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I keep getting rejected when I vault?

Posted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:23 am
by MaiVault
Currently Junior in High school; Female
106 lbs, 5'0"
Currently using: 11" 100 lb Skypole; grip at 10"
PR: 8 ft

Hi! I've been doing a lot of strength and technique training along with some speed. I tried vaulting today and I kept getting rejected from my pole. I can't seem to push it and get into the pit safely, so I end up pulling myself to hang onto the pole before falling to the side. I've had some trouble in the past with late plants, so I've worked on it and I've gotten my 5L run to be pretty consistent. I am definitely able to push a pole, it's just I can't seem to get it right anymore. I currently don't have access to any smaller poles, but does anybody have any advice on how to fix this issue? Any drills/exercises I can do?

Also: I know I am at quite some disadvantages due to height, but I am extremely driven and motivated to do well. Is it possible for me to reach a goal of 11 ft this year? Thanks!

Re: I keep getting rejected when I vault?

Posted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:10 am
by Skyfly
Do you have any video you can post? Pretty hard to have an clue what is going on without video. Possibilities that immediately come to mind though are late plant, takeoff step too far in, gripped too high or any combination thereof.

Re: I keep getting rejected when I vault?

Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 4:44 pm
by sum yung guy
You could consider the following:
Hold closer to the top of the pole.
You could be holding too low, as poles are designed to function when gripped near the
weight label. You may consider adding a left to your run-up.
Under your coach's supervision, adjust your approach run to a grip 3 inches higher then
Run fast, jump up and hang on. Your step needs to be on, with arms extended and upspring at takeoff.
If that is successful, continue raising your grip two fingers at-a- time. If not, seriously research and adopt effective straight pole technique. I am not quite sure what you mean by pushing a pole. Clarification would help.

Re: I keep getting rejected when I vault?

Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:39 pm
by KirkB
sum yung guy wrote: ... seriously research and adopt effective straight pole technique.

That's the best advice in your post!

sum yung guy wrote: I am not quite sure what you mean by pushing a pole.

Vid will help. When you say "I keep getting rejected", are you saying that you're bending the pole, but you're not swinging straight into the pit? Instead, you're getting "rejected" off to the side?

It might be that you think you have to push with your bottom arm to bend the pole. That's not true. The best vaulters are able to bend the pole naturally, without any force applied to it with the bottom arm. :idea:

I suggest you drop your grip down to 9 feet, and then you'll be swinging into the pit. It doesn't matter if you bend the pole or not.

Then, a couple inches at a time, raise your grip until you're no longer swinging properly into the pit.

The most important thing is NOT to bend the pole. The most important thing is to swing into the pit. The bend will come later. Don't rush it.


Re: I keep getting rejected when I vault?

Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:51 am
by vquestpvc
My first 2 thoughts regarding your problem are: you're not jumping at take off and, your pushing out the bottom arm at take off.

The vault, like the long jump and high jump is also a jumping event with similar components and techniques. A similar jumping component is lowering the center of gravity which actually then allows an individual to jump up. The technique involves the last 2 steps whereby the next to last step is longer (penultimate step) which lowers the center of gravity with the last step being shorter and quickly put down through the ground to elevate. This technique is certainly easier in the long and high jump because one is not carrying a pole or dropping it at take off, but none the less important. The technique is the same as making a layup in basketball. From my experience as a coach, until this technique is developed usually a vaulter runs through the plant which in many cases causes he or she to be under, but also can cause them to be rejected. The technique of jumping at take off will create what is referred to as a "free take off". A free take off is essentially jumping up with the pole (hands high) slightly before the tip hits the back of the box so that all the energy you created running down the runway is transferred into the pole bending it. If you are late at take off, you can get kicked back or struggle getting into the pit. One can easily practice the jumping technique by simply doing what I call "runovers" on the ground. Essentially, one is vaulting on the ground. The advantages of runovers is that there is not starting point or prescribed finishing point which means there are minimal things to concentrate on. Additionally, as one gets better at the drill, the hands can be moved up which forces an individual to work the take off more. To evaluate the success of this drill there should be a continuation in a straight line to finish with some reasonable speed through the drill.

The second concern is what you mean by pushing the pole. My thought is you are trying to push with the bottom arm. This is definitely a no no. Having taught the pole vault for over 25 years, I have never suggested that a vaulter try to bend the pole; with good take off technique the pole will begin to bend naturally as it is designed to do. As noted in a previous post, one should look at a straight pole technique which focuses on the top arm and swinging. If one transfers the approach energy well into the take off, the bend will come naturally.

If possible, get an 10'6" pole (not sure there are 10' poles) which would let you use it in a more effective manner as it is designed to be used. As you get better, you can transition to a bigger pole and higher grip. But hey, you can still do 10' on a 10'6" pole. Regardless, you have to have a good, controlled approach with a flowing pole drop which ends with the hands high and you jumping up into a free take off putting energy into the pole. This is as much about attitude as it is about technique; good technique gives you the confidence, but you have to be aggressive at take off. Spend as much time in practice doing approaches away from the pit into a sliding box as the time you spend jumping into the pit.

Re: I keep getting rejected when I vault?

Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:14 pm
by MaiVault
sum yung guy wrote:I am not quite sure what you mean by pushing a pole. Clarification would help.

By "push" I mean instead of having a "pulling" plant where I don't completely open myself up at take off, I pull the pole towards me.

My issue is that when I do hit the plant with my arms high above my head, I can't get inverted and it seems like the rotation of my pole stops so I stall out and I can't do anything in the air. Thanks!

Re: I keep getting rejected when I vault?

Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:05 pm
by MaiVault
It seems like I am still in the bad habit of planting late so I keep getting yanked backwards. Does anyone know any drills that will help me with an early, active plant?

Re: I keep getting rejected when I vault?

Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:36 pm
by vquestpvc
Not exactly sure what you mean by "pulling" plant. Pulling the pole toward one is a common error due primarily to a lack of confidence at take off; there seems to be a sense of security by the person to keep the pole close to the body. The high hands at take off (and actually it is more the top hand) is important to getting that separation from the pole which makes it work. And by "work" I mean load the pole or bend it (not trying to of course). Then, in actuality, the pole become shorter which will rotate faster into the pit. Of course if you're not bending the pole at a higher grip or simply not getting into the pit, hold the pole where you can rotate it to get into the pit and also work on inverting. This requires patience and a lot of reps. There is no short cut.

As I suggested prior, try doing "runovers" on the ground. What you are doing with this drill is actually vaulting and working on the skills necessary to get a good, high hand take off. You will take a few steps jumping off the ground raising your top hand above your head as the pole tip lands on the ground. Through the continued moment you will swing around that top hand with arm straight and then landing on the take off foot. It was suggested prior that perhaps you should "adopt effective straight pole technique". Well, that is exactly what this drill can help achieve. And, as you noted, you have a "bad habit of planting late". Typically this is because the hands don't move fast enough at take off. So, you can do the same "runover" drill one after another in a row; say 5-6 in a row. This will help you move your hands into position faster at the plant. If you cannot do this 5-6X in a straight line, then you are not getting your hands around fast enough to the position to raise them up at take off. Also you may not be jumping well enough or holding too high.

As I noted there is not short cut to reps. You must understand the principles and techniques fairly well and then put in the time to perfect them. And don't be concerned with holding the pole lower. It is important to always get into the pit. Holding lower is only a progression to developing better technique so that as you are ready, the hand can be raised. Personally as a coach, I would rather see an individual jump 11' on a 10' or 10'6" pole knowing that this requires better technique than jumping 11' on a 12' pole. I hear guys continually saying they've done 12' and when asked what length pole they are on you learn it is a 14' pole. Well, my response is "you better".

Re: I keep getting rejected when I vault?

Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:34 pm
by MaiVault
Thank you vquestpvc! I might be able to get a video up by wednesday so it'll be easier to see what I'm doing wrong. I'll definitely do these drills to work on my plant.

Re: I keep getting rejected when I vault?

Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:00 pm
by mohammed
It could be that you are dropping the pole too late. You should be dropping the pole slowly every single step. You shouldn't be holding the pole back from dropping every. The pole should be dropping freely with the force of gravity. So by around your 3 step out from the box your pole should be at around 45 degrees.