Shoulder Drop Technique

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
KirkB
PV Maniac
Posts: 3550
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:05 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter; Former Elite Vaulter; Former Coach; Fan
Lifetime Best: 5.34
Favorite Vaulter: Thiago da Silva
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Re: Shoulder Drop Technique

Unread postby KirkB » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:27 am

Two objections:

1. Have you asked Bubka what hand he's looking at? Of course not. So if you haven't interviewed him, how do you know? Can you quote Petrov on any of this? Of course not. Sounds like you're dissecting frogs from Bubka vids again. I don't think he's focussing on EITHER hand.

2. If you ask any elite vaulter what hand they look at, I think they will tell you that they don't focus on their hands. They steer by focussing on the "FEEL" of their body in the air and on the pole. That's what I did.

Let's be practical - there's no time to look at either of your hands and react based on what you see - the vault happens too fast for that! :dazed:

Note that this is the view of an ex-elite vaulter IN THE ADVANCED TECHNIQUE FORUM!

If you're asking what a 12-14 footer would do and should do, then your mileage will vary!

Anyone else care to comment on this?

Kirk
Run. Plant. Jump. Stretch. Whip. Extend. Fly. Clear. There is no tuck! THERE IS NO DELAY!

User avatar
PVDaddy
PV Junkie
Posts: 504
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 10:56 pm
Expertise: Former High School Vaulter, High School coach, College coach
Lifetime Best: 10.5 Ft
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Cornelius Warmerdam

Re: Shoulder Drop Technique

Unread postby PVDaddy » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:35 am

Kirk: T
hey steer by focussing on the "FEEL" of their body in the air and on the pole. That's what I did.


For example you STILL do not see the benefit of Re- extending the bottom arm after going elastic. You say that it is in fact a pull :confused: :no:

You do not see the benefit of inverting beyond the vertical position. :confused:

You do not believe in the benefit of the bottom hand push toward the pit at flya-away :confused:

You do not believe in the benifit of a top hand push at fly-away :(

The list goes on and on!
Every jot and every tittle adds up to more than just a little.

vquestpvc
PV Whiz
Posts: 132
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:46 am
Expertise: 30 years
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Stacy Dragilia

Re: Shoulder Drop Technique

Unread postby vquestpvc » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:11 pm

Feel? Try to coach feel. Feel like you're running faster. Feel like you're jumping higher. Feel like you're whipping your trail leg better. Teaching (what coaching really is) requires specific cognitive and/or technical skill development. If one wants feelings, go to a psychologist. As a coach, particularly in the vault, I'm concerned that athletes don't feel the ground. Try teaching gymnastics by feel. Focal points are very important cues throughout skills. And yes, there is plenty of time to have a visual cue in all sports. When teaching youngsters to shoot layups in basketball, most coaches teach them to aim for the rectangle above the rim. Now, through continuous practice and games an athlete develops the muscle memory to shot layups in the rectangle without conscientiously thinking of it or "feeling". How successful would a basketball player be if he or she was first taught to "feel" the ball into the rim? By the way, I have read numerous articles by both Petrov and Bubka which leaves me to believe that they left little to just feel.

User avatar
KirkB
PV Maniac
Posts: 3550
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:05 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter; Former Elite Vaulter; Former Coach; Fan
Lifetime Best: 5.34
Favorite Vaulter: Thiago da Silva
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Re: Shoulder Drop Technique

Unread postby KirkB » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:56 pm

Vquestpvc, I think you're exaggerating my definition of "feel" to the extreme. I explained what I meant quite well in the "And in the real world.........!" thread here: http://www.polevaultpower.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=28063&p=172425&hilit=+bubka+feel+kirk#p172425

... and in that thread I have good quotes the came from Bubka re what he focussed on after takeoff:
... what Bubka said, when agapit asked him what he thought about after he left the ground ------- AAAAAAAAAAAARGH!


I also quoted how Isaksson described his vault:
I just jump and swing.


These quotes - sourced directly from 2 elite vaulters - are hard evidence of what I mean by the "feel" of where you are in the air and on the pole.

I hope I cleared this up now. I am NOT referring to any Beginner or Intermediate way of coaching, as this is the Advanced Technique forum.

Please don't take my definition of "feel" out of this context.

I would also say that ELITE gymnasts (highbar and rings) also do their tricks by "feel". Except on bar release tricks, where they of course must use their eyes to re-grasp the bar.

