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

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

Unread postby Barto » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:39 pm

I have a question. I would like to state it in as simple terms as possible and then let the discussion begin.

If we begin with the premise that males' and females' nervous systems are similar enough that their performances will be roughly equal to each other in a motor learning environment, then does the fact that takeoff velocities for women are ~15% slower than men change whats methods of instruction (training) will produce the best results for each sex?
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Re: Applied Motor Learning: Males vs. Females in the Pole Vault

Unread postby Robert schmitt » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:52 pm

I wish I had more time to discuss this. I think you are basically right. the differences will be more the individuals- previously learned good or bad motor pathways, motor group fiber type/size, thresholds of activation for the IIb large motor groups. There are more possible variables of course. My wife a chiropractor also does nuerosensory integration training and it is amazing to see the deficits even normal people display and the ways they compensate for them.
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Re: Applied Motor Learning: Males vs. Females in the Pole Vault

Unread postby ADTF Academy » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:03 am

Robert schmitt wrote: it is amazing to see the deficits even normal people display and the ways they compensate for them.


[This is a very quick and simplified thoughts thrown done cause I feel this is an important topic to discuss and help get the ball rolling]

Methods of instruction (training) and what to actually instruct and train are two separate issues.

Methods to me come down to the coach not the athlete. What and how does the coach/athlete teach themselves. If the question you're really asking is should women be trained differently than men? Than I come back with the question should a teenager be trained the same way as a grown man?

Motor Learning: the process of improving the motor skills, the smoothness and accuracy of movements.... The act of making the mind – body connection; the mind teaching the body conscious control of a new movement or motor program; motor performance.

Motor Skills: a learned sequence of movements that combine to produce a smooth, efficient action in order to master a particular task. * Gross motor skills include lifting one's head, rolling over, sitting up, balancing, crawling, and walking.


In the pure sense of Man vs Women when it comes to Motor Learning. Does a gymnastics center or diving have an issue teaching women how to move their bodies in comparison to men? In fact I would say women have a greater ability in most cases to feel what they are doing and make adjustments logically due to earlier maturity levels at younger ages.

As it relates to the pole vault all this is thrown out the window IMO. Put a man and women on a tight rope and have them walk. Let's say the women shows grace and walks with ease and the guy struggles. Put the same man and women on a mechanical bull. The guy grips on tight and shows connection and stability to the bull while the women gets thrown like a rag doll. The vault itself and the fact a fiberglass pole bends and creates tension that must be controlled through the use of muscular stability warrants a second look into how we train men vs women. Or better yet what to expect as the difference between training men and women.

A secondary question would be in the vault are movements CREATED or are movements allowed to OCCUR?

If we see a guy do something and ask a women to do the same movement and she fails, is it because she couldn't create the same movement or the movement was never going to occur so how could she duplicate it. From a motor learning standpoint is the model and technical components being taught based on the creation of a movement/action or allowance of a movement/action to occur?

If the model is based off the creation of a movement/action than yes, I believe from a motor learning methods of instruction (training) women must be trained differently if we want the same action to occur. In the simplest way possible the average women can not muscle things like the average guy can. Either train the women to be freakishly strong or find a short cut to achieve the action.

If the model is based off the allowance of an movement/action to occur than no, I believe from a motor learning methods of instruction (training) women should be trained the same as men with the understanding that some movements/actions may never exists in a women's vault that we see in a man's vault. Good or bad is for each coach/athlete to determine. Energy in and energy out are not the same neither is the elastic abilities of the muscles, ligaments and tendons. The reactionary responses to stimulus for a male will inherently be higher than for a women.

The deeper I get into coaching elite men and women the more I am realizing my elite women as very similar to the many weak (from a strength and muscular development perspective) high school 15' boys I had coached over the years. Many of the inabilities to hit positions the women are having those boys had as I watched old videos of them. Are the women not hitting a certain position due to the inability to learn how or the inability of the movement to even exist?

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

Unread postby bel142 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:45 pm

All of your notions that you are asking about come down to the Anthropometric measures of the ladies pole vault. From a anthropometric stand point we are going to see similarities between men and women elite vaulters in terms of upper body/lower body weight distributions, but the truth remain that body chemistry, runway velocities, take off angles, and center of mass placement are still going to be different because of the key notes in male/female bone structure... Lets face it after puberty female vaulters are going to have larger hips (genrally) than their male counter parts and that weight is going to influence the pole and the ability to move.When Female vaulters are in the bubka position, getting ready to move on the pole, their weight is father out onto the pole, more force is needed to move the lever around the pivot, where as gentlemen weighted shoulders is slightly different.... At the elite level the differences are closer together but the fact remains there are still differences terms of stature, take off angle, leg strength....

If we look at research by Schade, et al (2006) the energy distributions of female vaulters were very similar to that of elite male counterparts however the female vaulter starts at a lower level of initial energy. We see the level of performance, advance to elite level, seems to have no influence on the the reproducibility of energy patterns. On the basis of the these findings it seems to be possible to improve individual movement in the pole vault using the concept of energy exchange for guiding training principle

Body structure and chemistry make up the main differences between male and female Vaulters.

Thoughts...

Schade, F., Arampatzis, A., Bruggemann, P. (2006). Reproducibility of energy parameters in the pole vault. Journal of Biomechanics, 39, 1464-1471. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2005.03.027

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

Unread postby Barto » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:53 am

Good discussion. Let's keep the stream of consciousness going.
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Re: Applied Motor Learning: Males vs. Females in the Pole Vault

Unread postby dj » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:25 am

good morning,

men and women are coached the same from a physical stand point...

Mentally/emotionally it is individual wither its male or female....

body type is individual... i think we have all "types" on both sides... Tully had a very low center of mass and was long from his belly button to his finger tips. Volkov had a Lojo body... powerful with long gymnastic arms....

coach to "physics"

it comes down to application of force... and that comes down to application of muscle force x mass...

men in general have more strength per mass... therefore can run faster, jump higher, apply more force to a pole because they run faster, therefore grip higher...etc.

the only thing i paid attention to with Tully's body type was where his center of mass, based on grip, passed through the pole during the swing...

dj

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

Unread postby Barto » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:07 am

Where and when the COM travels through the chord of the pole determines absolute possibility.
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Re: Applied Motor Learning: Males vs. Females in the Pole Vault

Unread postby altius » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:48 am

Barto wrote:Where and when - AND HOW FAST?????? - the COM travels through the chord of the pole determines absolute possibility.
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Re: Applied Motor Learning: Males vs. Females in the Pole Vault

Unread postby Barto » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:04 am

How fast may be the largest factor!
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Re: Applied Motor Learning: Males vs. Females in the Pole Vault

Unread postby Pogo Stick » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:55 am

Barto wrote:How fast may be the largest factor!


Knowing speed is redundant - by knowing position and time you can always calculate the speed:
v=Δx/Δt or v=dv/dt or v=v/t
speed = position change (WHERE) divided by time required for that change (WHEN)

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

Unread postby AVC Coach » Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:34 am

How fast may be the largest factor!


I believe it is the largest factor, Barto. We can strive for hitting great positions, but the speed of that swing will determine our success as a vaulter.

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

Unread postby Barto » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:47 pm

Morry, I agree with one reservation.

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.

At the NCAA meet this year my guy had the second widest grip, the lowest absolute grip, one of the slowest runway speeds, and placed 4th because he can swing like crazy. I love to see as fast a swing possible, but only if it can be done in the correct context.
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