What constitutes a Great Pole Vault coach?

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What constitutes a Great Pole Vault coach?

Unread postby pvfire » Sat May 22, 2010 2:04 pm

I have been reading around and haven't found quite an answer to the question. I know there can be serious discussion and debate so I want to field some scenarios, as in who is the better coach and why?

Coach A: takes an average size freshman high school female (no brimming athleticism, slow on the runway) from learning to hold a pole to clearing 10 with an 11-6 pole gripping at 11ish standards at 26in (~65-70cm) by the end of outdoor, after an indoor season. School only has outdoor pit, small weight room, only could jump at indoor meets, no other indoor training, besides hall way running.

Coach B: takes an athletic (6-0 170) college freshman male, who cleared 15-6 in high school (on a 15-7 185) training had once a week indoor jumping during high school, athlete gets up to 16-4 the first year, then 17 and change (PR:17-8) for the remainder of their college career (mostly on 16 185). Indoor training was on an 80 ft. raised runway, biweekly gymnastic access, moderate sized weight room.

Coach C: takes a college graduating female (5-7 136) who just finished her senior year with a pr:13-8, (HS pr: 11-5) from a college program that has had multiple girls jump 13 and a record of 14-2. Coach C's facility has 2 indoor runway setups for short work and long approach, good weight room and gymnastics. After 2 years female jumps 14-9.


Each is a good coach, but who is better and why? I know there could be more scenarios. I also read about if you take someone from nothing to stud? What is the meaning of a Stud Vaulter? A girl at 12, guy at 16? Stud based on age? Like, a HS boy over 15 and a college guy over 18?
Just some food for thought.

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Re: What constitutes a Great Pole Vault coach?

Unread postby baggettpv » Sun May 23, 2010 3:11 am

A great Pole Vault Coach:
Stays abreast of latest information.
Interprets that Info into stratagies that enable learning.
Plans the development of all aspects of training.
Understands and implements sound teaching Stratagies.
Manages equipment and facilities well and progressive.

Thats what I think,

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Unread postby vault3rb0y » Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:28 pm

There are so many variables, you can't say who is a better coach based on a couple of kids. Things to consider:

1.) Facilities available
2.) Number of athletes available
3.) Quality of athletes available
4.) Consistently helping athletes improve, and Produces quality athletes
5.) Motivates athletes
6.) In-meet ability to coach (good composure, motivation, makes smart decisions for athletes)
7.) Ability to coach a variety of athletes with a variety of problems (boys/girls, never touched a pole/19 footer)
8.) Has an analytical "eye" that can see a persons vault, and know what they should change in the short-term and long-term to meet their potential
9.) Sound understanding of training philosophy necessary to build the most prepared athletes
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Re: What constitutes a Great Pole Vault coach?

Unread postby vault3rb0y » Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:33 pm

pvfire wrote:
Coach A: takes an average size freshman high school female (no brimming athleticism, slow on the runway) from learning to hold a pole to clearing 10 with an 11-6 pole gripping at 11ish standards at 26in (~65-70cm) by the end of outdoor, after an indoor season. School only has outdoor pit, small weight room, only could jump at indoor meets, no other indoor training, besides hall way running.

Coach B: takes an athletic (6-0 170) college freshman male, who cleared 15-6 in high school (on a 15-7 185) training had once a week indoor jumping during high school, athlete gets up to 16-4 the first year, then 17 and change (PR:17-8) for the remainder of their college career (mostly on 16 185). Indoor training was on an 80 ft. raised runway, biweekly gymnastic access, moderate sized weight room.

Coach C: takes a college graduating female (5-7 136) who just finished her senior year with a pr:13-8, (HS pr: 11-5) from a college program that has had multiple girls jump 13 and a record of 14-2. Coach C's facility has 2 indoor runway setups for short work and long approach, good weight room and gymnastics. After 2 years female jumps 14-9.



