we have had athletes in the past that were capable of setting the world record.
It seems now like the more we have done (promoting, analyzing, etc) the number of vaulters with the real talent to get the record has diminished.
Like Becca (I think?) mentioned high school coaches put the “talent” in the events they don’t have to coach and turn them loose… the slow, weak, none athlete (fortunately not always) goes to the vault for something to do or because there is no one to compete against.. 6 feet for a girl and 8/9 feet for a boy scores points.. I was 5-6 116 lbs in the 9th grade and jumped 9-3 on a steel pole.. I know I wasn’t an exceptional athlete at that age but I could jump 17/18 feet in the long jump.
What we end up having is a more dangerous sport which forces rules that cost thousands of dollars, the schools refuse to spend the money.. so again the athletes that can’t make the team and can spend the money go to a training center …
Back to “potential”.. Bubka’s record “streak” started in 1984 and went to 1994… during that time The first American to come to mind would be Lawrence Johnson..
I was fortunate to be well aware of Lawrence’s issue and it was simply the run… yes the vault guru’s say the pole drop, free takeoff, late plant..yada, yada.. it was the approach run period.
Since then any vaulter with 10.5 100 meter speed should be capable of the record. Without working with them I can’t tell you why but I know if the same process was done with them that I did with Tully from 1983 to 1988 we would have the answer.
If the speed and strength is there the “reason’s can be identified.
Tully was heavy, slow and stretching into the takeoff.. which caused a loss of force and position.. we dropped the weight, got physically fit and worked on the approach run speed. He was stretching the last step because he was trying to “speed” up at the takeoff to move the pole and grip he was using.... so we started the first half (to the mid) of his run faster so all he needed to do was “get the feet down and create a penultimate action on the last two steps..
We have had four 6 meter jumpers… maybe one of those had world record potential. We would only know if we went through the process I took Tully through.
Break down the current vaulters we have, with speed and according to physics- (not just the “look") and you may find a world record holder.