Side Ways Clearance

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pv170
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Side Ways Clearance

Unread postby pv170 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:49 pm

Hey guys,

Hopefully someone can see something I can not. I have a girl who when she goes to clear the bar gets turned sideways, specifically to the left. Her swing is not great but pretty good for a high school girl. Hips get stuck like a lot of people but I think I know how to work on that. We are working on improving her takeoff, approach speed and pole drop timing and keeping hips and leg back at takeoff to improve her whip and swing. The better she gets at that, the more powerful the swing and closer to invert she will get. Has made big strides in last few weeks. I thought fixing this would also fixed this sideways clearance thing but has not. I have never dealt with this before. Basically, when pole goes to move around her, her body goes with it.

Most of this started when someone told her she needs to "flex" her elbow inside the pole to get upside down, "pull" the elbow under the pole. So she literally started to pull her left arm towards her body at takeoff, sometimes before getting off the ground. This made her go left and into the left standard. I understand the elbow needs to be inside the pole but have never told someone to purposefully "flex" or "pull" it in. With proper takeoff, the pole should go around the arm and elbow is easily inside. Am I wrong here or am I missing something? Did we miss interrupt what guy meant by elbow in?

Here are some videos.

https://www.coachseye.com/v/Ctbp
https://www.coachseye.com/v/3ygb
https://www.coachseye.com/v/USzL
https://www.coachseye.com/v/JDOq

Any help you guys can give be appreciated.

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KirkB
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Re: Side Ways Clearance

Unread postby KirkB » Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:56 pm

I had a good look at all 4 vids, and they all look quite similar. Some may even be the same attempt (not sure), but based on clothing, etc, they look to be all the same day. So I can't see much variation in what she's doing. Can you tell me if every other day she's vaulted, she's also been consistent in the way she twists around?

But in any case, I actually don't see this as much of an issue. I really like the fact that she's ALMOST hitting a good takeoff point, with good forward body lean on takeoff (she's a bit in, but this is still quite good).

I also like how she's taking the impact of the pole with her top hand. This is really, really good technique - that she should continue.

It's a little hard to see EXACTLY what she's doing with her arms, but the worse part of her vault is that her butt is down and her legs are up. That's what I call "the dreaded V position". This is even worse than "the dreaded L position", because from there, it's really hard to recover (salvage the vault), by extending skywards. It's just too late in the vault to recover from.

So my opinion is that her twisting is something that she will outgrow as she focuses on solving the dreaded V. I would NOT dwell on the fact that she's twisting. Instead, I would focus ONLY on getting a better, fuller swing, which will swing her legs and hips up more simultaneously. I think you will agree that she's currently swinging only her legs up - and not swinging her hips up.

I suggest that you work with her on a highbar (if one is available). If not, then uneven bars, rings or rope would be 2nd, 3rd, and 4th choices. Fifth choice is for her to learn proper swinging technique on the pole - and that's a DISTANT 5th choice!

The drill to focus on (on highbar or uneven bars only) would be hip circle to handstand. Logically, you cannot reach a handstand if you don't focus on getting your HIPS up in this drill. Getting only to a "V" would be a total failure (which may happen for a few days - especially if she doesn't have experience on the uneven bars). But a total success would be for her to get the feel of how her HIPS (not just her legs) need to rise up into the handstand. And in this drill there's no twisting needed (or even possible) - you stay square to the highbar or uneven bars.

Another good drill (possible on rings or rope - but a rope is more difficult) is just swinging from the stretch position (like she does on the pole). Swinging back and forth on the apparatus this way will teach her to swing properly. Do this drill every day, or every second day - in season and out-of-season - it will pay off big-time. Similar to the hip-circle-to-handstand, it will teach her to get inverted, with hips up.

Other good highbar drills are demoed here on PVP here: http://www.polevaultpower.com/media/video/skillsanddrills/

And honestly, once she can do those drills (especially the hip-circle-to-handstand), her twisting issue will just disappear - without any specific coaching or training to solve it directly. You see, if she's inverted and shooting straight up on a highbar, then she's going to do the same on the pole - she will stay square to the bar, without twisting much at all (no more than any other vaulter that must - eventually - twist 180 degrees to clear the bar naturally).

Lastly, I'm not a strong proponent of doing things with your arms to make things happen. I prefer to just use the arms "naturally", and let the legs (and hips) drive you to inversion. With her "relaxed" bottom arm on takeoff, I see that she's already doing this quite well, so I think teaching her to do certain cognizant actions with her arms post-takeoff will detract from something she's already doing quite well. If anything, I would just tell her "don't worry about what your arms are doing - just focus on swinging your hips up above your top hand".

Good luck!

