And in the real world.........!

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.
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altius
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And in the real world.........!

Unread postby altius » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:50 pm

It is sometimes worth remembering that, as the Torah suggests, the goal is not mere knowledge but action so we are wondering if anyone out there is interested in a foray into the real world - the world of young pole vaulters. If anyone is interested, my good friend John Gormley, a technological genius as well as being a highly experienced vault coach, has posted a clip on Utube which shows some stills and film of a couple of young - 15 year old - Adelaide pole vaulters competing in their National Championships in Perth.

http://youtu.be/5hJ4nctiSc4

These boys are not superstars, age group record holders or anything incredible like that. In fact their performances are put into perspective by the fact that a 15 year old girl in the same meet jumped 4.31! They are just a couple of lads who have been playing with the vault for a few years but who decided last year that they really wanted to be pole vaulters. Their coach, Kym Simons, is a former vaulter of mine and he asked me to return to the group as a mentor last November; a fantastic opportunity to work with a good man and some enthusiastic athletes, especially for someone who was wandering around like a lost soul - trying to avoid washing the car!

However I should point out that while everyone is entitled to critique these young vaulters, please do not unleash a storm of criticism for we are at least as aware as anyone else that they still have issues with their technique and are not matching the Bubka model in every way. The fact that they are still going through puberty in just one of the issues involved. But as you can see they are ATTEMPTING the Petrov/Bubka model.

So consider the possibility that we do know what we are doing here (visual evidence provided). In fact based on analysis of the film, Kym, myself and the boys have already adjusted training priorities with a view to making further significant technical and physical improvements.

Given that in the past I have been accused, falsely I might add, of cherry picking from thousands of feet of film to select the clips for the the BTB dvd, I would point out that these jumps came as they went one and two in the national U16 championships to beat out a very determined lad from New South Wales. Kurtis, the right hander had a pr of 4.50 going into the meet and Declan had a pr of 4.30

If there is sufficient interest in following a real work in progress we are prepared to provide basic performance parameters for both the boys shown in the video. Suffice to say that as of early December 2012 their personal bests were 4.05m and 3.80m.

Apologies for the quality of the film taken by a parent but - Enjoy! Incidentally I am not sure Becca will allow this to stay in the advanced section - we will see.
Last edited by altius on Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: And in the real world.........!

Unread postby KirkB » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:19 pm

Thanks for sharing!

I especially like Declan's takeoff and jump to the "C" position - very good posture.

And his downswing is very good too.

As he matures, he will learn to improve his upswing (past the Active-I).

This should be easier for him (compared to other HS vaulters), since his plant/takeoff/C fundamentals are already sound.

He's actually quite fortunate to have this solid coaching so early in his career. Far better than learning the wrong plant and takeoff habits, and then having to "unlearn" them when he finally gets a good coach.

Kudos to you and Kym!

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Re: And in the real world.........!

Unread postby PVstudent » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:14 pm

Good job Kym. :yes:
D great take- off and K still under but good work into the inversion. :D
Well done both of you!
You both are doing well. Good to see progress.
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Re: And in the real world.........!

Unread postby grandevaulter » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:16 am

There's not a great deal that I can comment on these videos. The quality of the vaults say it all. Amazing for the age of 15.

altius wrote:If there is sufficient interest in following a real work in progress we are prepared to provide basic performance parameters for both the boys shown in the video.


Would I be able to get this information at your clinic this summer? Do you have firm dates and locations? I would be looking at Minneapolis, unless you have one in Chicago. It's a good twelve hour drive. ( Would also give me a chance to visit with my Swedish relatives in the area).

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Re: And in the real world.........!

Unread postby altius » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:15 pm

Well some interest in the real world of pole vaulting at last - fantastic. My last clinic will be in Minneapolis 5/6/7 July - contact Chris Milton for venue. However I will be laying over in Chicago on the evening of the 8th. Got to find a hotel first - but perhaps we can catch up.

Thanks Kirk - but credit especially to Kym who has been living the usual 24/7 life of a volunteer coach with all its ups an downs.
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Re: And in the real world.........!

Unread postby altius » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:40 pm

Not a huge amount of interest in 'the real world' apparently, but despite this John has now posted the clips on Utube in slomo. Perhaps that will provoke a little more reaction. But given the level of analytical debate about elements of Bubk'a technique I would point out that while Declan would have known that he was aiming for a free take off, Kurtis (like Bubka) would have very little idea of what he was doing when he inverted.

As I have repeatedly argued, much of what happens after the vaulter leaves the ground is non conscious, intuitive behaviour (where intuition is "the distilled essence of past experience"). It is easier for the athlete to 'learn' through repetition of specific practices than it is to "teach" through the usual process of providing cues. Just a thought.
http://youtu.be/sOca_B7dHv4
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Re: And in the real world.........!

