The Push Plant Issue resurrected!

This is a forum to discuss advanced pole vaulting techniques. If you are in high school you should probably not be posting or replying to topics here, but do read and learn.
PV Lover
Posts: 1037
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2002 10:40 am
Expertise: Pole Specialist, Former College Vaulter, Masters Vaulter, HS Coach, Fan, Parent, College Coach

Unread postby PVJunkie » Thu Apr 15, 2004 9:04 pm

So lets visit a while on the "traditional" plant. Now dont get me wrong, I had a 17' hs vaulter use the push in severe cross wind conditions back in the early 90's and Kris and I have had several LONG in depth discussions on the matter and to put it simply............i dont care, I dont teach it but it does not bother me when a kid uses the "push" method. HOWEVER, the traditional method has merits that, if taught properly, the push could never have.

- the "drop tip technique" (a whole book/article has been written about this) creates speed, it does not hinder it. The dropping action of the pole creates a pull down the runway........its the timing thats important to get the desired results.

- in the last three steps as the pole tip is going down the top is going up and if timed properly it creates "lift" that increases the angle of attack without the additional need to jump up at take off.

lets keep in mind that ANYONE who becomes accustom and comfortable with one method over the other is going to be faster and better at that method.....................There is no right IS easier to teach beginner to intermediate vaulters the push because it eliminates the akwardness of the pole carry, however the benefits of the traditonal method are delayed by not teaching these young athletes how to carry a pole and plant with the rythem neccessary to benefit from the traditonal technique..............if anyone can find the original article about the "secret" russian drop tip technique (Bill Falk has a book but there is an article out there somewhere) please share it.

Carolina Extreme
PV Follower
Posts: 550
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2003 10:22 pm
Favorite Vaulter: Chase Shealy
Location: 121 Crockett Road, Columbia, SC 29212

Experimenting with the Push Plant

Unread postby Carolina Extreme » Fri Apr 16, 2004 9:17 am

We did an experiment yesterday at practice. Many were on spring break so with only 5 present I thought it was a good opportunity to try Push Plant's. Two of the athletes clearly benefited by using it at least during practice. We started with our basic drills, then short run, then worked back to longer runs, all while pushing with both hands on the pole at all times.

The first was Liza Todd a junior, vaulting since the 8th grade, who has cleared 10' 7" but has the ability to jump 12', but it just hasn't "clicked" yet. She felt very comfortable with it and actually took her vaulting to new heights, "literally". She was making great attempts and peaking in the 11' 6" to 12' range. We will keep experimenting with it and have her try the one hand running then two at takeoff. She may even jump in her next meet and possibly her region meet pushing the pole. :yes:

The second was my son Conrad Shealy who's PR has gone up 2ft in the last week to 11' 6". While his technique has improved quite a bit and he has figured out how to hit his takeoff better he, like most young vaulters, was having trouble lining up well with the pole on top. The push plant worked well for him to practice this. It made it so that the traditional plant and drop tip timing required was something he didn't have to worry about, so he could concentrate on hitting his takeoff well and lining it up on top. And it worked. After lining up a number of his vaults, he went back to the traditional plant. He said he felt faster and stronger using the drop tip method... but he was still lining it up well. :yes:

Of the other three, one has a really bad asphalt runway at his school so we didn't try with him. The other two had good sessions but they didn't clearly benefit by pushing the pole. All though one guy when he went back to the drop tip method he was bringing much more energy up and into his takeoff... was it just a breakthrough... or was it because he had been pushing the pole for the first hour... I don't know. It was a fun experment though. :D
“Mediocre efforts are like meaty okra. It’s hard to chew and even tougher to swallow.” Rusty Shealy

User avatar
Bruce Caldwell
PV Enthusiast
Posts: 1783
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2003 3:19 pm
Expertise: It is all about Pole Vaulting. I even catch the competitors poles!
Lifetime Best: 15'8"
Favorite Vaulter: Kjell Issakson, Jan Johnson
Location: DFW TEXAS


Unread postby Bruce Caldwell » Fri Apr 16, 2004 9:54 am

I guess you throw away the firm grip and stash a can of Silicone spray for pole tips in your bag??


I like the method and have seen it work very effectively.
It is difficult to accomplish and has it rewards.
We all know to jump higher we have to think out of the box!!!
Well that sounded funny didn't it??
Yes, as your speed increases you need to increase the weight of the tip and I am not sure that will help it to sink to the bottom of the box efficiently.
We have put our thinking cap on for this and have devised a new tip to be released in two months that will have reduce drag into the box with less friction on its back side.

Carolina Extreme
PV Follower
Posts: 550
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2003 10:22 pm
Favorite Vaulter: Chase Shealy
Location: 121 Crockett Road, Columbia, SC 29212


Unread postby Carolina Extreme » Fri Apr 16, 2004 6:16 pm

ESSX wrote:...Yes, as your speed increases you need to increase the weight of the tip and I am not sure that will help it to sink to the bottom of the box efficiently.
We have put our thinking cap on for this and have devised a new tip to be released in two months that will have reduce drag into the box with less friction on its back side.

COOL! :yes:

I tried experimenting with the Push Plant again today, but this time with the kids at our high school with equally great results. One of the guys really took off as the light :idea: turned on between his ears. It's a great feeling to see that excitement in a kids eye's. When he went back to Drop Tip method he was jumping two feet higher. So, I can see where using the Push Plant as a tool to speed up the learning curve is really good. And for some it seems like the right way, all the time, for them.

Kris, I think we have discovered your secret at getting your girls to jump high. We're onto you buddy! ;)
“Mediocre efforts are like meaty okra. It’s hard to chew and even tougher to swallow.” Rusty Shealy

User avatar
PV Rock Star
Posts: 2359
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2002 2:34 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Unread postby achtungpv » Fri Apr 16, 2004 7:47 pm

I couldn't care less how you vault as long as you vault high. Hell, you can run down the runway in your jock strap with a carrot hanging out your butt for all I care.

The biggest problem you will have with pushing, IMHO, is getting a college coach willing to take on a HS athlete that pushes. I'll bet a lot of coaches will either A. Not want to recruit someone because they push or B. Not want to waste a lot of money on someone knowing they'll have to spend 1-2 years teaching them to carry properly.

It'll be interesting to see as this first generation of pushers (ha ha) go to college how many coaches said "sure come here and you can continue to push" and how many of those coaches will change their mind and force them to carry within 1 year.
"You have some interesting coaching theories that seem to have little potential."


drop tip technique

Unread postby vaultfan » Fri Apr 16, 2004 9:11 pm

I am also looking for an article specifically discussing the drop tip technique. Until someone can come up with such an article, perhaps the following quotes from a few publications will give us a clue as to what this concept is about:

“If done correctly, the first 8 to 10 strides of the run will set the vaulter up for a rapid lowering of the pole. Having good posture and having the pole at an angle of 65 to 70 degrees is crucial to the success of the next 7 to 8 strides and the takeoff.

As the pole drops, the strides accelerate, and the key is to time the lowering of the pole so that it arrives near the horizontal position when the vaulter is on the left suppport phase of the third to last stride before takeoff. If the pole drop is timed correctly, the stride cadence will quicken similar to being pulled by a supramaximum sprint device.

With the correct timing of the pole drop, the vaulter never has to deal with the weight of the pole and will maintain good posture without loss of momentum and position at takeoff.â€Â


The Drop-Tip Technique

Unread postby vaultfan » Fri Apr 16, 2004 10:49 pm

The book,â€Â

User avatar
tim hutzley
PV Pro
Posts: 436
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2003 1:30 am
Location: California

Unread postby tim hutzley » Fri Apr 16, 2004 11:41 pm

I was just thinking that dropping the pole into the box might give you more drive into the pit than sliding it in to the box. I have done it both ways quite a few times and to me it seems that dropping has an advantage. maybee not much at all if any at all but it's something to talk about.

Carolina Extreme
PV Follower
Posts: 550
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2003 10:22 pm
Favorite Vaulter: Chase Shealy
Location: 121 Crockett Road, Columbia, SC 29212

Unread postby Carolina Extreme » Sat Apr 17, 2004 12:13 am

Vaultfan brings up some interesting thoughts with the quotes. If we're going to be thinking outside the box, the quotes lead to another question. If the pole is free falling as suggested in the later stages of the run up to takeoff, it is not weightless as quoted, to the contrary it'll produce a slight bend in the wrong direction when it hits the ground (box) in a solid way. Or would it? Something to think about.

I agree with AshtungPV in that I don't care what you do as long as you jump high. Be sure to do it safely too. Incorporate as much vault knowledge into what you are doing as is possible and never stop learning, because you will never know it all.
“Mediocre efforts are like meaty okra. It’s hard to chew and even tougher to swallow.” Rusty Shealy

User avatar
PV Lover
Posts: 1475
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2002 12:23 am
Location: New Braunfels, TX

Unread postby lonestar » Mon Apr 19, 2004 1:00 am

I'm a fan of the continuous chain model and drop-tip technique, and spent most of last weekend teaching it. Application of it is difficult in long-run jumping - even somewhat difficult in drills - it's freaky to think that your pole might not make it down in time into the box and that you could possible plant over the box into the pit. Getting a vaulter to drop the pole instead of steer it down is difficult. One coach I know of spends months and months on teaching just that before he'll let any of his vaulters take a single jump - boring and impractical IMHO, but he gets them to do it correctly.

As the originator of this thread, I'd also like to add that I'm a fan of both styles of vaulting, I teach people both carry and push, and determine which style works better for the individual - some people jump higher carrying, some pushing. There are advantages and disadvantages to both styles. Doesn't hurt to try both, does it?
Any scientist who can't explain to an eight-year-old what he is doing is a charlatan. K Vonnegut

PV Fan
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:47 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter, High School Coach, College Assistant Coach
Lifetime Best: 15'6
Favorite Vaulter: Tarasov

Re: The Push Plant Issue resurrected!

Unread postby Chaebo » Thu May 09, 2013 7:32 pm

I want to bring this topic back to light. I teach all of my vaulters learn to vault by push planting a pole. Over time we work to learn a proper carry (WE CROSS BODY CARRY) and work to critique pole drop, pole timing, and speed. I have done this for a few years now with vaulters at both the college and high school levels. And I have to say the vaulters who have push planted have done really well doing so in competition

My current vaulter is a first year vaulter and she is jumping around 10'6 right now push planting. Although, she does know how to do the traditional plant as well and does a decent job with it. But, I have noticed several key differences in her jump when changing plant styles.

Slide Plant Pro's
- Faster
- More Aggressive Take-Off
- Strong Swing

Slide Plant Con's
- Poor Posture
- Long Strides
- Low Hips (Goes together with the first 2)

Traditional Plant Pro's
- Better Posture
- Better Stride Length (Foot Underneath Body instead of leading the body)
- Higher Hips (Again flows with the first 2)

Traditional Plant Con's *NOTE* This is observations I have made with my own vaulter, Not saying that this is correct or incorrect for others*
- Slower
- Weak Plant and Take Off
- Swing not as strong

Also keep in mind she is a first year vaulter and her time with a traditional plant has been limited so there are still some confidence issues we need to work on.

These observations I have noticed in the past with other vaulters but have never really discussed until now. I want to bring this forum back to life after it has been dead for over 10 years because I did not see in my opinion a valid argument favoring vaulters to the traditional plant over the push plant.

With that said I would like to say my belief is that a traditional carry is better than the push plant tho it is easier to teach the push plant for obvious reasons. The issues I believe with the push plant go against most of the people in this forum from 11 years ago. I believe that do to the friction and poor posture while pushing it is actually possible to run faster with a CORRECT Traditional Plant vs. the push carry. But, the most important advantage to me is the advantage of being in a tall, postured up, hips high take off position at the box.

Even though I do teach my vaulters the push plant I am a firm believer in the advantages of an active pole drop creating speed and assisting in the plant phase. I would like to bring this back to life and hear other vaulters and coaches opinions on it.

PV Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:09 pm
Expertise: Former University vaulter
Lifetime Best: 4.33
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Bob Seagren
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada

Re: The Push Plant Issue resurrected!

Unread postby shack » Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:41 pm

Interesting coming across this discussion as I was coached by Gabor Simonyi back in the late 70's and all his vaulters at that time used what we called the Simonyi Slide. Something I didn't see in the above discussion was that we had special plugs made for the pole and replaced the rubber ones with ones made of Teflon which eliminated the friction problem and helped the pole find the bottom of the box faster. I was a convert to the method and found that my left (lower) arm always met up with the pole before take off at the same place give or take a centimeter. For those worried about their bottom hand finding the right location you could just repeat a three step plant until you feel confident that your ending up with your arms and hands in the proper take off position ( something most vaulters do anyway)

Return to “Pole Vault - Advanced Technique”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests