Does the Russian model represent ideal technique?

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Re: Does the Russian model represent ideal technique?

Unread postby Andy_C » Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:05 pm

Sorry, I think there was a lot of confusion between what we're both saying. Which is fine, this is a very broad thread as you mentioned.

ADTF Academy wrote:Confused on your point speed development is an indication of quality of training both technically and physically. It doesn't answer my comment towards the people who say Bubka's raw talent didn't matter. Velocity wins if technical components are equal. When your talking about Bubka you're talking about elite athletes not high school kids. Elites are elites for a reason they have the raw talent and technique good enough to be jumping high enough to be called elite.


I'm trying to point out that it's all part of the formula. Of course his talent did make a difference, and he's probably bound to have some pretty significant of success regardless of what system he goes through. But if he had not had the best system backing him up I would argue that he would not have experienced the level of success that he has had. That's a difficult point to prove or disprove since it's all in hindsight but I think logically that optimal performance comes from the best system. And the best "system" is a collection of ideas certainly not limited to technique. Speed has a strong biological component, but to get the most out of somebody's natural speed the quality of training has to be good.


ADTF Academy wrote:I disagree..... I find it interesting the number of high school and club coaches who think they know the answers to solve elite vaulters issues yet they have never been able to work with or produce an athlete who can grip high enough. Technique is looked at in terms of how the vault looks. Technique is ability to get the hips above the grip and ability to rotate a grip. Not how it looks. Just because it looks good doesn't mean it's effective. I think its condescending the number of coaches who trash elite athletes and coaches when they have no idea what its like being in their shoes or producing an elite athlete. It's not as easy as go jump 19'......


I agree with what you say about technique and the look.

And sorry I think I misinterpreted your original remarks. I'm still trying to work out your specific intent. As I see it now you highlight the problem being that high school and club coaches actually imposing their ideas on elite coaches. I think that the club coaches should be able to ask questions out of curiosity, but when it becomes an ego thing of trying to bolster themselves up against a more experienced coach then the line has been crossed. This is actually along the lines of what I was talking about with regards to professionalism. I personally try to not interfere with anybody else's athletes and typically try to reserve my opinion unless it's asked for. But unfortunately there is a lot of unprofessional conduct in this sport.

ADTF Academy wrote: If you read my comment it was meant towards the people who criticize other athletes but say their athletes are a work in progress.

Sorry, my mistake.

ADTF Academy wrote: I agree all athletes are a work in program even your own and another coaches. The key point that was made is in a professional manner. It's the issue our sport is lacking from the top down. Is there really a professional manner at which our sport operates? Can you ship a kid off to a camp like a factory and spit out 200 athletes that look the same? Will all 200 athletes succeed the same or will certain athletes come out on top and others left behind?

Is there one way to coach or hundreds of ways to say the same thing. If you coach one way and you can't mold a wide variety of kids are you really a good coach or a system coach? I could be wrong, but we have too many jumping for magic height if they reach perfection and not enough trying to learn to jump high. Good luck to those on the lower levels. You get 4 years with an athlete. Than a college coach gets 4 years with them. Than they have 2 years after college to learn how to jump high or they quit and get a job. There is no money for a vaulter who can't jump high.


I'm not sure if you took the way I expressed "professional manner" but you make a good point there. I was talking about the conduct of how the coaches interact with each other and other athletes. As you've described, the hypocrisy is not good.

And there are training groups that exist where they do spit out athletes that look remarkably similar. Maybe not in the numbers you've suggested. And no they will not all succeed to the same effect as athleticism will play a role.

As I see it, the big fear is that systematizing things will leave individuals out of a lot of the benefits that they could have received. This is a very rational concern but one that is ultimately negated by the human-aspect of coaching. There is the system, and then there is always the people who deliver the system (the coaches). And as long as the coaches are humans and not robots, there will always be room for individuality. The system is designed to correct human error but it ultimately cannot define the human - this "flaw" is actually the philosophical sweet spot between systematizing and individuality. With all good systems (of any field) there is a fine balance between rigidity and flexibility... structure and chaos. But from the sound of what you're saying, I think you would agree with me.

What I'm concerned about is that the system is coming across as a super-rigid system that "forces" everybody down the same path - and I'm sure this will prevent a lot of people from adopting it's ideas. I think this is best dealt with by clarifying the "ethos" of how I personally interpret it:

There is an ideal way to pole vault as defined by biomechanics. It is not perfectly achievable but we pursue it because the closer we get, our performance will be more optimized. There are some instances where it's pursuit will not work well and for these individual cases, concessions will be made. Not everybody will take the same identical path to this goal, however there is a track in the ground which is reasonably wide to allow for variation but it has been well worn and tested.


ADTF Academy wrote:I think the best question is, "Does the Russian Model Represent Ideal Technique for whom?" For your average vaulter who does not have the raw ability to be world class or for everyone? For high school, masters and average college vaulters I think its a very safe and technically correct model. It doesn't match everyone and to say its the only system that can and will work is arrogance IMO....... If you look hard enough you can make an argument the top people use petrov model cause you want to say they do.... Put 4 elite woman or elite men overlapping and they all do it different. They have common moments in time they all hit because in order to jump high you have to do certain things right, but they all do it in a different way.

I've coached 7' woman, 5 meter high school guys, 13' high school woman, 15' elite woman, and near 19' elite men. They all did similar things but all jumped their own unique way. If you're an everyone must do it the same coach you may produce artificial results, but stagnate athletes who are doomed to fail in college.


I would disagree with you there. I've seen and also heard of numerous elite men and women trained to remarkable results using very similar principles. Perhaps what you are seeing is 4 elite men or women being coached by different people with different points of views. The repeatability of it all is quite extraordinary when you think about how different the people are involved.

A good example I could give would be Alex Parnov. He runs a very well structured system, although again, he is a human and not a robot. But he is one guy and he has his system. Not all of his vaulters "look" exactly the same (but as you said, looks can be deceiving) and he may not deal with them all in the same exact manner as people but they all go through his system. With his system he's produced 3x 6 meter vaulters (i.e. they weren't 6m jumpers before they met him) and 3x 15'+ women. And the kids he trains also look incredible, they're not robots but they sure look like it! His system is not 100% identical to Petrov's and I'm sure he has a lot of his own ideas that nobody else has heard of but in the grand scheme of things they are extremely comparable when you look at all the other systems out there. I personally like to categorize these models under the umbrella term The 2nd Generation Fiberglass Philosophy - there are numerous subcategories created by coaches who have their own perspective of many of the same principles. They are all a little bit different but all fall into the criteria because there are countless recurring themes that have been established for a long time. These recurring themes actually make up the bulk of each individual system! These themes should also now be standard practice amongst pole vault coaches but unfortunately are not.

All people certainly are individuals, but there is enough scientific evidence that we can predict/expect that people will behave in certain ways under certain conditions. Having a good system will let you use this to your advantage. If something happens outside the realms of that system then you can treat it by individual case - or you could refer onto and consult with another system much better suited at handling the problem! There are research projects of titanic proportions with these ideas in fields that are much better funded than our little backwater sport. I think it's high-time that much of the information that is used in more professional and well developed fields across all corners of the world be used in our event.

All that said, I cannot deny your success which speaks for your skill as a coach. There is after all, a human-aspect behind all of this and the results say that you seem to be quite good at it.

Just a little point to add, I tend not to use the term "Russian." While the original ideas did come form the Soviet Union, many people outside of Russia and the former Soviet States use these ideas to great effect. And I would also argue that much of the current development of the 2nd Generation Philosophy, is happening outside Eastern Europe. I use the term 2nd Generation since it refers to the intellectual schism that happened between the Soviet Union and the rest of the world. The 1st Generation Fiberglass Philosophy was established when fiberglass poles were first introduced and people started to have all sorts of ideas of how to use this bendy thing.

ADTF Academy wrote:Find the common themes needed to produce height while landing safe in the pits and as a coach you will start producing more successful athletes.

That's already been done for everybody and it's been done very well. Everybody just needs to find it. Or they could go through the process of finding out everything for themselves. But that kind of defeats the purpose. There will be other things that people can add to it, but the core of it all should be "standard education" for all coaches.

ADTF Academy wrote:Topics like this are so tough. You have different level of coaches trying to make arguments. A coach thinking about and looking only at elite athletes will never see things eye to eye with a coach who only works with 13' men vaulters. This topic is just way to broad or maybe it is as it seems everyone on here thinks coaching pole vault is like an assembly line put the athlete in and produce. Good Luck!


I think we've ended up actually agreeing on a lot of things. Maybe our exchange was much ado about nothing but I think some things were clarified for the benefit of myself and others.
All the best.

-Andrew
Last edited by Andy_C on Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does the Russian model represent ideal technique?

Unread postby superpipe » Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:16 pm

david bussabarger wrote:2. the vaulter should employ a pre jump or free take off. I take this to mean that the vaulter should take off so far back that he/she can leave the ground before the tip of the pole can contacts the back of the box. I have also had disagreements with altius on this point. he c laims a vaulter can execute a free take off while taking off under!


coachjvinson wrote:I would agree that a vaulter can employ a free take off while being UNDER.
The further Under the vaulter is the less likely the occuerrence, but it is by no means impossible any more than it is impossible for a free take off while being ON or OUT.
Moreover, there is a point at which a free take off that is employed too far OUT is not ideal and is counterproductive.

Additionally, the important factors being established at this stage of the vault are not only the optimum manner by which to transfer total energy into the SYSTEM but also, the optimum angle of attack.

For a vaulter to employ a free take off while simultaneously being under, the the top hand would be behind the head and the jump impetus initiated from a point closer to the box than the point which is directly below the top hand hold.
I am not suggesting this is ideal...

What can be established is an ideal (most effective) manner by which to transfer energy into the system, and an ideal (most effective) angle of attack which is determined by the vaulter taking off either UNDER, ON, or OUT.

I would also state that it is a misconception to state that a free take off involves or occurs only when...


david bussabarger wrote:I take this to mean that the vaulter should take off so far back that he/she can leave the ground before the tip of the pole can contacts the back of the box.


coachjvinson wrote:And please, someone clarify if I am in error: My understanding of the free takeoff concept involves the vaulter having initiated the jump impetus as indicated by either the athlete being on the ball of the foot or slightly in the air BEFORE the pole begins to flex. (not at a point significantly OUT or at a point where the pole tip travels a significant amount before contacting the back of the box)

And again, this is not predicated on the premise that the vaulter is significantly OUT.
It is however predicated, ideally, by the athlete having fully extended the top hand and having initiated the jump impetus. It is a product of ideal, quick, and early timing...

Now, the vaulter can have the combination of ideal timing with the plant and the jump impetus while having stretched the stride with the result of a take off step that is UNDER and the compromised energy transfer which results from the subsequent body mechanics and angle of attack.

I must state that I am thankful for the healthy debate (even if it was debated previously), for the continued guidance, and for the opportunity for self analysis of the ideologies and methods which I subscribe to.



Great posts by coachjvinson! Extremely well written with great details. I would add that a PERFECT "free take off" occurs at an infinitesimally small time BEFORE the pole tip hits the back of the box. Scientifically impossible, but you get the point. The closer you are to that infintesimal point, the better your opportunity to PERFECTLY transfer energy to the pole.

Made my above post more legible :)
Last edited by superpipe on Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does the Russian model represent ideal technique?

Unread postby Andy_C » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:43 am

ADTF Academy wrote:Andrew,

You make my points for me. I don't use site enough to do the whole quoting thing....


Sure

------------------------------------------------- ADTF Academy's Post ---------------------------------------------------------------


Andy_C wrote:Velocity has a lot to do with biomechanics and physics. True there is a significant biological component, but there is also a large contributing factor to the quality of training both technical and physical. I often don't talk about it on this forum since it's not what the vast majority of the people who casually drop by need to hear but physical training is very important in the athlete's development. But some ways of doing it are more effective and efficient than others!


Confused on your point speed development is an indication of quality of training both technically and physically. It doesn't answer my comment towards the people who say Bubka's raw talent didn't matter. Velocity wins if technical components are equal. When your talking about Bubka you're talking about elite athletes not high school kids. Elites are elites for a reason they have the raw talent and technique good enough to be jumping high enough to be called elite.

Andy_C wrote:I think you are trying to make a fair point but I also think it could have been accomplished without being condescending to the vast majority of users in this forum.

"Fear" and "doubt"... what you are describing are parts of the human-aspect of pole vault. Same with the coach-athelte interaction you were talking about. Elite athletes have a unique perspective of this "fear" experience and will often experience it more intensely but it is not exclusive to them. Have you ever coached an un-athletic high school girl with a history of an anxiety disorder? Don't you think she will ever experience fear and doubt? I'll tell you right now, that 4 meter pole will feel like an 10 meter sewage pipe to her. What about a masters athlete recovering from injury? The pole size is only one concern. What about the worry that their body could give way on them on any given jump, even with a tiny pole! Elite athletes and their coaches are not the only people who have problems. All of these problems from the high schoolers to the elite will compromise the efficacy of a the coaches' "concepts.


I disagree..... I find it interesting the number of high school and club coaches who think they know the answers to solve elite vaulters issues yet they have never been able to work with or produce an athlete who can grip high enough. Technique is looked at in terms of how the vault looks. Technique is ability to get the hips above the grip and ability to rotate a grip. Not how it looks. Just because it looks good doesn't mean it's effective. I think its condescending the number of coaches who trash elite athletes and coaches when they have no idea what its like being in their shoes or producing an elite athlete. It's not as easy as go jump 19'......


Andy_C wrote:And I disagree with your point about the coaches who's athletes are a work in progress. Every athlete is a work in progress and a coach is only being honest if they make this claim of their own charges. If your statement is true, then nobody should be asking questions of anybody since there isn't a single vaulter (or person) on this planet who is perfect.



If you read my comment it was meant towards the people who criticize other athletes but say their athletes are a work in progress. I agree all athletes are a work in program even your own and another coaches. The key point that was made is in a professional manner. It's the issue our sport is lacking from the top down. Is there really a professional manner at which our sport operates? Can you ship a kid off to a camp like a factory and spit out 200 athletes that look the same? Will all 200 athletes succeed the same or will certain athletes come out on top and others left behind?

Is there one way to coach or hundreds of ways to say the same thing. If you coach one way and you can't mold a wide variety of kids are you really a good coach or a system coach? I could be wrong, but we have too many jumping for magic height if they reach perfection and not enough trying to learn to jump high. Good luck to those on the lower levels. You get 4 years with an athlete. Than a college coach gets 4 years with them. Than they have 2 years after college to learn how to jump high or they quit and get a job. There is no money for a vaulter who can't jump high.


I think the best question is, "Does the Russian Model Represent Ideal Technique for whom?" For your average vaulter who does not have the raw ability to be world class or for everyone? For high school, masters and average college vaulters I think its a very safe and technically correct model. It doesn't match everyone and to say its the only system that can and will work is arrogance IMO....... If you look hard enough you can make an argument the top people use petrov model cause you want to say they do.... Put 4 elite woman or elite men overlapping and they all do it different. They have common moments in time they all hit because in order to jump high you have to do certain things right, but they all do it in a different way.

I've coached 7' woman, 5 meter high school guys, 13' high school woman, 15' elite woman, and near 19' elite men. They all did similar things but all jumped their own unique way. Find the common themes needed to produce height while landing safe in the pits and as a coach you will start producing more successful athletes. If you're an everyone must do it the same coach you may produce artificial results, but stagnate athletes who are doomed to fail in college. I'd take the high school 5 meter vaulter on 16' poles who can't vault technically over the 5 meter vaulter on 14'7 poles doing everything perfect all day long. Where can the guy on 14'7 poles go? You produce a very good looking vaulter that has learned to cheat the system to look the part.

*******I'm not saying grip grip grip.... You must do things that allow the athlete to land safely in the pit.***************


Topics like this are so tough. You have different level of coaches trying to make arguments. A coach thinking about and looking only at elite athletes will never see things eye to eye with a coach who only works with 13' men vaulters. This topic is just way to broad or maybe it is as it seems everyone on here thinks coaching pole vault is like an assembly line put the athlete in and produce. Good Luck!
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Re: Does the Russian model represent ideal technique?

Unread postby Andy_C » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:44 am

Also an important post made much, much more legible lol

This took me a good 20 minutes but most of the work was done by a clever computer program. I thought I'd take the time to do it though since I thought the post was important but darn near impossible to read.

-Andrew

--------------------------------------- Altius' post ----------------------------------------------------------

By special request - my initial response to Davids post – with a couple of minor changes since then!! Tried to replace caps with italics but beccas system will not allow that!

David - your responses are taking on the nature of “do you not know who i am”” Yes I do have some idea who you are but you will learn that on PVP, “who you are” does not get you very far if you put up a series of personal opinions as statements of fact. Of course you are entitled to say what you like – but you must be prepared to defend them against all and sundry –including folk like me with a PR of under 9’ but someone who did begin teaching the event in 1958 and who has been a serious student of the event since that time.

david bussabarger wrote: 6. “lastly, you are the one that go this discusion off on the wrong foot. at this point I think we going to have to agree to disagree and end the conversation.”

Strange that - I thought that you initiated the discussion with your original post that contained a range of untrue statements. I am happy to discontinue but not before putting up my first response to that post which i had held back because of the caps issue. The one major alteration i have made since reading your presumably final statement was to substitute John Pennel for Nordwig below. Incidentally i saw John set his first wr at White City, London in 1963 - followed his career?watched film of him and agree that he was probably the first of the technically modern vaulters.



david bussabarger wrote:My apologies. Being a newbie on your site it is obvious that I didn't follow correct procdure when I orginally sbumitted my article. So here is the article.


i must also apologise - because I am technologically challenged i will have to respond using capitals _please note that i am not shouting at you -or anyone else! I must also apologise for the length of this response but cannot allow all of the progressive thought of the last few years on pvp to be muddled by a trivial analysis.

david bussabarger wrote:A great many coaches, vaulters and sports scientists today believe that the Russian technical model (or the Bubka/Petrov model ) represents ideal technique.

True - and I am one of them.

david bussabarger wrote:Further, it is believed that this model has been proven to be ideal by physics and biomechanics.

Not "proven" but accepted by biomechanists as the most efficient method of pole vaulting - at this point in time. However my analysis - for what that is worth - suggests that it cannot be improved upon.


david bussabarger wrote:The best way to test this proposition is to examine it using the scientific method.
We must begin then, by:


Reviewing the latest literature. If you propose this as a paper rather than simply a letter to pvp then this would be required. I see no evidence that you have in fact read the previous discussions on this issue in pvp or even the detailed discussion in BTB2 - which also addresses the questions you raise. I also wonder if you have read the paper that Petrov presented at the European Caches Congress in 1985.

However I am well aware that you have contributed to discussion on these issues in the past in other areas.

david bussabarger wrote:1.Observing and analyizing what elite male fiberglass vaulters actually do in the real world.

Referring to the "real world" always sounds good but may be a red herring in this context - but lets do it anyway.


david bussabarger wrote: For the purposes of this article any vaulter who has jumped 19' or better can be considered an elite vaulter.

Since at least 2 junior athletes have jumped 19’’/5.80 - and as you indicate below - there must be hundreds of others so i would suggest that you consider 5.90 as the beginning of elite status.

david bussabarger wrote:This approach is based on the fact that in the scientific world all ideas must be verified by empirical evidence before they can become accepted theories.

Sorry - say that again - I thought the process was to come up with a hypotheses and then search for evidence that does or does not support that hypotheses - i.e. Einsteins "theory" of relativity, where evidence to support it is still emerging through observation.

david bussabarger wrote: Empirical evidence can be defined as evidence derived from experience and or observation of the real world. Finally, the more empirical evidence there is to back up a given theory, the "stronger" the theory.
2.In order to achieve an accurate conclusion, observational analysis must be based on the broadest possible spectrum of elite vaulters. Keep in mind that vaulters have been jumping 19' or better for 30 yrs, so 19' or better vaulters probably number in the hundreds.
It should be immediately obvious that from a scientific point of view there are several problems with the Russian model.


Note, this should really be called the Soviet Model. Not sure of Petrov's nationality but he first met and then worked with Bubka in Donetsk in the Ukraine - at that time part of the USSR.

However it would be valuable if you could detail the problems with this model!

david bussabarger wrote: 1.Proof of an idea or a system of ideas, as in the Russian model,must be based on empirical evidence. The application of physics and or biomechanics can help support an given idea but cannnot prove it. ???????? Keep in mind that an idea can be based on sound physics and or biomechanics and still be wrong.


Again not sure if scientists would accept this notion - I certainly don't - what do you think DJ??? - I know you like to use science to support your ideas.

david bussabarger wrote:This is a common problem in science when there are often several competing solutions to a given problem.

Such as - Is the Earth round or flat you mean or whether the Earth goes around the Sun or vice versa?


david bussabarger wrote:2.At best, the Russian model is only partly based on empirical evidence.


I suspect that Petrov - as head vault coach of the ussr was charged with the task of finding ways to beat the usa in the vault. He simply started with a clean sheet and his original ideas were based on his analysis of what vaulters actually did. So his ideas and the model he developed were the result of a detailed analysis of what vaulters - such as Dave Roberts of the USA - actually did. But he was especially interested in stiff pole vaulters like Ozolin of the USSR and Warmerdam of the USA. This along with discussion with the team of USSR vault coaches, gymnastics coaches and biomechanists produce his model. I suspect that he might have also been influenced by Slusarski of Poland – 1976 olympic champion - who clearly employed a free take off.

david bussabarger wrote:For the most part it is a system of hypotheses that give specfic directions for executing the vault.


The Soviet Model certainly gives valuable directions for executing - and training for - the vault. That is one of its major advantages - if there is no model to aim for - how can you plan a coherent series of learning experiences to take you to the model?

david bussabarger wrote:For example, the Russian model advocates the use of a "free" take off action. This means the vaulter should take off far enough away from the box so that he/she can leave the ground before the tip of the pole contacts the back of the box.


This is definitely not Petrov's concept of a "free" take off-

what you are describing is what i termed a "pre jump" in an article published in 1989 after meeting Petrov in 1985. All the term "free take off" means is that the pole is not loaded before the athlete leaves the ground - in other words it can be a toe tip take off - not a pre jump. The key factor is in fact the direction of the forces applied by the vaulter as they leave the ground so it is possible for a vaulter to be slightly under - Bubkas winning jump in 1988 -and still have a free take off. Incidentally the reasons for his being under on that jump are explained in BTB2

david bussabarger wrote:The writer has carefully examined dozens of vaults by elite male vaulters ( including many by S. Bubuka )

As have we all!

david bussabarger wrote: and found no examples of a vaulter successfully employing a "free" take off action.

I suggest you take a look at the first ever 6 m. jump by bubby in Paris in july 85 – not only will you see a 'free' take off but its extension the pre jump, because he is clearly 10cm/4inches off the ground and his pole is still straight from tip to left hand - and his left arm is still covering his right ear! You might even find the still photo of that take off on the inside cover of BTB2 interesting. Executed properly the prejump brings biomechanical advantages. Not only does it enable the vaulter to make a seamless transition from the run up into the jump - just as a good long jumper does - but any increase in the pole ground angle at that point means that it is easier to move the pole forwards and upwards - a key Petrov mantra. A seemingly small advantage but as the hungarians say “Sok kicsi sokra megy” - Many small things can add up to a big one”

david bussabarger wrote:This is not to state that no elite male vaulter has ever successfully employed a "free' take off action. Rather, if they have , it is a very rare occurrence.


Not so - almost every one of bubkas jumps involved a "free take off" - however as he himself said in Jamaica in 2002, he was always aiming for a pre jump take off - but was only able to achieve that a few times because it is very difficult to do. Given the problems long and triple jumpers have in hitting the board accurately - and they don't have to manipulate a 17’ pole into perfect position as they prepare to take off - this is understandable. You might even like to take a look at the take off positions of young athletes Jamie Scroop, Tom Lovell, Patrick Jesser and Wendy Young, shown in btb and on the associated dvd - not "elite" athletes but interesting none the less.

david bussabarger wrote:The point here is that there is minimal ( if any ) empirical evidence supporting the 'free" take off concept and it's supposed superiority vs. other possible take off points.


Then you are not looking in the right places because i have listed many athletes who clearly use a free take off. The rationale for the free take off is simple, since the pole is not loaded until after the vaulter takes off it means that they have not "wasted" any of the kinetic energy developed in the run and take off in bending the pole. Since speed at the moment of take off is a critical variable, a free take off clearly has major advantages - especially cf taking off under - see below..

david bussabarger wrote:Note, it is quite easy to determine whether or not a vaulter has employed a "free" take off action. If the vaulter's top hand is behind his /her head just after leaving the ground, the vaulter has not executed a "free" take off. This assumes the vaulter was erect, with the with the top hand directly overhead at the completion of the plant.

Why would you bother determining if a take off is "free" or not if as you say it rarely occurs anyway/ however as i suggested above, the best inidcator of a "free" take off is that the pole is straight at the instant the vaulter leaves the ground

david bussabarger wrote:3.The Russian model (which is primarly based on the technique of S. Bubka, - represents a tiny percentage, at best, of elite vaulters.

But it has been employed by tarasov/markov/gibilisico/trandenkov/gataullin/isinbayeva/feofanova/balachonova,Murer- As well as the Brazillian lad who recently won the WJ title in Barcelona with 5.65m
I also suggest you have a look at the german and cuban vaulters of recent times along with paul burgess, steve lewis and steve hooker - all originally coached by Soviet influenced individuals in Steve Rippon and Mark Stewart and subsequently by Alex Parnov - a vaulter from the former soviet school.

david bussabarger wrote:It is simply bad science to base a vaulting concept on such a small sampling of vaulters.

Not such a small sample - and even if they dominate the top end rankings???

david bussabarger wrote:This problem is particularly critical when most variations of technique that do not conform to the Russian model ( no matter how successful they are ) are simply dismissed as flaws in execution.

Who dismissed them - some of us are aware that the French for example (as in many areas of culture) have thir own views on vault technique - but take a look at Galfione, another 6 m vaulter who won in Atlanta. His coach was becoming influenced by Petrov prior to his result. I accept that the French did have an alternative approach during the late 70s/80s - went and studied with their coaches Houvion (OC96) and Perin (OC84) during that period. Like many coaches I decided that the Soviet Model better matched the biomechanical demands of this event.

Of course it is clear that folk have vaulter above 5.90 without using the Petrov/Bubka model - Bu the question remains would many of the have vaulted higher using it?? I suspect Dean Starkey, Jeff Hartwig - who actually were pretty close in some but not all elements of their technique - along with Ockert Brits - whose technique, to coin a phrase, was diabolical - would have done so, and I know that Simon Arkell - a 19' footer - would have if I had introduced him to it when I first taught him to vault.

david bussabarger wrote:4. World record holder Sergey Bubka was a uniquely talented athlete. His raw speed and explosive power are unmatched.

Not true - this is one of the great myths - go and talk to bubka and he will rapidly disabuse you of that notion. What is not understood - because it is rarely discussed - is that the efficiency of his technique also included his pole carry and planting action - a factor that enabled him to be highly efficient in converting what sprint speed he did have to the pole vault run up - and especially through the last ten metres into take off - a zone where many vaulters decelerate because of insufficient emphasis on this aspect of technique - incidentally you might also find it interesting to talk with Vitali himself about this to discover how important he thinks it is.

david bussabarger wrote:It is logical to assume – that Buubka's athletic talents played a major role in his success. Therefore if another vaulter was able to precisely duplicate Bubuka's technique, he would have to have superior athletic talent vs. Bubka, in order to surpass his marks.

True - great examples would have been victor chystiakov and ockert brits - but there are other issues that impinge on this - notably good early coaching, mental strength, focus and reslience and there is little doubt bubka was fortunate in these areas -especially the first.

david bussabarger wrote:Conversely, if any 6m. vaulter had Bubka's athletic talents, it is certainly???? possible that they could or could have vaulted as high or even higher than Bubka using thier own technical style.

A pretty powerful statement of opinion - not fact - and you would not be saying that if you really understood the biomechanics of the Petrov model.


david bussabarger wrote:5. The fiberglass vault dates back to the early 60's. Since it's inception individual stylistic variations have always been the norm.

yes and these "stylistic variations" have invariably held the event back - and may even have contributed to the serious injuries and deaths in this event.

Perhaps you should consider the following facts about the world record performances from this period of 'individual stylistic variations' and compare them with those of a small group of young and very amateur vaulters in South Australia - who were all introduced to the Petrov Bubka model from the first time they picked up a pole. Here I think it fair to assume that the world record holders in question were all pretty mature and talented athletes, who took their training seriously. So what do we find
1963 Brian Sternberg WR 5.00M - 2000 Tom and Chris Lovell (aged 18) 5.00m . Both boys around 5’6 and 140 pounds – playing other sports at school and trained a maximum of three sessions a week in the summer of that year, much less previously.
1964 Fred Hansen wr 5.28 1988 Adam Steinhart 5.26 age 18
1966 Bob Seagren wr 5.32 1995 Matt Filsell 5.30 age 17
1967 Paul Wilson wr 5.38 2000 Patrick Jesser 5.40 age 18
1971 John. Pennel wr 5.44 1998 Matt Filsell 5.45 age 20
Note that Matt left school at 16 and was working a full time job during this period – he was not a superior athletic talent. Hope the lack of capitals here does not confuse anyone!!!


Of course you can claim I am cherry picking but the full list of junior vaulters in this group between 1986 and 2000 is provided in BTB2.
So what is the message? That very ordinary youngsters training part time in the back of beyond with an amateur coach and always dealing with the tyranny of distance in OZ - but using the Petrov Bubka model - could match the performances of talented and committed athletes - presumably using the individual styles you mention.

david bussabarger wrote:This fact continues to this day and is even evident in the super elite 6m. club where every vaulter has a distinctive individual style (this true even for russian 6m. vaulters ).

Yes indeed they do, because they are unique individuals but also because in some cases -even where they are using the soviet technical model e.g. tarasov/markov,gibilisico/feofanova (although it did not stop her - at 5'4" - jumping 4.90m. CF George Davies wr record of 4.88) They have minor technical weaknesses - which I have outlined in chapter 28 BTB2 without being too bumptious i suggest you consider reading chapter & )f btb ��� ���biomechanics< technical models and style���>

Without being too bumptious i suggest you consider reading chapter 7 of BTB - "biomechanics< technical models and style".


david bussabarger wrote:The fact that these variations continue to persist at this late date in the history of the event ( note, some variations, such as the "underneath" take off, date back to beginning of the fiberglass era )

Taking off under is not a "variation" - it is a major fault and there is plenty of evidence confirming the rapid deceleration of any vaulter who takes off under.


david bussabarger wrote:….is a kind of proof.

excuse me - "a kind of proof" - i thought you were presenting this as a "sort" of scientific critique of the petrov model

david bussabarger wrote:1that there is no one ideal technical stlye or model.


