A minimalist approach to developing pole vaulters

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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altius
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A minimalist approach to developing pole vaulters

Unread postby altius » Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:52 pm

In line with Einstein's quote that "Any intelligent fool can complicate things but it takes something special to simplify them" I am posting Chapter 18 - the latest addition to the BTB dvd - on U tube.

It is a pretty basic presentation with no pretensions to professionalism but I believe it captures the simplicity we are looking for in teaching this seemingly complex event. It is worth making the point that 1. Maddy is a talented individual - more talented than we usually manage to recruit. 2. She has done no training other than what is shown in this clip. This season aged 12, she has cleared 3 meters/ 9' 9" ; I believe she is capable of clearing 3.60/11'6" next season - we will see.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AD9ARW1 ... e=youtu.be

So if you want to complicate things, go for your life. But if you really want to help young people begin to master this event I suggest you try this approach. It presents an approach that is easy to teach but which we believe will give talented and committed athletes the technical basis to go to the highest level.
Its what you learn after you know it all that counts. John Wooden

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Re: A minimalist approach to developing pole vaulters

Unread postby PVstudent » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:22 pm

Congratulations on this young athletes progress.

The commentary is clear and sends the message to those who want to hear, see and most importantly act and then repeat until the basic movement patterns of the vault are learned.

The video also helps young athletes to see someone who has been given clear guidance progress very quickly! The "if this young kid can do it then so can I!" attitude will be highly motivational.

Coaches also get a pretty clear model of the essential features of the vault.

Essential viewing for all novice vaulters, coaches and PVP addicts.
:yes: :yes: :yes: :) :idea:
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Re: A minimalist approach to developing pole vaulters

Unread postby altius » Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:47 pm

The cheque is in the mail! :yes: :D
Its what you learn after you know it all that counts. John Wooden

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Re: A minimalist approach to developing pole vaulters

Unread postby cdmilton » Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:42 pm

Nice presentation Alan! You do a superb job simplifying the key elements in which need to be mastered when learning how to PV. See you in a month.
Chris Milton

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Re: A minimalist approach to developing pole vaulters

Unread postby altius » Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:02 pm

Amazing really!! Virtually no interest in a clip that should have opened a lot of eyes - but clearly the blinkers stay on. Only tw comments - both from friends! What no critique from all the experts out there- they have got it all down already????? So where are the clips of their athletes jumping higher with better technique?? :mad: :devil:
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Re: A minimalist approach to developing pole vaulters

Unread postby KirkB » Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:03 pm

Altius, I don't currently coach any vaulters (in the brick-and-mortar sense), but just to let you know that I fully endorse your program (shown in this vid, and explained in more detail in BTB2) for starting young vaulters to learn to vault, including your sand drills and your highbar drills.

I personally did not do or coach the sandbox drills back in my day (we weren't that innovative :)), but I think they're excellent. :yes:

I did want you (and all other coaches reading this) to know though, that I personally did the highbar drills demonstrated (both the run-and-jump drill, and the swing/whip drill), and I personally coached and demoed these drills to my proteges - several of who subsequently became Canadian PV champions.

I cannot emphasize enough that a vaulter cannot be expected to jump onto the pole at takeoff, or to whip/swing on the pole once off the ground, if they cannot do these actions FIRST on a highbar.

The other advantage of learning this on the highbar is that you ISOLATE these vault parts, without having to contend with all of the other variables that go into doing these actions after running and planting (or worrying about and exerting energy in landing safely). So by learning this first on the highbar, you are able to get many more reps in before getting tired.

Keep up the good work! :yes:

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

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Re: A minimalist approach to developing pole vaulters

Unread postby altius » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:45 pm

While I appreciate your positive comments Kirk, the problem is that the folk who really need to see this stuff, seem to be uninterested in it.

I have never claimed that this material is all new - it is just that my observation that many folk want to complicate things and actually get in the way of their athletes development. So you will have noted that there are no rock back drills or one arm take offs in this program -for good reason. But no one has noticed this or at least been prepared to comment on it. Because discussing both of drills could be an interesting exercise.
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Re: A minimalist approach to developing pole vaulters

Unread postby KirkB » Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:51 am

altius wrote: ... So you will have noted that there are no rock back drills or one arm take offs in this program -for good reason. ...

