D'Encausse on ideal technique

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david bussabarger
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D'Encausse on ideal technique

Unread postby david bussabarger » Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:34 pm

Quoting from the interview of D'Encausse in the July issue of Vaulter Magazine: What model does Lavillenie follow? "There is no model. Each vaulter has an individual model based on their unique strengths and weaknesses. No athlete is the same, so you have to understand that what is good for one athlete may not be good for another. There are excellent things about the Petrov model but it isn't the only way to be a high level athlete. A few years ago Petrov and I were at a track and field conference and a question came up about the Russian vs the French model and what is better. We didn't care haha since whatever helps the athlete jump higher is what's important". D'Encausse is saying here that Petrov agrees that there is no one ideal model.
How long have I been making the same basic argument on this sight?

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Re: D'Encausse on ideal technique

Unread postby Skyfly » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:04 pm

That's all well and good, but how many on here are coaching world class athletes and/or dedicating their coaching to one or two people?

Many like myself are working with many athletes and have neither the time nor resources to completely individualize our coaching to the unique abilities of each athlete. There may not be one ideal model at the world class level, but few here are at that end of the sport. Most are in the beginner or intermediate realm and in that realm I would say there definitely is the possibility of an ideal model. Having a developed technical model enhances the ability to safely teach this sport and coach kids to real levels of success, even if it is just at a local level.

Arguing that there is no ideal model is nonsense too. From a physics and bio mechanical perspective, there definitely is an ideal model. The laws of physics are indisputable, so there is definitely an ideal model. The argument may be how best to achieve or come closest to achieving this ideal model since it is likely unattainable. Obviously the many physical variables of each athlete will dictate their ability or technique to best approach and come closest to achieving an ideal model.

So in a way the Petrov model, or the French model, or any other model, is simply a model within a model. In other words, it's someone's best attempt at approaching the actual theoretical model as dictated by physics. No model is one size fits all when there are so many different athletes in so many different shapes and sizes.

I love the discussions on here and the amount of effort someone like PVStudent goes through to try and explain things through physics and bio mechanics. If people want to argue different "models" so be it. Data however is far stronger than someone just spouting words on an internet forum.

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Re: D'Encausse on ideal technique

Unread postby PVstudent » Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:44 am

Skyfly wrote:Many like myself are working with many athletes and have neither the time nor resources to completely individualize our coaching to the unique abilities of each athlete. There may not be one ideal model at the world class level, but few here are at that end of the sport. Most are in the beginner or intermediate realm and in that realm I would say there definitely is the possibility of an ideal model. Having a developed technical model enhances the ability to safely teach this sport and coach kids to real levels of success, even if it is just at a local level.

Arguing that there is no ideal model is nonsense too. From a physics and bio mechanical perspective, there definitely is an ideal model. The laws of physics are indisputable, so there is definitely an ideal model. The argument may be how best to achieve or come closest to achieving this ideal model since it is likely unattainable. Obviously the many physical variables of each athlete will dictate their ability or technique to best approach and come closest to achieving an ideal model.

So in a way the Petrov model, or the French model, or any other model, is simply a model within a model. In other words, it's someone's best attempt at approaching the actual theoretical model as dictated by physics. No model is one size fits all when there are so many different athletes in so many different shapes and sizes.


Congratulations Skyfly on this superb response for its clarity and succinct appraisal of the practical value to a practitioner coach of a technical model of pole vaulting in guiding aspiring young pole vaulters to safe achievement of success in this most demanding of field event disciplines in athletics.

Without a clear conceptual understanding of the physical challenges faced in learning to vault how can any coach at that level, or even at the elite level for that matter, minimize the risks to which their athletes are exposed and guide the progression of pole vaulting skill performance accomplishment?

If the captain of the ship does not know the port towards which the ship must sail, charts, helm and compass are useless tools in plotting the ship's progress because an infinite number of course selection choices exist!

"Laissez faire" is not an option for any pole vault coach. The individual differences argument against the ideal technical model notion is a slippery slope argument that runs the danger of opening floodgates to the weird and wonderful world of anything idiosyncratic being acceptable practice.

