Elite Technique According to McGinnis

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KirkB
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Elite Technique According to McGinnis

Unread postby KirkB » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:20 pm

Here's a 4-page paper written by Dr. Peter McGinnis for the 2007 National Podium Education Project.

http://www.usatf.org/groups/Coaches/library/2007/Pole%20Vault%20Training/2007NPEP-McGinnis.pdf

The title is:
MECHANICS OF THE POLE VAULT
Mechanical bases of effective pole vaulting technique

When I first read this, I didn't notice the date, so I was thinking that some of his ideas in this paper must have been formulated and written A LONG TIME AGO. However, it was published less than three years ago! :dazed:

The intent of his paper was to show "trends" in technique common to elite vaulters ... rather than to describe an "optimal" technique. For this reason, I think some of what he said was watered down and possibly biased towards American vaulters ... but of course you know that I'm biased towards the Petrov Model.

It might seem almost anti-American to some of you for me to criticize such an esteemed author ... especially considering the audience he's targeting ... 2007 National Podium Education Project ... However, I'm Canadian, so I don't care about that! ;)

Altho not stated, there's an INFERENCE that if you want to be an elite vaulter, you should pick up the technique that he's putting down here. Be wary!

However, I was pleased to discover that much of what he says is really the same as what Petrovers have been saying (for a long time now) ... it's just some of the anti-Petrov points he makes that irk me.

Can you spot them?

And what do YOU disagree with McGinnis' analysis about "elite vaulters"?

I purposely put this thread in the ADVANCED TECHNIQUE forum, and IMHO, there's several mistatements (i.e. non-Petrov statements) that will surely confuse a beginner or intermediate vaulter, so if you're not an elite, PLEASE don't take ANY of what he says as gospel, and PLEASE don't invoke your personal thoughts on this thread if you have no experience at the elite level (either as an athlete or a coach).

Non-elites are encouraged to ASK questions in this thread, as long as they don't muddy the waters with their own ideas of how an ELITE athlete should vault. :dazed: :yes:

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Re: Elite Technique According to McGinnis

Unread postby VaultPurple » Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:36 am

I mean he described the facts that observable to someone else. Like even for petrove vaulters if you did not know better you would still think they are doing something special with that left arm to bend the pole.
Last edited by VaultPurple on Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Elite Technique According to McGinnis

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:59 am

Peter is the biomechanist for the USA pole vaulters, and he has volunteered hundreds, if not thousands, of hours to filming them and breaking down the film to give them useful data such as their speed at the end of the run. So of course it's biased toward USA pole vaulters.

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Re: Elite Technique According to McGinnis

Unread postby master » Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:30 am

Few people have observed and studied US vaulters in detail more than Peter. He does his analysis from high speed video taken at major meets. I think that paper was intended to be a report on those observations.

- master

EDIT: I removed no longer pertinent comments. - master
Last edited by master on Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Elite Technique According to McGinnis

Unread postby vaultmd » Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:35 am

rainbowgirl28 wrote:Peter is the biomechanist for the USA pole vaulters, and he has volunteered hundreds, if not thousands, of hours to filming them and breaking down the film to give them useful data such as their speed at the end of the run. So of course it's biased toward USA pole vaulters.


His bias is towards accounting for what the data shows.

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Re: Elite Technique According to McGinnis

Unread postby KirkB » Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:03 pm

vaultmd wrote:
rainbowgirl28 wrote:Peter is the biomechanist for the USA pole vaulters, and he has volunteered hundreds, if not thousands, of hours to filming them and breaking down the film to give them useful data such as their speed at the end of the run. So of course it's biased toward USA pole vaulters.


His bias is towards accounting for what the data shows.

Yes, this is what I've realized as well ... Peter is only doing his job ... and doing it professionally and with unquestioned expertise too!

However, this still doesn't leave me with a comfortable feeling that US vaulters are getting "good guidance" on how to vault higher. I guess my issue is that young vaulters that aspire to vault "like an elite" shouldn't get their advice from a scientist. Rather, they should get their advice from a coach ... someone like Baggett or Sanders or Bartolino or Butler or Licari or Curran (apologies to all the rest of the good US coaches that I don't know ... or who I forgot to mention). Someone that can properly ASSIMILATE the data and then use that as ONE weapon in his coaching artillery.

As I said in my original post on this thread, there's an INFERENCE that this paper explains how you should vault. Perhaps I'm being unfair about this ... after all, what is Peter to do, other than to report his scientific findings ... which is exactly what USATF asked him to report on?! :confused:

Perhaps the folly in publishing a report like this is simply that it's not explained up front as a scientific research paper ... it reads like an expert coach providing advice ... so young impressionable vaulters MIGHT misunderstand it?

And to be fair, I'm sure there's many, many US coaches and elite vaulters that see nothing wrong with the points that Peter has made in his paper! After all, that's WHY Peter is reporting the facts as he is!

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Re: Elite Technique According to McGinnis

Unread postby vaultmd » Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:17 pm

You may not be aware that he is the pole vault coach at his university and that his guy won NCAA Nationals (DIII) this past season.

He also reports his findings to several of the coaches whose names you just dropped and they all seem to have a good working relationship.