There is a whole science behind this concept of "feeling" where you are. I did post on this once - I'll try to find that post.

Kirk
Run. Plant. Jump. Stretch. Whip. Extend. Fly. Clear. There is no tuck! THERE IS NO DELAY!

User avatar
KirkB
PV Maniac
Posts: 3550
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:05 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter; Former Elite Vaulter; Former Coach; Fan
Lifetime Best: 5.34
Favorite Vaulter: Thiago da Silva
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Re: Shoulder Drop Technique

Unread postby KirkB » Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:02 am

I can't find my post, but this is the science behind the "feel" of the vaulter on the pole and in the air:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proprioception

This paragraph summarizes it quite nicely re learning new athletic skills ...
Learning new skills
Proprioception is what allows someone to learn to walk in complete darkness without losing balance. During the learning of any new skill, sport, or art, it is usually necessary to become familiar with some proprioceptive tasks specific to that activity. Without the appropriate integration of proprioceptive input, an artist would not be able to brush paint onto a canvas without looking at the hand as it moved the brush over the canvas; it would be impossible to drive an automobile because a motorist would not be able to steer or use the pedals while looking at the road ahead; a person could not touch type or perform ballet; and people would not even be able to walk without watching where they put their feet.

So Beginner and Intermediate vaulters of course look at their feet when they walk, and look at the bar (or hands, or box) when they vault.

But Advanced vaulters don't. They FEEL their body orientation in the air and on the pole. This all happens in a split second, without the aid of their eyes.

Ditto with elite gymnasts.

Kirk
Run. Plant. Jump. Stretch. Whip. Extend. Fly. Clear. There is no tuck! THERE IS NO DELAY!

vquestpvc
PV Whiz
Posts: 132
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:46 am
Expertise: 30 years
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Stacy Dragilia

Re: Shoulder Drop Technique

Unread postby vquestpvc » Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:11 pm

It seems that in these posts the original question of a posting gets lost. For this concern, "Shoulder Drop Technique", the individual was concerned with flagging out. One of the first suggestions was that the individual was looking at the cross bar. Now after numerous followup posting we have elevated to a level of "elite vaulters" who "feel" their way through a vault. Oh and ditto for gymnasts. Ever hear of the term "muscle memory"? Muscle memory is developed through repetition which in fact begins with what was elegantly point out as "proprioception". Once muscle memory is developed, doesn't it "feel" natural?

And so, this author's only suggestion was that if one can look at the crossbar, perhaps focusing on a point higher than the crossbar (say the top hand) that the individual might be able to cover the pole better getting more vertical trajectory. In a book copyrighted 1979 written by Dr. R.V. Ganslen, he asked a number of "elite" vaulters various questions including "what are your cues (kinesthetic or visual) for getting into a well rocked back position". The responses were quite varied including "feel", focusing on a hand or seeing the feet at the end of the pole. In the case of using the top hand as a focal point, in means that when a vaulter sees the feet at the top hand it's time to "go". Admittedly, most of the vaulters I deal with have the same problem of looking at the crossbar. Over the past several years I believe we have had success by trying to change that focal point from the bar to a position more vertical than horizontal. Focusing on the top hand seems to work.

Quite honestly, I come to PVP to learn more about the pole vault and quite often I do. And despite the level (beginner, immediate or advanced) I'm going to read. It this particular case the topic of "Shoulder Drop Technique" was something I was very interested in seeing the comments. It seems the initial suggestion was quite simple......"maybe you're looking at the crossbar"; perhaps something for either beginner or intermediate. Be that as it may, what I sometimes learn (and confirm) is that individuals want to make the pole vault so much more complicated than I believe it needs to be; especially for the vast majority of vaulters. Is it a very technical skill......absolutely; talk about technical, look at the high jump. Interestingly, I coach all the jumping events. However, I've never had anyone come to me at a meet and suggest that my high jumper do something different or that the triple jumpers needs to change something. But, why is it that almost every time at a pole vault competition there are those individuals who need to openly critique every vaulter? This events seems to me to be full of confusion. And no Kirk, I didn't take your comment regarding "feel" out of context. I simply read what you wrote. As a physical educator and coach, two things I take to heart: specificity of training and KISS.

User avatar
KirkB
PV Maniac
Posts: 3550
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:05 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter; Former Elite Vaulter; Former Coach; Fan
Lifetime Best: 5.34
Favorite Vaulter: Thiago da Silva
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Re: Shoulder Drop Technique

Unread postby KirkB » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:24 pm

TolbertVault wrote:For as long as I can remember, iv never been able to keep my head down when I invert
The exception being when I jump at 15' and above
My swing gets cut off and I tend to flag
How can I get my head and shoulders to drop and stay that way?

This was Tolbert's original post. You can check page one to see what my tongue-in-cheek reply was to him that day.

I've said all I want to say - and all I need to say - about the fact that elite vaulters (not 15-0 vaulters) learn to "feel" where they are on the pole and in the air.

But I wish to comment now specifically on the topic of "Shoulder Drop Technique" - the title of Tolbert's original post.

There is actually no such thing as a "Shoulder Drop". The shoulders don't actually "drop", and no matter how many coaches and vaulters call it "Shoulder Drop", that's not what happens. It only "feels" like they drop. There's that word again! :D

Ideally, what the vaulter should feel is the sensation of the hips rising faster than the shoulders rising. The net effect of this is the [false] feeling of the shoulders dropping.

The only plausible way that the shoulders might actually be dropping is if you have already "pulled your body closer to the pole by bending your elbows" so that your top arm is no longer fully extended, and then you suddenly extend it again. That would be super-bad technique, so I assume that's not the problem you're dealing with. That technical flaw is usually just with vaulters way under 15-0.

Further, it actually does not help to "think" about "dropping the shoulders". We know this is impossible, and we know that the only thing we can do is make the hips rise at a faster rate than the shoulders rise.

To do this, my recommendation is that you improve all parts of your vaulter leading up to the hips "rising". This includes the run, plant, takeoff, stretch, downswing, and upswing. It's during the upswing that we're referring to this particular issue, but as you know Tolbert, if any of the predecessor parts of the vault aren't working correctly, then the only thing you have left to do is to try to salvage a bad vault. This often just means flag out before you stall out - not the most desirable way to finish your vault, but one of the only alternatives left by the time you're already in your upswing.

Tolbert, you'll have to expand on what you mean by "My swing gets cut off and I tend to flag". I know what you mean by flagging, but I don't quite know what you mean by your swing getting "cut off". I suppose you mean that your swing just seems to run out of energy, and "dies" before you can fully extend? i.e. You just stop going UP and start going FORWARDS? :dazed:

Post some vids if you can.

Also, since your original post was a month ago, I hope you're over your inital flagout problems. But it does take months and years to fully extend straight up instead of out, so I hope this latest advice has been helpful to you.

Good luck!

Kirk
Run. Plant. Jump. Stretch. Whip. Extend. Fly. Clear. There is no tuck! THERE IS NO DELAY!

grandevaulter
PV Pro
Posts: 428
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:49 pm
Expertise: Three year highschool vaulter 1978-80. Now coaching highschoolers and competing in masters.
Lifetime Best: 11'
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Timothy Mack
Location: South West, MI

Re: Shoulder Drop Technique

Unread postby grandevaulter » Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:07 am

vquestpvc wrote: But, why is it that almost every time at a pole vault competition there are those individuals who need to openly critique every vaulter?
If they are a coach that really knows the event, they keep their mouth shut. The good club coaches get referred by their athletes results, not from being a pit side know it all.

The "feel" that Kirk (Former Olympian) states is based upon a dozen or so specific drills repeated thousands of times, this somehow manifests into a finished product. There are no short cuts.

User avatar
PVDaddy
PV Junkie
Posts: 504
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 10:56 pm
Expertise: Former High School Vaulter, High School coach, College coach
Lifetime Best: 10.5 Ft
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Cornelius Warmerdam

Re: Shoulder Drop Technique

Unread postby PVDaddy » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:55 pm

I'm sorry but just telling the vaulter they must learn to "feel" the process of laying the shoulders back through 10 Million drills is a very long path in the wrong direction if it is not for a specific correct movement . The fact of the matter is coaches and athletes don't have the time to develop this technique this way with non specific drills. Specificity of training and getting the vaulter to understand what it is they are trying to achieve is the most efficient path to success. The truth is this process does not even involve dropping the shoulders and should NEVER be taught or thought of this way by the coaches or athlete! AS I have previously stated, what must be understood by the coaches and athletes is that the goal must be to learn HOW TO HAVE MAXIMUM ROTATION THROUGH THE SHOULDER JOINT!? :idea:

This can only occur correctly if the vaulter is committed to doing the following after going elastic while re-extending the plant upward.

1) A sold out commitment to a never ending whip swing to eternity throughout the entire second phase of the vault.

2) A sold out commitment to never lock out or freeze the shoulder joint by rowing throughout the entire second phase of the vault.

3) A sold out commitment to always maintain pressure top hand pressure and to never leave the chord with the top hand throughout the entire second phase of the vault.

4) From the chair position, if the vaulter is fully committed to thrusting his heels (Through the forceful extension (Straightening) of his legs) and hips (Through the uncoiling of the spine through the use of his entire back, abdomen and gluteus muscles) skyward while pulling against this thrust through the shoulders and its rotation through the shoulder rotator cuffs, this rotation will naturally occur.

This is what must be taught and understood. Once you understand what you are really trying to do, learning it becomes so much easier. After you learn it, then you begin to FEEL it. In fact you can then take it to a new level as you begin to associate the FEEL to the muscular function. Then you not only FEEL it but now you UNDERSTAND it! Now that you understand it you can now in fact CONTROL it! :idea:

So laying back the shoulders is not the goal but only the outcome of achieving shoulder rotation through the thrusting of the legs and hips and the straightening out of the spine. The visual cue of looking for the bottom hand does NOT achieve this process, but it DOES provide a target and goal for the vaulter to fully execute it, ensures proper head alignment with the spine, and a visual reference with the pole, for the vaulter to direct his body in relation to the crossbar.
Every jot and every tittle adds up to more than just a little.

User avatar
KirkB
PV Maniac
Posts: 3550
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:05 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter; Former Elite Vaulter; Former Coach; Fan
Lifetime Best: 5.34
Favorite Vaulter: Thiago da Silva
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Re: Shoulder Drop Technique

Unread postby KirkB » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:13 pm

grandevaulter wrote:
vquestpvc wrote: ... There are no short cuts.

:yes:

Kirk
Run. Plant. Jump. Stretch. Whip. Extend. Fly. Clear. There is no tuck! THERE IS NO DELAY!

User avatar
KirkB
PV Maniac
Posts: 3550
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 6:05 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter; Former Elite Vaulter; Former Coach; Fan
Lifetime Best: 5.34
Favorite Vaulter: Thiago da Silva
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Re: Shoulder Drop Technique

Unread postby KirkB » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:32 pm

PVDaddy wrote: ... just telling the vaulter they must learn to "feel" the process of laying the shoulders back through 10 Million drills is a very long path in the wrong direction if it is not for a specific correct movement.
:no:

I didn't say that. Please don't misquote me.

What I said was how Bubka and Isaksson DID it - not how they were TAUGHT to do it. It is very misleading to say what hand Bubka was looking at in the middle of his vault. Especially just on the basis of viewing his vids and drawing your own personal assumptions.

If you were to ask him what his eyes focussed on, he would probably say something like "AAAAAAAAAAAARGH!". In fact, I think that's almost an exact quote of what he said in answer to a similar question.

And it's not 10 million, it's about 10 thousand drills before you can just "feel" your body orientation in the air and on the pole. Read Grandevaulter's post again.

PVDaddy wrote: ... Specificity of training and getting the vaulter to understand what it is they are trying to achieve is the most efficient path to success.
:yes:

But I would use the word "helping" instead of "getting".

Kirk
Run. Plant. Jump. Stretch. Whip. Extend. Fly. Clear. There is no tuck! THERE IS NO DELAY!

User avatar
PVDaddy
PV Junkie
Posts: 504
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 10:56 pm
Expertise: Former High School Vaulter, High School coach, College coach
Lifetime Best: 10.5 Ft
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Cornelius Warmerdam

Re: Shoulder Drop Technique

Unread postby PVDaddy » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:41 pm

Look at Frames :10-:11. A thousand times if you need to. Ask yourself, What is going on here? Is he laying back his shoulders or is he ROTATING through the shoulder joint?
How is he getting such good rotation through his shoulder join? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-UwBaf8f98
Every jot and every tittle adds up to more than just a little.


Return to “Pole Vault - Advanced Technique”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests