Stop Making the Same Mistakes......

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.
User avatar
Tim McMichael
PV Master
Posts: 711
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 3:36 pm
Expertise: Current college and private coach. Former elite vaulter.

Re: Stop Making the Same Mistakes......

Unread postby Tim McMichael » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:06 am

I absolutely agree that anything under 20 steps is too short for an elite vaulter. If done correctly, it is easier to run from 20 steps than from 16. There are things you simply cannot accomplish in terms of cadence and posture from a run that short. I also agree that what athletes conceive of as a long run has shortened over the last several years. This is my record from different approaches, and I think these ratios will hold true for pretty much anybody.

12 steps 17’4”
14 steps 18’
16 steps 18’
18 steps 18’3”
20 steps 18’6”

All of those numbers come from the same season, so there was no difference in athletic ability between the various distances. I think it is significant that there was no improvement from 14 to 16 steps. I absolutely hated a 16 step approach. It was too short to run with the right cadence and too long to just blast out the back.

PVTEXAN
PV Wannabe
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:12 pm

Re: Stop Making the Same Mistakes......

Unread postby PVTEXAN » Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:08 pm

that is the point…. And the point of a six stride coaches mark… the chart works even if you are only running 6 steps… try it.. have a vaulter that can grip 12 feet from 3 lefts (6 steps) start at 40 feet….


Very curious as to what happens next - I'm guessing the vaulter would advance back until they wouldn't plant the pole and that number should be close to their MID-CHART NUMBER ???

dj
PV Enthusiast
Posts: 1858
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:07 am
Expertise: Coach
Contact:

Re: Stop Making the Same Mistakes......

Unread postby dj » Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:12 pm

hye

PVTEXAN..

since i posted the quote you posted... i need to ask you to explain your post... if you are making a comment, what is it in reference to... and if you have a question, what is it??

you comment doesn't register for me???


not being "cute" i'm serious

tell me what it means and i might be capable of responding correctly....

dj

PVTEXAN
PV Wannabe
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:12 pm

Re: Stop Making the Same Mistakes......

Unread postby PVTEXAN » Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:01 pm

dj wrote:hye

PVTEXAN..

since i posted the quote you posted... i need to ask you to explain your post... if you are making a comment, what is it in reference to... and if you have a question, what is it??

you comment doesn't register for me???


not being "cute" i'm serious

tell me what it means and i might be capable of responding correctly....

dj

Bad communication on my end, DJ. I am curious as to what should happen hypothetically as the vaulter moves back from 40 - gripping 12' and how, if at all, it relates to the vaulter's mid.

Here's a real-life example: Vaulter practices six-step drills from 35-40 ft. while holding 13'. His mid-mark on an 8-left run is 48 - should he move the drill distance back to re-train proper speed and cadence?

ADTF Academy
PV Follower
Posts: 494
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 12:57 pm
Location: South Bend, IN

Re: Stop Making the Same Mistakes......

Unread postby ADTF Academy » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:45 pm

Tim McMichael wrote:I absolutely agree that anything under 20 steps is too short for an elite vaulter. If done correctly, it is easier to run from 20 steps than from 16. There are things you simply cannot accomplish in terms of cadence and posture from a run that short. I also agree that what athletes conceive of as a long run has shortened over the last several years. This is my record from different approaches, and I think these ratios will hold true for pretty much anybody.

12 steps 17’4”
14 steps 18’
16 steps 18’
18 steps 18’3”
20 steps 18’6”

All of those numbers come from the same season, so there was no difference in athletic ability between the various distances. I think it is significant that there was no improvement from 14 to 16 steps. I absolutely hated a 16 step approach. It was too short to run with the right cadence and too long to just blast out the back.


Your numbers look good.... My question is did they increase cause you matured as a vaulter or 100% due to 2 more steps? When you were jumping your best technically at the end of your career were you only doing 20 steps so therefore you were jumping your best at that approach? Did you try to go back to 18 steps to see if you could jump higher from there at the stage in which your vault as a whole was better or did you move back to 20 steps and stick there till you cleared 18'6" and no higher? Did you ever try 19 or 21 steps?

Did you ever go back and clock your 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 step approaches at takeoff and see what velocities you were actually hitting? Why 20 steps? Why not 19 steps or 21 steps? Wouldn't 21 steps be better? If longer means faster than maybe 29 steps is perfect? Sounds silly huh!!!!!

It's all personal opinion on the number of contacts it takes. If Vaulter X hits top controllable speed after 16 contacts and is in good postural alignment why take anymore? If vaulter Y needs 22 steps why take any less? These is a cookie cutter approach for the masses not 100% applicable for the elites if you ask me. Not every vaulter is the same their cadience and strides are different. If posture is correct and they are hitting their correct speeds than their approach is optimal FOR THEM.