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

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Re: Side Ways Clearance

Unread postby pv170 » Sat Apr 16, 2016 12:38 am

Kirk,

Thank you for the reply. I honestly was worried about the twisting because it looks a lot like what she used to do before we totally re did her approach the last 6 week. She used to do a half carry, half drag approach and the pole would sometimes take her right into the left standard, or close to it. Videos below.

https://www.coachseye.com/v/ypK3
https://www.coachseye.com/v/wyGG

So I just wanted to make sure the twist was not a precursor to going left into the standards again.

You are correct, all the videos are from the same day, it was first real nice day we have had since we re did her approach. I am so appreciative of the comments about her takeoff because that was been our focus for last 2 months. Done a 1000 approaches and a 1000 more with a sliding box. So she will be happy that it is paying off. Thank you!

KirkB wrote:
It's a little hard to see EXACTLY what she's doing with her arms, but the worse part of her vault is that her butt is down and her legs are up. That's what I call "the dreaded V position". This is even worse than "the dreaded L position", because from there, it's really hard to recover (salvage the vault), by extending skywards. It's just too late in the vault to recover from.



I agree, it looks like she is swinging just the legs and not her hips. She does a good job of it straight polling in warm ups, but like I have seen you post in other threads. Swinging on a short straight pole is a lot easier than on a long bending pole. We will work on swinging to the top of the pole and not worry about the twisting for now. I do not have access to a high bar. All I really have is in the weightroom of the school are squat racks with pull up bars. Not the straight bar across but the ones that have handles come out only so far. We do swing drills on them every other day. Here is a video of one of hers, please feel free to correct anything you may see. Also, what are your thoughts on doing drills in a swimming pole? Our swim coach said I could have access to the pool and do drills there.

https://www.coachseye.com/v/0ZP8

And I totally agree about arms in air. Any kind of pulling on pole kills the vault.

Thank you again!

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Re: Side Ways Clearance

Unread postby KirkB » Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:09 am

So in the Jan 21 vid, she's stalling quite badly, and lands slightly left of center, and not in the coaches box.

In the Mar 1 vid, she seems to have resolved a few issues from Jan, and at least made the pit. But not by much. Not by enough. If you've read my posts, you know my advice on this - lower her grip until she's landing safely in the coach's box! :idea:

I think having her push the pole the last few strides was a smart idea of yours. I've seen it done by pushing the pole the entire way down the runway, but never part way down. I think that was a good progression to her current "normal" plant, and you've taught her well.

I've never tried or taught the push plant myself, but I think you focussed on arguably the most important part of the vault - the plant - and used this quite effectively as a progression. :yes:

I can only guess that it's partly because of your attention to the plant that she now has a decent plant and takeoff (with forward lean and steps not too far in).

Quite frankly - even after seeing these additional vids - I wouldn't fret too much about her twisting, or fear that she might revert back to the [lack of] technique she had in Jan. I think she's already started to outgrow that, and if my other advice is followed, she'll be fine.

I will say, though, that her falling short and a bit to the left was due to too high of a grip on that particular attempt. It wasn't due to her veering left or twisting. She should have lowered her grip that day. Safety first and technique first - ALWAYS use a pole and grip that will get you into the coach's box!

That chinning bar in the weight room is just fine for swinging UNDER it, but I (obviously) wouldn't recommend she try any hip-circle-to-handstands on it. :) Or giants. :D

I think with a little creativity and research, you can find a gym somewhere close where she can use a highbar or uneven bars. I don't know how big your town is, but gymnastics clubs are common in most cities (some even in smaller towns). Maybe it's a dead end, but at least ask around. Maybe she would have to join the club and pay a fee, but that would be a GOOD thing, if she's as serious about PV as she seems to be.

Meanwhile, on the highbar vid, you should be able to notice that she's not doing her swings "properly". If you watch closely, you will see that she's swinging her legs first, getting to a quasi-V, and THEN swinging her hips up. Or actually, I would guess that she's PULLING her hips up. She's doing a 2-step motion, when she should be doing a 1-step motion (leg and hips together).

If she focuses on her DOWNswing, she will soon discover a powerful UPswing, where the hips just naturally rise with the trail leg, due to the enormous force generated by the DOWNswing. :idea:

It's OK for her to tuck into a ball as she rolls her hips up. She doesn't need to end each swing with a Bubka-like straight trail leg pointing up (that will come on the pole quite naturally).

That may sound contradictory, since I'm so against the tuck-and-shoot technique. But trust me, back in the day, I did those swings below the highbar - tucking into a ball (shorting the swing and getting the hips up FASTER, all in one motion), and it translated to a swing on the pole that was very Bubka-like - with a fairly straight body (not a tuck). That's because the focus was on the QUICKNESS of raising the hips - without (too much) regard for shortening the radius of the trail leg to rotate the body faster.

