Placement vs. Pressure

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Re: Placement vs. Pressure

Unread postby Colbyc63 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:07 pm

Just wanted to say that I love that vid and have watched it like every day the last few months :dazed: ;)
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Re: Placement vs. Pressure

Unread postby david bussabarger » Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:30 pm

Kirk,
Even if Pennel stated he pushed out with the lower arm during the take off the visual evidence disputes this. Just compare his lower arm action and positioning with any modern vaulter who truly stiff arms the pole ( the 2015 version of Lavillenie is a good example ). Vaulters often try to do things technically and fail to actually do them. So just because Pennel said he tried to push with the lower arm during the take off doesn't mean he succeeded in doing it. You have a consistent pattern of ignoring empirical evidence. Unfortunately I can see that this discussion has, as usual, devolved to the pointless level of ad hominem attacks and so will discontinue my input at this time.

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Re: Placement vs. Pressure

Unread postby KirkB » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:14 pm

david bussabarger wrote: Even if Pennel stated he pushed out with the lower arm during the take off the visual evidence disputes this. Just compare his lower arm action and positioning with any modern vaulter who truly stiff arms the pole ( the 2015 version of Lavillenie is a good example ). Vaulters often try to do things technically and fail to actually do them. So just because Pennel said he tried to push with the lower arm during the take off doesn't mean he succeeded in doing it. You have a consistent pattern of ignoring empirical evidence. Unfortunately I can see that this discussion has, as usual, devolved to the pointless level of ad hominem attacks and so will discontinue my input at this time.

Now I've heard everything. We're dying to hear from RL on what his INTENT is (to put some issues at rest, but we don't have anyone close enough to him to tell us), but in this case we have POSITIVE EVIDENCE that John Pennel pushed with his bottom arm (from Craig Botakatobi, from Dr. Richard Ganslen, and from John Pennel himself), and STILL it's disputed what he's actually doing.

This is why this issue will never be put to rest. :confused: :dazed:

BTW David, I'm not attacking you, and I'm sorry you're interpreting it that way. Again, another example of a misinterpretation of someone's INTENT. What I mean to say (without picking on you specifically) is that people form opinions, and then argue the facts that support those opinions. It's not you, it's people in general (including myself). It's human nature. So don't take it so personally.

I too could argue that you're flaming me by saying that I "have a consistent pattern of ignoring empirical evidence". But I won't, because I take what Pennel said to at least two independent, reliable people as gospel over reverse-engineering PV vids.

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Re: Placement vs. Pressure

Unread postby david bussabarger » Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:15 am

Kirk,
I cannot help myself and forced to make another comment, which I hope will be my last. Ever hear the saying actions speak louder than words? Our basic disagreement centers on do you trust objective visual analysis ( what scientists call empirical evidence ) or personal claims by individuals involved. I say all you have to do is to objectively look at Pennel's lower arm action and positioning during the take off to see that it obviously collapses and therefore puts little if any pressure on the pole. You prefer to rely on individual claims and ignore empirical evidence. I hate to think of the state of knowledge in this world if everyone followed your method ( we would still be in the pre-scientific dark ages ). No offense intended.

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Re: Placement vs. Pressure

Unread postby KirkB » Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:50 am

As I've already said, vids can be deceptive. We don't need to argue about this any more, because we already knew many years ago that some people (like me) rely on athletes telling us what they're doing (or have done), and other people reverse-engineer vids and THINK they know what the athlete did.

If John Pennel said he pushed with his bottom arm, then he pushed with his bottom arm. It's not even him just stating his INTENT. It's him stating what he DID.

Or are you suggesting that Pennel literally didn't know what he was doing? :confused: That he thought he was pushing but he really wasn't? :confused:

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Re: Placement vs. Pressure

Unread postby KirkB » Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:25 am

This is a direct quote from page 32 of Dr. Richard Ganslen's book "Mechanics of the Pole Vault" 8th edition 1973:

... the swing or hang technique of John Pennel who, at take-off, shows a distinct turning away from the cross bar of the right shoulder at the termination of the plant and a pronounced application of pressure to the pole with the left arm while he CONTINUES TO HANG VERY LOW ON THE POLE."

The capitalization is Ganslen's; the underlining is mine.

So, in addition to what Pennel says himself about what he intentionally does (or did), Ganslen's own first-hand "objective visual analysis (empirical evidence)" is that he applies pressure (he pushes) with his bottom arm.

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Re: Placement vs. Pressure

Unread postby IAmTheWalrus » Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:08 pm

do you trust objective visual analysis ( what scientists call empirical evidence )


I have two problems with this:

1) If we only trusted what we could see, we would definitely be in the scientific dark ages. Most modern science is centered around testing hypothesis for things we can't directly observe with our eyes. We can't see x-rays, electrons, quarks, the Higgs Boson, most gases, etc. This isn't really relevant to the discussion, I just wanted to address it quickly.

2) You are labeling your conclusion as empirical evidence. Empirical evidence is "his arm is bending" or "the distance between the vaulter and the pole is decreasing with time during the drive and swing phase." From this you can hypothesize that the vaulter is pulling, pushing, doing nothing, or some other option (rowing I guess?). Then you would have to test this somehow. Speaking with the vaulter would provide some support data, although you are correct in saying that the vaulter may be intending to do one thing when they prepare for their vault, but are unable to do it once they initiate the jump (keeping a straight trail leg was like this for me). In my opinion, the earlier in the vault, and the more direct the action, the more likely it is that the vaulter's actions match their intent (i.e. running with high knees is more likely than keeping the trail leg straight, due to it being earlier in the order of events, and I would surmise that bottom arm action, even though it occurs after the takeoff foot hits, is more likely to align with intent than one's takeoff step, since takeoff step is not directly controllable, it's the result of other factors).

In the case of bottom arm I think it's difficult to say for sure, since impact forces are likely much higher than any static force that can be produced by the upper body muscles. As a result I think that it's entirely possible that:
a) The vaulter is pushing into the pole but their arm has bent or is bending
b) The vaulter is pulling on the pole but their arm is extending or has extended
c) Either a or b is occurring but the vaulter is not voluntarily applying any pressure perpendicular to the length of the pole (pushing or pulling)

Below is a link to one of my jumps, and feel free to look at others on the channel. It may not be obvious to all what I'm doing with my left arm on all of these jumps based on observation, but I know in which direction I was applying pressure, and I know that I succeeded in doing so.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UR-m73mR6Ko

Overall, I'm not sure the matter of Mr. Pennel, makes much difference to the original poster's question, however I think that establishing the difference between empirical evidence, and an unverified hypothesis based on empirical evidence is important. After all, I can guarantee you that if I put 400 pounds on the bar and tried to bench press it, I would be pushing very very hard...despite the fact that the bar is plummeting down towards my chest.

Empirical evidence:
- The arm is bent or bending at time t

Unverified hypotheses
- He is not pushing
- He is pulling
- He is confused

Valid conclusion
- His arm is not straight or extended
-Nick

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Re: Placement vs. Pressure

Unread postby KirkB » Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:05 pm

Very good points, Nick. :yes:

In the years 1963-1970, Pennel held 3 ratified WRs (and at least 3 unratified WRs), ranging from about 16-3 to about 17-10.

A person of this calibre knows his body; knows his intent; and knows whether he's failing or succeeding in trying to achieve his intent. That's why I believe him when he says he was pushing with his bottom arm. If he was unable to achieve his intent, then he would have explained this to Ganslen or Botakatobi.

I quoted from the 1973 (8th) edition of "Mechanics of the Pole Vault". I'm still hoping that someone can dig up an earlier edition to find a more thorough expose of his technique. I'm quite sure that I read it back in my HS days.

Ganslen would have interviewed Pennel (or at least commented on his technique) in quite a number of his editions ranging from 1964-1971, I'm sure, just as he had in the 1973 (8th) edition that I quoted above.

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Re: Placement vs. Pressure

Unread postby PVstudent » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:05 pm

Thank you IAmTheWalrus for your succinct post on the interpretation of the visual evidence re lower arm pushing, pulling, apparent arm flexing, extending or remaining in a flexed or extended position during the culmination of the take-off into the first phase of pole support.

I endorse and commend you for your clear exposition of the operation of the scientific method and the making of hypotheses based on the empirical evidence (video/film recordings in this case) subjecting this evidence to critical analysis and the drawing of valid conclusions from such an analysis.

For the conclusions to be demonstrably valid they should also not go beyond the limitations of the evidentiary bases to which they refer.

"Reverse Engineering" based on misguided, though well intentioned, interpretation of the evidence results in faulty, unreliable performance and may on occasions also lead to threats to the safety of the vaulter.

What the lower arm actually does in the real world of pole vaulting performance is always the outcome of a host of causally linked interactions and as such will show inter and intra individual differences within and between pole vaulters and requires understanding within the context of the particular individual and the specific vault being subject to analysis.

Because many vaulters and their coaches have developed a lexicon of pole vault "Folk Physics" and locally understood jargon to describe and explain the what, how and why for the success they achieve in pole vaulting the role of the lower arm will remain an arcane topic. As long as this state of affairs continues, and it will, coherent and sensible discourse on the matter will be difficult if not impossible.

Despite the stimulating introduction to the thread the issue cannot, in my view, be resolved until there is clear definition of terms, identification of the parameters to be used and restriction of the scope of the discussion to clear and specific examples of the lower arm actions in "elite?" male and female vaulters.

Again I appeal to contributors to put up the visual evidence as IAmTheWalrus has done to make their points of view clear to us.

Thank you to IAmTheWalrus, Kirk, David and the originator of the thread for your contributions to this latest discussion.
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Re: Placement vs. Pressure

Unread postby Soar Like an Eagle » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:28 pm

John Pennel from the videos I have watched looks like he takes off six to eight inches under his top hand leads with his chest lower arm comes in at the plant, probably because of the metal pole vaulting days, continues to apply aggressive pressure with his top hand swinging on the pole which allows him to get a three to four foot push off. The bottom arm may be applying pressure on the pole during the swing and/or opening because the pole is bending. John probably held 14’6” give or take a couple of inches and jumped 17’6”. Whatever he was doing, was working. David Butler has an excellent Facebook page that has an assortment of illustrations, pictures and videos. In my opinion, I think we can really learn a great deal from previous generations, as well as the present generations of jumpers with their style of jumps.

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Re: Placement vs. Pressure

Unread postby david bussabarger » Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:19 pm

Walrus... you make a valid point that it is impossible know for sure what Pennel was doing with his lower arm during the take off. I think an important factor to consider in this matter is Pennel's plant. He used what I would call a modified stiff pole underhanded plant. That is he moved the pole in one continuous motion from behind his body to a position slightly above and ahead of his head, but had very little, if any, upward lower hand shift. His completed low and forwardly shifted plant position would make it very difficult to effectively apply lower arm pressure against the pole during the take off. Also because of the action /reaction principle Pennel's forwardly shifted planting action typically caused both his arms to snap back very quickly during the take off ( which would also tend to indicate that he did not achieve much, if any lower arm pressure on the pole during the take off ).
I agree that this discusion diverges from the original topic but Bryde brought up it and I think his position that statements given by Pennel, Ganslen, etc... alone prove his point is absurd.

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Re: Placement vs. Pressure

Unread postby KirkB » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:44 pm

Bussabarger, we're talking past each other. We cannot have an honest discussion if you refuse to answer my questions.

I asked you:
KirkB wrote: If John Pennel said he pushed with his bottom arm, then he pushed with his bottom arm. It's not even him just stating his INTENT. It's him stating what he DID.

Or are you suggesting that Pennel literally didn't know what he was doing? :confused: That he thought he was pushing but he really wasn't? :confused:

Instead of answering these questions, you only stated that ...
david bussabarger wrote: I agree that this discussion diverges from the original topic but Bryde brought up it and I think his position that statements given by Pennel, Ganslen, etc... alone prove his point is absurd.

The words are yours; the underlines are mine.

Bussabarger, if you answer my questions honestly, we might get to the heart of this issue.

You continue to use words like "prove" to state your opinion, despite being chastised by Walrus and PVStudent for drawing conclusions when no such conclusions are proven.

And you continue to characterize my documented evidence (that Pennel said he pushed, therefore he pushed) as "absurd", yet you have not proven any "absurdity" by any scientific means; you have only made an unsubstantiated claim of absurdity. That is ONLY your opinion - it is not a scientifically proven fact.

It appears that you will be unswayed until someone digs up an interview of John Pennel by Dr. Richard Ganslen from one of the first 7 editions of "Mechanics of the Pole Vault".

Or will a documented and published self-analysis in Pennel's own words still not convince you that he pushed with his bottom arm? :confused:

I don't agree that discussing Pennel's technique is off-topic. It is validating the point that this issue will never be resolved, because people talk past each other instead of relying on science and documented first-hand reports from subjects. (Yes, documented first-hand reports are scientific evidence!) :idea:

Kirk
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