Take Mark Hollis as an example from 2009....
No Pole Top Speed through 5 meters 9.9 m/s (using actual speed traps)
With Pole Top Speed through 5 meters 9.7 m/s (Peter McGinnis and my calcualations from Nationals)

He hit 9.7 m/s with good posture coming from 18 steps in 2009 at US Nationals..... He lost .12 m/s with a pole in his hands from no pole in his hands. Sounds pretty efficient to me. Adding more steps allows for time to develop more speed. If an athlete is near their top speeds whats the point in more steps?

At the elite level it should be something more individual based off actual calcualations. For the masses the charts are a great place to start.

Only my opinion.......

dj
PV Enthusiast
Posts: 1858
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:07 am
Expertise: Coach
Contact:

Re: Stop Making the Same Mistakes......

Unread postby dj » Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:59 pm

hye

haven't had time to go over the full posts..

but 19 and 21 would (i think) have you start with the wrong foot!!! which creates it's own set of issues... negative issues..

i thought that had been covered in detail in a post somewhere... starting with the wrong foot creates "pole balance" issues, which creates the wrong kind of pole movement.. which creates over striding, which creates a late plant.. or should i say a bad plant with the wrong posture and "impluse"..

and also you can be running 9.7 and not jump as high as the "numbers" because of some "error" that you should find in the numbers...

there was a long jumper faster than Carl Lewis over the last 10 meters... he jumped 26 and Carl Jumped 28... no "impluse" because he was overstriding (slightly) which keep the hip tilt wrong... so no jump... flat.

i think T-Mack Jumped 5.95 and maybe 6.01 with 9.3/9.4... compare what you have with those jumps.

you may find it in the lenghts of the last two steps.... swing speed... amount of pole bend???? it should be there if you compare the data...

dj

User avatar
IAmTheWalrus
PV Pro
Posts: 298
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:31 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter, Current College Coach, Aspiring to be Elite Vaulter
Lifetime Best: 5.06m

Re: Stop Making the Same Mistakes......

Unread postby IAmTheWalrus » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:18 pm

I think that ADTF was perhaps beina a little facetious to make a point, and the point being that 20 steps is not a magic number that fits all pole vaulters.l I believe he is arguing that his athlete can achieve a speed which is within a margin of error close enough to his top speed that he believes it is due solely to the weight of the pole. I believe he is arguing that if you hit top speed after 16 or 18 steps, that adding the 20th or 22nd steps will not aid you. Conversely if one has not reached top speed after 20 steps they need to add more steps. I hope I am not putting words in his mouth, I was just trying to clarify what seemed to be a misunderstanding.
-Nick

Decamouse
PV Great
Posts: 923
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2002 6:43 pm
Expertise: Masters vaulter, coach, USATF Official
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Kate Dennison
Location: Bohners Lake, Wisconsin
Contact:

Re: Stop Making the Same Mistakes......

Unread postby Decamouse » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:47 pm

How about stopping urban legend -- we always start so steps are even -- damm -- start of the other foot and 5 steps in my body will be out of kilter because of it -- bio-mechanically - that I would like to see and show proof - not urban legend

Now if you say easier to coach or remember - or so you are always starting the same - add two everytime - great

I will also say that if you always had a odd number and always moved back two -- would it matter?

We are so used to it being that way and someone says it is so so it is a fact

Now a test - do not think - just answer -- if you jump off left - what is your first step with?
Plant like crap sometimes ok most times

User avatar
VaultPurple
PV Lover
Posts: 1079
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:44 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter, College Coach, Pole Vault Addict
Favorite Vaulter: Greg Duplantis
Location: North Carolina

Re: Stop Making the Same Mistakes......

Unread postby VaultPurple » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:39 pm

How about stopping urban legend -- we always start so steps are even -- damm -- start of the other foot and 5 steps in my body will be out of kilter because of it -- bio-mechanically - that I would like to see and show proof - not urban legend

Now if you say easier to coach or remember - or so you are always starting the same - add two everytime - great

I will also say that if you always had a odd number and always moved back two -- would it matter?

We are so used to it being that way and someone says it is so so it is a fact

Now a test - do not think - just answer -- if you jump off left - what is your first step with?


If you jump off your left foot naturally and someone comes up behind you and pushes you when you are standing with your feet side by side, you will most likely step forward with your right foot to catch your balance. Is this relevant? probably not...

But since you can jump better off your left foot it makes since to start with your first step being with your right foot so you can get more power to start your run off by pushing off your left foot which is the strongest...

That is probably the best answer to why it helps mechanically.. other than that, if it ain't broken don't fix it. If you are coaching multiple athletes, some things are just easier on the coach to keep consistent with all of your athletes so you have less to think about and can focus on the important things.

dj
PV Enthusiast
Posts: 1858
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:07 am
Expertise: Coach
Contact:

Re: Stop Making the Same Mistakes......

Unread postby dj » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:57 am

Good morning...

How about stopping urban legend -- we always start so steps are even -- damm -- start of the other foot and 5 steps in my body will be out of kilter because of it -- bio-mechanically - that I would like to see and show proof - not urban legend


Deca… don't want this to be a pi$$ing match… but I have lost a lot of respect for you for that kind of comment.

I don't believe you know what research I have done or not done. And you haven't seemed to have done your own or studied body/balance "movement" with and without a pole.

And to explain … so the other readers can hopefully "get it.." and know that starting with the wrong foot is, 80+ percent of the time.. detrimental to your vault success. (and as the pressure mounts in competition, higher grips.. more adrenalin…etc .. any and all aggressive, out of balance movements exaggerates the issue)

Normal walking and running gate, for balance, is ..right foot- left hand… long jumpers can start either way and because they don't have a pole in their hand can keep the correct rhythm to the board..

Pole vaulters, because we have a pole in our hands that we need to "center" and balance with our own center of mass (COM) to run correctly, presents a unique issue, especially at the start.

Put simple.. right hand on right hip with a first right foot step keeps the pole balanced, correctly, with the COM and moving "with the body".

When you step with the left foot first (for a right handed vaulter) the upper body (COM) moves forward with this foot (to stay balanced) and the hands move with it…starting a "forward and back movement" with the arms and pole in an attempt to stay balanced..

once initiated it becomes extremely difficult to change the incorrect rhythm because the body is simply trying to do what is natural…

I had a couple of emerging elite women athletes that could adjust, sometimes, with the wrong start or wrong skip…but more failures (bad runs) than success.

I changed both easily because…
–-you take the correct grip, toe your mark with the left foot, lift the pole into carry position, push off the left foot, lean forward slightly and step with the right foot.

This is the correct, natural "balanced" way to start.

One of the athletes finished 3rd at the 2004 USA indoor and was on the way to a good trials shot.. in April/May a weight feel and damaged a knee.. she got back, super fit and fast, for the trials but had not been on a pole.. she blew through on all three jumps gripping 14 feet on the biggest poles in our bag. The next year "life" for a "emerging athlete" got in the way and she stopped jumping.

The second women… improved over a foot on her PR in her first meet, the Florida Relays.. without a miss until three very close jumps at 14 feet.

And here is where I tell you how "little' I know about pole vaulting. All I did with both was make sure they were fit and corrected the run/pole carry. Their previous coaches had taught them to pole vault.

I suggest you do your own research…

dj

Decamouse
PV Great
Posts: 923
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2002 6:43 pm
Expertise: Masters vaulter, coach, USATF Official
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Kate Dennison
Location: Bohners Lake, Wisconsin
Contact:

Re: Stop Making the Same Mistakes......

Unread postby Decamouse » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:39 am

Lost of respect - oh well I guess at my age I can handle that

now dj as a former multi - suppose you someone starts out as a LJ and HJ --- for years and years -- starting off the other foot -- then takes up deca should they switch the other two or start the pv so they all feel the same

I have done pole runs - starting with the first step either way - actually did a little test with vaulters -

have then do pole runs - and without thinking about it do one start left and one starting right and just mix it up

And since you want the hand to stay near or on the hip - not a lot of arm swing -- I would say hitting you marks and consistency arm more important

My opinion - would I recommend moving back one step - no because then you are alternating what foot you start with -- stating with a fresh piece of paper (someone who does not have years of ingrained patterns) - follow the normal convention (they will be coached my multiple people in their career) -

Huge problem if someone starts off the other foot - opinion - not the end of the world
Plant like crap sometimes ok most times

dj
PV Enthusiast
Posts: 1858
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:07 am
Expertise: Coach
Contact:

Re: Stop Making the Same Mistakes......

Unread postby dj » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:05 am

hey

opinion is opinion but......

How about stopping urban legend


hinges on personal, a cop out and an "answer diversion" when you may not know the answer.

Yes.. change your vault start if you want to perform the event at your best…

I have changed any and everyone because it is the technically correct thing to do.

If any part of the "chain" is off…. you are "making corrections" from that point on instead of adding positively to the performance.

dj


Return to “Pole Vault - Advanced Technique”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests