Page 5 of 5

Re: Steve Hooker

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:40 am
by Andy_C
First I would have to say that I certainly agree with the sentiment that there are a lot of assumptions being made here.

I know people here love to analyse things and that's fine, but every now and then I think we all have to acknowledge our limits as outsiders who don't have full insight into what is happening. From observations yes, we can identify that the numbers look wrong or 'x' is wrong because of 'y' and 'z'. But to every situation we do observe as outsiders there are countless compounding factors that we cannot see.

For the subject at hand, we can either think of things the way it has been proposed throughout this thread:
Something wrong with the run -------> the run is bad --------> the bad run causes a whole ton of problems

Or we can think outside the box a little (as others have alluded to) and perhaps we may have:
Something is wrong somewhere else --------> this causes the run to be bad --------> other things are bad because of the run

Just like a bad swing can be a symptom of a run problem, the run problem may be a symptom of something else altogether which may not even be related to pole vaulting! As for what is wrong in Steve's case, it could honestly be a million things especially if we're talking mental problems. You may be able to identify a bad run but you will never fix it until you solve the actual problem. And we could probably logically deduct that if the only problem was a simple run misplacement (in complete isolation) that this problem would have been solved by now! Particularly since we're dealing with Parnov here who is completely in a league of his own in terms of results amongst active coaches (not sure what Petrov is doing these days). Anyway, what is worse is that if you're convinced and don't want to budge on the belief that the bad run IS the problem you then will never even see the real problem in the first place!!! You'll always manage to find whatever it is you're looking for but you'll never find the things you ignore.

If the pole vault happens in a separate universe all by itself then maybe we can discuss things purely in numbers. "Okay, 'x' is a little bit off so the solution is to adjust 'y' and 'z' a little bit and we're sweet." That may be the case in a lot of situations but it may be completely futile in others. Because nothing ever happens in pure isolation you HAVE to keep in mind that things may not be that simple. The problem is not simple, finding the problem is definitely not simple, identifying a solution is painful and carrying out the solution is torture. We love simplicity and we strive for it but unfortunately things just don't cooperate with us every now and then.

One of the things that I know Altius talks about and something that I'd like to bring up is that a coach has a million jobs. Technician, biomechanist, nutritionist, educator, psychologist, counsellor, manager, logistician, physiotherapist... All part of being a coach. Sometimes you have to put away all the mathematical stuff, bring out a comfy couch and play psychiatrist for a while. Because honestly, you're trying to paddle up a waterfall with the run numbers if you don't get to the root of the problem. Numbers are good because they can make the coaches job more accurate and in many cases much more simple, but sometimes there are complexities of the job that require a more conscientious and wholistic solution than what mathematical calculations can provide.


Re: Steve Hooker

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:49 am
by devo
If anyone has any doubts on parnov's monitoring of mid, takeoff, and any other stats for any jumps.
I can tell you he is the most methodical, meticulous and calculated coach I've seen. He very much makes his decisions from having
every piece of information available for him to equate and then make a decision. His record keeping and statistics are incredible.

Steve himself has always been huge on turn over and attack at 6 and is usually the first point he makes when helping any other athlete's in his squad.
All the physical elements are there for Steve, like he's said before he just doesn't feel like he's 'owning the runway' at the moment. He's got through
it before with mark and he'd probably be the best if only person to comment on Steve's situation.

Re: Steve Hooker

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:30 am
by fishman4god
Unless the problem starts before he reaches the mid, and the mid being out is just a symptom of the underlying problem...[/quote]

That is in fact a very real possibility. But as you(and others) have stated before the complexity and dynamics of the vault for each vaulter are diffferent and only their coach has the ability to address the issue.

Most all of our coahes probably drilled into us how our run was the heart of our vaults.....I would doubt that any coach would disagree. I hope Steve and his coach can overcome his issues, he is an awesome vaulter for sure.

And just for the record.........opinions vary, advice can be and is given freely but my opnions and/or unsolicited advice is likely not viewed or considered by Parnv or any other World class coach (as far as doing what we say they should do) . I love the vault and interacting with other coaches and vaulters online....but I don't take offence when someone/everyone disagrees with me or others. I do learn from this site but I certainly do not want to offend those who love the sport I love :D

Re: Steve Hooker

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:32 pm
by dj
hye Becca,

Becca you are exactly right... 95% of the time it is "how" they get to the "MID" (correct "MID") during big competitions and under extreme pressure.

For example 60 feet may have worked when he was at his max/best.. even though 60 is very long strides for 9.5 or even 9.7 speed… Even Lawrence, and belief me he was an exceptional athlete, could "power through" a 58+ mid and a 11-6 takeoff.. sometimes…

But just like Tim Mack in 2000 under pressure who started faster, with tighter steps so he was 8" to 14" out from his norm or best "MID" and best speed, most vaulters can never make up from being out and stretching more on "big" jumps.. most are already running max speed from a specific workable "mid".. when "out" more… they can't get there from here… at least with enough speed AND posture to make it work.

When you're at your "best"/maximum mark.. you can "hit" as little as 6 inches out and know/feel that you will not get to the takeoff with the right speed and posture to not only takeoff correctly or even move the pole toward vertical..

Even the times I saw Bubka, and it was quite a few, hit "outside" where his "best" had been he either turned on the "speed burners" and blew through the pole or missed because of a poor plant, takeoff, posture etc.. or on a pole that look to big because of a poor run.

Feeling and knowing you can't "get there from here' is the sole reason a world class athlete gets the yips.


Re: Steve Hooker

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:43 pm
by fishman4god
World class vaulters at the edge of what is controllable or wonder we love this event!!!