These are VERY specific descriptions of the athletes and their training circumstances. It makes me think that maybe you have certain coaches in mind? lol you will be hard pressed to empirically measure the quality of the coach. In most circumstances, it comes down to what they are able to accomplish under whatever circumstances they are given, over the course of their entire career, not with just one athlete. Too much of a coaches reputation is up to that one athlete!
The greater the challenge, the more glorious the triumph

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Re: What constitutes a Great Pole Vault coach?

Unread postby pvfire » Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:57 pm

I was trying to avoid the general/cookie cutter response of one who betters athletes, teaches well, etc. I just would like to hear who is the better coach of the 3 and why? If you need more examples then lets take each coach and give them each athlete at the same location and point of the athletes career. So now the Coach is the only variable, the facilities available, and the time at which the coach gets and stays with the athlete remains the same.

Coach A:
Takes the average size freshman high school female (no brimming athleticism, slow on the runway) from learning to hold a pole to clearing 10 with an 11-6 pole gripping at 11ish standards at 26in (~65-70cm) by the end of outdoor, after an indoor season. School only has outdoor pit, small weight room, only could jump at indoor meets, no other indoor training, besides hall way running.
{no change here}
Now they take the athletic (6-0 170) college freshman male, who cleared 15-6 in high school (on a 15-7 185). After 4 years at the same facility as with coach B, Coach A gets the athlete to clear 15-9 the first year, 16-3 the second year, 16-0 the third year, and 17 for 3 consecutive meets then mostly 16-5 their senior year.
now they take the college graduating female (5-7 136) who just finished her senior year with a pr:13-8, (HS pr: 11-5) that coach C had. At the "C" facility over two years he was able to get a jump of 14-1 out of her.

Coach B:
takes an athletic (6-0 170) college freshman male, who cleared 15-6 in high school (on a 15-7 185) training had once a week indoor jumping during high school, athlete gets up to 16-4 the first year, then 17 and change (PR:17-8) for the remainder of their college career (mostly on 16 185). Indoor training was on an 80 ft. raised runway, biweekly gymnastic access, moderate sized weight room.
{no change again}
Now they take the college graduating female (5-7 136) who just finished her senior year with a pr:13-8, (HS pr: 11-5). After his two years he was able to garner a 15-3 jump out of her. at the 'C' facility.
Now "B" takes the average size freshman high school female (no brimming athleticism, slow on the runway) from holding a pole to only getting 8-0 in his brief time at the limited facility.

Coach C:
takes a college graduating female (5-7 136) who just finished her senior year with a pr:13-8, (HS pr: 11-5) from a college program that has had multiple girls jump 13 and a record of 14-2. Coach C's facility has 2 indoor runway setups for short work and long approach, good weight room and gymnastics. After 2 years female jumps 14-9.
{once again no change}
With the athletic (6-0 170) college freshman male, who cleared 15-6 in high school (on a 15-7 185) in 4 years they were able to get 16-5 the first year, 17-2 the second, 17-6 the third, and 18-8 in the senior year out of the athlete.
With the average size freshman high school female , they were able to get 8-6 out of her.


So each coach has varying amounts of success but who is better/why? Generalized responses don't help, just have some conviction in saying which one is better and tell why.
I will be putting up my answer soon who I believe it is and I will give you my reasoning.

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Re: What constitutes a Great Pole Vault coach?

Unread postby AVC Coach » Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:48 pm

You're giving some athletic performances acheived from these athletes but we have no idea what kind of mentallity any of those athletes have. It's hard to say who the best coach is because we have not spent a single minute with those athletes and we have no idea what kind of kids they are. That makes the difference. I see kids with incredible physical potential with high ceilings all the time, but mentally they might as well go build an ant farm. Some kids have that internal clock that's ticking, telling them to do whatever it takes to jump high today, now. Most kids have that voice in their heads, telling them it's okay, I don't have to do it today, maybe tomorrow. All of them seem to have their moments, but very few make those moments a habit. Which kind of kids are these examples that you're giving with these coaches? Or is it the same coach in all examples? I think the coach in all of the situations you listed did a good job.