And of course by imprinting this drill into her muscle-memory (after hundreds if not thousands of reps), it will become "automatic" on the pole for her.

You will find all this info (and this drill) in a thread of posts I did about 10 years ago if you search for "Bryde Bend". It still applies today. Or if you want to find all my highbar posts, just search for "kirk highbar" (not "kirk high bar").

Again, good luck!

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

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Re: Side Ways Clearance

Unread postby pv170 » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:50 pm

Kirk,

Thank you again for the complements on her approach and takeoff, she way very pleased to hear that. I always thought that she did a 2 step swing but was not sure if I saw it right or not, so I am glad you see it too. I understand for the most part what you are saying but I was a little confused on the part below, specially on fixing the swing on the squat rack high bar.

KirkB wrote:
If she focuses on her DOWNswing, she will soon discover a powerful UPswing, where the hips just naturally rise with the trail leg, due to the enormous force generated by the DOWNswing. :idea:



So you are saying when she is at her max of a trail leg back, she should swing hard to under her body than try to swing her hips and no longer worry about her legs? That they should have enough momentum at this point? What I told her was to stretch trail leg back as far as possible and whip it through as fast as possible and hips should follow. She is a former soccer player, so I told her to kick a soccer ball.

And I will have her do 10000 swings or whatever drill clicks for her once we get it. I have always been very big on repetition training. It takes 10,000 correct reps in a row to break 1 bad habit.

I am going to hopefully find a place in the school to at least hang a set of rings.

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Re: Side Ways Clearance

Unread postby KirkB » Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:02 pm

KirkB wrote: If she focuses on her DOWNswing, she will soon discover a powerful UPswing, where the hips just naturally rise with the trail leg, due to the enormous force generated by the DOWNswing. :idea:

pv170 wrote: So you are saying when she is at her max of a trail leg back, she should swing hard to under her body than try to swing her hips and no longer worry about her legs? That they should have enough momentum at this point? What I told her was to stretch trail leg back as far as possible and whip it through as fast as possible and hips should follow. She is a former soccer player, so I told her to kick a soccer ball.

That's exactly it. I'm not saying that she doesn't have to swing at all past the chord (which on the highbar is represented by the point at which you hang directly below the bar), but what I am saying is that if you focus MOST of your energy into improving the DOWNswing (before you pass the chord) then the UPswing will be much, much easier. You will feel that you're FLOATING up (on the highbar) - just by the momentum that you've generated on the DOWNswing. And the hips will just naturally rise with the trail leg - without much additional effort.

So if you're not floating up, then what will get you fully inverted? ROWING! I've alway said that rowing is bad (compared to swinging), but to recover from a bad vault (when there's lack of a good DOWNswing), it's OK to row. But it's much BETTER to swing powerfully than to row.

If you're athletic enough yourself, you as her coach should try some of these swings on the highbar (chinning bar) too. You will be able to coach it that much better if you feel this action with your own body.

pv170 wrote: And I will have her do 10000 swings or whatever drill clicks for her once we get it. I have always been very big on repetition training. It takes 10,000 correct reps in a row to break 1 bad habit.
:yes:

pv170 wrote: I am going to hopefully find a place in the school to at least hang a set of rings.
:yes:

Consider putting some stretchy material on the cables holding the rings. That will make the rings feel more like a highbar (a bit of give). And the chinning bar is better than nothing. That's what I used myself when I was in the weight room, but I used the highbar and rings when in the gym.

But it's even better on a highbar, because you get a bit of give that simulates a bending pole. Heavy bungees (VERY heavy, and as many as you need to simulate the bend of a highbar - or maybe just a bit softer than a highbar bend) will do the trick. Otherwise, the drill will start feeling like the jolt of a stiff pole (at the chord point) when you get good at it.

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

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Re: Side Ways Clearance

Unread postby pv170 » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:30 pm

So we have spent a lot of time the last few days trying to swing more on down swing and with the hips. I actually had her do some double tucks on the crossbars to get idea of rotating hips more than legs. She said she felt the difference doing the double tuck but she is not getting enough force to get up with the one motion swing. I was going to record but phone has been screwing up and not filming. I am going to try to let her get some more momentum going before she tries it today. Kick the leg a few times before trying to go up.

I did have a friend of mine take a film of her vaulting and put it into super slow mo from the side. It is a great view of her swing. I am curious to see what you have to say because I have an idea what maybe happening but I highly value your opinion! Sorry if the video is a little out of focus, had to film it off of the computer to get it on the internet. And she is about 3-6 inches inside on this jump.

Here is the video link... https://www.coachseye.com/v/5uq1

KirkB wrote:If you're athletic enough yourself, you as her coach should try some of these swings on the highbar (chinning bar) too. You will be able to coach it that much better if you feel this action with your own body.


I would love to demonstrate for them but I can not, least not with proper form. I had torn my shoulder multiple times, so I can not hang from a high bar or from rings without pulling up some with my arms. I don't want the kids to see this bc they may think they need to pull up to swing, which they don't. I have been looking for good high bar swing videos on youtube to try and help show them.



Edit: Here is an updated video of her doing a 1 motion swing drill. The one before this was better but did not get on film. Hips are higher and smoother than previous video.

https://www.coachseye.com/v/uQpr

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Re: Side Ways Clearance

Unread postby KirkB » Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:50 am

You confused me by referring to a "double tuck", but I now understand it to be the highbar drill with both legs tucked under the bar, without worrying about turning the DOWNswing drill into a Bubka drill. It's just that i never called my drill a "double tuck".

In the vid, she looks like she's actually TRYING to do what I've suggested (tuck both ankles under the bar), but I do see that she's still (occasionally) extending that into a Bubka drill. Please don't mix the two. They're 2 separate drills.

You're already seeing a problem in her rocking back and forth between reps. That's common, until you figure out how to stop that. One way is for you (the coach) to physically stop her from rocking. Another (even better) way is for her to kill her rock by stretching into the trail-leg-stretched position and AT THE SAME TIME stretch the chest forwards. You have to have supple shoulders to do this well.

I also watched her vault vid, and when I saw her plant and takeoff (with forward lean), and the start of her swing, it all looked quite good. But then she stalled out of that and did her usual "V". So nice try, but no cigar ... yet. Remember that it will take thousands of reps to get the swing drill into her muscle memory - in fact, you told me just that! :)

So good start, but please be patient and don't expect instant miracles. Good PV technique comes from good coaching and good practice. Lots and lots of practice. 1,000s of reps ... :D

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

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Re: Side Ways Clearance

Unread postby pv170 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:09 am

KirkB wrote:
I also watched her vault vid, and when I saw her plant and takeoff (with forward lean), and the start of her swing, it all looked quite good. But then she stalled out of that and did her usual "V". So nice try, but no cigar ... yet. Remember that it will take thousands of reps to get the swing drill into her muscle memory - in fact, you told me just that! :)

So good start, but please be patient and don't expect instant miracles. Good PV technique comes from good coaching and good practice. Lots and lots of practice. 1,000s of reps ... :D

Kirk


The video of the vault was actually taken BEFORE we started working on the new swings, sorry if that was confusing. I put one of her older videos in to the camera/app that I borrowed on Wednesday but video was taken probably last week. So no full vaults yet.

I will do what you mentioned about stopping her momentum and having her not swing back and forth. Thank you again.

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Re: Side Ways Clearance

Unread postby pv170 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:49 pm

KirkB wrote:
You're already seeing a problem in her rocking back and forth between reps. That's common, until you figure out how to stop that. One way is for you (the coach) to physically stop her from rocking. Another (even better) way is for her to kill her rock by stretching into the trail-leg-stretched position and AT THE SAME TIME stretch the chest forwards. You have to have supple shoulders to do this well.

Kirk


Let me ask you this, when you swing the trail leg through, should it be loose and relax or should she try and keep it straight and long. It seems to me that she is trying to swing a straight leg because she wants it to be stretched. I ask because I know when I talk to my sprinters about keeping body loose. "A loose muscle, is a fast muscle". So could she be trying to so hard to swing, she is tensing the leg and slowing it down?

I guess my question is this, I know you should stretch the trail leg back as far as possible at takeoff and in the air but once you start to swing, should you try to keep it long or just let it go?

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Re: Side Ways Clearance

Unread postby KirkB » Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:11 pm

In the downswing, keep it long and keep it tense. You have identified the mistake that many vaulters do. They just relax their trail leg by "letting it go", so there's no quickness to their downswing.

It's only when it's tense during the downswing that you'll be able to speed it up.

If you relax it, then there's no quickness.

The quicker the downswing, the quicker the upswing, due to momentum. During the upswing, it doesn't need to be tense or long - it's OK to shorten the radius (on both the highbar and the pole).

And on the highbar, you should be able to feel a surge of energy (in a downwards direction) as you pass the chord (vertical hang).

When done right, it will almost feel like your pole is being bent even more (but in this case, it's the highbar that's being bent even more).

You won't feel the bar ending on a stiff chinning bar, but you should certainly feel the surge of energy (pulling you down) within your body.

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


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