Progression of poles

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BigBadWolf
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Progression of poles

Unread postby BigBadWolf » Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:00 pm

Hello, I'm currently organizing poles and looking to order a new pole for an athlete. He vaults on a 14' 180 flex 14.1 and a 14' 185 flex 13.8, both which he clears 4.30m with the standards at 80. Do I look at going to a 14'6 pole or a stiffer 14' pole? And what would be the next progression. The vaulter is 5'11 170. Some poles we have laying around are a 14'6 175 flex 19.0, 15' 175 flex 17.0 (made in 1993) - all of these poles are UCS spirit by the way.
Also if anyone could explain the flex numbers and meaning a little more to me that would be great!
Thanks

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Re: Progression of poles

Unread postby Skyfly » Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:21 pm

My understanding is that the flex number is a measurement of how much the pole bends (usually in cm) when supported at both ends (exact point of support, I don't know) and a weight (50lbs?) hung from the middle.

In more useful terms, manufacturers have decided that within each pole length series, a range of certain flex numbers equates to a particular weight rating. In the example of the poles that you listed, the difference in flex is only 0.3 for your 14'0 poles. A rough estimate is 1.0-1.2 difference equates to 5 pounds. So in your case, the difference between those two poles is more like 1.5 pounds, not 5 pounds.

Unfortunately, flex numbers have no relevant relationship when going between lengths (although some very experienced coaches have developed charts of their own that relates them). A lot of people will say that if you hold a 14'6 175 at the same exact place as you hold a 14'0 185 they would be equivalent poles. This can be a rough estimate, but with sail piece locations changing between lengths and different pole behaviors with the way that they bend, they don't always roll over the same way and can seem stiffer and not equal. The characteristics of the individual vaulter can also play into this.

Flex numbers are also not something that is standardized, so comparing them between manufacturers isn't particularly useful either.

Is your vaulter gripped at the weight label on the 14' poles? Personally, I don't like changing to longer poles until jumping on poles 20-25 lbs above weight. But if I were buying poles I would also be factoring in where the athlete is in their development. Are they improving in such a way that you expect to be raising grips 3-6 inches in the near future? If so, then perhaps trying the 14'6 pole that you currently have to see if he is able to jump on it in similar fashion to a 14' 185 and if so, building a series around that.

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Re: Progression of poles

Unread postby BigBadWolf » Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:59 pm

*Responded to your PM, thanks but will also add on here as well.

Yes the vaulter is at the label on both of the 14'0s. and we have roughly $1,000 to pickup a few used poles. I do not see this vaulter using over a 14'6 pole as he has two years left, however he is looking to improve his pr from the 14'0 to possibly 15'0 within the next years. The vaulter is going to stay about 170lbs as well.

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Re: Progression of poles

Unread postby sum yung guy » Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:56 pm

Go to the 14'6 175. Let him hold higher if he can safely do so. Eighty is too far back.
Dub Jones did a great job explaining flex numbers on this site. Search it.

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Re: Progression of poles

Unread postby KirkB » Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:17 am

sum yung guy wrote: ... Eighty is too far back. ...

Why do you say that? :confused:

With standards at 80, you have the best chance of landing in the middle of the pit. That's the safest place to land.

Some people think that you might not vault as high, because they think that you might be sacrificing vertical lift for the 30-60 cm of extra horizontal motion.

This is a fallacy. Think about it. How much extra energy does it take to move forward 30-60 cm? Not much.

But with the standards consistently at 80, you won't be afraid of stalling out. Not at all. You will complete nearly 100% of your vault attempts with standards at 80, due to the extra confidence it gives you that you'll land safely. By "complete" I mean you'll either have a good attempt at clearing the bar, or you WILL clear the bar.

Compare this to the % of vault attempts where you will land safely if your standards are at say 20. At 20, you have a much greater chance of either balking or stalling out. Your % of successful attempts will be much lower, due to the fear of stalling out. You'll run through (balk) more often, and you'll stall out more often. Each of these reduces your confidence. Think about it. :idea:

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Re: Progression of poles

Unread postby sum yung guy » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:29 pm

I have to disagree. Standard settings don't necessarily relate to fear or safe landings. Proper technique and pole selection have more to do with that.
What I am saying is if the kid is capable of jumping on a pole that is available, why not?

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Re: Progression of poles

Unread postby KirkB » Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:12 pm

sum yung guy wrote: I have to disagree.

You're entitled to your opinion, but it should be based on sound coaching advice. What are your credentials as a coach, and what is your age and PR?

sum yung guy wrote: Standard settings don't necessarily relate to fear or safe landings. Proper technique and pole selection have more to do with that.

When I say that it's best to keep the standards at 80, it goes without saying that you must also have proper technique and proper pole selection.