Rockback? There is no rockback! :D

There is no tuck! THERE IS NO DELAY!

Although I must admit that RL has shown that it's possible to jump high WITH a rockback. :confused:

Nevertheless, I would NEVER coach a vaulter to purposely rock back. Instead, I would focus his/her attention on the swing/whip, and if he/she occasionally needs to rock back (i.e. pause to wait until the pole rolls forward) then I would tell the vaulter that that's OK for salvaging a bad vault, but it should not be an INTENTIONAL part of his/her technique.

Incidentally, I'm a bit baffled why girls seem to have better swing technique that boys (in general). Could it be that girls need to use technique rather than strength to invert? In my mind, the 'easier' a vault feels (the less 'muscle-power' needed to invert), the more efficient the vault.

I could not visualize your 12-year-old protege muscling to an inversion by rocking back.

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

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Re: A minimalist approach to developing pole vaulters

Unread postby grandevaulter » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:44 pm

I believe that the rock back drill can easily cause young vaulters to pull the sweep leg in and make a tighter less powerful swing. I no longer use the one arm drill either. If the kids pull with their top arm, I just tell them to stop. That has proven to be adequate. /

I believe the next great vaulters will begin at the 12-14 age bracket and will come from the Petrov Bubka Technical model.

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Re: A minimalist approach to developing pole vaulters

Unread postby KirkB » Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:59 am

grandevaulter wrote:I believe that the rock back drill can easily cause young vaulters to pull the sweep leg in and make a tighter less powerful swing. ...

In my view, there should be no fear at all that a young vaulter might pull their trail leg in too early.

They may at first (for a few days or weeks), but the more reps they do (I'm talking about thousands upon thousands of reps), the more they will adjust their swing to efficiently rotate their body to an invert position. And the most efficient way to do this is with a long trail leg.

They may do this consciously (with you coaching them), or they do it subconsciously, with their bodies just adjusting to the swinging action without much cognizant thought. Either way, it's an excellent drill.

From my first hand experience, I discovered that it's only the first half of this drill that's important (the downswing, and maybe just a bit of the upswing, after the whip). After that, they can coast to a stop (and stop trying to emulate the exact same action as would occur on the pole). As they're coasting to a stall, it doesn't matter if they tuck or do anything else, because that part of the drill doesn't transfer directly to an action on the pole.

Without me doing thousands and thousands of reps on the highbar per year, I would not have been able to replicate the same efficient swing/whip on the pole.

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

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Re: A minimalist approach to developing pole vaulters

Unread postby grandevaulter » Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:29 pm

This is a good 17 year old that competes in our league. He is coming to our clinic. He has been to a camp nearby that produces vaulters that dead end at 12'6". He pulls the sweep leg in immediately. I attribute this to the old "Rock Back" drill. It translates right into the actual vault. Can this be undone? http://youtu.be/WDtNui0mPoo

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Re: A minimalist approach to developing pole vaulters

Unread postby altius » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:01 pm

The rock back drill is the most abused drill in pole vaulting. Taught badly , at the wrong time - that is early in the athletes career - it will teach athletes to do many things badly. In an effort to rotate back fast to get their feet up the pole and themselves upside down they invariably skid through the take off -never jump up and 'finish' the take off and then they will often swing a completely straight leg and so miss the opportunity to put the energy into the pole a 'whip swing' does; and then because they have missed that energy input they are usually forced to pull the knee of the trailing leg through. This has been a major theme of my work in Oregon City, Helena and Billings where many athletes have these problems.

Nothing wrong with the drill being introduced AFTER athletes have mastered jumping at take off and staying behind the pole BUT none of the athletes I have ever coached were taught to do the rock back drill and they all seem to invert pretty well. The little girl show at the start of this strand will not do a rock back drill until AFTER she has learned to invert - without doing it! i expect her to capable of inverting pretty well by Xmas if all goes well, and she will move from 9'9" to around 11'6". We will see.

Most of our athletes do learn to do the rock back drill simply because they see other athletes do it nationals etc do it and they see it as a fun thing to do - not as a drill that will improve their performance. :yes: :idea:
Its what you learn after you know it all that counts. John Wooden


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