It is encouraging to know that my contributions on PVP are appreciated. Thank you Skyfly for the feedback.
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Re: D'Encausse on ideal technique

Unread postby david bussabarger » Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:29 pm

If you understand science then you know that the laws of physics and or bio-mechanics cannot prove that a given style or model of technique is ideal. As a point of fact all "successful" vaulting technique ( even a beginner's ), must conform to the the laws of physics or the vault will end in failure. All physics and bio-mechanics can do is explain how a given movement or combination of movements works. For instance, in vaulting, tucking shortens the swing's radius of rotation and therefore accelerates the upward rotation of the hips during the rock-back( like it or not this is physics ). Now, does this mean that a tucking rock-back action is superior to a "swing- back" action like Bubka's? No, both are viable individual variations because in the real world both variations have been proven to work extremely well. Real world is a key term here, because all science is based on the observation on what goes on in the real world. The problem with the Bubka/Petrov model is that there is very little real world ( empirical ) evidence to back up the claim that it represents ideal technique. It is mostly based on hypothesis and speculation. Of course Bubka got super results with the B/P model, but he was the most talented athlete ever to pole vault ( his superior athletic abilities are well documented ). In addition, it takes more than one example to prove your case in science, no matter how great the example.
Even though there is no one ideal model or style there are many aspects of fiberglass technique that are universally applicable to all proficient vaulters. For instance all proficient fiberglass vaulters must execute the same 9 phases and in the right order. Many more "universals" can be gleaned by careful analysis of the technique of of top vaulters. Careful analysis of large numbers of top vaulters will also reveal many successful individual variations of technique. The operative word is successful. If a given individual variation consistently produces excellent results then it must be considered a viable variation. Case in point the underneath take off. The fact is most 5.80 plus vaulters take off at least slightly under ( this includes 6.m and better vaulters ). So regardless of what various studies claim about take off velocity, in the real world an awful lot of vaulters have gotten outstanding results taking off under. This includes Bubka alot of the time. Reality trumps theory in science.
If you are too lazy to learn how to deal with individual variations when coaching the vault maybe you should try an easier event.

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Re: D'Encausse on ideal technique

Unread postby Soar Like an Eagle » Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:59 pm

david bussabarger wrote:If you understand science then you know that the laws of physics and or bio-mechanics cannot prove that a given style or model of technique is ideal. As a point of fact all "successful" vaulting technique ( even a beginner's ), must conform to the the laws of physics or the vault will end in failure. All physics and bio-mechanics can do is explain how a given movement or combination of movements works. For instance, in vaulting, tucking shortens the swing's radius of rotation and therefore accelerates the upward rotation of the hips during the rock-back( like it or not this is physics ). Now, does this mean that a tucking rock-back action is superior to a "swing- back" action like Bubka's? No, both are viable individual variations because in the real world both variations have been proven to work extremely well. Real world is a key term here, because all science is based on the observation on what goes on in the real world. The problem with the Bubka/Petrov model is that there is very little real world ( empirical ) evidence to back up the claim that it represents ideal technique. It is mostly based on hypothesis and speculation. Of course Bubka got super results with the B/P model, but he was the most talented athlete ever to pole vault ( his superior athletic abilities are well documented ). In addition, it takes more than one example to prove your case in science, no matter how great the example.
Even though there is no one ideal model or style there are many aspects of fiberglass technique that are universally applicable to all proficient vaulters. For instance all proficient fiberglass vaulters must execute the same 9 phases and in the right order. Many more "universals" can be gleaned by careful analysis of the technique of of top vaulters. Careful analysis of large numbers of top vaulters will also reveal many successful individual variations of technique. The operative word is successful. If a given individual variation consistently produces excellent results then it must be considered a viable variation. Case in point the underneath take off. The fact is most 5.80 plus vaulters take off at least slightly under ( this includes 6.m and better vaulters ). So regardless of what various studies claim about take off velocity, in the real world an awful lot of vaulters have gotten outstanding results taking off under. This includes Bubka alot of the time. Reality trumps theory in science.
If you are too lazy to learn how to deal with individual variations when coaching the vault maybe you should try an easier event.


I agree on the variations/differences in the techniques, at the end of the day is how high one goes which determine the results of the competition. Case in point, Barber from Akron jumping 18’10” gripping 16’7” and Kendricks from Mississippi jumping 18’10.5 gripping 15’5” both getting the same results with a 14 inch different grip, so maybe Barber needs to get a get a better push off and Kendricks needs to raise his grip to jump higher. They are both very good young pole vaulters.

