The location of the take off point in fiberglass pole vaulti

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david bussabarger
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The location of the take off point in fiberglass pole vaulti

Unread postby david bussabarger » Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:32 pm

In my last article "Does the russian technical model represent ideal technique?"I attempted to utilize an abbreviated form of the scientific method ( the empirical method ) to prove that there is no one ideal technical model. A major problem encountered with this apporoach was the general lack of understanding of how the scientific process works and applies to all scientific sub disciplines ( such as physics and biomechanics ). A particular problem most often encountered was the understanding and acceptance that in science, real world empirical evidence is the only thing accepted as proof. Another way to put this is that empirical evidence is a fact based on observation or experience from the real world.
Despite the difficulties involved the writer will use the same method to explore the issue of the take off point in fg. vaulting.
Historically speaking the take off points of elite male fg. vaulters have always varied widely and this continues to this day. If we examine the take off points of the members of the superelite 6m. club we find that at one extreme J. Galfione, O. Brits and D. Ecker all typically take off with the toe of the take off foot roughly 18" ahead of the vertical of the top hand when in a completed planting position. Tim Lobinger typically takes off about 12" ahead and Tim Mack and Tobey Stevenson typically take off about 6" to 9" ahead or under. Brad Walker, Jeff Hartwig, Steve Hooker, and Yevgeniy Lukyanenko typically take off with the toe of the take off foot aligned with the back side of the vertical plane of the top hand. And, finally Max Tarasov, Rodion Gataulin, Igor Trandenkov, Sergey Bubka, Dmitriy Markov, and Renaud Lavillenie all typically take off about 3" to 4" behind the vertical plane of the top hand. Note that due to the lack of good slow motion video , the writer could not determine the take off point of Paul Burgess.
Many coaches and sports scientits today claim that taking of underneath causes the lose of take off velocity( the further under, the greater the velocty lose) and site research studies to validate this supposed fact. However, from a scientific point of view, the indisputable fact that at least 6 6m. or better vaulters and numerous 5.80+ vaulters take off under ( in the case of Galfione, Brits and Ecker extremely far under ) points to the obvious fact that the studies mentioned are obviously flawed or outright in error. Again, real world empirical evidence is always the gold standard for proof in the scientific world.
It is further claimed by these same coaches and sports scientists that vaulters cannot achieve correct execution of the take off when taking off under. Again, real world observational (empirical evidence ) shows this claim to be patently untrue.
Typically it is these same coaches and sports scientits who advocate the pre jump or free take off concept.That is the take off should be so far back that the vaulter can leave the ground before before the tip of the pole contacts the bacl of the box.
First,as previously mentioned, extensive research by the writer found no examples of an elite male vaulter successfully executing a free take off action. This probably because executing a free take off action is tantamount to jumping on the pole, which invariably causes the rest of the vault to become dangerously out of contol.
It is the writer's view that when it comes to the take off point, moderation is the best course.The vaulter should not take off too close to the functional limits of an outside take off point, nor should he or she take off too close to the functional limits of an inside take off point. Approaching the extreme functional limits of either end of the take off point gives the vaulter little margin for error. If his/her steps are only slightly are only slightly off, the results could be disastrous.

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Re: The location of the take off point in fiberglass pole vaulti

Unread postby Coach J » Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:09 pm

David Bussabarger

Would you consider this a free take off?

http://youtu.be/_-UwBaf8f98

Thank you

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Re: The location of the take off point in fiberglass pole vaulti

Unread postby altius » Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:39 pm

Readers may be interested to learn that in the IAAF Biomechanics report on the 2009 World Championships -the most recent data I can find that provides evidence on the take off point with fibre glass vaulting poles, states

"Attention should be given to R.Lavellenie's take off position, which was unusually far out from the cut in box (sic) at 4.65m. Lavellenie showed his jumps with so called free take off"(sic).

While that position - on a 5.80 jump - may have been 'unusually far out' I doubt that he has changed to taking off under over the last two years -a period in which he has enjoyed great success - but I suppose we will have to wait for the Biomechanics reports of this period to establish that as a fact.

If David Bussabarger's opinion- and it is an opinion - that taking off under should be accepted as a merely a 'variation of technique' - and not a major fault - is taken seriously - he will have taken technique in the pole vault back fifty years.

Incidentally it seems that it is OK to cherry pick athletes who have jumped high taking off under - but if I detail a swag of athletes who have taken off beneath or outside their top hand - this fact is ignored - are there two "real worlds"?
Its what you learn after you know it all that counts. John Wooden

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Re: The location of the take off point in fiberglass pole vaulti

Unread postby dj » Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:10 pm

hye

come on guys the "point of take-off" has never changed in the vault over time.. steel, bamboo, fiberglass.. all the same..

by "physics" the athlete should have an upward "impulse".. arms fully extended, just as the pole tip contacts the back of the box.

By Petrov's words the pole should still be straight/none bending (meaning the pole has not accepted the bodies weight) until the vaulters toe has left the runway… "free", by Petrov ,is when the vaulter does not feel the pole for the first 30cm after takeoff which gives us the term "free".. free from resistance/force at this point in the vault.

Petrov went on to say when the American vaulter "feels" this "free" point he intuitively will "pull back".. or clutch.. because he is afraid (intuitively from not feeling the pole) what should happen and what he coaches and tells Bubka to do, is reach higher with the arms and the correct "loading" of the pole will "happen" transferring the maximum body momentum with the pole at the maximum and highest angle.

The correct point is somewhere close to vertical to the extended top reach arm.. the faster you are running the farther you can be "out" and still create the maximum force.

AND a vaulter can be slightly "under" and still.. "hold" the pole from the back of the box and get a "free" takeoff. But that takes a special athlete.. and the point of takeoff needs to be controlled by the athlete with the correct last six steps and pole drop.

dj

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Re: The location of the take off point in fiberglass pole vaulti

Unread postby IAmTheWalrus » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:32 pm

David, I don't appreciate your condescending tone regarding what you generously call science. Do not insult our intelligence or talk down to a forum that contains well educated people, many of whom are professionals in the fields of science and engineering.

Used to be that all the best high jumpers were straddling or rolling over the bar...
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Re: The location of the take off point in fiberglass pole vaulti

Unread postby altius » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:00 am

Nice bit of cherry picking there but not always accurate. I think you will discover that Tim Mack moved his take off point out after comparing his take off position - unfavourably - with that of Dimitri Markov (4.30m/14') in the 2002 Edmonton World Champs.

Also have some film - which I will put up when I learn how to do it - that suggests that Galfione for example was never intending to take off under - he certainly does not do so on this film from the 1996 Olympic Games.

Keep up the good work - but try to get your 'facts' correct!
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Re: The location of the take off point in fiberglass pole vaulti

Unread postby dj » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:17 am

let's talk about what facts....who is it on this post that has there facts wrong and what exactly does "cherry" picking mean?...

i'm not asking this to create a "heated" personal..he said she said, but to understand what facts are being questioned...

dj

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Re: The location of the take off point in fiberglass pole vaulti

Unread postby VaultMarq26 » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:24 am

The number of six meter vaulters that take off under is what it is, but if you are going to call it imperical data you need to follow the rules of statistics. You can not make a claim that your empirical data disproves any technical model with such a low "n" number. Without at least 30 participants in your"study" any true statistition would say that a valid conclusion can not be drawn from the data.

Ther are not 30 guys in the 6 meter club and any range into 5.80 or lower would not serve to prove your point about the top vaulters in history.
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Re: The location of the take off point in fiberglass pole vaulti

Unread postby dj » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:24 am

hye

in my opinion the correct take-off point is a given, physics sets that point, and it should be easy to determine and easy to understand the "why"..

the problem we have is that 99% of our coaches and jumpers down know the "how" involved in getting a correct takeoff. Almost every coach or every athlete thinks all they must do is move the step back if they are under… this is totally, totally wrong… if the athlete stretches to be slightly under, which happens almost 99.9% of the time, even and specifically with every elite vaulter, you over them back and they stretch under more!

We have to start moving every vaulter that you coach "forward" instead of back.. move them forward, force or teach them to increase the frequency, shorten each stride slightly and takeoff "out"…

This is how we correct "under", this is how we get them to the correct takeoff point (free) and this is how we correct the posture and pole drop.. simple.. if you would just do it!

This is how to solve the problem and end this discussion.

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Re: The location of the take off point in fiberglass pole vaulti

Unread postby superpipe » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:36 am

dj wrote:hye

come on guys the "point of take-off" has never changed in the vault over time.. steel, bamboo, fiberglass.. all the same..

by "physics" the athlete should have an upward "impulse".. arms fully extended, just as the pole tip contacts the back of the box.

By Petrov's words the pole should still be straight/none bending (meaning the pole has not accepted the bodies weight) until the vaulters toe has left the runway… "free", by Petrov ,is when the vaulter does not feel the pole for the first 30cm after takeoff which gives us the term "free".. free from resistance/force at this point in the vault.

Petrov went on to say when the American vaulter "feels" this "free" point he intuitively will "pull back".. or clutch.. because he is afraid (intuitively from not feeling the pole) what should happen and what he coaches and tells Bubka to do, is reach higher with the arms and the correct "loading" of the pole will "happen" transferring the maximum body momentum with the pole at the maximum and highest angle.

The correct point is somewhere close to vertical to the extended top reach arm.. the faster you are running the farther you can be "out" and still create the maximum force.

AND a vaulter can be slightly "under" and still.. "hold" the pole from the back of the box and get a "free" takeoff. But that takes a special athlete.. and the point of takeoff needs to be controlled by the athlete with the correct last six steps and pole drop.

dj



My understanding of a "free take-off" is that it occurs at an infinitesimally small time BEFORE the pole tip hits the back of the box. This is because gravity is our enemy and we want to give gravity the least amount of time to act upon us in the time space between leaving the ground and the pole tip hitting the back of the box (when we start to load the pole). Could you explain the 30cm number and your "allowance" of being more "out" with increased speed?
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Re: The location of the take off point in fiberglass pole vaulti

Unread postby Branko720 » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:59 am

I agree DJ I think we all know what the take-off point should be, and further I completely agree with your comments about the step. I see coaches, way too often, moving athletes back on the runway when they actually need to run better. And when these athletes are moved back they just over stride (lose speed), cannot jump up at take off, and still manage to be under.

Look I think this is what is causing so much debate. David is stating that most elite men take off under and now he is saying that he just thinks people shouldn't be too far under or too far out. I think the thing that David is missing is that an athlete's goal and what they actually achieve can be very different. I would imagine that most athletes that take-off under weren't trying to be under. And that is important. There is a right and wrong way to do things. And when a coach and athlete are working on what they believe is to be perfection, the closer they get the better(higher) the performance.

Taking off under is bad! You cannot coach an athlete to be under, the results would not be desirable. Will athletes be under from time to time, yes, but that cannot be the goal. And Again I will ask as I did earlier with no response. How do you think athletes should be coached? Should they be taught to be under? How do you coach this? Lets see if I get an answer from David this time.

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Re: The location of the take off point in fiberglass pole vaulti

Unread postby dj » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:58 pm

hye

Branko... very correct..

i do not coach and athlete to takeoff "under".. i want them exploding "up/through" the take-off just before the pole smacks the back of the box. hopefully with the arms reaching as high as possible..

I do correct any "stretch" whither it is the last six or the last step by moving the athlete up! Every time, there is a rare occasion that unless were not running the correct speed for the grip.. I leave the step at six and encourage them to run/attack and get the feet down.

Pretty much every new athlete I get I have to "retrain" the run.. move them in, check the six and gradually work them out with more speed.

Next: An athlete with more speed will/can carry that speed after takeoff a little farther than a slower athlete, so I see, by "physics" a better chance for an athlete with speed to function with a farther out takeoff… but that depends on the grip to speed ratio.

Petrov indicated, while standing at the takeoff point in front of a pit in Reno, that, first the "free" meaning, free from the "resistance" of the pole.. and second that if the takeoff is hundredths of a second before the pole is set against the back of the box….. there will be a "distance" traveled at takeoff ..free.... indicating with his hands.. a width of 20/30 cm that the pole will be moving toward "rotation" at the same speed as the body.. indicating that is a short period of time, just as the toe is leaving the ground…

dj


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