Vaulter "getting stuck", not finishing swing

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theczar
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Vaulter "getting stuck", not finishing swing

Unread postby theczar » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:52 am

Hey guys

I'm coaching a vaulter (16yo, ~5'11", ~160lbs) and he's been vaulting about a year, once or twice a week. The pole he's using is a 13'6" 160. The pole is too soft but it is the only one we have.

I seem to have hit a road block in coaching him. As you can see in the video, his hips are getting stuck below his shoulders.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfEoPdDm ... e=youtu.be

This is what I've tried so far to fix it:
- Raise the bungee higher and higher, trying to force the swing to completion to get his ankles into the bungee - no deal. Gets stuck with hips and shoulders in line, feet at top of the pole (seated position, back parallel to ground). Can't get him to extend up, he just falls from that position.
- Pool vaulting: underwater drills to train him to swing past the pole, and keep his hips moving and extend up the pole. Does fine underwater, seems to understand the technique, can't replicate on a jump
- Kips/Bubkas on a bar: Lacks core strength, can do one or two (barely)
- "Pop-up" stiff pole drills. Can't break his elbow in to move past the pole, still gets stuck.

I know there is much to work on for him, mainly the flat takeoff, and more importantly (IMO) the drive phase.

I need some advice on how to get him to finish his swing, and keep his hips moving up the pole?

Thanks!

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KirkB
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Re: Vaulter "getting stuck", not finishing swing

Unread postby KirkB » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:00 am

theczar wrote: ... Kips/Bubkas on a bar: Lacks core strength, can do one or two (barely)

If he can barely do a kip or a Bubka, then it's not at all surprising that he can't swing properly on the pole. More highbar work will improve his core strength. Assuming that he's sufficiently motivated to improve his PR, he should also do ~50 situps every morning or every night before he goes to bed. Or as part of his warm-down after practice (this is more important during the off-season than in-season). Once his core strength and swing improves, everything will feel much easier for him.

He also looks uncomfortable getting upside down on the pole (else he would swing further). More highbar work will improve his comfort of being upside down on the pole too.

You have named this thread "Re: Vaulter "getting stuck", not finishing swing". The emphasis should be on the START of the swing - not the FINISHING of the swing. If you START swinging quickly with a long trail leg (after takeoff/stretch), then you will FINISH without "getting stuck". i.e. Don't try to fix the top half of his vault. Instead, fix the bottom half, and the top half will be a piece of cake! :idea:

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

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theczar
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Re: Vaulter "getting stuck", not finishing swing

Unread postby theczar » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:32 am

You bring up a good point, can't expect a proper top end when the first half needs work. Thanks, Kirk.

Until then, high bar work it is!

Any other suggestions?

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Re: Vaulter "getting stuck", not finishing swing

Unread postby CoachEric » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:05 pm

I'll elaborate on Kirk's point about starting the swing correctly. Your vaulter cannot swing because the swing is broken from the very beginning. He plants with the bottom arm in close to his body, and pulls right off the ground in an effort to make the hips move. This stops the pole from rotating to the back of the pit, and breaks the line of the body, killing the swing.

Have him work on straight pole drills without swinging. Try to get him to take off with both arms as extended as possible, and allowing the arms to go "elastic," letting the hands travel up back and over the head. This will keep the hips from going quickly past the pole. Look for tension in the shoulders at the moment he takes off when doing this drill. He is definitely going to be tense, and what you want to see instead is for the shoulders to open as pole tip hits the box and the vaulter takes off. For him, I would try not to use the terminology "drive phase," because he doesn't need to be "driving" hard into the vault. He needs to be open and relaxed and extended and elastic. Try using that instead, with a focus on rotating the pole upward instead of driving straight ahead at it.

Also, do not do any more "pool vaulting." That drill teaches vaulters to pull and muscle themselves to inversion instead of swinging. That's probably why he can't straight pole correctly, because he thinks it should be similiar, and it's not. He is having trouble getting inverted on a straight pole because he drives his hands down and tries to muscle the swing. The hands and elbows have to stay above the head in order to swing. Swinging on a rope is a much better drill.


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