How to "go up - not out"? Roll the pole! It's basic physics!

This is a forum to discuss pole vault technique as it relates to intermediate level pole vaulting.
User avatar
KirkB
PV Maniac
Posts: 3550
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:05 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter; Former Elite Vaulter; Former Coach; Fan
Lifetime Best: 5.34
Favorite Vaulter: Thiago da Silva
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

How to "go up - not out"? Roll the pole! It's basic physics!

Unread postby KirkB » Mon May 30, 2016 11:32 pm

In a recent Video Review post (http://www.polevaultpower.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=54701), SuperBanana asked:
SuperBanana wrote:It seems like when extending the hips to come off the pole over the bar I come away from the pole knocking the bar off on the way up. Looks like I don't drop the shoulders maybe but cant really visualise how to do this.

Among other things, GasPasser replied with:
GasPasser wrote: You are coming off the pole too early. You want to go up - not out.

Below was my reply to both of them. I wrote it not only for SB's and GP's benefit, but more generically as a catch all for anyone else experiencing a similar problem, and asking about a similar detail regarding the top half of their vault (post-chord).

It seems like about a dozen similar questions have been asked in the past month, and in the last decade, it's been HUNDREDS, if not THOUSANDS!

So I've decided to move my rather generic reply to the Intermediate Technique forum, in this new thread. And from now on, I'll (mostly) just redirect any specific questions about how to prevent flagging out (or how to drop the shoulders, etc, etc) to this thread.

Here's my reply ...

KirkB wrote:The question is HOW to "go up - not out".

The vault is won or lost by the time you finish the downswing (pre-chord) and the time you start the upswing (post-chord). Search PVP if you don't understand "downswing", "upswing", or "chord".

So there isn't much point in looking into the upswing, extension, and bar clearance when there's still major flaws prior to those actions.

It also comes down to basic physics. The pole must "roll forwards" (with you hanging onto it) past vertical. If it doesn't roll past vertical, then you will stall. You will stall if you're not driving forwards and upwards enough with your chest, or if you're gripping too high or if your pole isn't bending enough. You need to find the best balance between these 3. Notice that all 3 of these things are pre-chord.

So HOW do you achieve these 3 things?

The easiest one is to just lower your grip. With a lower grip, you will swing further into the pit. Once you swing further into the pit, you will have the confidence to shoot more straight up off the end of the pole. If you're not swinging far into into the pit (landing in the coach's box), then you won't have the forwards momentum to get you into the pit, so you will be hesitant to shoot straight up, and so you'll flag off the pole and into the bar (as you're doing - especialy in your earlier vids).

Second easiest is to work on your technique on (and just after) takeoff. You need to JUMP off the ground, driving the chest fowards, and stetching your trail leg behind you. Your downswing is way too lackadaisical. From there, you need to vigorously SWING your trail leg in a long, circular motion (first down, then forwards, then up - all in one circular motion). This will cause the pole to roll forwards faster. Or said the other way around, if you don't drive and stretch, the pole will roll more slowly (and you may stall out).

You should notice in GasPasser's vid (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlfCaVPlxmw) that the vaulter landed safely in the pit, despite jogging up to takeoff with only a couple steps. He could not have cleared that bar if his pole didn't roll forwards quickly enough, giving him enough forwards momentum to land safely in the pit. He still lands a bit short in the pit, but for such a short run, he's OK - for longer runs, he would need to land proportionally further into the pit.

The third alternative is to use a softer pole. This usually isn't such a good idea, because it's too easy to just ride the pole into the pit - with poor technique. But if your pole isn't rolling forwards enough for you to land in the coach's box EVERY TIME, then it is a viable third alternative. Using a softer pole effectively lowers you grip. The physics behind this is that the pole rolls forward at a speed proportional to the length of the chord at max bend. So if your pole bends more, it shortens the chord, thus (effectively) lowering your grip.

It's best to improve your technique on a softer pole with a shorter grip and shorter run (like the guy in GasPasser's vid did - although you can take a few more steps than that). Then, slowly increase your grip, pole stiffness, and run length - AS YOUR TECHNIQUE IMPROVES.

There really aren't any shortcuts to this, and no matter how much you ignore pre-chord technique and focus on just solving the details of flagging out (and wondering why the heck you're flagging out), it always comes back to something that's happening pre-chord. Why? It's basic physics.

If anyone would like to clarify or comment about this generic thread (not pointed at any particular vaulter), this would be the place to do it. Thanks.

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

Bjack6635@gmail.com
PV Dork
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:03 pm
Expertise: High school
Lifetime Best: 14 3
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie

Re: How to "go up - not out"? Roll the pole! It's basic physics!

Unread postby Bjack6635@gmail.com » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:58 pm

I think a lot of vaulters have a hard time with the inversion because of a poor plant. It seems like once the plant is fixed most vaulters tend to swing "Naturally" on the pole. Once they feel this natural swing the hand thigh connection happens rather quickly.

Cpu8
PV Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:42 am
Expertise: Beginning Regular Vaulter
Lifetime Best: 4,63m
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Menno Vloon
Location: Tilburg, Netherlands
Contact:

Re: How to "go up - not out"? Roll the pole! It's basic physics!

Unread postby Cpu8 » Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:15 am

Bjack6635@gmail.com wrote:I think a lot of vaulters have a hard time with the inversion because of a poor plant. It seems like once the plant is fixed most vaulters tend to swing "Naturally" on the pole. Once they feel this natural swing the hand thigh connection happens rather quickly.

This is mostly because newer vaulters tend to grip the pole way too high. That way they need to invest so much energy in the vault that they most likely wont have when you begin vaulting. If you dont have enough forward momentum to go straight trough so you will stall and fall to the sides.
So I personally think that the main problem is the grip, for beginning vaulters that is.
im jumping on the others side of the world l:

User avatar
KirkB
PV Maniac
Posts: 3550
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:05 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter; Former Elite Vaulter; Former Coach; Fan
Lifetime Best: 5.34
Favorite Vaulter: Thiago da Silva
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Re: How to "go up - not out"? Roll the pole! It's basic physics!

Unread postby KirkB » Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:46 pm

Bjack6635@gmail.com wrote: ... once the plant is fixed most vaulters tend to swing "Naturally" on the pole. ...

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

User avatar
KirkB
PV Maniac
Posts: 3550
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:05 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter; Former Elite Vaulter; Former Coach; Fan
Lifetime Best: 5.34
Favorite Vaulter: Thiago da Silva
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Re: How to "go up - not out"? Roll the pole! It's basic physics!

Unread postby KirkB » Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:47 pm

Cpu8 wrote: ... the main problem is the grip, for beginning vaulters that is.

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


Return to “Pole Vault - Intermediate Technique”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests