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.
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PVDaddy
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Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby PVDaddy » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:01 am

Thank-You Altius for your post. I have been so eager to here anything that you had to say reguarding PV. I will probably read it at least 3 times until I completely digest it. You may not believe me when I say that, I have always felt that your work holds most of the keys for setting the pole vault world free from its past incarceration of block out and push. This is a MAJOR contribution to the pole vault world! Thank-you also for having your friend send Ch5, but, I have decided to, and actually already have, (In fact today) purchased a copy of your book BTB. I promise, I will not be bothering you with any questions about it. I don't think I have ever bothered you with any questions reguarding PV, as we got off to such a bad start from the beginning? :(

Perhaps there is such a thing as beeing to passionate about something ( Thats the way I am with anything that really interest me). I never meant to come across as a know it all. I certainly don't! I have been trying really hard and I know that I'm to sensitive. I want to personally say thank-you to all, for so much great Info. Without it my Son certainly would not have added over 3 ft. (11-6 to 14-8) to his PR this year and made it to States ( A dream we never thought would happen!). He hopes to continue vaulting at U of Michigan. Sure did a lot better than the old mans 10.5!

To be honest, most of the questions that I raised to Tom in that post were out of respect to him, because I wanted him to know that I was really trying to listen and learn from him. Sorry for all these grammatical errors, I'm really tired.
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Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby altius » Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:24 am

Glad we sorted that out. In conclusion I suggest you leap forward to page 286 and read "The coaches dilemma".
Its what you learn after you know it all that counts. John Wooden

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Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby ADTF Academy » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:05 am

What makes up a great novel?


A beginning, a middle and an end.


If the end doesn't sync well with the beginning and middle your left feeling dissatisfied, puzzled and second guessing the writer and story.


To many people fall into this trap in the vault. Until you can fully grasp why everything occurs stop thinking of the most minute part of the jump. Like agapit and altius,I have written about this topic long before anyone has on this site. Not to the extent or overwhelming response that these two men have received, but its all out there to read. For over 5 years I have been working on this stuff long before every meeting Altius or reading Agapit's work. All these two and others did was reinforce the beliefs I already had and was implementing. This bottom arm pull is a concept that as Altius puts it is easier said and thought about than performed and/or identified exactly when and how it should occur. I have two elite athletes attempting it and its not easy to master they are just very very fast and can hold very high (not short changing them just making a point it doesn't have to be perfect). These things take years to master and fix there is no overnight solution. I personally have done it, but only on poles under 15' in length yes it sure accelerates your swing and sets you up to cover the pole, but the exact timing is 100% a feel and I couldn't always duplicate it. The reality of the fact is 90% of all high school athletes will never be in the sport long enough to master any of these advanced topics. I'll bet only 40% actually vault in college and out of that only 15% continue vaulting after college and only 3% actually jump a height that is considered high enough to utilize these advanced techniques.

I really encourage everyone out there who does get excited and worked up over things there is no golden nugget that will make you better by doing that one thing. The vault is a series of events that must link and match from the first step you take. This has been repeated over and over by many coaches. It is simple to break down one aspect of the vault and talk about it, but if you do not understand what it links to and how it is created its just words and ideas. Every action has a consequence as well as an advantage. Unless you understand both sides of the equation and can live with the bad I'm sorry to tell you it probably won't work the way you imagine it.

The reality of the fact is unless you have the athletic abilities to jump very high there are many other technical things you can do to produce results. With that being side I believe in the model I teach, but I'm smart enough to understand its not for everyone. Took me many years to realize that. If your dealing with a kid that is only a high school vaulter will never be more than a high school vaulter why are you wasting your time on something as advanced as this.

Though a fun conversation it lost its appeal to me months upon months ago when people who had no business discussing something as advanced as this gave there two cents.

When you write your book (work with an athlete) please make sure your start, middle and end all match up. Trust me by doing this you will produce better results with the level of athlete you have available to you.

If this topic is the main part of your coaching verbiage.... your missing the boat.

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Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby KirkB » Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:34 pm

:yes:

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Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby Barefoot » Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:15 am

ADTF Academy wrote:The reality of the fact is unless you have the athletic abilities to jump very high there are many other technical things you can do to produce results. With that being side I believe in the model I teach, but I'm smart enough to understand its not for everyone. Took me many years to realize that. If your dealing with a kid that is only a high school vaulter will never be more than a high school vaulter why are you wasting your time on something as advanced as this.

Though a fun conversation it lost its appeal to me months upon months ago when people who had no business discussing something as advanced as this gave there two cents.


Guess this means that my exhaustive study on "Isinbayeva's use of black tar tape with copious amounts of lighter fluid and it's relevancy to the transfer of forces from the top arm to the bottom arm at critical juncture of the cord of the pole" has no place here in the advanced tech section?

Actually your post was very well put ADTF. Spot on.

This was my second and last post in this advanced section.

Barefoot

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Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby Tim McMichael » Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:32 pm

Wow. How did this get to be a discussion on the merits of working on the technical aspect of the vault at all? I think it is a fruitful topic, but I honestly cannot relate to the idea that talking about these things is useless. What do I care if people who don’t know what I know want to put their 2 cents in? Refuting bad ideas (tactfully) is as important as presenting good ones. One of the things that has drawn me to this sport and kept me here all these years is that it appears to be infinite in scope. I have not passed a month in this business without learning something. I know it has been a long time since I posted, but not because I have lost interest. I am working like hell on understanding some things that have confused me for years. This forum has helped me more than I can say, and without this advanced forum and the contributions everyone has made; I would much less effective as a coach. The first few posts I made here offended the hell out of ADTF Academy and the conflict that resulted helped us both, I think. I certainly learned a measure of humility if nothing else. However rocky this conversation becomes, I still think it is worth it.

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Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby Tim McMichael » Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:44 pm

altius wrote: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.


Sorry to quote this whole post, but it is so good it makes me want to cry. I mean that. Awesome. I think it would be good to talk about how to teach this stuff, but as to the question of what is actually happening I think the case is closed.

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Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby tsorenson » Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:43 pm

Tim McMichael wrote:Wow. How did this get to be a discussion on the merits of working on the technical aspect of the vault at all? I think it is a fruitful topic, but I honestly cannot relate to the idea that talking about these things is useless. What do I care if people who don’t know what I know want to put their 2 cents in? Refuting bad ideas (tactfully) is as important as presenting good ones.


I agree, Tim, and that is why I have responded to posts on this topic, even if I don't vault 19 feet or coach elite level athletes. Thank you for reminding everyone that even though some people may have it all figured out, others can learn a great deal from technical discussions.

Having said this, I also agree with ADTF that there are many fundamental areas of the vault that will go neglected if you spend all your time coaching the bottom arm (or any single part of the vault other than the run/drop/plant/takeoff). Unfortunately however, the first thing I was taught when I started vaulting was to run fast and jam my bottom arm into the pole...I have to believe that learning sound fundamentals from the start would make more of our "only high-school" vaulters into elite-level athletes. This is true for coaches as well as athletes. We all have to agree that the bottom arm topic is the most controversial and misunderstood in the entire sport, and that is why it is important enough to discuss ad nauseum... I can see why ADTF, Altius, and many others have grown weary of the "groundhog day" effect of this discussion (love that movie)

Altius's post was worth repeating, as it will likely help clarify the ideas laid down in the many pages of discussion on this topic, in a concise way. It shows how both those who insist on a "push" and those who insist on a "pull" can both be right when it comes to the bottom arm, but insisting on one or the other too strongly paints an incomplete picture. I prefer to spend more time coaching the top arm, personally.

Cheers,
Tom

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Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby Tim McMichael » Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:26 pm

Having said this, I also agree with ADTF that there are many fundamental areas of the vault that will go neglected if you spend all your time coaching the bottom arm (or any single part of the vault other than the run/drop/plant/takeoff).


One of my articles of faith is that any right movement can be taught holistically from the ground up. There need not be any conceptual difference between what you teach beginners and what you emphasize with elite athletes. The vault is the vault, all the way from stiff poling to rocketing over 6.00. I think the key is being able to see what the same model looks like when performed by athletes of varying abilities and expertise. An 8’ vault can have all the right pieces in place in embryonic form.

I think this can actually be one of the most crucial times in an athlete’s career. If you start them off right they may never experience how hard the vault can be. They don’t need to know the minute details of the vault (like how to use the bottom arm) because the question of how to do it right never arises. Knowing the minutia of the vault is most helpful when you are trying to fix a jump that is already broken. But by then it is often too late.

I believe the most crucial thing a coach needs to know is how to teach the drills and conceptual cues that will instill the right kinetic framework. The painting metaphor is apt. You start with broad brush strokes and then add details, but the details do not contradict the foundation; they are extensions of it.

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Re: Bottom arm discussion continues...

Unread postby vaultman18 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:08 pm

Tim McMichael wrote:One of my articles of faith is that any right movement can be taught holistically from the ground up. There need not be any conceptual difference between what you teach beginners and what you emphasize with elite athletes. The vault is the vault, all the way from stiff poling to rocketing over 6.00. I think the key is being able to see what the same model looks like when performed by athletes of varying abilities and expertise. An 8’ vault can have all the right pieces in place in embryonic form.

I think this can actually be one of the most crucial times in an athlete’s career. If you start them off right they may never experience how hard the vault can be. They don’t need to know the minute details of the vault (like how to use the bottom arm) because the question of how to do it right never arises. Knowing the minutia of the vault is most helpful when you are trying to fix a jump that is already broken. But by then it is often too late.

I believe the most crucial thing a coach needs to know is how to teach the drills and conceptual cues that will instill the right kinetic framework. The painting metaphor is apt. You start with broad brush strokes and then add details, but the details do not contradict the foundation; they are extensions of it.



That's pretty good! :yes:


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