takeoff angle and beyond

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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KirkB
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Re: takeoff angle and beyond

Unread postby KirkB » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:51 pm

ADTF Academy wrote: ... To perform these topics and actions on a 14' pole is not hard, even a 15' pole. Doing them carrying over 9.4 m/s with a grip over 5 meters takes more than just theory it takes balls!!!!!!!

I will add a new topic to this broad discussion: Are top athletes today mentally strong enough to hand this technique? When you feel very little support on the bottom hand I'm sorry there needs to be a lot of trust (generic word being used) or stupidity. Can we say Hooker or Walker had/have trust? Walker going for it landed in the box and Hooker WR attempt at the WC came about 5 inches from landing in the box. These two are the most recent who had that mental ability to just go for it. I don't see many others out there who are even mentally strong enough to give the model a shot gripping over 5 meters. Can you name any?

... Without the grip you're never really going for the WR IMO. ...

ADTF, you bring up excellent points ... as usual. However, I want to temper your comments by cautioning any ASPIRING elites that there's no shortcuts to glory ... or WRs! This boils down to 3 main points ...

1. A high grip is necessary for a WR, but it should NOT be your focus on your journey to a WR.

2. The stiffest pole in your bag is probably necessary for a WR, but it should NOT be your focus on your journey to a WR.

3. It does take balls to vault high, but it should NOT be your focus on your journey to a WR.

To break this down for aspiring elites, let's say you're 14 years old, and you have a 10-year plan to vault high. Maybe 'vault high' to you means break the WR, or maybe it means jump 5.80+, or maybe even 5.50+ or 5.00+. Regardless, my point is the same. If you want to vault your HIGHEST ... you need 10 years to do it ... or thereabouts. So you need to SURVIVE as a vaulter for 10 years. If you incur a career-ending injury before Year 10 then you're not fulfilling your 10-year plan. You're not going to ever be "the best you can be".

How do you survive for 10 years? Stay healthy! Keep your grip down until you learn PROPER technique, keep your standards at (or near) 80, and don't do "ballsy" things ... like trying to jump on a pole that's too stiff for you. I'm not going to say NEVER move your standards in to 60 or 40, but if you do, ask yourself (or your coach) WHY. Better yet, ask yourself (or your coach) what the alternatives are. Yes ... to break the WR you need a high grip on a stiff pole with the standards at less than 80 ... but what about all the jumps on your journey to your WR-breaking jump? To jump 5.00, do you REALLY need to pull out all the stops and "just go for it"? Is that 5.00 jump really worth the risk ... relative to your 10-year plan? Think about it.

Aspiring vaulters: Be careful not to confuse mental toughness with foolishness.

Yes ... you need balls to vault high ... but even Hooker and Walker could make a mental mistake by choosing a pole that's too stiff or a grip that's too high ... and there goes the WR until they get healthy again. To win the race, you need to be healthy enough to cross the finish line! ;)

Kirk
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Re: takeoff angle and beyond

Unread postby ADTF Academy » Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:55 pm

started a new post to responded to Kirk

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Re: takeoff angle and beyond

Unread postby KYLE ELLIS » Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:21 am

Well I would like to still talk about theory, I don't know how numbers are any better... Can an athlete use numbers physically? No. Can an athlete use theory physically? Yes... And if you are doing "whatever" theory you have been convinced of, and it hasn't made anything better within your vaulting then maybe its time to re-think this theory and study why it doesn't work... Thats sort of a science with in itself with the guidance of a coach to make sure you are properly exucuting the theory.

Anyways I pose a question towards EIUVaulter, when Roman was shown a sequence of photo's from Bubka and asked where the "pull" should happen, it wasn't until the trail foot had swung about under the bottom hand when he said the "pull" begins. I have found Roman saying 2 things, one pull immediately when the foot leaves the ground, and also the one I go off about pulling after the takeoff is complete. Do you think that the reason he talks about an early pull is because by the time we get our muscles switching directions and firing that the takeoff and natural swing will be long over with? I compare it to doing a box jump, if you jump off a box and try to jump as soon as you hit the ground, that’s not actually what would happen. Obviously a taller box could be correlated to a vaulter coming in with more mass and more speed. The muscles would have to go from an eccentric braking, to a concentric firing; and the faster this happens the better result. So what may need to happen in the vault is when the vaulter feels the slightest load to the top shoulder, this may be the exact time to swing. I think a lot of what Roman says about the pull boils down to perception and reality, and I think he said something similar to that in different words.

So could we classify the initial pole support phase as a plyometric action? And if so is this why we must not drive the chest, push, etc. when we feel slight pressure…. Will this waste the time for a strong elastic response?? Would it be similar to doing a box jump and trying to load up once we hit the ground rather than jumping up asap?
Also is this why Roman is so adamant about not doing anything with the left arm (involving tension) at takeoff? Because if it doesn’t resist we won’t feel the resistance of the pole and by the time we do finishing the takeoff will have already happened (unless you’re an alien).
Last edited by KYLE ELLIS on Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: takeoff angle and beyond

Unread postby KirkB » Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:32 am

KYLE ELLIS wrote: ... is this why Roman is so adamant about not doing anything with the left arm at takeoff?

I know I have a good memory, but I just can't recall Roman saying anything like this. I thought he said "pull". :confused:

Can you provide a quote, with thread URL and date?

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Re: takeoff angle and beyond

Unread postby KYLE ELLIS » Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:38 am

Well, maybe I worded it wrong. But he said we push with both arms during the plant (make space), but that the left arm wasn't needed during the initial contact of the pole.... This is where Tim and his video were involved. I think a push and an extension are different, and I believe the vaulter should contine to extend the arms.
But this is where I got that idea, from him telling Tim that it's possible to plant a huge pole with out the left being on the pole... Thats how I took it.
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Re: takeoff angle and beyond

Unread postby EIUvltr » Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:01 am

Do you think that the reason he talks about an early pull is because by the time we get our muscles switching directions and firing that the takeoff and natural swing will be long over with?


Yes, I believe that before the tip hits you should be pushing your pole up as high as possible and as aggressively as possible for two reasons. The first is to achieve a high plant angle, and the second is because the the more powerfully you push your arms up, the more powerfully you will put your last step down.

So could we classify the initial pole support phase as a plyometric action?


Yes, if you are pushing up powerfully the moment before the tip hits, then the moment after it hits you will still be pushing powerfully. Even if you are trying to pull the instant the tip hits, you will not be able to since you can't send nerve impulses that fast. Basically the muscle spindles in your arm would have to send a signal to the brain that the muscles is experiencing a sudden stretch, then the brain would have to send a signal back telling the muscle to contract in about 0.00 seconds. This is impossible. If you are pushing up before the tip hits, you will still be pushing up after the tip hits, at least for a few hundredths to a tenth of a second. By this time you will probably already be in the reverse C, which is why Roman said we start pulling around this point. It is not out of voluntary action, but rather involuntary. We simply cannot pull the instant the tip hits, not unless you start pulling before the tip hits (there is a $500 dare for you). This is all assuming you are taking off on your mark and the pole is pulling away from you rather than if you're under and the pole is about to slam into your face, in which case the stretch reflex would be to push the pole away from you (hence the old school method).

And if so is this why we must not drive the chest, push, etc. when we feel slight pressure…. Will this waste the time for a strong elastic response?? Would it be similar to doing a box jump and trying to load up once we hit the ground rather than jumping up asap?


I think I talked about this in my shoulder flexion post. If you are trying to drive the chest, this would imply one of two things. Either you are relaxing the muscles that would resist a chest drive (the shoulder flexors), or you are contracting the muscles that would cause the chest to drive (the shoulder extensors). I believe both of these are bad news bears. The former is bad because a relaxed muscle does not store energy as efficiently as a contracted one and doesn't allow as powerful a stretch reflex. The latter is bad because you'll probably end up eating the pole.