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Re: What constitutes a Great Pole Vault coach?

Unread postby pvfire » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:35 am

To start off, I love the ant farm comment. I understand what you are saying so now I will give you a brief characteristic/personality profile/history of each athlete. I hadn't really thought about what types each kid was but now I will.

Average size freshman high school female: She is an athlete who is as easily discouraged as encouraged. Example: If the rest of the team is sitting around not doing anything, she is likely to try and work out but doesn't have enough self motivation to push herself, and will get frustrated of not getting better. Yet a simple you did a"good job today" comment and "keep it up" keeps her happy. She is always on time. She has an 'A' average, doesn't do any other sports except PV, is smart enough to get the big picture but also craves instant results. Doesn't back talk and is respectful but is inquisitive in wanting to know "why," it can become slightly annoying but she means well. Doesn't like having anyone she knows around the pit, believes they are a distraction.


Athletic (6-0 170) college freshman male: This athlete is your typical "gym rat." He will show up 15 minutes early to practice everyday and stay 15 minutes late. He is a sponge for information. He loves learning about the sport but at the same time doesn't question a coaches authority when he is told to do something. He is respectful and carries a 'B' average. Not easy to distract, is very focused. He completely gets the big picture and is ok working slow towards an ultimate goal. This athlete will get more down on themselves after a bad performance than you as a coach could ever be.


College graduating female: This vaulter is very cocky and arrogant. She is high maitenance in that she wants no one else to jump on her poles, even for pop-up drills. She had a tendency in college to show up and work hard for 1-2 weeks to jump well, then not come for a few days with no excuse. If she isn't there by the start of practice she isn't coming. Her college coach knew she could score points and make them look good so they let her get away with it. She understands many aspects of the vault, she had done a lot of research in high school with her dad/coach. High school was the last time she worked the hardest and then got by on pure talent/skill.

If I need to go more in depth with the athletes or coaches or facilities I can. I just need to know what part you need to have before answering "the question."

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Re: What constitutes a Great Pole Vault coach?

Unread postby Tim McMichael » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:12 pm

I think the individual personalities of the athletes is crucial. My model as a coach is the late golf instructor, Harvey Penick. His ethic was to do no harm and to have the best interests of each individual athlete at heart. For instance, it would be in the best interest of athlete number one in your hypotheticals to be taught to take risks and that failure is a key component to future success. It would be in the best interest of athlete number two to be encouraged to set realistic goals and avoid discouragement in the long grind it is going to take to get better. It would be in the best interest of athlete number three to be kicked off the team and only allowed to come back if she promised to behave. I have always believed that if a coach did what was in the best interest of each individual on the team, looking at them as human beings and not just as athletes, the net result would be beneficial to the team as a whole, even if you had to take a hit in the short term.

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Re: What constitutes a Great Pole Vault coach?

Unread postby tsorenson » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:50 pm

Very well put, Tim!
Often forgotten in coaching is the fact that almost nobody will go on to wealth and fame from the pole vault (or in sports, period)...but if we as coaches can help to make better people out of our athletes, we have succeeded. I couldn't agree more about coaching for the good of the athlete above all else.

It's easy to get caught up in competition, and everyone wants to win (coaches and athletes alike). I always try to remember that a big part of my job as a coach is to teach kids to work hard to meet goals, and to overcome adversity. This remains true whether the kids are jumping 6' or 16', and these skills will be very useful in life no matter which road they take.

Sadly, many of the most physically talented athletes do not have the patience required to be great pole vaulters...they are too used to winning easily, or can dominate other sports with more potential for $$. The beauty of vaulting is that it opens the door for hard-working kids with average athletic ability to be successful. When you get a vauter who is superior physically and mentally, and patient enough to be in it for the long haul, with a coach who is not obsessed with short-term glory, then you've got the next Bubka.

Tom

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Re: What constitutes a Great Pole Vault coach?

Unread postby tsorenson » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:59 pm

By the way, this thread should be moved to the coaching forum.
Tom


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