Joe Dial was 5’9” jumped 19’6”, Jeff Buckingham 5’7” jumped 18’10” and Thierry Vigneron was 5’11” jumped 19’5” not extremely fast, but was a decent (long jumper 23 feet and middle distance runner, Mechanics of the Pole Vault). When Joe went 18 feet in 1981 he was 5’8” 135. Tom Hintanaus jumped 18’4” in 1980 using a variation of the tuck and shoot won the Olympic trials, was slow compared to the rest of the vaulters that day, but very strong. In my opinion, I think Bubka was much faster and a better long jumper than Vigneron. I think it is important to be open minded regarding the pole vault and research. If a coach studies and interprets,the Petrov Bubka model technique properly, the technical approach can be great, but coaches need to really understand the concept of the run, plant, and take off before swinging on the pole. If they do not have enough momentum when they invert vaulters will be in trouble and may land in the box. Check out Isaakson vaulting 18’2” in 1972 on Ora McMurray’s video and compare it to Bubka side by side and the jumps are similar with the difference Bubka is holding 18 inches higher. In high school, Buckingham 17’, Dial 18’1”, and Duplantis 17’10” jumped very high 34 years ago when the world record was 19’0” with their styles were using the tuck. If one is a little guy maybe the technique has to be different than someone is tall or a fast or slow jumper. Scott Huffman jumped 19’7” with a strange clearance that worked for him. Ranaud world record holder 6.16 and undefeated the year is incredible, 5’8” 150lbs extremely fast with cat like moves, along with no fear and loves to pole vault, whether practice or a meet. Whatever technique/style he is using is really working, maybe we should have the D’Encausse Lavillenie model.

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Re: D'Encausse on ideal technique

Unread postby altius » Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:11 am

Once again - and again - and again - folk are confusing the notion of a technical model based on biomechanics, with an athletes style = based on their individual characteristics - that can overlay that model. Even though athletes like Tarasov and Markov clearly employed what is best termed the Bubka model, they appeared to look recognisably different to him.

So start again and ask what elements of Lavellenie's style match such a model - the pole carry , the structure of the run up, the take off point, the swing into inversion - and what elements are different -and why are they different?

The critical question surely is - if you don't know where you are going - and you clearly don't if every athlete just develops according to their individual characteristics - which can change dramatically from the ages of 13 to 23 just though natural growth patterns far less training - then where do you start out from? What elements of technique DO YOU teach a beginner? I suspect that coaches who follow this individualised approach will lead many promising athletes down dead end paths to performance oblivion.

Apologies for the long and convoluted sentence - just spent five hours coaching in desiccating heat in Helena, Montana.

Also I would like to see some evidence that Petrov actually made the statements ascribed to him - because in all of my contact with him he never indicated that was how he felt.
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Re: D'Encausse on ideal technique

Unread postby PVstudent » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:48 am

david bussabarger wrote:"There is no model. Each vaulter has an individual model based on their unique strengths and weaknesses. No athlete is the same, so you have to understand that what is good for one athlete may not be good for another. There are excellent things about the Petrov model but it isn't the only way to be a high level athlete. A few years ago Petrov and I were at a track and field conference and a question came up about the Russian vs the French model and what is better. We didn't care haha since whatever helps the athlete jump higher is what's important". D'Encausse is saying here that Petrov agrees that there is no one ideal model.
How long have I been making the same basic argument on this sight?


If possible, please read this extract from V Petrov's seminal 1985 presentation which identifies what he stated in front of witnesses. I suggest it tells us what he espouses in his "conceptual ideal model" for the actions of a vaulter. In particular note what he suggests in regard to the second phase of pole support.

Transcript of V Petrov's Birmingham 1985 Presentation  copy of original typescript of the English translation.jpg
Transcript of V Petrov's Birmingham 1985 Presentation copy of original typescript of the English translation.jpg (130.04 KiB) Viewed 14685 times


Reading this document and seeing the real world evidence repeated time and again in Bubka's actual performances I believe the empirical evidence is very strong that Petrov had a clear "technical model construct" as the foundation to coaching and being able to cater for the strengths and weaknesses of vaulter abilities and capacities.

I don't believe anyone who has worked alongside Vitally Petrov and interacted with the pole vaulters he has coached would ever be persuaded that his approach and conceptual constructs ever led anyone up any blind alleys!

Anecdotal evidence, such as a reported conversation is totally irrelevant when the weight of real world evidence clearly is quite contrary to what David would have us all believe.

