To Club or Not to Club, this is the question

A forum to discuss anything that has to do with pole vaulting that does not fit in the other forums.

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To Club or Not to Club, this is the question

Unread postby Mcleodjw » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:20 am

Hello Everyone,
Well, the question has been posed. I have been coaching for about 5 years and have several athletes from different school districts that are asking me about summer time pole vaulting.
The Saginaw Bay area of Michigan does not offer any pole vault clubs, that I have found. Most clubs are south and west of this area and I mean it's an 1 1/2 hours drive to the nearest vaulting club.
I'm seriously thinking about this. I have a school district that may be interested in allowing the use of the mats during the summer and a local university during the winter.
Can anyone that has an established club help me out here? What required things do I need before this goes forward?
I know the liability issue will be the first and foremost when dealing with this.

Thank you for all advice,

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Re: To Club or Not to Club, this is the question

Unread postby grandevaulter » Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:09 pm

After begging and pleading, my school administrators allow me to keep ours out until nearly snow fall. That being said, our school enrollment is 270 grades 9-12. After the state meet the kids work on final exams and catching up with studies. I'll get two or three kids a couple days a week if I'm lucky. We have a mandatory 7 day no contact week around the July 4th and another conditioning only week prior to the beginning of Cross Country and Football.. I don't see the clubs taking the post state meet academic time and they are not bound by the "no contact" or "conditioning only" weeks. High School coaches may work with no more than 4 of his/her athletes. MHSAA rules.

Many of the kids that go to clubs take it seriously because they pay and travel great distances. Those are the committed and devoted. The club coaches don't have to drag, beg, call text and belly ache about no one showing up.

I built a raised runway for about $50.00 per 8' x 3" section and use it indoors throughout the winter. They let me store it inside but I have to work around basketball for gym time. So the kids don't always cheerfully hop up to come in on Sunday morning. We hit as many indoor meets as we can, show up early and use them for drills and a practice. We do a lot of approach / pole runs / plant drills and rings throughout the winter in the hallways.

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Re: To Club or Not to Club, this is the question

Unread postby mherrera » Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:08 am

Myself and a couple of other coaches have just started one in our town. The liability wasn't actually too bad for us. We made the club through USATF so that we would have their insurance coverage. Also, we made sure to talk with our AD's about it from the get go so they would make sure we were doing it by the book. The only issue we ran into was coaching contact in the offseason. In MN contact between the athlete and the coach is fine in the summer, but during the school year you cannot coach an athlete that is on your team. This is where the teamwork came into play. At that point the coaches from the others schools will coach my athletes.

Past that I would agree with the tips Grande Vaulter gave about the raised runway, rings, etc. We built a raised runway as well.

If you want some really good advice on club life, talk to Mike Cockerham. He is the coach for Flying Dragons Pole Vault Club. I went there in high school.

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