Being out is not better than being under.

A forum to discuss pole vault technique as it relates to beginning vaulters. If you have been jumping less than a year, this is the forum for you.

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Being out is not better than being under.

Unread postby PV2020 » Sat May 10, 2014 1:59 pm

I think that it is a common misconception that being under is the worst thing possible and it is better to be out than to be under.

However being 'Out' is never a good thing. The term out means that you are farther out than you are supposed to be.

A pre-jump means they may take off outside of their top hand, but are actually jumping into the take off. The problem with assuming that everyone that is out, has a pre-jump, is that some people that are learning just do not know how to jump.

When watching beginner vaulters, I notice far more bad things happen when an athlete is out vs. under. When an athlete is out and they do not jump, they will usually squish the pole and make it look like it is about to break, or they will just not get in, because they can not get the pole moving to vertical. When an athlete is under they may not be able to get their plant up all the way, but typically can still push them self into the pit.

The only athletes I have seen that have successfully been able to learn to jump taking off out from the start, are good long jumpers. But then they have a little trouble learning to swing up the pole. Being a little under actually lets you cheat in the learning process because it forces more of a pre-stretch in the chest for the athlete to swing out of.

I am not saying being under is good. I am just saying that I have found it much more frustrating to coach an athlete that is always out than an athlete that is always under.

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Re: Being out is not better than being under.

Unread postby charlie » Sat May 10, 2014 8:10 pm

Majority of hs vaulters are not very fast, and if they take off out ,you are asking for stalls around the box and NO penetration !!!!!

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Re: Being out is not better than being under.

Unread postby grandevaulter » Sat May 10, 2014 11:47 pm

Sounds like you guys have that all figured out.

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Re: Being out is not better than being under.

Unread postby altius » Sun May 11, 2014 3:52 am

What you are all saying may well be true - it obviously is to you - but in Adelaide we NEVER want our athletes to take off under! But we are always aiming for a pre jump - even if we never actually achieve it.

Now I am not trying to change YOUR minds - I am only suggesting to anyone who is unsure about this issue to consider it carefully.

After the deaths of three college athletes March in 1997? I went to Reno the next year wondering what I would see at the top College pit -and I saw the vast majority of athletes taking off under - being encouraged to take off under - being forced to bend the pole early if they were to get off the ground - stands at 3/4 and often coming up short. And there was more -when athletes over bent the poles because of all this they were being advised to move up to a bigger stick!! With Beccas concern over injuries and fatalities I would suggest that in the US you look again at the causes - I suspect taking off under and over bending the pole will be major cause.

Charlie says that HS vaulters are slow -not sure if that generalisation is true - certainly not with the kids who have come to my clinics in the US over the last ? years. But speed has always been overvalued and overemphasised in the US. The critical point here is that if you take off under and bend the pole early you are immediately bleeding speed away so if your athletes are slow they will be even slower as they leave the ground. Then if you take of under invariably you must tuck so you can't put as much energy into the pole in the phase either - so you will stall as soon as you try to invert

You will never go wrong if you THINK that you are jumping on a stiff pole - and you should be actually doing that in your training. And stiff polers always took off OUT -they couldnt cheat their way off the ground as you can with a flexible pole. They took off tall and out and then tried for a ginormous swing.

Remember I am not getting into a debate on this issue -just presenting an alternate view for those who are unsure. You guys do what you want to do. As my ol gran used to say "A man convinced against his will , remains of the same opinion still". Back to my soccer book! :yes:
Its what you learn after you know it all that counts. John Wooden

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Re: Being out is not better than being under.

Unread postby botakatobi » Sun May 11, 2014 9:57 am

Altius quote:

"You will never go wrong if you THINK that you are jumping on a stiff pole - and you should be actually doing that in your training. And stiff polers always took off OUT -they couldnt cheat their way off the ground as you can with a flexible pole. They took off tall and out and then tried for a ginormous swing. "

From 1900 until now there are various points of view on correct technique.

In the days of stiff poles, position of the takeoff foot was suggested by most to be directly under the top hand as the vaulter was driving his lead leg forward and upwards. Some thought that the take off foot could be within a foot either direction. Harry Gill (1920's) was one of the few coaches who preferred the takeoff foot to be up to a foot out.

As far as taking off tall, this idea varied as well with coaches. Some preferred a tall extension with straight arms. Others preferred bent arms to better absorb the shock at takeoff. One of the last great stiff pole vaulters, Bob Gutowski often took off with arms that were very bent. In no way would his position at takeoff be considered tall. It's interesting that he jumped about 15'9" with this low plant.

Yes, all stiff pole vaulters aimed for a big swing to get the feet as high as possible allowing for a handstand over the bar.

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Re: Being out is not better than being under.

Unread postby altius » Mon May 12, 2014 6:45 am

Sorry - always had Warmerdam in my mind as THE model of stiff pole vaulters - and he certainly took off out and was tall - after he shrugged the shoulder to absorb the initial shock f the plant.
Its what you learn after you know it all that counts. John Wooden


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