Vault/swing critique

This is a forum to discuss pole vault technique as it relates to intermediate level pole vaulting.
spencershade
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Vault/swing critique

Unread postby spencershade » Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:10 am

Hi I'm a 13'6" vaulter. In my videos I'm using a 13'6" 170 pold (6 inches shorter than what I usually jump on) with a 13'6" bungee: https://youtu.be/7VKCHku3G_c

I have been working on taking off on my mark, I usually take off way under but I am just barely vaulting above my handgrip and I want to have better form before I move up to my 14'6" pole. Any critiques on my technique is appreciated.

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Re: Vault/swing critique

Unread postby treykristianPV » Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:36 am

First of all, don't be worried about moving up poles, when the time comes, your coach on the ground will be able to let you know.
spencershade wrote: I want to have better form before I move up


This is good to hear, to many people focus on moving up pole before fixing form, you'll be able to go higher with proper form with a 14' pole than people with poor form on a 14'6" pole. :yes:

After looking at the video, here's just a few things I see:

At takeoff, I can't tell by how much, but you are under like you said, and as it looks it's not by a lot, but it is happening. If I had to guess, somewhere close to 2"-4" under.

Next, you have great trail leg action during after takeoff, you stretch it back and then whip forward fairly well, keep working on it and make it even faster at the whip portion to get a faster swing.

Something that would help you move up to a longer pole (when the time is ready to move up) would apply more forward pressure on the pole and "role" the pole forward.

Also what I see is when you're about to invert you stop swinging, try to keep swinging and keep your legs and hips going further back, let the shoulders drop and try to make yourself completely inverted to the ground.

Hopefully this helps.
-Trey
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Re: Vault/swing critique

Unread postby Ben_N » Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:15 pm

I agree with treykristianPV.

You stop swinging once your feet hit your hands when you need to continue going back (i.e. fully inverting). For most the part, becoming fully inverted requires you to be comfortable being upside down so I'd suggest doing some more gymnastic drills that make use of that body orientation.

You form is actually pretty good overall so once you master the invert and bottom arm pressure, going up to bigger poles starts to rely on strength and speed (putting more energy into a pole). This comes back to that gymnastic element I was talking about before. You want to be strong and powerful like a long jumper but athletic enough to be a gymnast so remember to work on both strength conditioning and gymnastic areas.

You are on the right path. Fix some technical issues then work on getting faster and stronger.

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Re: Vault/swing critique

Unread postby KirkB » Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:02 pm

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

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Re: Vault/swing critique

Unread postby spencershade » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:59 pm

Thanks to the reply from all three of you and sorry it took so long for a reply. I read your flagging out reply Kirk and I understand every point you are saying but I don't get why I'm leaving my pole at the top. Am I a special case? Can any of you guys let me know know from this video why my pole might not be rolling over far enough and I end up flagging out? . I have been working A LOT on taking off on my mark and it's gotten so much better. But I also want to work on how to get to the "C" and put my body on stretch because once I down swing I feel like I have to fight to upswing and everyone says it should just flow. I have a video from a short approach practice on a small pole and lower bungee that I want you guys to check out. I need advice on how to deliver a powerful swing so I can stop flagging out.

https://youtu.be/xqWdHNvy0UQ This vault is from 3 left by the way.

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Re: Vault/swing critique

Unread postby spencershade » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:11 pm

Also Trey and Ben, you said something about the swing stopping once my feet get to my hands... How is to possible to swing past your hands? I try and avoid rowing to keep my top arm back or at least perpendicular to the ground so I have more room to swing but I don't get how you to swing further. Could you guys give me a better idea of how this works? If you can, look at about 0:17 in this video of Bubka and he has his feet WAY above his hands. How do I get my hips to rise so my swing isn't blocked?
https://youtu.be/BA2dchthcyc

Thanks again guys!

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Re: Vault/swing critique

Unread postby KirkB » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:25 pm

spencershade wrote: Am I a special case? Can any of you guys let me know know from this video why my pole might not be rolling over far enough and I end up flagging out? .

For someone whose PR is 13-6, this vault from 3 lefts isn't too bad, but still needs work.

Sorry to say, but physics doesn't have any special cases!

There are 2 obvious flaws that I see. There may be more, but I suggest working on these two first (but still keep working on takeoff, run, plant, etc).

1. Your so-called C isn't really much of a C. A true C would have the chest driving forwards/up much more. So you never do get to a proper C position. If you did, your downswing would be much more powerful (because it starts from an elastic, stretched position).

2. Just at the time you should be curving your spine into a bit of a tuck (as opposed to an arch), you throw your head back. Are you doing that purposely (maybe someone told you to do that?), or is it just a bad habit?

You should be able to follow my logic here: If you don't arch your neck, then your trail leg will move faster; but if you arch it, then your trail leg will slow down.

Arching the neck causes the entire back-bone to arch, thus the trail leg must fight this action. On the other hand, if the head is just held naturally (not arched and not tucking your chin to your chest), then your trail leg downswing won't be inhibited.

Try to stretch more to the C (shoulder stretching drills might help); and try to keep your head in a natural position while you swing.

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

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Re: Vault/swing critique

Unread postby KirkB » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:30 pm

spencershade wrote:How is to possible to swing past your hands?

Trey and Ben should answer this, but from my perspective, a powerful upswing ends earlier than you might expect. After that, you just need to coast - same as Bubka. It's all in the downswing, and (just a little) in the upswing.

In a lot of his vaults, Bubka also releases the pole far earlier than other elite vaulters. That's simply because his run, plant, takeoff, stretch, and downswing have already given him all the power he needs to clear the bar. (I don't think he *should* release the pole so early - I think he's just showing off.)

BTW, the pole *is* rolling OK towards the pit in this vid, because you're landing safely in the pit. If the pole didn't roll forwards enough, you'd stall out a bit. Or did it feel like you were stalling, and that's why you flagged out? But try lowering your grip by a fist on this 3-stepper, and see if you swing and extend a little better.

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

spencershade
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Re: Vault/swing critique

Unread postby spencershade » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:26 pm

Ok I get what you're saying about the "C". What kind of practices or dills are there to work on these? I do a lot of bubkas usually I try and do 30-40 at the end of every practice but they I think these work on strength rather than technique. (At least how I do them, from a still hang). And another question I have is how do a lot of the tuck and shoot vaulters get over there handgrips and go straight up the pole with no or not much of a swing?

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Re: Vault/swing critique

Unread postby KirkB » Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:01 am

spencershade wrote:Ok I get what you're saying about the "C". What kind of practices or drills are there to work on these?

You need to do 2 things: (1) train your shoulder muscles to stretch so that you can get to the C position; and (2) teach your body to stretch to the C automatically (without any thought).

Simple stretches in a prone position, with arms back, then inch your butt further and further away from your hands is one easy drill. It's a good warmup drill before any vaulting or gymnastics workouts.

Another is to take a run (jog) and jump at a highbar, catch it with both hands, and then let your chest drive thru. You want chest forwards and trail leg back (and lead knee up). The end of this drill is the C. Just freeze in the C, then repeat. You will find in this drill (at first) that your shoulders are very stiff, and you won't be able to drive your chest thru much. After repeated stretching (in prone position) and in this highbar drill, you will get better. But it takes months and months, so don't expect instant results. But the stretching (in prone position) is something that you can do anywhere, anytime.

Another good stretching drill is "skin the cat". Best on rings, but you can do this on highbar too. Remember that this is just to stretch the shoulders - no quick movements, and make sure you're warmed up, else you might pull a muscle.

spencershade wrote: how do a lot of the tuck and shoot vaulters get over there handgrips and go straight up the pole with no or not much of a swing?

I have no experience doing or coaching tuck/shooting, so I won't even try to explain it. Someone else can explain that.

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

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Re: Vault/swing critique

Unread postby treykristianPV » Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:43 am

To revise what I said earlier I want to point out what Kirk said
KirkB wrote:... you just need to coast - same as Bubka...

Instead of thinking in the way you have to keep moving the feet back and get them behind the pole, swing and just fight the urge to drop the feet, so when you turn the feet are still going up. Like Bubka, his feet would stay up through his turn and through his extension off the pole.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I say "keep swinging", but really it's more of keeping your swing back. I hope that's not confusing. Really how I look at it is to keep the muscles you use to swing continuously working, so that the feet can stay up. The swing requires a good takeoff and speed from the trail leg, but your core (abdominal muscles) come into play as well. Especially when it comes to keeping the feet up at the top of the vault, it takes a lot of abdominal strength.

-Trey
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Re: Vault/swing critique

Unread postby cspar » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:34 am

spencershade wrote:Also Trey and Ben, you said something about the swing stopping once my feet get to my hands... How is to possible to swing past your hands? I try and avoid rowing to keep my top arm back or at least perpendicular to the ground so I have more room to swing but I don't get how you to swing further. Could you guys give me a better idea of how this works? If you can, look at about 0:17 in this video of Bubka and he has his feet WAY above his hands. How do I get my hips to rise so my swing isn't blocked?
https://youtu.be/BA2dchthcyc
Thanks again guys!


In order to get your hips a little bit higher than your shoulders at rockback it's not about trying to swing past your hands but think about swinging so that your shin/knees reach your hands. If you lay on the ground and swing your legs up so that your knees reach your hands you will be able to feel how much higher your hips are off the ground versus if you just bring your feet to your hands. Your in a decent position now but if you can work your hips a bit higher in the rockback it will make it easier to invert. It all starts with everything at the take-off but if you get away from just trying to touch your hands to your feet and think about having your hands hit your upper shin/knee your hips will be in a better position at rockback.


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