, and lets focus on being excited when we are jumping things competitive with the world. I agree with you completely, the bar has been lowered. So how do we raise it back up? Klocke helps but it just seems to me the old guys put their heads down and went to work rather than worrying about all the other stuff which in the end, really doesn't matter. Grandmas really only a phone call away. In any event I wish these guys all the best and hope that they hit big. I really think they can. Signing off on this dead horse!

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Re: US Agent offering cash incentive for elite male vaulters

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:24 pm

I totally support the concept of emerging elite athletes working part-time jobs to support themselves, as most of our elite vaulters have done at some point.

However, in defense of our current crop of vaulters, when the economy tanked a few years ago, these became MUCH harder to find. Why should someone hire a guy who can only work certain hours and needs all kinds of random days off to compete in meets, when they have 100+ applicants for the same job who will work any time, the more hours the better? I'm not saying it's impossible to find a workable job situation, but it's not as easy as it used to be. Also, the market for personal trainers (a common job for athletes) is oversaturated and people don't have as much money to spend of them as they used to, so that's not exactly an easy path to making any money.

Twitter wasn't around when Toby Stevenson, Jeff Hartwig, Tim Mack, Stacy Dragila, etc were competing, so it's a little hard to say whether or not they would have used it.

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Re: US Agent offering cash incentive for elite male vaulters

Unread postby KLocke » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:41 pm

Your defense isn't a good excuse. Sorry! You throw yourself in the ring. Tye Harvey did this. He was the 18-4 broke guy. Who dreamed. Made sacrifices. His 5.60 became 5.80 a few months after graduation. When I met Tye, he was eating expired wholesale food products. It was what he could afford. To quote Magic Johnson, "You can be poor but you don't have to dream poor". That all being said, there are young men committed to Raising the Bar. However, Tye was coachable. Coaching is key ingredient.

http://klocke1.tumblr.com/post/42227463 ... se-the-bar


rainbowgirl28 wrote:I totally support the concept of emerging elite athletes working part-time jobs to support themselves, as most of our elite vaulters have done at some point.

However, in defense of our current crop of vaulters, when the economy tanked a few years ago, these became MUCH harder to find. Why should someone hire a guy who can only work certain hours and needs all kinds of random days off to compete in meets, when they have 100+ applicants for the same job who will work any time, the more hours the better? I'm not saying it's impossible to find a workable job situation, but it's not as easy as it used to be. Also, the market for personal trainers (a common job for athletes) is oversaturated and people don't have as much money to spend of them as they used to, so that's not exactly an easy path to making any money.

Twitter wasn't around when Toby Stevenson, Jeff Hartwig, Tim Mack, Stacy Dragila, etc were competing, so it's a little hard to say whether or not they would have used it.

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Re: US Agent offering cash incentive for elite male vaulters

Unread postby ndirish23 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:55 pm

I think we can all agree that at the end of the day to most important elements to sustained success a high level are coaching, training environment, commitment, etc. To me, the exact method used by the athlete to get by is irrelevant with the caveat that it does not interfere with training either physically or mentally. Whether that means a part time job or receiving donations/smaller sponsorships that are in part cultivated by social media in conjunction with personal interaction with those clubs/sponsors is somewhat irrelevant as long as it makes a healthy training environment possible.

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Re: US Agent offering cash incentive for elite male vaulters

Unread postby Skyin' Brian » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:34 pm

Does this mean Trey Hardee is going after 19' in the vault? :idea:

That would be awesome.

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Re: US Agent offering cash incentive for elite male vaulters

Unread postby KLocke » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:11 pm

Hi Brian,

Trey embodies the true spirit of challenge. He dreamed to become a champion and his dreams have flourished. He's passionate about Pole Vaulting and has untapped potential in the event. He will no doubt "Raise the Bar".



Skyin' Brian wrote:Does this mean Trey Hardee is going after 19' in the vault? :idea:

That would be awesome.

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Re: US Agent offering cash incentive for elite male vaulters

Unread postby Righteous Vaulter » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:43 am

I have been reading through the reply of this thread and I feel I should chip in. I am not sure who all has posted, but I would like to give some perspective as a current US vaulter trying to reach the next level.

My name is Levi Keller and my lifetime goal in the pole vault was to jump 18' and compete at the Olympic Trials. Last year I achieved both goals. Then I realized that my goals needed to be raised because I have untapped potential. I wasn't a stud in college; I never made it to NCAA's. I started training post collegiately without sponsors or great marks to carry me into big meets or travel funding. I have a great family that has chipped in occasionally to send me to meets and friends that have made sure I have poles to jump on. Luckily I was given a place to train in Idaho with Dave Nielsen and in Washington with Pat Licari, and that is one of the most difficult things to attain. I moved to Seattle because I would have year-round indoor training and quality meets at home. It was a step towards my new goals.

I am training now to jump 5.70m and make a US team. I am a realist and I don't plan on breaking the world record or getting rich off of pole vaulting. I work a part-time job rather than give up because I don't have a shoe sponsor. I think it is very kind of people to offer bonuses for jumping high, but I don't think it is going to be the spark that ignites a 5.80m jump. We want to jump high whether there is a cash bonus when we get there or not. I know I haven't been holding anything back until there is more incentive. If I wanted more money I would take a full time job that isn't half as fun as pole vault. I want to compete at the Olympics and Worlds. That is what motivates me. Not people telling me I need to jump higher or that US vaulters are a let down.

