Pole Vault Progression

A forum to discuss overall training techniques, nutrition, injuries, etc. Discussion of actual pole vault technique should go in the Technique forum.
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Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:58 pm
Expertise: Current High School Vaulter (1st yr Senior)
Lifetime Best: 11'
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Location: South Carolina

Pole Vault Progression

Unread postby Littenti » Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:23 am

Hello all you wonderful flying monkeys! (It's a metaphor not an insult :D )

I am a first year pole-vaulter who is truly starting to fall in love with the event. I started vaulting in early March of this year (2016) and cleared 8'6" at my first meet. (My training prior to that meet had been a 3 hour Pole vault beginner clinic at a pole vault camp (Rusty Shealy PV) in December and 1 day of vaulting practice in early March.) It took another week and a half, and three more meets (8'6", 8', 8') before I finally had the chance to begin practicing on a track and pit. (My school has no track... or building)

Since then, (Around March 15th), I have dedicated at least two days a week to pole vaulting at a track (competing in one or two meets every week). My training has evolved some throughout the year, but currently looks like this on a PV day:

400-800m warm up
PV Drills on Runway (High Knees, Running/sprinting with the pole to help my technique on the carry)
PV Drills in pit (Two step, Rock-back, Three step)
PVting with Band (3-Step at 9'6"/10'6", 4-Step at 10'6", 5-Step at 10'6", 6-Step at 10'6") (Standards at 22) (Rusted standards don't allow me to tighten them, hence they cannot go up and higher unless held by something beneath. I'll try to fix this with WD-40, or something else after a bit of research.)

This is about a 1.5-3 hour practice (typically a little over 2 hours). I also film every practice and watch the film later... comparing it to films of higher level vaulters. Usually this means professional or collegiate athletes. I think I am gripping around 10'6" (lower hand) to 11'9" (Top hand) on my 6-step run.

This link is my milesplit profile so you can see a quick look at my progression.

(For those without access:
11-0 Byrnes meet Apr 13, 2016 2nd Finals >
10-0 CCES Home Track Meet Mar 29, 2016 2nd Finals >
9-6 Byrnes meet Mar 22, 2016 1st Finals >
8-6 Foothills Track Classic Mar 18, 2016 11th Finals >
8-0 Byrnes meet Mar 15, 2016 6th Finals >
8-0 Landrum Cardinal Relay Invitational Mar 12, 2016 9th Finals >
8-6 Byrnes meet Mar 8, 2016 4th Finals > )

I do not have a coach, however I was very lucky to get the opportunity to go to a PV camp all day on March 30th (Rusty Shealy PV Camp). I have also earned the opportunity to go to 4 more of his clinics by vaulting 11' yesterday. (A deal with my dad that went all too right)

Looking towards the future, I'd like to vault somewhere around 12'-13' by the end of this year. I have a month left before the State meet, however I am often told that I have a special talent for studying/learning and then performing proper technique in my events. (My (mostly) self-taught learning and practice in the 400mH and Triple jump are two examples of this.) I was also told by Coach Rusty Shealy, South Carolina's PV "guru," that if I begin attending clinics I should be able to reach these heights. Because I truly enjoy vaulting and have been told that I have good potential to be a great athlete in my event... and for the first time I also feel that way about myself, I am strongly considering trying the next level of vaulting. (I will wait for this year to play out before I make my decision, but if I do move to the next level, I will need to clear 15' during AAU.... as I am attending Liberty University in the Fall and their minimum for a walk-on is 15'. I'm not getting my hopes up on reaching heights like that even if I do have an exceptional AAU season... however if I do not make the team, I think I'd find a club in the area and continue until I did make the team.)

Thanks for reading all that! Phew! I'll upload some videos later, but for now, I'd like to know what you think about my training, goals, and current progression. I'd like to do everything I can in training to be the best vaulter I can be. Wait a second... no, I wouldn't just "like" to do everything I can.... I will do everything I can.

Ryan Hofmann

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Re: Pole Vault Progression

Unread postby powerplant42 » Wed May 04, 2016 10:02 pm

Love the enthusiasm, but it will be hard to achieve your goals without doing something each day. Make every day a PV day, and it will be a possibility. Time, energy, and mental effort put into other events will not be beneficial, unless you are interested in the decathlon (which is perhaps something to consider).
"I run and jump, and then it's arrrrrgh!" -Bubka

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