Also is this why Roman is so adamant about not doing anything with the left arm (involving tension) at takeoff? Because if it doesn’t resist we won’t feel the resistance of the pole and by the time we do finishing the takeoff will have already happened (unless you’re an alien).


I think what Roman wants is for you to try and pull as soon as possible after the tip hits, and NEVER trying to push. I agree with this, however like I said earlier, there will still be some pushing remnant from the planting of the pole, and pulling cannot happen instantaneously since you need to allow time for your CNS to respond to stimuli. What you should try to do when you vault isn't always what happens. But if trying to do one thing causes you to vault correctly by doing another, then awesome. Just like how you should try and swing as long as possible the entire vault and never bend at the hips. You will still bend at the hips, but you should resist doing it as best you can.
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Re: takeoff angle and beyond

Unread postby vaultman18 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:18 am

Good work Kyle :yes:
I believe you are pretty much right on the money.

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Re: takeoff angle and beyond

Unread postby altius » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:27 pm

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 yourselfs –rip it apart if you will but do not come back to me on this please.
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Re: takeoff angle and beyond

Unread postby KYLE ELLIS » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:03 pm

Alan I completely agree with everything you have said, very nice way of putting it! I hope you continue to post in technical forums, so that more folk like me can see the light :yes: .
I want to add one more thing going of of your statement that we should treat fiberglass vaulting as an infinite series of straight poles. Anyone who has straight poled over a bar knows that there has to be a vigorous pull at some point. And as you keep raising the bar higher and higher the faster and more agressive you feel you have to swing. As the bar goes up I feel I have to make my (plant & takeoff )extion more agressive and start my swing as fast as possible. There is a great deal of Auto- Corrective things happening here. What training method could be any better than this from trying to eliminate passive phases?? Too bad that I did hardly any straight poles my entire career up until this year. :crying: :crying:
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Re: takeoff angle and beyond

Unread postby KirkB » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:22 pm

altius wrote: ... this is a complex issue when you begin to analyse it. However I will have a shot at clarifying it – ...

:yes:

altius wrote: ... in what I sincerely hope will be my final contribution to technical discussion on pvp.

That would be a bloody shame!

altius wrote: ... what coaches need to know is ...

Altius, this ... your technical analysis here ... is possibly your BEST POST EVER! :yes:


altius wrote: ... I said at the beginning that I intended this to be my final TECHNICAL contribution. ... I have contributed all I can ...

I don't think this is true. You have thought of quitting posting before. Had you actually quit, you would not have posted your wise technical contribution to the 6.40 Model ... which I think really helped to clarify and crystalize what Roman was trying to say. Like I said, it would be a bloody shame ... and damn boring ... if you didn't post anymore! But it's your personal choice, of course.

For what it's worth, I think your "technical advice" posts solidify your position as a world-class coach and clinician. I think you just need to learn to cope with what you consider to be personal insults. Sometimes you misinterpret what people are saying ... or you over-react or become argumentative. I understand that your "chippy personna" is part of your total package ... inseparable ... and you like to shoot from the hip. Most of the time, that's admirable. But once in awhile, you should take aim before you fire. :D ;)

Just friendly advice ... from one old bull to another! :idea:

I really hope to have the privilege of meeting you at one of your west coast clinics sometime soon!

Kirk
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Re: takeoff angle and beyond

Unread postby altius » Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:43 am

Appreciate the kind remarks - but I am not feeling persecuted, That is just one small straw!! The big issue is that I have a contract to submit a book to the publishers by July 1. It deals with a completely different area and it is sometimes hard to keep switching back and forth to pvp - its why I have contributed little of value of late. Even reading stuff takes time -responding takes even more -as you well know. So it is a good time to stop -and move on as they say. Anyway pvp is clearly in good hands. :yes: :D
Its what you learn after you know it all that counts. John Wooden


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