But with good technique and pole selection, it's still best to keep standards at 80. This is because safety should be first and foremost. If you can't reach the middle of the pit, then your technique is wrong, or you're on the wrong pole (or you're gripping too high). This is in addition to the reasons I've already stated.

sum yung guy wrote: What I am saying is if the kid is capable of jumping on a pole that is available, why not?

Well, are you proposing that he needs to raise his grip to clear 15-0?

If he's only clearing 14-0 right now, and capping the 14 foot poles, then his pushoff is only 8 inches. That means that he has a lot of technical improvements to make before he should need to increase his grip. Even if he clears 15-0 with a 14-0 grip, that's still only a 20 inch pushoff. As a general rule-of-thumb, a 14 or 15 foot vaulter should be working towards getting at least a two-foot pushoff before he starts raising his grip (unless he's a decathlete or he's very tall).

So it looks to me like he should focus on technique and safety, and - with the right coaching - he can still clear higher than 15-0.

But if he just "grips and rips", then his technique will not improve much, and he's at a much greater risk of injury on every attempt.

Kirk
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Re: Progression of poles

Unread postby coachstark » Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:09 pm

First, I agree 110% with Kirk on standards. Our program has our standards "frozen" on 80 for practice and most meets (weather/ wind depending). I see to many coaches try cheating with standard placement due to poor technique of the vaulter - and increasing the chances of injury. :dazed:

Second, to answer your question, it would be great to see video in order to help make a suggestion in which pole to use/ order. Lack in details about his take off position/ location etc... make be refrain from giving a suggestion right now. With video, I would be happy to help!

Third, congratulations of your success so far!

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Re: Progression of poles

Unread postby sum yung guy » Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:50 pm

It seems like a good idea to use what you have handy before you start spending money.
If the athlete can handle a higher grip then why woyld you want to put limits on his ability?

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Re: Progression of poles

Unread postby KirkB » Sat Jan 09, 2016 2:13 am

sum yung guy wrote:It seems like a good idea to use what you have handy before you start spending money.
If the athlete can handle a higher grip then why would you want to put limits on his ability?

To rephrase what you just said (and adding a bit more to it), if the athlete can handle a grip higher than 14 feet AND land safely in the middle of the pit (standards at 80), then there's no good reason why he shouldn't go for it, other than he should be focusing more on TECHNIQUE and less on GRIP AND RIP.

I highly recommend to fix the standards at 80. If he only has a certain pole, then that's another fixed parameter. Technique will start with what he has now, and gradually increase over time.

That leaves only two variables:

1. Grip
2. Number of steps in the runup.

So with standards at 80, you can use ANY pole, as long as it's not so light that you'll overbend it and break it; and as long as you land safely in the middle of the pit. You need to keep your standards at 80 for the best chance of landing in the middle of the pit.

If you're landing short, you MUST either lower your grip, or increase your steps. Those are you ONLY two choices. Of these two choices, it's usually easiest to just lower your grip.

The other point you seems to be missing, SumYung, is that with proper technique, you DON'T NEED to grip any higher than 14 feet to clear 15 feet! Focus on TECHNIQUE, not on GRIP! :idea:

I'm finding that I'm repeating myself about this, so I'll stop now. I don't know how I can explain it any clearer. Someone else (maybe Coach Stark?) can explain it to you in a different way.

Kirk
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Re: Progression of poles

Unread postby sum yung guy » Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:50 pm

I don't recall asking you to explain anything to me, nor did I suggest that 15 feet could not be jumped with a grip of 14 feet. My point is that if an athlete can use a pole that is available
then why not save that $1000? Are you suggesting that safe clearances cannot be made with standard settings other than 80cm? I wouldn't have to argue that hundreds of safe landings are made daily with settings within the legal limits. Would you not agree? How about jumps with no bar and therefore no standard settings?
Again, if an athlete is capable of safely holding higher under the supevision of his coach, why should someone else put limitations on that individual.
In a perfect world everyone can jump 2 feet over thier grip. If the athlete pursues a higher hand hold he may be able to exceed his goal and his coach's expectations. Safety and this pursuit need not be mutually exclusive.
I'll say this: if a coach has $1000 to invest in poles, he's in a much better situation than a lot of others.

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Re: Progression of poles

Unread postby KirkB » Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:50 pm

KirkB wrote:
sum yung guy wrote: ... Eighty is too far back. ...

Why do you say that? :confused:

This was my main point. I'll stick to that.

Unless you're serious in asking me all those follow-up questions, I'll ignore them. In fact, I might even agree with most of what you just said - aside from your antagonistic tone.

I don't want to be accused of answering questions that you're not seriously asking me.

In this PV forum, we try to learn from each other. That's all I have to say.

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


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