Phillipe D'Encausse, an ex world class vaulter without beliefs as to what is "good pole vault technique" (ie ideal technical model)? Give us a break!

Of course he will have his own views as to what is ideal in vaulting successfully. After all he has helped Renaud Lavillenie to move on to longer, stiffer poles with a higher grip in setting his marvellous 6.16m World Record. I don't believe for an instant, that in this coach vaulter partnership the coach doesn't know what he is doing.

Clearly the evidence is that Lavillenie's performance has improved dramatically and the results are available in recorded form for all to see!

Everyone must in any failed or successful vault obey the laws of physics applied to human motion. This is just a fact of life. But the question is how can failure be turned into success without some intuitive and counterintuitive understanding of motion mechanics?

Applying physics or biomechanics to the improvement of any specific individual's performance is an art. The craft of the "coaching artisan" requires actual active practice in the real world to enable any level of knowledge of the mechanics of pole vault to be effective in any genuine real world moulding and honing of a pole vaulter's performance.

A key component of this craft is the observation and analysis of the individual's performance and using the outcome to make suggestions and provide practical doable exercises and movement practices specific to that individual needs to bring about performance refinements .The end goal is always to guide / lead to the best performance of which the idividual is capable at that time and stage in their personal development as a pole vaulter.

How this can be done with no idea of the technical excellence that ideally might be possible is ,I admit, beyond my comprehension.

It is my view that coaching without an "ideal technical model or template", against which to evaluate performance, is simply a case of the blind leading the blind!

Errors, misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the mechanics knowledge required in performing the coaching task will produce inevitably "flawed products" and wastage of the pole vaulter's raw potential. At worst the raw material gets damaged or even destroyed by ignorant well intentioned coaches with little to no knowledge and skill in the practice of their craft.

Finally, I agree, there are sufficient "invariant elements" in the complete vaulting process for all coaches to be able to recognise what, where, when, how and why they are being performed optimally or less than optimally in any individual case. To do that without a "conceptual template or model" against which to evaluate any pole vault performance is extremely difficult if not actually impossible!
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Re: D'Encausse on ideal technique

Unread postby david bussabarger » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:31 pm

Certainly it is true that all vaulting styles are variations on the same theme. However individual variations in execution create different mechanical characteristics which then affect the outcome of the vault. Altius claims that Markov and Tarasov are P/b vaulters. Both vaulters take off out and therefore have free-take offs as Petrov advocates. But Markov drops his lead leg just after leaving the ground ( hangs ). This significantly changes the mechanical characteristics of his take off ( and goes against the dogma of the P/B model ). The P/B model claims that the vault should be executed in a continuous manner and that the vaulter should not use a tucking rock-back. Markov is a tuck and shoot vaulter which again violates P/B dogma and again creates significantly different mechanical characteristics. Petrov originally claimed that the vaulter should bend the pole based on his speed and mass and not with the lower arm. Tarasov used a pronounced stiff arming action during the take take off. This has dramatic mechanic effects on the execution of the whole vault. Some of the best elite vaulters like Brits, Galfione and Hartwig violate nearly all aspects of the P/B model from the take off on wards.
The point is in the fiberglass vault differences in execution are as important as similarities in execution, so that is why talking about an individual's vaulting style is a much more accurate on the whole than talking about what model he or she represents ( Bubka is really the only vaulter that can accurately be called a P/B vaulter ).
Bubka's success as a vaulter represents what scientists call anecdotal evidence ( evidence that is too limited to prove a theory ). One of the most glaring problems with the B/P model is that it has been around and widely accepted for roughly 30 yrs. Yet it has only produced one truly great vaulter, Bubka himself. If the model is so great why haven't there been dozens of Bubka clones jumping 6m and better?

