sum yung guy wrote:I agree with Kirk. You see far too many kids doing it and all it does is disorient them. My thought is that you need to see your top hand, feet and crossbar. That is hard to do with your head thrown back. As your hips rise toward your hands the shoulders should drop, not the head.
Well, I don't actually think that you should focus your eyes/head on ANYTHING. Instead, by doing thousands of reps on the highbar, your head should just naturally stay aligned with your spine (more-or-less). Trying to intentionally do ANYTHING with the head distracts the vaulter, I think, from getting the FEEL of the vault. i.e. the kinisthetic sense of body position in the air. Yes, you COULD look at your top hand or feet if you feel you really must have a visual cue, but that's just a crutch.
And you should NOT look at the cross-bar - that usually tends to cause your legs to drop towards it (instead of shooting over it). Your mileage will vary, of course, depending on your PR. So if your PR is under 12-0 or so (and you're gripping higher than 12-0), then it might be OK to look at the crossbar (but don't continue that bad habit when your PR improves).
grandevaulter wrote: Young guy, you may offer the Mohammed a handy que to correct it or agree with Kirk and think your a pole vault genius. Not only does Demi Payne throw her head, she closes her eyes.
Grandevaulter, I'm not sure what your point is in mentioning Demi Payne. Compared to Sam Kendricks, her neck flex isn't nearly as extreme. Now closing her eyes - THAT'S extreme! I didn't know that she did THAT!
So what is your point? Are you using her as a good example or a bad example? My opinion is that both Demi and Sam would vault higher if they eliminated these flaws.