Problems with grip

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Problems with grip

Unread postby Muzgar15 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:18 pm

Hi, I'm 17 years old and I have a PB of 4.45m or 14'7''. I have been pole vaulting for about 4 years now and this has become a bit of an issue for me. Whenever I'm training I cannot get myself on my competition poles, not even one or two jumps. In competition I usually start at 3.80m and then go to 4.00, 4.20, 4.30... In the past couple of months I've been struggling to jump with confidence on my poles. From 4 lefts I jump with a 4.30m 160lbs Spirit pole that gets me to 4.00-4.10, then I have to switch poles because it's too soft. My next pole is a 4.45 m 162 lbs Essx carbon and after that I have a 4.60 160 lbs Spirit for 4.40+. I have been unable to takeoff from these two poles in practice ever, maybe one or two times. I used to think that the poles were too hard for me, but when I jumped with them they felt pretty good. Now my problem isn't the fear of poles, but the fear of not being able to hold on to the poles. If I even think of the poles I get very sweaty hands. I don't know if it's because I am nervous or what, but it is really affecting my performance. I tried using chalk but it doesn't suit me very well. I have to get this mind block out of my head before the summer season starts. Your input would be greatly appreciated. :)

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Re: Problems with grip

Unread postby souleman » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:13 am

Your problem may not be the poles but your steps and take off spot. I'm guessing that each time you go up a pole you are also raising your grip. Well? If your take off spot remains the same with each pole then obviously you may be progressively moving from a "right on" take off spot to under and more under take off spot. Ain't no way you're going to get that bigger pole to vertical if you're too far under. So, what I would recommend is get a video camera and mark the spot on the runway where you take off comfortably. Then, with the camera ONLY on that spot try some jumps with the bigger poles. If the take off spot remains the same in all your poles then grip is not an issue but take off is. If this is the case then you have developed what I call "a happy spot". That's a point where all of the surroundings look right in your minds eye and no matter where you are gripping that's where that minds eye will steer your steps to take off. According to DJ's chart, each fist of grip should move your take off spot out roughly 4 inches. When you watch your video back see if your take off step is moving out those 4 inches with each additional fist of grip. My guess is you won't see those 4 inches. If that's the case that's probably your problem. Now, I'm not saying this is entirely the cause of your grip issue and "pole fear" but you should look at this. Even if it's for no other reason but to eliminate this as a cause

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