Help Me.

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: Help Me.

Unread postby cdmilton » Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:01 pm

PV Student, please share here what your thoughts are as I would like to hear what you have to say and I am sure others will also benefit as well.
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Re: Help Me.

Unread postby david bussabarger » Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:40 pm

Tim,
I know every body on this site will disagree, but did you ever consider leaving her take point where she naturally takes off from and work on improving her general take off mechanics. A point of fact is most elite male vaulters ( 5.80 plus vaulters ) take off under. Both Issy and Suhr take off under. My personal experience with coaching is that one of the worst mistakes you can make is to try to change a vaulters natural take off point, particularly dramatically.

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Re: Help Me.

Unread postby Tim McMichael » Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:34 pm

david bussabarger wrote:Tim,
I know every body on this site will disagree, but did you ever consider leaving her take point where she naturally takes off from and work on improving her general take off mechanics. A point of fact is most elite male vaulters ( 5.80 plus vaulters ) take off under. Both Issy and Suhr take off under. My personal experience with coaching is that one of the worst mistakes you can make is to try to change a vaulters natural take off point, particularly dramatically.


I understand your point, but what you are seeing on the video is where she is taking off without any artificial manipulation. This is where she will take off if I don't say a word about it.

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Re: Help Me.

Unread postby PVstudent » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:52 am

Here is the pm correspondence between myself and Tim McMichael as requested by PDMilton (Coach Milton pm me with your e-mail address and I will post the PDF file to you).

Hi Tim,
Emily has a problem with initiating the plant that, in my view, is the cause of her difficulty in initiating swing upon take-off.
She commences the plant by "cocking" ie hyper-flexing her right wrist whilst supporting and turning the pole. The left open hand merely counterbalances this action. Because the pole is at the horizontal at about this time she counters the pole torque by 1.Excessive turn to the left and 2 .Leaning shoulders back by extending the upper spine torso to the rear, as she starts the plant.
Consequently the action of the top grip (LEFT) arm as it moves to the overhead position moves upward and backwards instead of upwards and forward above the hairline to the front of the head. (She covers her left ear whilst the elbow of her left arm is still quite flexed which results in both arms being very unstable at pole impact).
When the contact with the runway by the take-off (right) foot occurs the hands are high but too far back instead of helping the shoulders to travel forward slightly ahead of the toes by mid take-off ground contact.
Despite her take-off foot being positioned perfectly for executing a "free take-off" Emily's inertia during the propulsion phase of the take-off ground contact accelerates her lower torso and pelvis forwards relative to the pole impulse oppositely directed at her hands and with her foot grounded.
Unfortunately I am unable to attach the images I have prepared which makes this clear. I suggest you use the slow motion feature on Emily's latest video on YouTube and watch the plant initiation through the take-off to maximum moment of inertia about the top hand.

If Emily uses a fractionally earlier plant initiation (pole above horizontal) uses the top grip (left) hand to turn the pole in the (right) Pivot hand as it moves slightly forward and upward (rather than right hand trying to hold the pole up counterbalanced by the left hand v grip) and turning side on (to her LEFT) with the trunk she will be in a much more effective front on posture in the take-off.

It is difficult to tell from the videos but I think I detect that Emily is carrying the pole too far laterally on her LEFT side. This also makes plant initiation and control effort large, slow and awkward.

I wish I could get the visuals uploaded to clarify what I'm suggesting.

Your work on the run up and plant with encouraging upspring take-off will get the result you are after.
Kind regards,
PV student

Sent: Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:57 am
From: Tim McMichael
To: PVstudent
Yes. Yes. Yes! Something has been bothering me about her plant initiation from the start. I'm kind of shocked I didn't see it for the decisive factor that it is. I think the fact that she is comfortable taking off in the right place blinded me. I do remember taking a hard look at what was bothering me a few months ago and thinking that since her step had come out to where I wanted that I should leave well enough alone and look for other things more urgent to work on. The main one being her swing. Which is why I have been beating my head against a wall for so long. This issue may also be why getting her bottom elbow out of the way has helped. It lets her shoulders go forward more, somewhat mitigating the effects that you describe.

