Collegiate Fairy Dust

A forum to discuss pole vaulting related things of a historical nature.
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Collegiate Fairy Dust

Unread postby mshafe » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:45 am

From 1983 to 1991 Baylor Univeristy had 1 nineteen foot, 6 eighteen and 12 seventeen foot vaulters. We won 6 of 8 Southwest Conference Championships in the pole vault during this 8 years. The success was due to the selfless efforts of Coach Carl Erickson. His success was due to a very simple "secret ingrediant" of giving all of himself to help his athletes believe they could do anything. Say what you will about his outspoken enigmatic personality, however, ask any athlete he coached and they will tell you no other coach ever gave them more encouragement and time to achieve their goals. This was a special synergistic and symbiotic time when the right people came together at the right time and a selfless man was able to sprinkle his "fairy dust" on their vaulting dreams.

His vaulters just finished a reunion to honor his selfless enthusiam and success for the vault that he continues to this day. He was the first coach (as far as we know) to utilize the techniques of an assistive push at takeoff when going to larger poles, a downhill runway in practice, and an elite gymnastics coach and gymnist workout routines. The "secret sauce" was a mixture of our desire and his willingness to meet us at the runway, anytime, anyday, for as long as our legs would still work.

I believe that we can all learn something about being selfless and giving to those around us, from his 25+ years of coaching.

Michael Shafe MD
Vault Reunion Photo 1.jpg
Vault Reunion Photo 1.jpg (117.47 KiB) Viewed 16326 times

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Re: Collegiate Fairy Dust

Unread postby dj » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:51 pm


not a better coach or better man.., love and respect you Carl and the time i got to be around and observe your work. it helped me know exactly where i needed to go in my coaching of the vault as well as the other events....

not just the best one legged pole vault coach in the world but one of THE best pole vault coaches in the world...

best regards

dj (Dave Johnston)

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Re: Collegiate Fairy Dust

Unread postby bigg24-7 » Fri May 03, 2013 12:24 am

It's nice to read about Carl's Legacy. I go down to Altius to practice and he gives everyone (from an 18 footer to a little girl just learning) his full attention. You cant find a better coach any where. A little callous at times, but that's just Carl.

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