david bussabarger wrote:Certainly it is true that all vaulting styles are variations on the same theme. However individual variations in execution create different mechanical characteristics which then affect the outcome of the vault. Altius claims that Markov and Tarasov are P/b vaulters. Both vaulters take off out and therefore have free-take offs as Petrov advocates. But Markov drops his lead leg just after leaving the ground ( hangs ). This significantly changes the mechanical characteristics of his take off ( and goes against the dogma of the P/B model ). The P/B model claims that the vault should be executed in a continuous manner and that the vaulter should not use a tucking rock-back. Markov is a tuck and shoot vaulter which again violates P/B dogma and again creates significantly different mechanical characteristics. Petrov originally claimed that the vaulter should bend the pole based on his speed and mass and not with the lower arm. Tarasov used a pronounced stiff arming action during the take take off. This has dramatic mechanic effects on the execution of the whole vault. Some of the best elite vaulters like Brits, Galfione and Hartwig violate nearly all aspects of the P/B model from the take off on wards.
The point is in the fiberglass vault differences in execution are as important as similarities in execution, so that is why talking about an individual's vaulting style is a much more accurate on the whole than talking about what model he or she represents ( Bubka is really the only vaulter that can accurately be called a P/B vaulter ).
Bubka's success as a vaulter represents what scientists call anecdotal evidence ( evidence that is too limited to prove a theory ). One of the most glaring problems with the B/P model is that it has been around and widely accepted for roughly 30 yrs. Yet it has only produced one truly great vaulter, Bubka himself. If the model is so great why haven't there been dozens of Bubka clones jumping 6m and better?
1. I most certainly agree with you that all vaulting styles are variations on the same theme!
How could this be otherwise given the invariant sequence of events (motion patterns /action / procedures or technical challenges) that all pole vaulters, I believe, must meet to successfully clear the cross-bar within the limitations of the rules of the event and the environmental constraints existent for that particular vault attempt?
You apparently accept the concept of there being a “theme” to follow. I take it therefore that you are agreeing that all vaulters are trying to follow the same “theme” when they carry out the process of pole vaulting.
What would this theme be if it is not a set of recognizable invariant actions that MUST be performed in the pole vault total process by all individual vaulters? The question then becomes what comprises this theme if it is not an “idealized model of the vaulter actions necessary,” ie., without which, a successful pole vault clearance cannot be made?
2. Petrov you have assumed is dogmatic re the tuck and shoot technique being a violation of the P/B model. Your claim is made from what I can only guess is “received knowledge” of the P/B model and that you gathered it from secondary sources and on this basis your judgement is made.
Have you actually had any first hand direct contact with Vitali Petrov in which you have been able to verify directly from him that you can be confident that he is actually dogmatic about this particular aspect of the vault? I suspect you have not.
In this regard how do you explain that Guiseppe Gibilisco PV World Champion 2003, who most coaches would agree used a “tuck and shoot” technique in the second phase of pole vault, was in fact developed and coached to that achievement by none other than Vitali Petrov? Are you arguing that Petrov achieved this coaching outcome in violation of his own pole vault coaching precepts and principles?
3. You point out some individual variations of many fine vaulters who have been very successful in vaulting. This is no surprise given the variety of vaulter body morphologies, physical abilities, capacities, and the psycho-social factors the individual brings to any pole vault performance. If these individual factors result in “… all vaulting styles are variations on the same theme” the question remains as to what the “theme” actually is?
How does one recognize the theme? What criteria does one have to use as “Gold Standards” in deciding the necessary theme has been followed?
4. The only objectively measurable canon to be applied in pole vaulting is bar height legally cleared. There are no style points awarded!
The laws and principles derived from physics applied to human motion (you are quite right re the post hoc explanatory nature of biomechanics) are beyond human capacity to violate.
This is beyond any dispute. It is therefore quite reasonable to suggest that the science of mechanics does provide practical “Gold Standards” that can be objectively and reliably used to assess the efficiency of a vaulter’s movements of those elements that are defined as comprising the “theme”. It follows by inference that the “theme” must therefore be those elements of movement action that all vaulters MUST follow and without which a successful legal bar clearance is not physically feasible.
5. Scientist do not prove anything with absolute certainty. The best the scientific method can do is disprove a theory or hypothesis within the limits of uncertainty of the knowledge available at the time. You continue to misrepresent what scientist actually do with the evidence they gather and subject to analysis and evaluation. The view you express is popular and widely held but nevertheless is incorrect.
I and other coaches do take individual differences into account in coaching pole vaulters. It seems quite bizarre that you expect "Bubka Clones" to be developed by the P/B Approach to pole vault and that you expect to see this as the outcome of the operation of this approach for individuals exposed to it. No one can be coached to be a pole vaulting clone of anyone else. Whether the original model is Bubka, Lavillenie or anyone else, if we coach real individuals in real life situations they will always be a "one off, unique person pole vaulting"!
6. David, so that the thread you started gets beyond ,yet again, “flogging a dead horse” can you please provide your answers to the following specific questions. The answers will help us coaches become disabused of our reliance in following our craft by employing empirically useful working templates provided by “Ideal Model Constructs and Ideas” when we attempt to improve the safety and success of our methods of pole vaulting teaching and coaching.
(a) Could you please share with us what you believe to be the invariant elements without which a successful pole vault clearance cannot be made?
(b) How do you coach/teach the introduction to the take-off to beginners and address the criteria you use to determine the “limits” of safely allowable variation when assessing the learner’s attempts at take-off? What criteria do you use to decide a learner’s readiness to increase the number of steps in the run up and to judge the amount to raise the grip length on the pole?
(c) In coaching an intermediate to advanced level pole vaulter what technical method of inversion do you coach and why do you coach that method? When working this same element of the vault would you coach male and female vaulters of this standard to attempt the same method? On the other hand if you teach/coach each vaulter at this level according to their individual capacity and ability, how do you make this assessment and then what criteria do you apply in deriving a method of inversion tailored to suit the specific individual?
By answering some or all of these questions you will be able to advance your argument in a manner that will convince myself and perhaps others that the thread is not an exercise in rhetoric or riding hobby horses!
I can only speak for myself and assure you I am looking forward to your response to the questions posed.