My suggestion is to focus on where the top hand is and what it's doing during the plant, as well as where the pole tip is. I believe that focussing on where the bottom hand is and what it's doing is a coaching mistake
My suggestion is to focus on where the top hand is and what it's doing during the plant, as well as where the pole tip is. I believe that focussing on where the bottom hand is and what it's doing is a coaching mistake.
While I agree with the hollow/elastic theory, telling a kid to be cognisant of his bottom hand will only detract from the top hand and pole tip focus.
Kirk, You may not realize it, but, our beliefs in many areas of the vault are similar (I think it is fair to say we are both sold out Petrovites), especially in two key areas. I have read enough of your post to know that you are a big fan of the importance of the whipping action of the trail leg (You were in fact the one who solidified that very important point for me here early on) from C all the way to the top of the pole (Never tuck and shoot. Even though many vaulters are able to jump quite high with this, I believe it is in the end, a dead end approach) and ELASTICITY. You have just recently made it clear that you are also, as I am, not a fan of promoting rowing at any time during the vault. I believe that not having your bottom hand over your head (Or at least forehead level) has a major effect on ALL three of these areas (I am not saying you don't). In fact it is one of the most common problems I am seeing with my young vaulters. I have just recently started coaching and I must say what I have learned here on PVP has helped me tremendously. After only two practices I am already seeing good improvement with their form. My best vaulter had a narrow grip of 21 inches (Thumb to thumb) and I changed that to 24.5. He said that the pole is so much more comfortable to carry now. He however does not get his bottom hand over his head. He said he feels like he is stalling out in his swing even though it is much better than it was? I told him to drop his hand grip (Still 24.5 spacing)) a half an inch and that seemed to help his forward progress. He keeps his bottom arm bent with his elbow pointing out and his top hand high. He does not load the bottom arm at all, in fact it flexes in and I think that is good. Still his bottom hand is not getting over his head and sometime hits him in the face. I am contemplating the best way to resolve that issue. I am reluctant to tell him to straighten out his bottom hand out any at plant although I can see were this may help to get it higher? My thought is to continue emphasizing planting tall with both arms but to continue to press upward with both hands through penetration, while at the same time keep the shoulder girdles flexible. My other thought is whether I should bring his bottom hand grip up some? Will that help get the bottom hand higher? The first approach seems to make the most sense to me. I have not yet emphasized the extension of the bottom hand upward from c to L yet as my thinking is that he needs to get it up over his head first at penetration? I am aware of how much the extension up of the bottom hand, while hollowing his shoulders (The TAP) will speed up his rate of rotation around the top hand. I just think we need to get that bottom hand high enough first so he doesn't develop any bad habits. I am convinced that getting that bottom hand high enough is HUGE and will have a major effect on elasticity, therefore whip, therefore inversion, therefore no need to row.