Bottom arm discussion continues...

This is a forum to discuss advanced pole vaulting techniques. If you are in high school you should probably not be posting or replying to topics here, but do read and learn.
User avatar
PVDaddy
PV Follower
Posts: 504
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 10:56 pm
Expertise: Former High School Vaulter, High School coach, College coach
Lifetime Best: 10.5 Ft
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Cornelius Warmerdam

Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby PVDaddy » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:05 am

Tom, Thank-You for the follow up. You have given me new insight in some key areas and it is greatly appreciated. I have some questions that I am hoping to find answers for from you or anyone who cares to chime in.

As I understand it you prefer to be "on" as opposed to even beeing slightly out (lets say one inch).
Will you explain to me why that is? I know that it is possible to have a free take off even if you are "on," but what happens when you are ever so slightly out (lets ay one inch)?

You said:

PV Daddy,
Studying film of Bubka and other elite vaulters is very helpful, but sometimes what you see isn't necessarily what they are trying to do.


I concur completely, in fact ,in a very recent post I made this comment!

These are both classic examples of were the vaulters intentions are not demonstated by much physical evidence but I believe that it is the intention (Continue reaching skyward to maintain that stretch) that is important.


You said:
I think it is a mistake to say that you "pull with the top arm, followed by the bottom arm. "


I did not state it as you quoted me above, "I said the pull will occur Immediately "(Naturally) it has to because the shoulders are stretched and they naturally recoil.

I said:
The pull will occur Immediately (It has to the shoulders girdle and lats are stretched so they naturally recoil) beginning with the top arm (because it is stretched more) and then immediatley assisted by the left at precisely the right time! ........ the natural pull that occurs fromthe recoiling lats and shoulder girdles


You said:
There is a strong "re-engagement of the shoulders" that starts the swing together with the whip of the trail leg, but I wouldn't call it a "pull.

Thats fine, but aren't we saying the same thing here?

I did call it a pull and I can see were that might be misinterpreted. Never the less would you agree that a pull does occur on the pole, especially the top hand, as the accelerating mass of the body meets the pole and also a result of the stretched shoulder girdles? I have also referred to this as an active stretch. Also would you agree that it occurs in the top hand first as this arm is stretched more?

Thank-You for pointing out that the bottom hand elbow should remain straight until the accelerating mass of the body meets the pole. I always wondered when was the appropriate time to bend it. The way you have described it makes great sense as it allows you to get higher grip height and pole angle. Do you believe a small natural push on the pole takes place from the Bottom hand even with the bent elbow?


You said that one should not continue the pull with the top arm at this point, (remember you are in the fully inverted-C at this point and the top hand is actually behind your whip foot (straight line drawn down to vertical and the swing has just begun)) but, to continue reaching until the end of the swing and beyond. I have never actually contiplated pulling much with the top hand at this point, most of my focus has been on pulling with the bottom hand (a lat and shoulder girdle pull first). I believe an active bottom hand pull should begin at the point of maximum bend of the pole (this delays the uncoiling and puts you out ahead of the pole). But, I just realised the pole has not quite yet reached its maximum bend. So you are saying to push for this small fraction of a second time as your whip passes by the chord of the pole to increase your swing radius :idea: Wow, Tom you have given me even more to think about and I love the fact that you give the rationale behind it! Would it be correct to think about this as a delayed lock out? The only method that I ahve ever read was Petrovs were none of this has been described ( not even the part about the top arm should stay long and extended until the end of the swing and even beyond) ? Unless I missed it? How do you feel about an active bottom arm pull beginning at point of Maximum bend? Would it not be easier to pull with the bottom elbow bent some? If so would one need to push, relax elbow and then pull? I know that these are a lot of questions, but I am starving for the answers! Thanks again Man! More points to ponder. :)

Cheers back at ya!
Joe
Every jot and every tittle adds up to more than just a little.

tsorenson
PV Pro
Posts: 405
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:17 am
Expertise: masters vaulter, former college vaulter, volunteer HS/club coach, fan, parent
Location: Bend, Oregon

Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby tsorenson » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:20 pm

Active stretch, pull, row, swing, paddle...we all describe actions differently but I am always searching for the most concise way to explain the motions involved.
Hard to use words to describe such a complex action...but I don't feel that pulling with the top arm ever really happens, except at the very top of the swing when you drive your hips upward. At that point you pull "through" the top arm using your strong back muscles (like a deadlift), but the top arm bicep doesn't really engage until you are turning the hand over for the push off.
Best bet is to stick to the drills and focus on the run, pole carry, pole drop, plant, and takeoff. These are the things that are highly coachable... the stuff that happens after that is relatively instinctive if you've spent a lot of time swinging fast and long on the highbar, rings, and rope.
Cheers
Tom