Unread postby PV2020 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:25 am

It appears all three pole vaulters were taught by straight pole vaulting first. They all have the same 'base' training under their vault technique which comes from being taught pretty much the same way. The pole drop and plant look pretty smooth and controlled although looks to be a tad late on when they start lowering for how fast/slow they are running.

You can tell about the straight poling because they both have nice tall plants but their bodies are really loose at take off and it allows the right knee to drop slightly (the last guy kept his up the best). It appears they are focused on the tall plant which is good and having a knee drive, but it appears they are just running into the take off. Almost as if they are more focused on the knee drive going in rather than up. In my opinion they need to focus more on jumping UP at take off and jumping through the hands with a more solid body/core.

Like I said earlier, it looks like they are being to taught properly, but they are still new in the event and just need some more jumping under their belt. Will slowly get stronger and faster. Vault just looks "amateurized". By that I mean they are just not very clean and crisp and need a bit more stability and strength. As they get stronger and more confident they can start focusing on being a little more aggressive, jumping better at the take off, and having a stronger looking vault.

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Re: And in the real world.........!

Unread postby KirkB » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:52 am

altius wrote: As I have repeatedly argued, much of what happens after the vaulter leaves the ground is non conscious, intuitive behaviour (where intuition is "the distilled essence of past experience"). It is easier for the athlete to 'learn' through repetition of specific practices than it is to "teach" through the usual process of providing cues.

No argument from me!

On http://www.polevaultpower.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=15483&p=111422&hilit=hit+my+plant+and+takeoff#p111422 KirkB wrote:If I hit my plant and takeoff correctly (resulting in the ideal Jump to the Split Position), I already knew whether or not I’d fly off the top of the pole. That’s because there was hardly any risk in the remaining parts of my vault.

This confidence came from thousands of reps swinging on the highbar and chin-up bar. So many that it became automatic. :yes:

I didn't need any visual cues - I could just TELL (SENSE) where I was in the air. Same as a trampolinist. They do it by rhythm and timing. I think that's how I did it too. :yes:

At Kurtis and Declan's age, I remember feeling disoriented in the air when I vaulted. This was due to lack of experience (just not enough reps on the pole or in the gym), and also the randomness (inconsistency) of my vaults. But in college, after thousands of reps, I wasn't disoriented at all - on all my good jumps I could FEEL exactly where I was in the air. If I felt a little "off", I'd steer my hips into alignment with the chord of the pole (hips up, shoulders down).

On http://www.polevaultpower.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=27027&p=169998&hilit=bubka+agapit+ground+thought#p169998 altius wrote:... what Bubka said, when agapit asked him what he thought about after he left the ground ------- AAAAAAAAAAAARGH!
:yes:
That's similar to how Isaksson described his vault too. Paraphrasing, it was something like "I just jump and swing.". He didn't analyze his technique to death - he just did what felt natural to him in the air. At least that's what he told T&FN (Track & Field News). :yes:

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Re: And in the real world.........!

Unread postby PVDaddy » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:08 am

Not to bad! Good job guys and girls!
There are six (that I know of) 15 year old boys here in the United States Jumping 4.5 Meters or better with one jumping 5 Meters.
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Re: And in the real world.........!

Unread postby PVDaddy » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:41 am

Sorry I was looking only at outdoor. There are nine, actually 11 if you count the two 14 year olds jumping 4.5 or better.
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Re: And in the real world.........!

Unread postby PVDaddy » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:41 am

Sorry I was looking only at outdoor. There are nine, actually 11 if you count the two 14 year olds jumping 4.5 or better.
Every jot and every tittle adds up to more than just a little.

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Re: And in the real world.........!

Unread postby altius » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:48 am

We are not looking to get into a competition with the USA here -given the difference in all of the critical variables involved in success - not least the rather glaring difference in the size of the talent pool between the US and Adelaide (Pop 1.2 million and one track) it would be pointless. Never forget that there is not a single high school in South Australia with a legal landing area - indeed there is only one school with a somewhat illegal one! As a result only a tiny percentage of youngsters ever see the vault, far less get a chance to try it.

As an afterthought our (South Australian) best performance by a 15 year old was Matt Filsell at 4.82m. However since Feofanova (at 5'4") jumped 4.88 we did not get carried away by this.

We just wanted to bring the discussion back to reality and to illustrate yet again that ordinary youngsters -with no great athletic qualities - can begin to exploit some of the advantages of the Petrov/Bubka model.

What I have found most interesting about this exercise is that so few folk on pvp are interested in it! So there have been no questions even about height/weight of the boys, grip height, pole stiffness, physical parameters/run up length/ mid mark/take off distance. On object lesson for me not to try to interject a little reality into the discussions in the advanced section. I will leave you to your fun.
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