Enloe11 wrote: so say I need to be taking off at 13', but I'm taking off at about 11'8. I should get some thing to put on the run way so that I can mentally put my foot down and jump. I've done this before so I wouldn't care if it's a shoe or foam board. Should I put the edge of the shoe about 12'6 so i'll have room if i go a little over? cause i don't want to get rejected because i don't hit a plant because i'm taking off so far out.
Don't use a shoe. Besides the safety factor, it will cause you to focus TOO MUCH on hitting your mark --- even to the point of looking down at the shoe to make sure you don't step on it. So don't do that. As said by myself and others above, the shoe idea is a bad, bad, bad idea.
So that's what NOT to do.
As far as WHAT to do ...
Foam is OK --- the lighter the better (in case you step on it, it should be no danger whatsoever). A thin layer of plasticine (used in LJ), or even a sheet of 8.5" x 11" paper taped to the runway (but make sure you use spikes --- even on your shortest runups --- as you will slip on paper with flats) might be even better. It's better because you will see your mark AFTER your jump (when you walk out of the pit and check it). Change paper sheets frequently. Spotters are often used to "catch your takeoff
", but even the best spotter can forget or can make a mistake, so seeing a visible imprint on the paper (or plasticine or foam) is even better. If your coach is spotting, this allows your coach to watch your entire vault, without missing it becuz he's spotting.
So now that we've established what NOT to do, and WHAT to do, the third thing is to just focus on your run cadence --- no chopping and no overstriding. What you need is consistency, and you need this consistency on each and every jump attempt.
When striving for consistency, don't go all-in on just your long run with stiffest pole. Keep your eyes focussed straight ahead (don't look down). Develop your consistency over time, starting with a lighter pole and shorter runup. Work up gradually.
If you find that you're overstriding or chopping, then go back to a lighter pole and shorter runup GRADUALLY until it's consistent again, then GRADUALLY move back up to a heavier pole and longer runup. Do this, and you should NOT have any fear of getting rejected by the pole. This all has to do with the theory of incremental (gradual) improvement. It's abrupt changes that cause rejection; gradual changes aren't as abrupt, so won't cause nearly as much rejection (except for the odd jump when your cadence is way off for some strange reason).
The name of the game is consistency in your cadence. You should FEEL this consistency without any regard to whether you think you're under or out on takeoff. You don't have to look down at the paper (or plasticine or foam) while you're planting. You can just check it AFTER your jump. That's key.
To answer your latest question, place the sheet of paper (or plasticine or foam) so that it will catch your footprint no matter if you're in or out. Then adjust your next jump from there (comparing where you took off from with your ideal takeoff point --- which you will have marked with a line of tape).