I sincerely trust that no one who reads this is going to go out and teach folk to take off under. Any study of those early flexible pole vaulters suggests that they simply had no idea what they were doing - except try to bend the pole - and taking off under certainly helps you to do that! The real problem at that time was that coaches did not know either! imho if they had simply stayed with the stiff pole technical model of Warmerdam for example - vaulting would have progressed much faster. As it was those vaulters developed dead end techniques - some of which unfortunately persist to this day.

david bussabarger wrote:Based on the broadest possible visual analysis of elite male vaulters, it is possible to isolate many elements of technique that, with few exceptions, are universally practiced.

That is if you really know what to look for!
So what are these elements of technique that are universally practised in your opinion???

david bussabarger wrote:On the other hand, this method should also make it clear that there also are many aspects of technique that remain subject to individual interpretation.

Sorry to contradict, you but the only - and i mean only! issue that really needs to be resolved - to everyones satisfaction - not mine, because i am already a convert - is Roman Botcharnikov's notion of pulling with the bottom arm immediately after take off to further accelerate the whip swing of the body into inversion.
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Re: Does the Russian model represent ideal technique?

Unread postby ADTF Academy » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:10 am

Andy I agree with you on most..... In the end that's how this forum usually works. When the dust settles people realize they usually feel the same way.

Andy_C wrote:I would disagree with you there. I've seen and also heard of numerous elite men and women trained to remarkable results using very similar principles. Perhaps what you are seeing is 4 elite men or women being coached by different people with different points of views. The repeatability of it all is quite extraordinary when you think about how different the people are involved.

A good example I could give would be Alex Parnov. He runs a very well structured system, although again, he is a human and not a robot. But he is one guy and he has his system. Not all of his vaulters "look" exactly the same (but as you said, looks can be deceiving) and he may not deal with them all in the same exact manner as people but they all go through his system. With his system he's produced 3x 6 meter vaulters (i.e. they weren't 6m jumpers before they met him) and 3x 15'+ women. And the kids he trains also look incredible, they're not robots but they sure look like it! His system is not 100% identical to Petrov's and I'm sure he has a lot of his own ideas that nobody else has heard of but in the grand scheme of things they are extremely comparable when you look at all the other systems out there. I personally like to categorize these models under the umbrella term The 2nd Generation Fiberglass Philosophy - there are numerous subcategories created by coaches who have their own perspective of many of the same principles. They are all a little bit different but all fall into the criteria because there are countless recurring themes that have been established for a long time. These recurring themes actually make up the bulk of each individual system! These themes should also now be standard practice amongst pole vault coaches but unfortunately are not.

-Andrew



The key term is very similar principles..... This goes back to my point that there are key positions that must be achieved to have success... Labeling them all a variation of a model is cult like. I have hung out with Parnov and his athletes. I may end up in Melbourne for a week or so next year hanging out with them. Principles I even agree with are seen in his teachings and the teachings of most to all coaches working with elite athletes. I wouldn't say there is any elites doing anything that is off the wall different. The last person that was in that category was Jason Colwick. Even as crazy as his style was he hit some positions amazingly. He has now changed to a more traditional style of vault. I've met athletes that have worked with Petrov and their coaches on a long scale basis and even they laugh at the idea of a Petrov Model. We like to put labels on things and give credit to people thats the American way. They are positions every sound model should have. So I guess if you want to give one man credit so be it, but those positions where being hit before Bubka even vaulted. I personally have met Petrov twice. Never worked under him never was taught by him. I have never coached next to him. It was years later well after I had started coaching did I get to meet him and read more and more of his studies. He had little influence on my system. His work confirmed what I was doing and gave me more ways to say the same thing. Does that mean I coach a Petrov Model because I utilize many of the same principles? I am not part of the Petrov Model Cult sorry to disappoint you.

People keep brining up the fosbeuy flop as a model. It is not a model it is a clearance technique. It is the same as saying the Hoffman Roll. The flop is not a model its a clearance technique used in a high jump model. High Jump is not just the clearance technique its the steps and how the curve is run its how they load their body. What their takeoff technique will be. Their approach angle and so many other components. The vault is the same way. A model/system is so massive and encompasses every aspect of you as a coach from the technique you use, the training you do on and off the runway and the mental components of selling your system to your athletes.

The Petrov Model when looked at it that way is very Russian/Eastern German. It is very systematic and precision. It is very gymnastic drill Sargent oriented. There is a reason gymnast get burned out. There is a reason Yelena got burned out while under Petrov. There is a reason Bubka himself got burned out and left Petrov towards the end of his career. Though principles of the Petrov Model are excellent the structure I don't think works with our society today unless you're in a 3rd world country and have no choice or are overly driven to not have a life outside of the sport. If calling something the Petrov Model means as coaches you put in key principles and work towards your athletes achieving those key positions than go for it. But if your arguing to name something after a man well sorry I doubt 99% of you have ever even met him or would know what he looked like. You wouldn't even know how he talked or could even talk to him. You'r drawn to the awe of what his athlete did. He did coach others many failed and a couple jumped ok for an elite. And before anyone says it. PETROV DID NOT DEVELOP YELENA!!!!!!! He cleaned some things up I will agree, but he didn't make her a higher jumper.

My assumption is people don't fulling understand what those principles and key positions are and therefore focus on the wrong things to try to mimic a moment in time instead of the entire flow of the vault. The reason I say this is after all these years if we are still fighting about rather a free takeoff is better than being under than people will never get it. I think people just want to be stubborn and will never learn to realize EVERYONE IS BASICALLY SAYING THE SAME THING!!!!!!!

For me the two key principles is a vault that is free flowing with little to no delays or stops in the jump from the moment of pole drop to clearance. Are their any pauses in the jump? Do things flow? The way at which each vaulter does it is different, but the principles should be the same no matter the label you put on it. Is your goal as a coach for a given athlete to move big grips or to reach complete inversion. Either way the vault must be free flowing which has been labeled in so many ways example continuous chain model.

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Re: Does the Russian model represent ideal technique?

Unread postby vaultman18 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:38 pm

Second post in this thread is very interesting as it relates to this discussion. In my opinion makes it even more baffling to me.
http://www.polevaultpower.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=22946

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Re: Does the Russian model represent ideal technique?

Unread postby altius » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:41 pm

Please add Igor Potapovich - a world indoor champion - to that list of athletes who used the Petrov/Bubka model.
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Re: Does the Russian model represent ideal technique?

Unread postby dj » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:08 pm

hey

something very interesting about this discussion... is this…

the "flop" was not a "technique" until pits were made to land in so you wouldn't get injured. The "flop" is a better technique biomechanically and by physics.

The spin in the shot, by physics, is a better technique simply because the potential is there to move the ball faster across the circle, like the discus, if you don't "slow" at some point prior to release you can "theoretically" accelerate and object with less from if that object is already moving. Part of the problem is the spin shot and the discus should be taught exactly the same way… which I don't see happening in the USA.

"pushing" the hammer has always been the best way to throw the hammer, by physics, but coaches over here have never "got it"…

Just like in the javelin a combined linear/rotational (Finns) method is correct to physics but again US coaches haven't seem to have picked that up..

In the vault we would have never had the "Russian"/Bubka Model if the pole patterns/design had not have changed along with Bubka's grip on the pole. If the pattern proportions had have been the same for Issakson's as Bubka he would have had the same technical model… George Moore's Pacer made that happen..

dj

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Re: Does the Russian model represent ideal technique?

Unread postby altius » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:07 am

Given the direction of this debate with all of the references to athletes that many of you might never have seen vault can I insert a a commercial break - normal US practice -to suggest that you contact Sean Brown at Neovault.com to purchase a dvd containing superb - originally 16 mm black and white film, much of it in slow motion, that shows jumps by athletes as far back as Slusarski OC 1976, many of the great French vaulters and most of the Soviet vaulters - with a lot of film of Bubka naturally. No US vaulters because by and large there is plenty of film available of them - I am sure dj can access it!
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Re: Does the Russian model represent ideal technique?

Unread postby agapit » Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:56 pm

david bussabarger wrote:My apologies. Being a newbie on your site it is obvious that I didn't follow correct procdure when I orginally sbumitted my article. So here is the article.


A great many coaches, vaulters and sports scientists today believe that the Russian technical model (or the Bubka/Petrov model ) represents ideal technique. Further, it is believed that this model has been proven to be ideal by physics and biomechanics.


What do you mean by a Russian Model? Could you describe its basic postulates in bullet form or someother way? It would be interesting to discuss something substantive :)
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Re: Does the Russian model represent ideal technique?

Unread postby altius » Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:19 pm

altius wrote:Given the direction of this debate with all of the references to athletes that many of you might never have seen vault can I insert a a commercial break - normal US practice -to suggest that you contact Sean Brown at Neovault.com to purchase a dvd containing superb - originally 16 mm black and white film, much of it in slow motion, that shows jumps by athletes as far back as Slusarski OC 1976, many of the great French vaulters and most of the Soviet vaulters - with a lot of film of Bubka naturally. No US vaulters because by and large there is plenty of film available of them - I am sure dj can access it!



Since it would appear that my post questioning the fact that while this debates rolls on, no one has taken the chance to access the film mentioned above has been rubbed out - I simply repeat the offer to see if anyone takes it up this time because you will certainly find it interesting.
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Re: Does the Russian model represent ideal technique?

Unread postby agapit » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:13 am

Alan, you once mentioned a Chinese proverb - "The beginning of wisdom is the ability to give things their proper names". It seems to me that David is talking about "Russian Model" without really talking about what it is. I personally am not aware of the "Russian model", so the discussion is pointless without having at least some idea of what it is. Never mind the fact that Petrov and Bubka themselves are Ukrainian and some things that you advanced in presentation of the event are really should be called British/Australian model. Is David referring to Pre-jump (free jump) and calling it a Russian model? I think he might be somewhat confused about the topic. So, I'm just trying to clarify the matter, before fighting windmills like Don Quixote of La Mancha.

In anyway, I am sure there are better places to discuss your video than this post.
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