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New pole

Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:20 pm
by lmshil
Recently my coach just purchased me a 14' 170 pacer one pole. However i cant seem to grip much higher then 12-12'6 without stalling in mid air. Also at the moment i cannot bend this pole. Does this have to do with the pole being physcially heavier and less flexible? If so how can i fix it. On other 160/170 poles i can grip 13 and not have a problem bending and getting deep into the mats. If it helps im around 5'10 weigh 160 and my PR is 10'

Re: New pole

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:22 am
by GasPasser
Yes, it does help to know your height, weight, PR, and grip height.

From your description, it sounds like this new pole is a much bigger pole than the others you have jumped on. From the sound of it, I'm going to assume that the other 160/170 poles you say you can jump with while holding at 13' - are probably not 14' poles. It's possible the 160 might be a 14' pole.

It's unfortunate that your coach did not ask for advice on this site for pole selection. I doubt that this new pole will be useful to you this year unless you get yourself into a club with a coach who can teach you how to properly vault. I say that because holding at 12'-12'6" and a PR of 10' indicates to me that you are not vaulting correctly.

An important point for you and your coach to know - moving the grip 3" changes the stiffness of the pole by about 5 lbs. Dropping grip increases the stiffness feel, raising grip makes it feel softer. A 6" change in grip changes it by 10 lbs. (But you also need the speed and technique to raise your grip and still get safely into the pit, even though the pole will feel softer/bend easier.) So if you have a 13' pole, rated at 160 lbs, and hold it at 13', it would feel the same as holding at 13' on a 13'6" 150 pole. This is where the HS rules on pole weight ratings is hurting the event, and in it's own way making it less safe for HS vaulters. Very few schools have enough poles to match the right pole for the vaulter by requiring them to use poles at their weight or higher.

Please print this out for your own use and give a copy to your coach.
(I first saw this chart on Jan Johnson's website, but the formatting of his chart is all messed up, however, there is still good stuff on his website so check it out.)

By holding a 14-170 pole at 13', it is very similar to jumping with a 13-190 (also holding at 13'), or using a 13'6"-180 (holding at 13').

Re: New pole

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:08 am
by lmshil
Thanks that helps out alot. I never have really had a formal vault coach and im mostly self taught. I will try and post a video soon so it gives a better representation of where i am.

Re: New pole

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:31 pm
by vquestpvc
Another approach might be get back on the previous poles which you indicated there was no trouble bending or getting into the pit. As GasPasser indicated, holding down on a pole has a stiffing effect on it. So, if you are getting deep into the pit perhaps the poles are too soft and not getting you up, but out or too deep. Try moving your top hand down 3-4" on original poles. Another adjustment you can do is move your approach steps up 2 strides with the original poles; if you're using 12 approach steps, lessen it to 10. However, try moving your hands down on original poles first.

Honestly, if you have had success with the original poles (meaning a decent take off which allows you to load the pole) then right now you probably don't need another pole; especially one that is too long. And hey, do the math. If your PR is only 10' with a 13' pole, then you have a lot further to go using that pole. A longer pole is only going to hamper your progress. I hear guys say all the time they are making 12' only to learn they are using a 14' pole. My response is "you better". With decent technique (not necessarily exceptional) you can actually make 13' holding 12'-13' on the pole.

At the end of the day, have an end of the day. Be patient and keep working the necessary skills to vault safely.

Re: New pole

Posted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:31 am
by lmshil Here is a video of me jumping at 9'6. The pole is 13' 170 and im gripping at about 12. Note that its not the new pole my coach purchacted but an older softer one.

Re: New pole

Posted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:19 pm
by GasPasser
Thanks for posting the video - it offers additional clues for us to offer advice.

1. Stick with this pole, and grip. It's working fine for you now. You are not over-bending it, so it is not too "soft" for you.

2. Your video reminded of another recent thread - you have the same/common issue with newer vaulters. You are pulling in your trail leg in an effort to lift your feet up and over the bar. You need to learn how to whip-kick your trail leg so that you swing your body to an inverted position with your hips above your head. Check this out and the recommended advice and videos - great for you as well.