User avatar
PVDaddy
PV Follower
Posts: 504
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 10:56 pm
Expertise: Former High School Vaulter, High School coach, College coach
Lifetime Best: 10.5 Ft
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Cornelius Warmerdam

Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby PVDaddy » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:05 am

Tom,
I have to say that After viewing the 1997 Jump and others of Bubka ( I understand that some have problems with that and the vaulters Intent is not always Seen) over and over,It is very clear that his bottom elbow is bent at plant in every instance so that he at least seems to perfer having a bent elbow like your friend Dan at plant. I also personally still believe that after plant both hands are involved with the continuation of that pull (the left is the most active but the right is still involved). I could see no signs of the left straightening (pushing) out to increase the radius of the swing and in fact staid bent right up and through to a hard pull at verticle. I have tried very hard to be opened minded and looked very hard for these things. I really appreciate your feedback, but on these areas I must respectfully disagree. Perhaps you feel his technique is not ideal and that is certainly your right.
Every jot and every tittle adds up to more than just a little.

tsorenson
PV Pro
Posts: 405
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:17 am
Expertise: masters vaulter, former college vaulter, volunteer HS/club coach, fan, parent
Location: Bend, Oregon

Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby tsorenson » Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:22 pm

PV Daddy,
In response to your last comment, I get the feeling you misunderstood me. The friend I was referring to (and many others, myself included) believe that "preloading" the bottom arm is a mistake. The arm bends outward as the force of the run is delivered to the pole and the vaulter attempts to stay behind it, but it is not purposely kept in a bent position at the initial plant, unless you are gripping so low that it has no other choice but to be bent as the straight top arm hits the plant. At the plant both arms should be extended upwards as much as possible, the amount of which is somewhat dictated by the grip height on the pole and point of takeoff. This variance in pole angle at takeoff confuses people who watch elite vaulters in the hopes of learning the best technique for beginners.

Have you watched the Petrov Reno video yet? If you want to know what Bubka was trying to do, you can learn by listening to his coach Petrov discuss his technique compared to several other world class vaulters. In the lecture Petrov explains the desired position of the left arm in varying stages of the vault, and there is no doubt that he emphasizes an extended bottom arm through the "push" phase, getting the pole moving before initiating the swing. So if you are trying to tell me that Bubka's coach and Bubka were on a different page, then I am not sure what to tell you. By the way, at the end of the lecture Petrov thanks Altius for sharing Petrov's theories in his book...something you may want to keep in mind.

There is a fine line between finishing the takeoff and blocking out, and finding that is the key to jumping as high as you are capable of. I hope that some of my comments have helped you in some way, but I don't think I have any more to add to the conversation. You are on the right track to learning this complex event, as long as you can keep an open mind! I thought I knew it all 15 years ago...but I continue to learn: every time I step on the runway, coach young athletes, and/or watch and listen to other great coaches, both in person and on this forum.

Good luck,
Tom

User avatar
PVDaddy
PV Follower
Posts: 504
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 10:56 pm
Expertise: Former High School Vaulter, High School coach, College coach
Lifetime Best: 10.5 Ft
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Cornelius Warmerdam

Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby PVDaddy » Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:46 pm

Tom,
One point that I have gotten and your post has reinforced it even more is the major importance of moving the pole towards verticle. That is the major objective anyway right? I'm thinking that trying to get the pole to bend is something that should not even be taught? If your form and technique is correct won't the the pole bend just as much as it should (as long as your grip height is correct and you are on the correctly weighted pole) anyway? Should I take from your previous post that it would be incorrect to teach High School kids to vault like Bubka in all elements of his technique? If so I would like to know in which areas in particular? Would it be ok to have a little bit of bend in your bottom hand at plant, but, to leave it loose enough to bend forward and perhaps somewhat outward when you load the pole (This is what I am seeing and thinking would be ideal, not a complete preload)? I'm thinking that you are suggesting that one should experiment with the amount of bottom arm bend at pole load as that will be a very individual ideal for every vaulter? You have given me some good points to reflect on as I always do on anyones point. There are so many varieties of opinion on anyone subject and what I try to do is look at the most general concensus first and compare them to what I see with my own eyes (the most reliable example I have Ie. Bubka) and what makes sense to me. Is there a better way to do this?
Every jot and every tittle adds up to more than just a little.