This is made much more difficult by her psychology. She does NOT respond well to specific instructions and freezes up when I give her a discrete element to work on. She only responds to broad generalizations such as...Be taller.....Let the pole fall into the box without weighing on your hands. Any ideas that might help here? I am absolutely sure you have nailed the problem. Now how to correct it......Arrrrrrrrgh!!!!!

Case Study and comparison: Emily and Anika Becker
Sent: Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:09 am
From: grandevaulter
To: PVstudent
Case sudy Emily https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=992tcZOHuAk Film source Tim Mc Micheal
I'm probably just pointing out the obvious.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UmKMrtcDbg Film Source John Gormley

Re: Help Me.
Sent: Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:19 pm
From: Tim McMichael
To: PVstudent

We worked on simply keeping the bottom hand open and up a little longer and bringing that hand back towards the midline of her body at the start of her run. It worked like magic. She had a little trouble with consistency on her step, but she made 13' from five lefts. That's only 2" under her lifetime best. Thank you so much! You are a life saver!

Re: Help Me.
Sent: Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:17 am
From: PVstudent
To: Tim McMichael

Great news!
Well done to both of you.
I am sending the visuals as a PDF file to you later today. I am delighted you have had some success.
I have had a pm from CDMilton to post on your thread what I suggested to you.
If you agree, I would like to simply copy our communications (without the e-mail addresses or personal identity stuff on them) and post them on your Help Me thread.
Since I cannot get my attachments up on PVP I request your permission to send a copy of the visuals PDF file to CDMilton.
I am so pleased for you and Emily and now that you have had some success suggest she will be soon ready to improve her plant initiation even more by having a higher preliminary pole carry with the pole slightly angled slightly to the RIGHT of her midline. From this slight adjustment she will be easily convinced as to how much easier it becomes to plant and arrive at the take-off toe-off position with shoulders over, or slightly in advance of ,the toes. Emily, when this occurs, will have much better horizontal inertia conversion to upwards spring velocity. She will automatically find herself able to swing freely and not experience so much concern with failing the take-off and landing in the box.
Great work Tim.
Kindest regards
PV student

Re: Help Me.
Sent: Thu Apr 02, 2015 8:33 pm
From: Tim McMichael
To: PVstudent
Feel free to use any of our correspondence in the Help Me thread. I am so grateful for your help. I'm kicking myself for not taking this to the PvP community earlier. We are working on getting her bottom hand more centered. Even on her worst jumps she is able to swing now and has not mentioned fear of landing in the box since we started focusing on her right hand position. I never cease to be amazed at how these small differences have such a huge impact.

Words extracted from the PDF file with the images I sent to Tim.

The illustration above indicates the problem that Emily is having in (a) initiating trail leg swing (b) being held momentarily in lower limb and Pelvic girdle “stasis”. The consequent effect on pole bend and reduction in pole bend penetration is clearly evident. The take-off location, for the grip selected on the pole, is the theoretical ideal! However the take-off dynamic postural change is, due to insufficient horizontal inertia conversion to vertical velocity, less than ideal with the hip /pelvic region advanced forward excessively with respect to the pole grips and the take-off foot ground contact.
These factors are the symptoms of faulty execution in the pole plant. It is necessary therefore to examine the pole plant more closely.

The next illustrations shows the core causal issue for Emily’s problems and insecurity in the early swing phase of pole support.

The pole plant initiation has 3 major technical errors stemming from the first error: (1) the pole angle is much too low to initiate the plant using the pole angular momentum (2) due to 1 the pivot hand is too far in front of the chest and too low (3) the pivot hand is lifting the pole fulcrum upwards (4) the hyper-flexed “cocked” wrist and finger grip of the pivot hand are simultaneously turning the pole about its longitudinal axis.

There is another error occurring prior to the plant initiation giving rise to the execution errors identified. In the first section of her approach run Emily carries the pole primarily in vertical fore aft plane through her left shoulder. The pole “Tip” and the pole shaft should appear to be directed slightly diagonally across her upper body such that the pole tip lies in the vertical fore aft plane projected through her right shoulder. Her left hand and not her right should be responsible for initiating the plant and in turning the pole along its longitudinal axis.

Correcting the problems in the plant initiation will pay big dividends in the final dynamic posture achieved by Emily at toe-off in the culmination of the take-off ground contact. Also it will assist in maintaining more run up generated momentum.

The effects of the plant initiation problems can be seen in backward lean in the upper body, hips advancing further forward than the top grip hand before take-off is completed. In the sequential video frames the consequences for Emily are such that she has (1) 3 video frame delay before initiating the trail leg swing (2) due to closing off the hips to top grip angle the effective swing amplitude is reduced and 3 frames later has commenced flexing at the hips (3) 1 and 2 result in less effective pole chord rotation and an early pole recoil before Emily can invert and cover the pole.

The consequences of Emily’s take-off are to (1) reduction in range of trail leg swing angle (2) closing off of the top arm torso and pole chord angle causes early shift of the primary rotation axis to the hips (3) early arrival into the “shoulder to hip segment achieving the horizontal position parallel to the runway” which occurs above the leading edge of the planting box (scary if there is no swing left to help achieve the completion of inversion and Emily has to rely solely on the POWER (Force / Torque x Velocity/Angular Velocity) of her lower arm “Pull” on the pole!).

( Comment on Exemplar sequence stills from Annika Becker Take-off. Thank you Grandevaulter for reminding me of another great "Lefty" vaulter an excellent technical model for Emily to emulate).
Note how Annika rotates about the fore foot yet maintains body alignment without excessive advance of the pelvic-hip area in advance of the shoulders. In the final frame shown the pole has struck the rear wall of the box as indicated by the simultaneous driving of BOTH arms in the opposite direction to her forward and upward momentum.
Annika’s dynamic postural alignment at the instant of take-off:
(1) Optimizes height of her COM at take-off
(2) Increases the potential swing angular range and amplitude (leg length) of the trail leg
(3) Permits the lead leg increased range of hip flexion and thus propulsion range of force application to the COM upwards and thereby increases the angle of projection
(4) Moves the chord of the pole with greater acceleration about the pole tip from a greater pole chord ground angle to the runway
(5) Maintains action line of the take-off net impulse primarily in the fore-aft (sagittal) plane of motion minimizing momentum losses in out of sagittal plane misdirected propulsive forces and torques.
(6) Enables Annika, by means of the greater verticality of her torso, to have a larger range of top grip arm angular range during the trail leg swing before the shoulder advance is decelerated and the primary axis of motion changes from the wrists to the shoulders and hips. It also delays the time at which the “breaking of the hips” occurs and thus can continue to propel the pole chord closer to the plane of the crossbar before maximum pole bend occurs.

This process brings home the importance of not just focusing on the fault/s that occurs which should be understood, in most cases, as presenting symptoms of a preceding cause or causes. Coaching diagnosis is an art relying on experience and acquired visual memories and cognitive understandings from that experience.
Coaching elite and talented athletes in Pole Vault is not for neophytes because it requires empirical knowledge, understanding and the wisdom to search for solutions to problems by looking for answers in the most probable places.

Congratulations to Tim and Emily on making progress!
Every new opinion at its starting, is precisely a minority of one!

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Tim McMichael
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Re: Help Me.

Unread postby Tim McMichael » Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:41 pm

This thread also illustrates how theory and practice can come together. Thank you everyone who contributed to this thread and helped me begin to resolve this issue. The future of a very talented young woman is a lot brighter today and my coaching has improved because of your efforts.

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Re: Help Me.

Unread postby ADTF Academy » Sun Apr 19, 2015 1:25 pm

No hard data was given on her just please help me.

Please correct the following assumptions off the video of the 13' make...

10' Take off
Is it a 13' or 13'7 pole
so 12'4 or 13' grip
so 11'8 or 12'4 effective grip
for a 13'1 make
meaning 9" to 1'4" push..

Excellent IMO.

What is her speed on the runway in m/s. Do you know it?
My rough guess is she went 16' to 10' for last step putting her near a 3.70 stride length and modest turnover of .48 so velocity near = 7.70 m/s

What is her body weight and what weight rating/flex is that pole?

Is she jumping on 10 pounds over, 20 pounds over or 30 pounds over her body weight?

Is she a long jumper or hurdler?

We can sit here and break down 100 little things she does wrong just to micro management style or we can look at the flow of the vault and get the biggest bang for the buck.

Personally speaking if you want the biggest bang for the buck based on her current ability and progression not only on the immediate level but future improvement for her on the college level raise her grip and come close to capping that pole. The pole is barely bending not allowing her to load it completely. IMO she is coming off the ground and loading the swing quite well, yeah not perfect, but realistically speaking it is very well done. There are very few delays or hitches in the jump, it flows. When she reaches the top of the jump the shape of the pole is not open enough to allow her the opportunity to lock into the top of the jump without destroying the flow of her jump. The longer and bigger the pole the woman get on the more detrimental and important this point is. When on 13' poles or smaller locking in the top of the jump is easy any woman can do it. When they start moving to longer and longer poles this because harder. It is way many of the elite woman don't look like they have that great of tops to their jump. The pressures being put on them are almost too much if there isn't enough shape to the pole bend by the time they reach what I refer to is the U position or flat back. Her turn timing is excellent IMO and thus the lack of full inversion photo won't be seen. If she stayed on her back to hit a photo inversion position her turn would be late and she would probably knock the bar off with her right hip (lefty).

In her case look which way the pole tip is facing. It is pointing significantly towards the sky. This will make it very tough on her. I think she is doing some great things. Sign her up immediately college coaches. This is a winner in my books unless her speed is 7.3 m/s range. :( I'd recruit her in a heart beat. If she can figure out 14' poles with the basic movements she has she will jump near 4.30 with the 7.7 m/s guess speed unless I am way off and she is near 7.3 m/s speed.

Keep her step raise her grip and let the pole open up more. If she can keep hitting it square like she is the space between her chest and the pole bend will open up naturally. Her bottom arm will move over her hand more and more and she will line up the bottom of the jump better. She is at that awkward grip height for that pole IMO. Move grip up 3-5" to near capping it you will see some fun things occurring. Hopefully she/you have the next poles in the progression.

If she is only on 13' pole stop trying to find cm's when you could be finding inches by progressing. Don't slow down the progression to perfect things yet. She can perfect them in college not high school. From my work with a few 14' plus woman if they come off the ground and the pole doesn't feel like it opens naturally the brain will tell them coming up short is possible. It doesn't matter where they end up in the end. It is the initial shock on impact. If the grip, pole and flex rating allow them to feel like they load it comfortably they will have less of the I'm going to come up short thoughts. Obviously this isn't every vaulter and some will just swing with no care in the world. Deal with what you get and can't treat them all the same.

Not sure any of this rambling helped.

Raise grip and allow pole to open up more. Hope you have next poles in the series she will need them as you watch her vault closer and closer to 14'.

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Re: Help Me.

Unread postby grandevaulter » Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:56 pm

ADTF Academy wrote:We can sit here and break down 100 little things she does wrong just to micro management style or we can look at the flow of the vault and get the biggest bang for the buck.

The cocked wrist that PVstudent pointed out that caused bottom arm to remain low into the plant seems to be the one out of hundred little things that would have the potential to improve the plant and take off.


ADTF Academy wrote:Sign her up immediately college coaches. This is a winner in my books unless her speed is 7.3 m/s range. I'd recruit her in a heart beat.
I think she is trying to keep her scholarship at the college she is at, it doesn't sound like she is high school anymore.

ADTF Academy wrote:Personally speaking if you want the biggest bang for the buck based on her current ability and progression not only on the immediate level but future improvement for her on the college level raise her grip and come close to capping that pole. The pole is barely bending not allowing her to load it completely. IMO she is coming off the ground and loading the swing quite well, yeah not perfect, but realistically speaking it is very well done. There are very few delays or hitches in the jump, it flows. When she reaches the top of the jump the shape of the pole is not open enough to allow her the opportunity to lock into the top of the jump without destroying the flow of her jump. The longer and bigger the pole the woman get on the more detrimental and important this point is. When on 13' poles or smaller locking in the top of the jump is easy any woman can do it. When they start moving to longer and longer poles this because harder. It is way many of the elite woman don't look like they have that great of tops to their jump. The pressures being put on them are almost too much if there isn't enough shape to the pole bend by the time they reach what I refer to is the U position or flat back. Her turn timing is excellent IMO and thus the lack of full inversion photo won't be seen. If she stayed on her back to hit a photo inversion position her turn would be late and she would probably knock the bar off with her right hip (lefty).

Jenn Suhr seems to grip down a foot on the pole she used to set the indoor record and not have the shape of the hoop interfere.

I'll have to read your post over, it seems that you have different and interesting ideas though.

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Re: Help Me.

Unread postby ADTF Academy » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:36 am

Jen is on 15'7 to 16'1 poles.

Jen grips above 15'. You can not compare gripping down on a 15'7 pole as the same as down on a13'1 pole. The interaction with the pole is massively different.


Opinions and thoughts are just that personal. Each athlete is different and there is no one answer to make someone jump higher. It's calculated adjustments. Fixing one thing won't ensure more height. Maybe a better look to the jump from personal opinion but not height. Feel free to pick apart and dissect my comments they were written in 3 mins cause I was bored at the airport. Perfecting small value added activities only add small improvements. They are vital in overall development but not the magic pill. Sorry it's voodoo magic. Improvements to plant will only lead to the pole being less effective. Improve plant yes and always but there has to be adjustments to the tools being used as she becomes better at execution. Can't sit on same poles and hope they will magically work better as the athlete is improving.

There is a reason the club or school with the most poles tends to produce better vaulters. They have the ability to make small adjustments in equipment as technique improves.

Adjustments in grip or flex if done safely and at the right time will allow the most potential for improvement. Right time and right direction is key. Must be able to load grip or flex correct to use the added potential. This athlete looks very safe and under control. Why slow her progression to fix tiny things when she can fix them as she progresses. Micro manage little movements over time. I have let to see the lets spend a year fixing this before we progress ever work beyond high school. Early college maybe. After college to develop a 4.30+ woman almost never.

I swore I saw a comment about needing to jump x to get money. If already in college than even more so running out of time to perfect things.

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Re: Help Me.

Unread postby ADTF Academy » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:41 am

Tim McMichael wrote: Her academic and athletic future is quite literally depending on figuring this out, and we are running out of time. Help help help help.



I guess I read this as she needs a scholarship.

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Re: Help Me.

Unread postby ADTF Academy » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:47 am

grandevaulter wrote:Jenn Suhr seems to grip down a foot on the pole she used to set the indoor record and not have the shape of the hoop interfere.

I'll have to read your post over, it seems that you have different and interesting ideas though.



Plus gripping down itself doesn't cause same things for everyone. Each vaulter is different. Jen grips down but bends the piss out of the pole so the loop or interaction with the pole is there. Sometimes it's not in the jumps I've seen live of her and video. The young lady in question does not and you can't compare the two directly.

It is obvious you do not exactly understand or have never noticed the top of the pole and how the pole interacts with the vaulter. Get your eyes off the way the vaulter looks and look at the way the pole and vaulter work together.

Oh well

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Re: Help Me.

Unread postby KirkB » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:46 pm

ADTF Academy wrote: It is obvious you do not exactly understand or have never noticed the top of the pole and how the pole interacts with the vaulter. Get your eyes off the way the vaulter looks and look at the way the pole and vaulter work together.

ADTF, I don't know you or Grandevaulter very well at all (I've never met either one of you), but as an outside observer (and with all due respect to Grandevaulter, who is a good coach), he tends to coach "by the book"; the BTB2 book, whereas you appear to have a wealth more experience, and you draw from your experience to coach each vaulter based more on your insights and their individual situations.

I have also refrained from providing any advice to Tim on this thread, because I think I know him much better than I know either of you two, and I know for a fact that he doesn't need my help - his coaching experience trumps mine by a long shot.

So thanks to both of you for helping my buddy Tim out where I can't.

Kirk
Last edited by KirkB on Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help Me.

Unread postby Tim McMichael » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:07 pm

Just to clarify what is happening in that jump. She is on a 13' 145. She is 5'7" and weighs 120. Her takeoff is just outside of 10'.

We are indeed looking for a home for her. She is not with a team right now and is attending a JUCO here in Oklahoma City. She will have three years of eligibility left after this year. The new early signing rule has us on the outside looking in right now. Too many schools have spent all their money, but I am burning the phone up trying to find her a place she can be happy and continue to improve.


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