As for social media I hate writing a blog, or writing anything for that matter (this reply was a lot of work for me) But I remember being a new vaulter and I always wondered what the elites were doing or what poles they used. So I started a blog and I posted videos to Youtube and Facebook. Then it happened...a young vaulter told me he really liked reading my blog and thanked me for it. From then on I knew I had an obligation to post something at least occasionally. Even if it meant having my wife type it while I talked, because I hate writing.

I personally have found the hardest part about training to make a US team is staying healthy. I would really like to take lots of jumps in practice, from full, twice a week. The only problem is my body starts to fall apart. I have been fortunate enough to get ice, stim, and ultrasound once a week at a nearby physical therapy office this year and I have been able to practice significantly more often. Staying healthy isn't every vaulters biggest obstacle, but I am sure it affects a lot of us. If you have advice or can help up in that area let us know. We know we aren't jumping as well as the Europeans, so help us get there. I would quote Teddy Roosevelt's "The Man in the Arena" but I don't want to type that much.

Tricks I have used to live the life of a vaulter are not eating out more than once a month or watching movies at the theaters more than a few times a year. I don't buy stuff I don't need. I don't buy alcohol ever. I change my own oil, file my own taxes, etc. It is not a sacrifice. I enjoy the life I chose, more than than the people who make a lot of money and hate their jobs. And my wife, Lois, is a distance runner doing the same thing so she understands and supports me.

I hope this insight is helpful and I do appreciate everyone who loves the sport enough to read and post on Pole Vault Power. If you see me at a meet be sure to say hi, I am the slightly larger guy with the mohawk helmet. :yes:
A man who won't die for something is not fit to live.
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Re: US Agent offering cash incentive for elite male vaulters

Unread postby KLocke » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:02 pm

Right on Levi. Raise Your Bar! You are describing Chad Harting without the "wife". He also worked and jumped over 19 feet and competed in the Olympics.


Righteous Vaulter wrote:I have been reading through the reply of this thread and I feel I should chip in. I am not sure who all has posted, but I would like to give some perspective as a current US vaulter trying to reach the next level.

My name is Levi Keller and my lifetime goal in the pole vault was to jump 18' and compete at the Olympic Trials. Last year I achieved both goals. Then I realized that my goals needed to be raised because I have untapped potential. I wasn't a stud in college; I never made it to NCAA's. I started training post collegiately without sponsors or great marks to carry me into big meets or travel funding. I have a great family that has chipped in occasionally to send me to meets and friends that have made sure I have poles to jump on. Luckily I was given a place to train in Idaho with Dave Nielsen and in Washington with Pat Licari, and that is one of the most difficult things to attain. I moved to Seattle because I would have year-round indoor training and quality meets at home. It was a step towards my new goals.

I am training now to jump 5.70m and make a US team. I am a realist and I don't plan on breaking the world record or getting rich off of pole vaulting. I work a part-time job rather than give up because I don't have a shoe sponsor. I think it is very kind of people to offer bonuses for jumping high, but I don't think it is going to be the spark that ignites a 5.80m jump. We want to jump high whether there is a cash bonus when we get there or not. I know I haven't been holding anything back until there is more incentive. If I wanted more money I would take a full time job that isn't half as fun as pole vault. I want to compete at the Olympics and Worlds. That is what motivates me. Not people telling me I need to jump higher or that US vaulters are a let down.

As for social media I hate writing a blog, or writing anything for that matter (this reply was a lot of work for me) But I remember being a new vaulter and I always wondered what the elites were doing or what poles they used. So I started a blog and I posted videos to Youtube and Facebook. Then it happened...a young vaulter told me he really liked reading my blog and thanked me for it. From then on I knew I had an obligation to post something at least occasionally. Even if it meant having my wife type it while I talked, because I hate writing.

I personally have found the hardest part about training to make a US team is staying healthy. I would really like to take lots of jumps in practice, from full, twice a week. The only problem is my body starts to fall apart. I have been fortunate enough to get ice, stim, and ultrasound once a week at a nearby physical therapy office this year and I have been able to practice significantly more often. Staying healthy isn't every vaulters biggest obstacle, but I am sure it affects a lot of us. If you have advice or can help up in that area let us know. We know we aren't jumping as well as the Europeans, so help us get there. I would quote Teddy Roosevelt's "The Man in the Arena" but I don't want to type that much.

Tricks I have used to live the life of a vaulter are not eating out more than once a month or watching movies at the theaters more than a few times a year. I don't buy stuff I don't need. I don't buy alcohol ever. I change my own oil, file my own taxes, etc. It is not a sacrifice. I enjoy the life I chose, more than than the people who make a lot of money and hate their jobs. And my wife, Lois, is a distance runner doing the same thing so she understands and supports me.

I hope this insight is helpful and I do appreciate everyone who loves the sport enough to read and post on Pole Vault Power. If you see me at a meet be sure to say hi, I am the slightly larger guy with the mohawk helmet. :yes:


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