User avatar
altius
PV Rock Star
Posts: 2425
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:27 am
Location: adelaide, australia
Contact:

Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby altius » Sat Aug 07, 2010 4:05 am

Sorry folks I just cant help it!!!! PVDaddy - You will understand this event - and specifically the issues you are raising here much quicker - by studying Chapter Five in BTB - "The relationship between stiff pole and flexible pole vaulting". Just take a look at it and you may understand why I - and I suspect others - are not going to get involved in debating issues that are now pretty well agreed and documented.
Its what you learn after you know it all that counts. John Wooden

User avatar
PVDaddy
PV Follower
Posts: 504
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 10:56 pm
Expertise: Former High School Vaulter, High School coach, College coach
Lifetime Best: 10.5 Ft
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Cornelius Warmerdam

Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby PVDaddy » Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:15 pm

Altius, If you don't care to respond to someones post, how about if you just dont!? :idea:
Instead you take the time to tell everyone how basic and elementary my questions and ideas are but, at the same time make sure you leave another plug in there for your book! This is something you have become very proficient at as of late. :no: Like I said earlier go back to making valid contributions.I have read every post on this thread, so chill out and quit trying so hard to make sure everybody know hows smart you are and that you have already saved the pole vault world!
Every jot and every tittle adds up to more than just a little.

Barefoot
PV Whiz
Posts: 135
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:08 pm
Expertise: High School Coach
Lifetime Best: 15'
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby Barefoot » Sat Aug 07, 2010 6:06 pm

PV Daddy,

This may be my only post ever on the advanced tech board. I coach high school athletes and I know enough about the vault to know I don't have the expertise to offer proffer advanced commentary. My experience tells me that what you "see" in the vault is not always what you perceive it to be or the intent of the athlete. And watching the master of any discipline may not give you the steps to become a master. There are certain things you may not want to tell a beginning or intermediate pole vaulter because it puts them in harms way.

For young vaulters pole speed is the major key to safety. Pulling on a pole will generally reduce pole speed. It only takes one mistimed pull to result in disaster... no more "wanna be Bubka" as they will be in hospital or worse. For this reason alone I would not teach it without being very sure of the results and of my own competence and expertise as a coach. The vault is different from many sports as improper technique can result in death, coma, paralysis, etc...

The 5th chapter of B2B I think nails the core of Petrov theory.

If you have not seen Petrov's and Butler's video presentations at Reno they are worth watching, watching, and re-watching.

You began your "theory" to help your son overcome a plateau in his progression. EVERY vaulter at every level experiences these periods for numerous reasons... physical, technical, psychological... until a vaulter is at the upper echelon, it is usually not a nuance that holds him/her back, but a fundamental that is lacking. Run... Plant... Swing. Trying to finesse the perfect push/pull is unlikely to be the solution, well it could be, but not likely at the high school level. Many boys will improve out of the drought through physical growth/strength/speed as long as the basics are intact. Sometimes they progress in spite of our coaching. The questions I keep asking myself when I teach, is do I have the expertise to do no harm? And am I willing to see a short term drop in performance for long term gain? AND am I reasonably sure I have the answer to the problem?

Obviously you are striving to refine a complete understanding of the event, which is great and can be helpful to everyone. But theory is not practice. Where a vaulter is in his development can determine "what" they need to work on. Assume for a moment that you define the perfect pull push dynamic... how do you teach it? If I had a dime for every time I heard a coach yell "PUULLLL!!!" and watch the kid flag and stall?... Or a nickle for every time I've seen a kid lock his bottom arm straight and end up sitting in a bucket? Be ready to redefine or re-tune your theory in the cold light of practical vaulting.

I'm only standing here waving the caution flag because a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing when you are upside down 9 or 19 feet off the ground.

User avatar
altius
PV Rock Star
Posts: 2425
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:27 am
Location: adelaide, australia
Contact:

Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby altius » Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:52 pm

Well PV Daddy - Tom and Kirk have both given up on you - who will be next? The clever questions you ask have all been answered before - with the exception of the issue below - in BTB2.

I put this up weeks before discovered pvp to put my take on pushing and pulling for example. However i will ask my friend Doc to post chapter 5 -as I am technologically incompetent to do so. I dont expect you to read it because it may get in the way of the next brilliant question you want to ask but at least I am not charging for it. Oh by the way try writing a 300 page book on the vault and see if you think it is worth the 50cents and hour you make for your work!


"A pretty good analysis Kyle – be interesting to see what pvstudent has to say because this is a complex issue when you begin to analyse it. However I will have a shot at clarifying it – in what I sincerely hope will be my final contribution to technical discussion on pvp.

While high level analysis of this kind is invaluable - what coaches need to know is = what are the implications of this information for helping their athletes to improve, so here is my take - just a thesis –an attempt to arrive at the truth.

Roman argues that since the swing is a vital element of effective technique then we should do everything possible to accelerate that swing - pulling immediately after take off does that. He says that even tho it looks as though the athlete is pushing – because the hand moves away from the shoulder – they can still be pulling.. This is not what our eyes see so it is difficult to accept this even if it is indeed what is happening.

