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

Unread postby Decamouse » Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:15 am

we can talk about bio mechancis and what is best -- few for thought then

Why is grip spacing not discussed -- there is a bio mechanical best position for each person

If we want to get to the finest point - what is the proper pole angle at the beginning of the run? It impacts where the cg of the pole is and what inertia effects it has on your body when you start to run.

Your response is that you are always right - this is not a right or wrong -- is it a fact - a proven fact -- I will say that if the person has correct body carriage, is not swinging the pole all over the place - and it is more comfortable or natural to take the first step with the other foot -- unless you do a free body diagram and line up that persons pole carry and where it puts the center of gravity of the pole - and you video and see if it truly causes a running imbalance -- it is based on historical data -- if you supply the data takening scientifcally that shows starting with an odd number of step versus and even number cause all these problems - I will be a believer -- do not want I did it -I want the data -

which is better biomechancially - spin or glide in the shot -- the flop or the straddle -- the hitch kick or the hang

In the scale of things that impact the event -- there are more much important things --
Plant like crap sometimes ok most times

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

Unread postby dj » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:31 pm


a lot of "if's" in there.....

it's not a case of always being right... you got my opinion.. like I got yours…

this thread is about Stop Making the Same Mistakes......

i've put in the time and research to back what i've said.... not only 40 years and 1000's of vaulters but when Petrov came out with his "model".. i though it was a good idea to see "why" we should start this way and actually why we should carry the pole "wrist higher" than the elbow. (which Tully and Bell had played around with before Bubka because of the weight of the poles..)

Not only did i "test' numerous jumpers i observed 100's more at meets to find a common denominator... i put myself through the process and found both set up with the right "insink" movement, allowed you to run in balance and plant on time.... first i changed one athlete and she PRed by a foot in her first meet without a miss until 14 feet....

then i worked with 4 of our (USA's) top vaulters on their run...

pole carry and start was THE issue that not only caused their inconsistency but the erratic pole movement, stretched steps the late plants...

If it doesn't matter to you and you don't want to entertain my opinion that is fine.... but to make a derogatory response without knowledge!!??

Is there much of a reason for me to even give your "opinions" this much time and space.


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

Unread postby Tim McMichael » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:49 pm

ADTF Academy wrote:
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.......

All of those numbers come from the same last half of the same outdoor season. I did a lot of short running during practice from various distances. I was practicing by myself a lot in those days, so there was no way to measure my velocities exactly, but I did develop a good sense of what was going on just from the way things felt.I have done 24 steps once, but did not find any improvement. I would always back up to 22 steps in a head wind. The issue is posture and timing. It is really important to be in a balanced posture with the foot strike in the right spot and accelerating through the takeoff. When I sprinted from the back, I found it much more difficult to accomplish those things. With a longer, more structured, run and a gradual increase in velocity, everything was more powerful and more consistent.

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

Unread postby dj » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:04 am

good morning,

PollACkjaCk... did you run under Bill Nutter at State College of Arkansas????

that is the exact same workout i ran in 67/68 on a cinder track... my goal then was to make the 1968 Olympic team in the 400 hurdles...


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