Critique for vaulting above handgrip

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spencershade
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Critique for vaulting above handgrip

Unread postby spencershade » Tue May 17, 2016 7:21 pm

https://youtu.be/ZG8WW3daKOs

I have state this weekend I would like some help with my vault. I have some questions on my form and how to get complete inversion. I know my takeoff is under but I've been working on it and I'm taking off about 6" under rather that almost a foot and a half about a month ago.

1. When I see pros or vaulters jumping above their handgrips I see them literally riding the bend up for a spit second before they pull-turn-push. I don't understand how to get to that position I always get aaaaaaalmost vertical then I flag out right at the level of my top hand. How do I get my entire body going up like that?

2. My when I takeoff i whip my leg down hard but I can't avoid the "tuck" on the upswing. Does that affect my inversion a lot? I do bubkas A LOT and a lot of other core drills and workouts to get to inversion. A critique of my swing would be great just so I know what I'm doing right and wrong.

3. What does the bottom arm do? If i "press" I block my self from swing so it just try and apply pressure to get it above my head. Is this wrong or right and would could I do different.

4. At takeoff do I go onto my back too soon? I've heard you need to stay stiff and tall until your whip past the chord. Am I doing it right or am I too quick to get on my back?

5. Pole stiffness. I am 153 or so and I'm on a 165 UCS pole. Is it possible it's not stiff enough to get my over my grip or is it technique? Could it be a factor?

The list can go on and on so I will stop there but if there's anything else you would like to say then please do! I appreciate any help. And I have one last vault day until state and I would like to know why I should focus on the most? Of course I'm going to try and hit my takeoff mark more accurately some jumps I hit it spot on and I can't feel it because the swing feels so much faster. But any help is great, thanks!

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KirkB
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Re: Critique for vaulting above handgrip

Unread postby KirkB » Tue May 17, 2016 8:50 pm

Spencer, you keep asking very good questions, so I will keep trying to answer them. Forgive me if I repeat anything that I said in prior posts. If I do, it's because it's important.

I appreciate that you have just one more practice until the state championships, but any advice anyone gives you here (including mine) will require more practice than you have time for this week. However, it is what it is.

Before I try to answer your specific questions, what I see in your latest vid is an "under" takeoff. You say it's just 6", but from the way your top arm goes back behind your head, it sure looks like > 6" to me. I don't really care how many inches it is, what I care about (and what you should care about) is your body angle on takeoff. So as I said, your top arm is already "getting jerked" before you take off, and so your hips are likewise already getting jerked. Thus, you have no chance to JUMP and then swing "properly", with a downswing and then an upswing. Instead, you're getting jerked right into what I guess I would call an upswing. That is the fundamental reason why you're not able to swing all the way back, and extend straight up. I will advise you on some other things, but ultimately, this is the root cause of any flaws later in your vault.

Don't get me wrong - your plant and takeoff isn't terrible, it's just not as good as it could/should be. I think I've seen another vault of yours where you had better forward lean on takeoff (not sure). That's what you need to do - have a slight forward body lean on takeoff, and then jump into the vault from there. And to get that forward body lean, you need to take off from further out.

spencershade wrote: 1. When I see pros or vaulters jumping above their handgrips I see them literally riding the bend up for a spit second before they pull-turn-push. I don't understand how to get to that position I always get aaaaaaalmost vertical then I flag out right at the level of my top hand. How do I get my entire body going up like that?

It all starts with your plant and takeoff - and even before! :)

Don't be fooled into thinking that they're "riding the bend". They are NOT - or at least they shouldn't be. The best vaulters are always moving upwards - always - no pauses! If you don't see their hips moving, watch their trail leg. Something is ALWAYS moving (or should be).

I will say tho, that in this latest vid, you do look like you'll be extending straight up, but then (as you say) you flag out. This is simply a matter of physics. You flag out because the pole has lost it's forwards momentum. The only way (that I know of) to solve this is to lower your effective grip, in one of 2 ways. (1) Grip down a fist, so your pole will roll faster towards the pit, so then you can extend more straight up; or (2) use a lighter pole, which is similar to lowering your grip, because the increased bend reduces the length of the pole's chord. Thus it "lowers your effective grip". (1) is a lot easier than (2) - especially if you don't have a good selection of poles to use. But whichever way you solve this, you MUST land well into the pit, else your vault won't be safe and you'll lose confidence in landing safely.

spencershade wrote: 2. when I takeoff i whip my leg down hard but I can't avoid the "tuck" on the upswing. Does that affect my inversion a lot? I do bubkas A LOT and a lot of other core drills and workouts to get to inversion. A critique of my swing would be great just so I know what I'm doing right and wrong.

No, it's OK to tuck to salvage a "bad" vault, or a not-so-perfect vault. But it sounds like you're thinking about this the wrong way. As mentioned earlier, your "perfect vault" has already been lost on takeoff. So you need to do whatever it takes to salvage it. So don't worry about HOW you salvage it. It's OK to tuck (in this context), and it's OK to "row". I know my tagline says "there is no tuck", but I'm talking about optimal technique - you're not there yet, so don't worry about tucking or rowing just yet. Instead, work on your plant, takeoff, and stretch.

spencershade wrote: 3. What does the bottom arm do? If i "press" I block my self from swing so it just try and apply pressure to get it above my head. Is this wrong or right and would could I do different.

Your bottom arm doesn't have to do much at all, once you've stretched it up to get the tallest plant you possibly can. I personally would not call this a "press", and I definitely recommend against continuing this "reaching" after you've taken off. However, I have to disclose that I'm probably an extremist on this, and other very good coaches do recommend that you continue this "reach" or "press" a bit right after takeoff. I don't.

spencershade wrote: 4. At takeoff do I go onto my back too soon? I've heard you need to stay stiff and tall until your whip past the chord. Am I doing it right or am I too quick to get on my back?

Yes, you get jerked on takeoff, so you can't help it. You know the fix, and it's not to "stay stiff". Instead, it's to have an "on" (or even "out") takeoff, and jump into the pole with good forwards body lean.

spencershade wrote: 5. Pole stiffness. I am 153 or so and I'm on a 165 UCS pole. Is it possible it's not stiff enough to get over my grip or is it technique? Could it be a factor?

It's technique. I can't really say whether the pole is too stiff or not stiff enough. It looks OK to me. But if in doubt, lower your grip so that you can extend more straight up.

spencershade wrote: I have one last vault day until state and I would like to know why I should focus on the most? Of course I'm going to try and hit my takeoff mark more accurately ...

You can't really "cram" for this exam. Just get out there and try to hit your target takeoff point. Don't even worry about clearing any bars. Just build up your confidence a bit, and have a lighter practice than usual. Relax! You'll do fine!

I recommend that you get a good night's sleep the night before the competition.

spencershade wrote: ... some jumps I hit it spot on and I can't feel it because the swing feels so much faster.

:yes:

That's the feeling that you should visualize - whether you actually hit that sweet spot in your last practice or not - just visualize it. Even by doing run-thrus (not even leaving the ground). Just try to hit your mark. Then, during the meet, you'll have plenty of confidence to hit your mark. :idea:

Kirk
Last edited by KirkB on Tue May 17, 2016 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Run. Plant. Jump. Stretch. Whip. Extend. Fly. Clear. There is no tuck! THERE IS NO DELAY!

spencershade
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Re: Critique for vaulting above handgrip

Unread postby spencershade » Tue May 17, 2016 9:13 pm

Thanks Kirk! I appreciate your responses. I think you've fully engraved the plant and takeoff in my mind since I've joined this site. But I get it... It's just a lot easier to read than do. I will just work jumping into a tall straight takeoff my next practice to prep for my meet. I have one last question though, If I were to get that perfect takeoff where I am tall with a straight body what will it feel like to be "stretched" with chest forward in the "C" position? Am I at all at this position even though I'm getting picked off the ground?

Thanks again!

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KirkB
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Re: Critique for vaulting above handgrip

Unread postby KirkB » Tue May 17, 2016 9:32 pm

spencershade wrote: ... If I were to get that perfect takeoff where I am tall with a straight body what will it feel like to be "stretched" with chest forward in the "C" position? Am I at all at this position even though I'm getting picked off the ground?

No, I don't think you're hitting this position. I think you'll feel it when you hit it. You're getting close, but you're not there yet.

Instead of just looking at Bubka for a visualization, here's a pic of Paul Burgess - on page three. http://www.polevaultpower.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11053&start=24
Also read Altius' post just before this pic.

I think Burgess' takeoff is a good mental model for you to have on what an ideal takeoff should look like. And what Paul does immediately after this is to (1) stretch; and (2) swing. These 2 next steps are ALMOST simultaneous, but are sequential.

i.e. You must stretch before you swing, but you should not pause in the stretch. So as long as you drive your chest forwards and up, and then IMMEDIATELY swing, you'll have it. :idea:

Good luck!

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

spencershade
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Re: Critique for vaulting above handgrip

Unread postby spencershade » Wed May 18, 2016 6:12 pm

Alright Kirk I think I'm starting to understand it. I will do a couple of takeoffs tomorrow to try and takeoff on my mark. What I want to work on for my first college season is a powerful run and takeoff to hit that stretch position. I will be working on strength and speed this summer a lot but I plan to jump at least once per week. But what I don't get is in that picture his arm is way behind his head like mine. Is the biggest difference his takeoff and chest drive? Also what does it mean to be "on top of the bend"?

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KirkB
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Re: Critique for vaulting above handgrip

Unread postby KirkB » Wed May 18, 2016 8:54 pm

spencershade wrote: what I don't get is in that picture his arm is way behind his head like mine.

No, the difference is that he presses his top arm and hand in that position, prior to takeoff, whereas you get jerked into that position. I can see why you ask the question (and I like how you observe these types of things - it shows that you're thinking and learning), but that's the difference. Take a look at his 5.83 vid (below), and you'll see.

spencershade wrote: Is the biggest difference his takeoff and chest drive?

The biggest difference is that he has an "out" takeoff, and a good "C". I couldn't find the 5.91 that was in the still pic of, but here's a vid of him doing 5.83. You will see that he carries his good takeoff position into a good "C", then downswings super-quickly from there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PXsr8OQMIA

Regarding his downswing, you can see how quick it is by watching his trail leg. He couldn't do that nearly as well if he didn't set up for it in his takeoff angle and "C".

spencershade wrote: ... what does it mean to be "on top of the bend"?

I think what that means is the same as saying "stay ahead of the pole". Someone should correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this means to get into a position to extend off the pole before the pole unbends (and then throws you towards the bar) - kinda like what you're experiencing. I'm not sure about this definition tho.

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


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