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Re: D'Encausse on ideal technique

Unread postby PVstudent » Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:56 am

david bussabarger wrote:Certainly it is true that all vaulting styles are variations on the same theme. However individual variations in execution create different mechanical characteristics which then affect the outcome of the vault. Altius claims that Markov and Tarasov are P/b vaulters. Both vaulters take off out and therefore have free-take offs as Petrov advocates. But Markov drops his lead leg just after leaving the ground ( hangs ). This significantly changes the mechanical characteristics of his take off ( and goes against the dogma of the P/B model ). The P/B model claims that the vault should be executed in a continuous manner and that the vaulter should not use a tucking rock-back. Markov is a tuck and shoot vaulter which again violates P/B dogma and again creates significantly different mechanical characteristics. Petrov originally claimed that the vaulter should bend the pole based on his speed and mass and not with the lower arm. Tarasov used a pronounced stiff arming action during the take take off. This has dramatic mechanic effects on the execution of the whole vault. Some of the best elite vaulters like Brits, Galfione and Hartwig violate nearly all aspects of the P/B model from the take off on wards.
The point is in the fiberglass vault differences in execution are as important as similarities in execution, so that is why talking about an individual's vaulting style is a much more accurate on the whole than talking about what model he or she represents ( Bubka is really the only vaulter that can accurately be called a P/B vaulter ).
Bubka's success as a vaulter represents what scientists call anecdotal evidence ( evidence that is too limited to prove a theory ). One of the most glaring problems with the B/P model is that it has been around and widely accepted for roughly 30 yrs. Yet it has only produced one truly great vaulter, Bubka himself. If the model is so great why haven't there been dozens of Bubka clones jumping 6m and better?


David,

1. I most certainly agree with you that all vaulting styles are variations on the same theme!
How could this be otherwise given the invariant sequence of events (motion patterns /action / procedures or technical challenges) that all pole vaulters, I believe, must meet to successfully clear the cross-bar within the limitations of the rules of the event and the environmental constraints existent for that particular vault attempt?
You apparently accept the concept of there being a “theme” to follow. I take it therefore that you are agreeing that all vaulters are trying to follow the same “theme” when they carry out the process of pole vaulting.
What would this theme be if it is not a set of recognizable invariant actions that MUST be performed in the pole vault total process by all individual vaulters? The question then becomes what comprises this theme if it is not an “idealized model of the vaulter actions necessary,” ie., without which, a successful pole vault clearance cannot be made?

2. Petrov you have assumed is dogmatic re the tuck and shoot technique being a violation of the P/B model. Your claim is made from what I can only guess is “received knowledge” of the P/B model and that you gathered it from secondary sources and on this basis your judgement is made.
Have you actually had any first hand direct contact with Vitali Petrov in which you have been able to verify directly from him that you can be confident that he is actually dogmatic about this particular aspect of the vault? I suspect you have not.
In this regard how do you explain that Guiseppe Gibilisco PV World Champion 2003, who most coaches would agree used a “tuck and shoot” technique in the second phase of pole vault, was in fact developed and coached to that achievement by none other than Vitali Petrov? Are you arguing that Petrov achieved this coaching outcome in violation of his own pole vault coaching precepts and principles?

3. You point out some individual variations of many fine vaulters who have been very successful in vaulting. This is no surprise given the variety of vaulter body morphologies, physical abilities, capacities, and the psycho-social factors the individual brings to any pole vault performance. If these individual factors result in “… all vaulting styles are variations on the same theme” the question remains as to what the “theme” actually is?
How does one recognize the theme? What criteria does one have to use as “Gold Standards” in deciding the necessary theme has been followed?

4. The only objectively measurable canon to be applied in pole vaulting is bar height legally cleared. There are no style points awarded!
The laws and principles derived from physics applied to human motion (you are quite right re the post hoc explanatory nature of biomechanics) are beyond human capacity to violate.
This is beyond any dispute. It is therefore quite reasonable to suggest that the science of mechanics does provide practical “Gold Standards” that can be objectively and reliably used to assess the efficiency of a vaulter’s movements of those elements that are defined as comprising the “theme”. It follows by inference that the “theme” must therefore be those elements of movement action that all vaulters MUST follow and without which a successful legal bar clearance is not physically feasible.

5. Scientist do not prove anything with absolute certainty. The best the scientific method can do is disprove a theory or hypothesis within the limits of uncertainty of the knowledge available at the time. You continue to misrepresent what scientist actually do with the evidence they gather and subject to analysis and evaluation. The view you express is popular and widely held but nevertheless is incorrect.
I and other coaches do take individual differences into account in coaching pole vaulters. It seems quite bizarre that you expect "Bubka Clones" to be developed by the P/B Approach to pole vault and that you expect to see this as the outcome of the operation of this approach for individuals exposed to it. No one can be coached to be a pole vaulting clone of anyone else. Whether the original model is Bubka, Lavillenie or anyone else, if we coach real individuals in real life situations they will always be a "one off, unique person pole vaulting"!

6. David, so that the thread you started gets beyond ,yet again, “flogging a dead horse” can you please provide your answers to the following specific questions. The answers will help us coaches become disabused of our reliance in following our craft by employing empirically useful working templates provided by “Ideal Model Constructs and Ideas” when we attempt to improve the safety and success of our methods of pole vaulting teaching and coaching.

(a) Could you please share with us what you believe to be the invariant elements without which a successful pole vault clearance cannot be made?

(b) How do you coach/teach the introduction to the take-off to beginners and address the criteria you use to determine the “limits” of safely allowable variation when assessing the learner’s attempts at take-off? What criteria do you use to decide a learner’s readiness to increase the number of steps in the run up and to judge the amount to raise the grip length on the pole?

(c) In coaching an intermediate to advanced level pole vaulter what technical method of inversion do you coach and why do you coach that method? When working this same element of the vault would you coach male and female vaulters of this standard to attempt the same method? On the other hand if you teach/coach each vaulter at this level according to their individual capacity and ability, how do you make this assessment and then what criteria do you apply in deriving a method of inversion tailored to suit the specific individual?

By answering some or all of these questions you will be able to advance your argument in a manner that will convince myself and perhaps others that the thread is not an exercise in rhetoric or riding hobby horses!

I can only speak for myself and assure you I am looking forward to your response to the questions posed.
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Re: D'Encausse on ideal technique

Unread postby david bussabarger » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:48 pm

In response to PV Whiz: Pertrov's ideas have been widely published over the years. I have in my possession 4 articles by Petrov outlining his thinking on technique as well as A. launder's book F.B. to B. So , Although I have never met the man, I think I have a pretty good understanding of his ORIGINAL thinking in regards to The P/B model. Launder and others are quick to claim that many other elite vaulters ( male and female ) are exponents of the B/P when in fact these vaulters all exhibit stylistic variations that diverge from the the original P/B model. The most glaring contradiction here is Gibilisco. Although he was coached by Petrov it is hard to find any correspondence in his technique with the original P/B model ( as exemplified by Bubka ) from the take off on wards. Gilbilisco typically took off slightly under. had a wider hand spread vs Bubka, used a pronounced stiff arming action during the take off, used a very short swing ( duration wise ) and began tucking very early in the vault. My conclusion is that either Petrov must be alot less dogmatic in regards to technique than are his advocates or Petrov himself is a hypocrite ( he says you must vault a prescribed way and then coaches another vaulter in a completely different fashion ).
A simple definition of science is: observing the actual world and coming to conclusions based on those observations ( inductive reasoning ). An excellent example of this is E. Hubble's discovery that the universe is expanding based on his observation of the Doppler shifts of thousands of galaxies ( which then lead to the big bang theory ). By the way, any 5th grader can tell you that science can't prove anything beyond any doubt . I have pointed out before that the absolute certitude in regards to the P/B model representing idea technique which is held by most people on this sight is in itself unscientific thinking. But I digress. Back to the point. I contend that if you want to use the scientific method to develop an accurate understanding of fiberglass vaulting technique then you first have to carefully analyse the largest number of elite vaulters possible ( like Hubble analysed thousands of galaxies ). The greater the sampling the more accurate the potential results. The 1st thing you must do is look for elements of technical execution that apply as universally as possible to all elite vaulters. The remaining elements of technique become by subtraction, variable elements of technique. You then use the universal elements of technique gleaned from your study to build a universal foundation for the vault ( these elements represent the fundamentals of the vault which are applicable to all vaulters ). Individual vaulters should then be allowed to extemporize on this theme ( develop their own solutions to specific execution based on their own instincts and natural tendencies while still adhering to universal fundamentals ).
This method for developing vaulting technique vs Petrov's is what is as issue here. Petrov's original model is very specific about how all the phases of the vault must be executed and that any deviation from this proscribed technique is considered flawed or inferior execution ( a view most notably held by Petrov's many advocates on this site ). So people like Launder claim that any vaulter who uses a tuck and shoot action for instance, is using flawed technique ( read his book ), while at the same time using Gilblisco as a good example of the P/B model!!? Further , that this model represents ideal technique ( which is beyond all doubt ) and that all vaulters must strive to master it. This is tyrannical idiocy.
I do not know for sure how Petrov designed his original model. Launder claimed he looked at who he thought the best technical vaulters were and used this as a basis for developing his original model. If so this represents cherry picking data. I read a quote by Tim McMichael in which he said one of Petrov's key insights was that fiberglass vaulters should take off the same as the best rigid pole vaulters. This makes alot of sense in regards to where the free-take off concept came from. But it makes no mechanical sense to use a rigid pole style take off using bending poles. If you want to fully exploit the benefits of bending poles the take off action must be modified to do so ( as well as many other elements of technique ).
Of course the real irony here is that you have the coach of the world record holder saying he believes in individualizing all vaulter's technique and he does not follow any technical model. In addition he says that Petrov agrees with him! Yet nobody on this site seems to take this seriously!!!

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Re: D'Encausse on ideal technique

Unread postby KirkB » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:15 am

david bussabarger wrote: Of course the real irony here is that you have the coach of the world record holder saying he believes in individualizing all vaulter's technique and he does not follow any technical model. In addition he says that Petrov agrees with him!

David, much of your post is a boring rehash of what you've said many times before, so I will comment only on your last paragraph ...

I think you need to consider the possibility that:

(1) Petrov and D'Encausse are both excellent coaches of elite vaulters, and their mutual respect and personal relationship with each other is more important than entering into a public debate with each other re whose technique is most optimal.

(2) Petrov had his day, and now it's D'Encausse's time to shine in the world spotlight. Petrov is courteous enough to his fellow coach that he's not about to take this away from him by starting an argument.

(3) We have already seen an example of D'Encausse and Lavillenie giving flippant answers to reporters' questions. I'm thinking of when they were in Southern California earlier this year (quoted on PVP if anyone cares to search for it).

(4) Petrov and D'Encausse could care less about the media (compared to enjoying each other's company), and instead are quite willing to make a joke of any serious questions posed of them as they attend the same media interview. Yes, we would all like to know their honest answers to these questions, but they're not about to jeopardize their personal relationship for our sake. They're happy to just leave us guessing.

This is of course my own conjecture, but I think it's quite plausible. At the very least, it's obvious (to me at least) that neither one is willing to be 100% candid with the media. Otherwise, their candid comments would be quoted by now.

Also remember that English is a second language to both of them (if at all), so it would likely take a French AND an Russian interviewer to get detailed, serious answers from them.

Yet nobody on this site seems to take this seriously!!!

So you're right, I'm NOT taking their comments seriously.

I don't know why D'Encausse would say that he doesn't follow any technical model. I don't believe that - of course he does! He just hasn't given it a name, and he just hasn't gone public with it (unlike Petrov)!

You need only look at D'Encausse's history as a coach to see commonalities between how he coaches each one. I don't have the inside knowledge to do this, but I'm willing to bet that you'll find commonalities. These commonalities are his technical model! And yes, he will adjust it (stylistically) to match the unique attributes of his vaulters (RL is a short, 150 lb vaulter), but the core of his technical model will persist.

There is one more consideration ...

D'Encausse only recently took over the coaching role for RL, whereas Petrov coached SB from an early age, but Petrov became Giuseppe Gibilisco's coach only a couple years (at most) before the 2003 WC, which he won. So comparing D'Encausse and RL to Petrov and GG might be a more fair comparison (with consideration that it's not only difficult but also inadvisable for a coach to change too much of a vaulters technique in the latter stages of their career).

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Re: D'Encausse on ideal technique

Unread postby PVstudent » Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:23 am

david bussabarger wrote:But it makes no mechanical sense to use a rigid pole style take off using bending poles. If you want to fully exploit the benefits of bending poles the take off action must be modified to do so ( as well as many other elements of technique ).


David do you actually believe your own statement here?

Can you answer the questions I posed so that we can avoid argument about the scientific method which I can see to be a waste of time.

For the purpose of giving clarity to your argument against the use by coaches of " an idealised technical model of the event" in guiding their craft your answers will be of more interest than your particular view of how science is conducted and about which we are clearly not going to agree.

Keep your answers specifically to what you do and advocate. This along with how you evaluate progression / or lack thereof with vaulters in real life will give substantiating power to your argument.

Having done this, then you might have some chance of convincing practitioner coaches that there is merit in your quite fascinating claims in regard to coaching pole vault.

Until the questions are answered I will remain mute but will not hold my breathe!
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