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Re: Elite Technique According to McGinnis

Unread postby KirkB » Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:24 pm

vaultmd wrote:You may not be aware that he is the pole vault coach at his university ...

He also reports his findings to several of the coaches whose names you just dropped and they all seem to have a good working relationship.

This is all good ...

Now that you mention his coaching, I think I've read that before, but to be honest I didn't have that in mind when I started this thread.

LADude, I think you understand that I'm not trying to stir up any conflicts here. Rather, I'm exposing what may be an issue to resolve ... constructively. I considered just not posting the paper, but I decided that who am I to censor a paper, just becuz I don't like what it says?

Re his coaching, IF he was to take what his scientific research (analysis of REAL DATA) indicates, and then assimilates that into his own coaching, I think that's perfectly normal and the ONLY way that he should/could coach. And I think it's great ... and perfectly normal ... for all other US coaches to assimilate the data in the same way.

What WOULD be wrong is if he interjected his OPINION into his scientific conclusions, and then if anyone complained, he asserted that it was all based on scientific facts. I find absoultely no evidence of this, and I applaud Dr. Peter McGinnis for writing his paper in a truly professional manner!

That still doesn't address my main issue re the INFERENCE that his paper has ... that aspiring young vaulters should base their technique on McGinnis' findings. Maybe this is USATF's problem ... or maybe (especially for non-Petrovers) this isn't a problem at all? I dunno ...

Kirk
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Re: Elite Technique According to McGinnis

Unread postby ADTF Academy » Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:37 pm

I am not sure what your issue is with the article he wrote. He is telling us the averages of grip height, run speed and other fun facts on what it takes to be an elite vaulter.

If you just read the bold comments they are commonalities that should be seen in every vault and I do not see anything wrong with these generalized statements. He is not stated how but what must be seen and is pretty spot on.

The only comment that could put up a red flag is

"21. LOWER HAND INITIATES POLE BEND.
This begins at the pole strike and continues only briefly into the follow through phase, until about 0.20 s after takeoff. The
force exerted against the pole by the lower hand greatly reduces the compressive force necessary to bend the pole. Although
the pushing action of the lower hand is instrumental in initiating the pole bend, it also slows down the rotation of the vaulter.
So, the pushing action only occurs for a brief period of time. Shorter vaulters may have to push more than taller vaulters."

But in all honest look at the time in which he said to initiate with bottom arm .2 seconds. Blink it took rough .2 seconds. The reality of the fact is the bottom arm is in front of the top arm and will hit first when the pole tip strikes the back of the box. Peter hit it spot on when he put, "Although
the pushing action of the lower hand is instrumental in initiating the pole bend, it also slows down the rotation of the vaulter. So, the pushing action only occurs for a brief period of time
"

Bottom arm does in fact hit first it is in front of the right hand no matter what you do it will hit first the key question is what do you do with it do you lock out or do you allow other things to occur. Personally I don't like the word push but thats into each persons imagination what push means.

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Re: Elite Technique According to McGinnis

Unread postby KirkB » Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:48 pm

ADTF Academy wrote: He is not stated how but what must be seen and is pretty spot on.

Yes, that's correct. He just says WHAT but not HOW ... and that's the INFERENCE that I'm worried might lead some readers astray.

ADTF Academy wrote: Although the pushing action of the lower hand is instrumental in initiating the pole bend, it also slows down the rotation of the vaulter. So, the pushing action only occurs for a brief period of time"

ADTFA, you are spot on too ... as usual. I was planning to discuss this particular issue myself ... especially the fact that McGinnis (quite rightly) pointed out that "it slows dow the rotation of the vaulter". I was just waiting for someone to raise this issue. ;)

In the entire paper, this is the one issue that irked me the most. Not that McGinnis said anything incorrectly ... just that young vaulters might read it, and exaggerate it TOO MUCH. Before you know it, they'll be claiming that McGinnis said it's OK to push with your bottom arm ... proven by scientific research!

I'm the first to admit that I take a more extreme position re using the bottom arm (or not) than most Petrovers. My personal experience is that you should NOT use it at ALL. But if you use it for only .2 secs, then no harm, no foul. I just don't believe that any young vaulter has the self-control to INTENTIONALLY push for .2 secs, then "take his foot off the brakes". That's why I stressed in my opening post that young vaulters should be wary of what they THINK they're reading when they read this paper.

I think young vaulters need THEIR COACH to help them to interpret these types of scientific papers. This goes along with my assertion that a good personal coach can provide instant feedback to vaulters when their technique goes astray ... something you can't get by reading books, scientific papers, PVP, or even youtube video analysis.

Kirk
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Re: Elite Technique According to McGinnis

Unread postby Barto » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:13 pm

Ever think that Peter McGinnis might know more about pole vaulting than Vitaly?
Facts, Not Fiction

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Re: Elite Technique According to McGinnis

Unread postby VaultPurple » Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:02 am

Ever think that Peter McGinnis might know more about pole vaulting than Vitaly?

:dazed:
You must have a death wish!







(now i shall wait for one of the devout Petrovites to come in and scream down your throat)



ps.... I edited first comment. Sorry about that, I spoke without knowing, and thought this was just some random guy writing a paper on pole vaulting


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