Applied Motor Learning: Males vs. Females in the Pole Vault

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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Re: Applied Motor Learning: Males vs. Females in the Pole Vault

Unread postby AVC Coach » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:24 pm

There's a huge difference between swinging early and swinging fast. Early is not the answer. As for the grip issue... I think it's an individualized thing. If an athlete is holding high enough that a wide grip will put both hands above eye level at the plant, I'm okay with it. On the other hand, I think athletes with low flexibility will benefit from a more narrow grip since it allows for a better position at take-off. I asked Jeff Hartwig if there was any significance to his wide grip back in his hay days and he said he did it just because the poles he jumped on were so dang heavy.

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Re: Applied Motor Learning: Males vs. Females in the Pole Vault

Unread postby vaultman18 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:21 pm

Barto wrote:I have been seeing a trend toward smaller poles, more narrow grips, and kids trying to swing right off the ground. This concerns me not only for safety reasons, but also because it makes progression in the event more difficult.


When should the vaulter swing? Or should I say how long should the vaulter delay the swing? .10 sec, .25 sec, .50 sec, 1 sec or 3 Seconds how long if not immediately? Barto I am not trying to stir anything here just want to know how you decide how long to wait/delay the swing?

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Re: Applied Motor Learning: Males vs. Females in the Pole Vault

Unread postby AVC Coach » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:42 pm

The swing should begin as soon as the take-off is finished. Keep in mind that just because and athlete takes off the ground it doesn't mean they finished the take-off. Depending on grip height and pole stiffness, the "time" will vary from athlete to athlete.

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Re: Applied Motor Learning: Males vs. Females in the Pole Vault

Unread postby IAmTheWalrus » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:49 pm

IMHO if you have to delay the swing at all then you are on the wrong pole. I'm under the impression that someone who runs a 13.0s 100m and jumps on a 14' pole starts there swing at the same time (after the toe is off the ground) as someone who runs a 10.0s 100 and jumps on a 17' pole.
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Re: Applied Motor Learning: Males vs. Females in the Pole Vault

Unread postby AVC Coach » Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:27 am

IMHO if you have to delay the swing at all then you are on the wrong pole. I'm under the impression that someone who runs a 13.0s 100m and jumps on a 14' pole starts there swing at the same time (after the toe is off the ground) as someone who runs a 10.0s 100 and jumps on a 17' pole.


Walrus,
I wasn't implying that there should be a delay in the swing. I don't think Barto was either. Starting the swing "after the toe is off the ground" is what Barto was referring to about kids swinging right off the ground.

I don't look at the take-off as simply leaving the runway. I like to see the trail leg foot "finish" in a position that takes the trail leg way back behind the hips with the shin parallel to the runway (like kicking a ball). Once it's gone as far as it can go, that's when the swing should start. There are several variables (momentum, impulse at take-off, flexibility, strength, body type, grip, pole stiffness) that come in to play here and will determine the tempo of the swing. For me, getting the hips to move as fast as possible through the swing while moving the pole to vertical is the sole goal. Everything I teach to my athletes, starting with the pole carry, is leading up to this swing.

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Re: Applied Motor Learning: Males vs. Females in the Pole Vault

Unread postby Barto » Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:52 am

Square-up on the pole and finish the takeoff. No delay after finishing the takeoff.

As for the grip width issue, I don't believe in any sort of monster Galfione-esque width grip, but the elbow is not a good measure of appropriate grip width. Show me a 15' kid with an 18" width and I'll show you a 16' kid with a 20" spread - almost universally.
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Re: Applied Motor Learning: Males vs. Females in the Pole Vault

Unread postby altius » Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:23 am

Perhaps the following may help novice coaches who may be confused about this issue and may not understand its importance.

On page 245 of BTB2 – after discussing the importance of the free take off I wrote “While this concept (the free take off) helps coaches improve the take off for beginners and young athletes, it does not help more advanced athletes to exploit all the possibilities of the Petrov model.

So we must begin to think of the take off as a PHASE not an instant! A PHASE which begins when the heel of the take off lifts off the ground and ends when the toe of that foot begins its forward whip. This change will make it easier to understand other elements of the Petrov model. For this take off phase nt only allows the athlete to transfer the energy generated in the run up efficiently into the pole BUT it also creates the preconditions for a continuous flow of energy into the vaulter/pole system in the second phase and beyond! (NOTE THAT I WOULD NOW WRITE - WE SHOULD CONSIDER THINKING OF THE TAKE OFF ---)

"So the athlete should complete the take off –
1, With a complete extension of the take off leg and ankle. Finishing the take off in this way has two critical advantages –
- It allows the vaulter to amplify and direct all of the kinetic energy of the run up and upspringing take off into the pole with great efficiency.
- It leaves the take off leg perfectly positioned to initiate the second phase.”

Then on P247 I wrote, “These elements are critical because they allow the athlete to create the pre conditions for the athlete to maximise the speed and amplitude of the whip/swing of the body around the top hand in the second phase”.

So the key is always to FINISH the take off. As long as the athlete does not take off under, this action – if executed correctly - means that the heel of the take off leg will tend to flick up to a greater (Tim Mack) or lesser (Feovanova) degree as the leg flexes at the knee. That flexion is important because it allows the athlete to initiate the whip swing naturally and easily with a short lever - the lower leg - being moved by very powerful muscles – something not possible if the take off leg stays completely straight.

Because of this it will sometimes appear to untrained observers that the athlete is deliberately delaying the forward swing after the foot leaves the ground.

Finally what is interesting about this topic is that many of the stiff pole vaulters stated that they deliberately tried to delay the swing! Why the difference? Could lead to another discussion!
Its what you learn after you know it all that counts. John Wooden


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