For me it is a question of timing as Kyle implies – but very difficult timing – in milli seconds. Because the hands do drive up through the pole at and after take off – so when does the pull begin. Roman says immediately – he may be right but I believe it is only immediately in your mind because of the reaction time lag. In fact I think there is no point in trying to establish EXACTLY at what point you should begin to pull. Why?

Well I have argued that every vaulter – even young athletes - can and should control everything from the first step until the instant after take off. After that the process becomes autonomous – I have used the term intuitive – as they respond – unconsciously to all of the variables that will influencing what is happening. Just consider the effect of being a fraction under/fraction out – fraction faster/slower at take off etc etc . All these small factors influence what happens after TO so the vaulter is responding intuitively (I define intuition as the distilled essence of past experience). That is why we see variations in Hookers swing – and presumably why Alex does not care what happens there as long is the TO is right and he covers the pole effectively. It is also why we even see minute variations in Bubka’s technique from one jump to the next.

SO – I believe that the answer has been staring me in the face ever since I suggested in BTB1 that we should think of the flexible point as an infinite series of straight poles and that modern technique should in many respects follow the stiff pole model. (I realise that was common knowledge in the 1970s but clearly it had been forgotten in the meantime). Clearly stiff polers did pull to accelerate the swing – which was possibly even more crucial to them than it is now.

However since the timing is so crucial and so fine I don’t think vaulters can learn to do this by THINKING ABOUT IT. They must just learn how to do it. How? One way is through repetitive stiff pole jumps (fifty or more in a session) from 6 steps over a bar that is continually taken up – this is how I recommend you teach young vaulters to invert in BTB – (not by using rock back drills) and I think the same practice –extended to really high bars would do the job for even elite vaulters. This is not a self correcting drill but it is self teaching drill. The vaulter does not think during the jump – there is no time to think once they leave the ground, They do all their thinking -that is imagining where they want to go -high above the bar - before they begin. If the coach - as Roma would I suspect – wants to tell they must pull with the bottom hand/arm well and good. I don’t think it will help.

This practice should be preceded by ten or so jumps to max out grip – that is the auto correcting drill used by Petrov, This ensures that athletes remember that they have to take off strongly before they do anything else.

Another approach is to max out grip height jumping up onto a rope from 6 steps –a polish drill – and then attempt to swing to get the feet as high up the rope as possible. Also possible to begin this standing with the rope in hand and swinging up as high as possible.

Here it is worth remembering that when the human body faces a new challenge it simply responds – it does not need a series of cues from a coach – it just does it. Perhaps Nike will sponsor this post??? Just make sure the athlete has a clear understanding of what the task is – get their feet swinging as high as possible and let them get on with it. I think they will learn to pull with the bottom arm – but they wont know that they are doing it.

I said at the beginning that I intended this to be my final TECHNICAL contribution. Still want to advertise goods and services!! A couple of reasons – I have contributed all I can/ PVP has become a bit like groundhog day with the same topics continually recycled/ my recent diet of humble pie has made my grumpy -and of course I do get tired of having what I consider to be an expert opinion challenged by some folk with VERY limited experience. . PVP is addictive and I have to break the addiction because I have other things to do – including rewriting my teaching games book – so I want to stop. It would help if folk could pm me occasionally and tell me what a great job I am doing by not posting!!!

I do not want any pms on this topic –discuss it amongst yourselves –rip it apart if you will but do not come back to me on this please." NOTE WELL PVDADDY.
Its what you learn after you know it all that counts. John Wooden

dougb
PV Whiz
Posts: 131
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 10:05 pm
Expertise: elite vaulter - Coach
Lifetime Best: 4.4 m
Favorite Vaulter: Feofanova
Location: Auckland, NZ

Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby dougb » Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:23 am

Thank you Altius. Your contribusions ar always on point, and will move forward the skill of vaulting and the coaching there of.
I look forward to meeting you oneday should we both live so long.

Doug Balcomb
The older I get, The better I was.

User avatar
master
PV Lover
Posts: 1336
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 2:03 am
Expertise: Masters Vaulter, Volunteer HS Coach, Former College Vaulter
Lifetime Best: 4.36m
Location: Oregon

Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby master » Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:04 am

As requested by my good friend down under, I am posting this link to Chapter 5 of BTB in pdf format.
- master . . . http://www.plvlt.com

User avatar
altius
PV Rock Star
Posts: 2425
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:27 am
Location: adelaide, australia
Contact:

Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby altius » Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:52 pm

Thanks coach -appreciate the thought.
Its what you learn after you know it all that counts. John Wooden


Return to “Pole Vault - Advanced Technique”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests