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Re: New practice video with my new camera

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:26 pm
by superpipe
First let me correct my one statement:

superpipe wrote:or the pole is near parallel to the ground at take-off (which can never happen).

It wouldn't have to be parallel, but applying some simply geometry would state a 5' 11" person, like myself, with roughly a 7' 6" reach with my top hand would need at least a grip height of 20' to require my bottom arm to be straight at the plant. (assuming my grip width is roughly 22" or so and the plant box is 8" below ground level) This doesn't even take into account the vertical jump right at take-off that would push the required pole length to like 21' or 22' for me to have a straight bottom arm at the initial take-off.

Now take Bubka's bent bottom arm in the photo above and straighten it out. That sure in heck is not how a pole is meant to bend. His bottom hand would be higher than his top hand.

So if you force a straight bottom arm at the plant or the take-off without using a grip height of over 20', you "block", period.

Re: New practice video with my new camera

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:04 pm
by altius
Lovely camera and a good facility – pity both are being wasted! But as my old gran used to say “A man convinced against his will remains of the same opinion still” – and you clearly are not interested in anyone else’s opinion even though they may have years of experience studying and coaching the vault – again a pity! But there is nothing to stop anyone reinventing the wheel – even it finishes up a funny shape – as long as they don’t try to inflict their ideas on others and clearly you are not doing that. You are just holding yourself back – again a pity because you obviously have some potential and you are really committed.

With all of this in mind I am only adding my thoughts here because at present I have nothing better to do and am a little bored so it doesn’t really matter if you don’t take any notice of what I have to say – well except to your ultimate performance because at present you are letting your ideas – dare I say your ego - get in the way of potential improvement. From what you have written here it is clear that you do not understand modern technique – indeed you don’t understand what you yourself are doing when you vault.

First let us bury the old chestnut that we are simply recommending that everyone copy Bubka! Because what jump would you copy – almost every jump he ever took was different in some way or other because that is the nature of the event. What we are suggesting is that you consider the biomechanics of the model that he – and the majority of other great vaulters of recent times - used. Of course they all look different because they are different individuals but they are/were all trying to use the same model. So what are the key elements of that model?

A high pole carry – to allow athletes to control the longer/heavier poles that this technique allows the athlete to use.
A very controlled lowering of the pole, completed at a precise point in the run up in preparation for the plant.
A very precise planting action that puts the pole in position for take off before the take off foot touches down.
Both hands/arms driven up strongly at and after take off.
A free take off in which the pole is not loaded until after the athlete leaves the ground. Note this has important implications for your notion of maintaining a straight arm throughout! The only way to maintain a straight arm at this point is to drive it forward/ upward through the pole- this will load the pole and cause it to bend –typical blocking action much used until quite recently by many US vaulters. Note the only other way in which the left arm could remain straight with the right arm in the correct position covering the ear is if the pole is horizontal with both hands high above the head! A point made earlier. Given that you do neither of those things I think you will find that it you were to look at your left arm at take off from directly in front it will be flexed not straight – it has to be.
The pole primarily loaded through the top – right - hand. This happens because although the left arm is strong, its flexed position with the left elbow outside the line of the pole means that it cannot resist the forces of take off and is driven back over the head. Note that it is not passive or relaxed – it simply cannot withstand the forces involved –so the pole must be loaded by the top arm. Because of your emphasis on the left arm you do not – cannot - load the pole through the top hand.

An accelerating long swing around the top hand. This long swing of the whole body puts enormous energy into the pole. Note you do not swing around the top hand – because of your emphasis on the left arm you swing around the shoulders –much shorter radius of rotation – much less energy into the pole.
With the energy from the free take off and long swing the vaulter can keep the left leg straight throughout the swing and also swing fast enough to cover the pole IE get on top of the pole before it begins to straighten. Without that energy YOU swing underneath the bend of the pole with flexed legs so you are in a poor position to exploit the recoil.
From the position covering the pole the vaulter can drive the hips up to attain a vertical position aligned with the pole and then to turn and spiral off it interacting with it continually –you lose contact with the pole and simply drop off it.

2012 - I respect your commitment and enthusiasm but suggest that you consider the possibility that you may be wrong – as you reflect on this notion you might remember that three women – including Feofanova at 5’3 1/2”, have jumped 4.90 or better.

NB pretty good analysis superpipe!

Re: New practice video with my new camera

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:57 pm
by AllaboutPV1
superpipe wrote:You should never have a straight bottom arm at take-off.

These are some pretty strong words. try saying this to the french lol.

altius wrote:2012 - I respect your commitment and enthusiasm but suggest that you consider the possibility that you may be wrong – as you reflect on this notion you might remember that three women – including Feofanova at 5’3 1/2”, have jumped 4.90 or better.

Altius, not to put you down, but if i remember right, Feofanova has a pretty straight bottom arm at T-O and is outside.

Just because something is different or new doesn't mean it is wrong. if somebody ran down and jumped a new world record with terrible form would everybody try to copy him. there is more than one way to vault.

I thought pvp was for helping people out, now days it seams every body is on here to tell you how wrong you are.


Re: New practice video with my new camera

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:08 pm
by Polevaulter2012
So in bubka's photo if he straightens his left arm you are saying that six inch difference from bent to straight would require a 4 to 5 foot longer pole then what he is on? Also how could your left arm be higher then your right? I am sorry but i do not believe what you are saying. I have my theory and you have yours. You will just have to watch over the years and see what happens with my career. I am going for a straight left arm while being elastic in my shoulders. This is something I am going to do. I am a firm believer in what i am doing. I am very confident in the coaching that I have had. I am sorry I am not on the PVP bandwagon on the left arm debate.
altius wrote:2012 - I respect your commitment and enthusiasm but suggest that you consider the possibility that you may be wrong – as you reflect on this notion you might remember that three women – including Feofanova at 5’3 1/2”, have jumped 4.90 or better.

I realize you are saying maybe i shouldnt be talking because my pr is not as high as some girls, but isn't Svetlana Feofanova's left arm straight? Also I jumped that in 2009. Last year I had problems with leaving the ground and jumped from a 4 step all year long until the last meet of the year i went from 5, so I am excited that I am leaving the ground. Anyways you should consider that you may be wrong also. Yes i could be wrong but this is what I am going to go for because i think i am right. the same reason you coach the way you do. I am very open to other coaches but I am not going to change my left arm. My left arm isnt even where i want it yet. When it comes to my swing this is my first year even coming close to a swing and also I have a hard time doing a swing on the rings correctly. You are right that I do have potential, but you are wrong that I am wasting it.

Re: New practice video with my new camera

Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:34 am
by tsorenson
Here we go again...hey, at least PVP isn't boring anymore, right Altius?! :D

Let me start by saying that I don't pretend to know everything about pv. I am still learning all the time, and I hope that never ends, because it is what keeps me interested in the sport! I thought I had it all figured out when I was 19 and jumped my PR (even though I took off a foot under, blocked, and tucked). I quit college after one year and didn't vault again until a few years ago, after 12 years off. When I started vaulting again, I found that there was a great deal more information available about the event than when I was younger, thanks to the internet (and this website). Of course I bought Alan's book and memorized it. I also talked with the many great coaches here in Oregon, some of whom have forgotten more about the vault than most will ever know. As I have begun vaulting again, I have tried different techniques, and my form has changed a lot from what it once was.

I am lucky enough to vault with Scott twice a week, and although our techniques are very different, we share a passion for vaulting and helping young vaulters. The only area regarding technique in which we have a small disagreement is the bottom arm, and it is a friendly disagreement! I am jumping into this discussion with the hopes that we can keep it that way! I look at these discussions as a path to learning, not arguments, so everybody keep that in mind. In all fairness Scott is just learning how to swing...he will improve a lot as he learns the movement better on his new rings. The kid is the only person I've ever known more obsessed with PV than I am! I can guarantee you that no matter what technique he uses, he will jump very high in the future!

Having said all this, I lean strongly toward what Alan and superpipe are saying. After all my research and trial/error, I believe that the bottom arm should be extended as far as possible above the head at the plant as the hands are punched upward (the level of extension varies depending on grip height/pole angle), then it will bend during the drive (elbow out, hands back & up, shoulders relax), then extend again as the swing is snapped through the chord and the shoulders "re-engage". I believe that if you are rigid with the bottom arm during the drive, you will end up having to pull with it during the swing, and you are also much more likely to tuck to catch up to the recoil. Instead, if you get a little more elastic, you can "press it back out," keep pressure on the top hand, and keep the hips moving upward fluidly. This is what I see in Hooker's vaulting, and it helps dramatically with covering the pole! Watch Petrov's speech where he is analyzing the various vaulters during the drive phase!

Just for comparison's sake I am putting a video of my own jumps from Monday's practice here, which my friend Scott was kind enough to put together for me. We film each other each practice and work together coaching kids, so proving that both sides of the viscious "bottom arm debate" can coexist! I agree that there is more than one way to vault, but I am always striving to learn the best way. Gravity dictates that my technique be efficient when I vault on poles below my weight!

I never anticipated posting any videos of my own vaulting on this website, but because my technique is so different from Scott's, perhaps it applies to this discussion. Keep in mind the following before commenting:
1. I weigh 195 lbs. The pole I am jumping on from 5 lefts from 65'6" is a 14'3 185, gripping 13'3.
2. This was my first practice this year jumping successfully from 5 lefts...confidence is still an issue
3. I have a few more years of training the swing than Scott does!
4. I have 3 kids (you can see them in the video!), a job, and am a full time student at the university of Oregon (GO DUCKS!) as well as coaching. This means that I am not able to train as much as I would like (fat, slow, etc.) I am not a great athlete at this point. But I can still jump well enough to enjoy it!

Ok, lets keep it friendly. Just hoping for some engaging discussion. Scott, thanks again for the video, that camera is bad-a#$


Re: New practice video with my new camera

Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:02 am
by superpipe
I am far from being an elite professional coach and never mean to come across as a "know all". I'm always striving to learn and better myself as a coach. Just like tsorenson I returned to vaulting myself alongside coaching 6 years ago. I have two kids and a full time job, plus I run a pole vault club and coach freestyle snowboarding so my personal training is also much more limited than I'd like, Self analysis can only go so far too.

I'm not a human biomechanics engineer, but I am an engineer and love science and physics. I state that because pole vaulting is pure physics and human biomechanics. There are absolutely more efficient ways of performing the vault than others. Can it be done other ways? Of course, but the fact is the petrov model is the most efficient use of physics and human biomechanics to date. Did Bubka perform it perfectly? No, but he came the closest. Why would you reinvent the wheel unless you had a top pole vault coach combined with a specialized human biomechanics engineer combined with the best gymnastics coach combined with a specialized materials engineer (for the pole) that had done years of research to scientifically prove there was a better way to vault than what has been proven through the Petrov model? Seems like a waste of a career to me especially when Bubka himself, proved he could jump alot higher with the model than he finished out with.

Polevaulter2012 wrote:Also how could your left arm be higher then your right?

Simple triangle. Your arms are the same length. If one is straight above your head and one is behind your head (both arms are straight), the one above your head is higher (assuming your torso is perpendicular to the ground)

I love the pole vault and love the art and science of coaching. There's always more to learn, but you can't fight science. Could there be a better scientific way than the Petrov model? I'm open to it only if I see scientific evidence backing it up. Human biomechanics is what makes everything much more complicated, but again, science dictates there are absolutely better ways to perform the vault than others.

Re: New practice video with my new camera

Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:17 pm
by dj
dj --- "I always coach a straight arm “punch” to both arms extended above the head and go to “elastic”..

i think several of this have stated this correctly....

This is one of the key elements that Petrov has stated and emphasized that actually forces you to follow the “physics” of the event.

The first off course is the exact grip (for that person’s physical characteristic), the exact way to stand (takeoff foot forward, and the proper way to lean and go).

The second, which is just as “huge’ is keeping the left wrist high and above the elbow all the way to the plant/TO. I don’t think anyone has realized what this one does for the run/plant/takeoff. Done correctly you cannot plant late, if you are off on your run (which is the reason you plant late) you will not plant at all.

The third point that makes the “physics” work is extending the arms very high (straight if possible).. stretched high (as Petrov said at his first summit) BUT you keep the left elbow turned out. (Mike Tully and I worked that out in 1982-83 and he swing pretty well) If the left elbow is out it “opens” the shoulders for penetration and to go “elastic” and swing. The “left elbow out” also forces you to have the correct grip with the left hand which should be holding the pole with the ball of the hand, the thump and trigger finger.

Nothing wrong with “trying” to have a straight arm as long as you do the other things that keep you from blocking (without you having to think about it) and that naturally let's you swing and finish the vault correctly.


Re: New practice video with my new camera

Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:34 pm
by tsorenson
Just want to emphasize that I am not claiming that my vaulting is in any way better than anyone's (or even that I am right about the bottom arm), just to show a comparison of technique with the same camera angle, etc. It is very clear that we are showing 2 sides of the bottom arm discussion, and perhaps the best solution is somewhere between the two (I am too passive and he is too rigid?)

In fact, Scott does most everything in the vault a lot better than I do, including holding WAY higher on WAY stiffer poles, running faster, taking off with more energy, taking off farther out, and the most important thing: jumping higher! I can see Scott's argument that if you can be elastic, AND press the bottom arm up, you can potentially have the best of both worlds (like Tarasov, as Scott pointed out). The question is which way is easier to learn and teach, and what points of emphasis are most important? I know that when I personally try to keep a straight bottom arm, I can stand up a lot bigger poles/grips, but cant swing up and cover the pole worth a darn.

I am guessing that none of this will change Scott's mind, and I am hoping to not have offended him by adding to the discussion! My main reason for commenting is that I think he does just about everything in the vault very well except for the elasticity part, so that is a major realm for potential improvement. Clearly some agree and some don't, and that's OK too! This is a free country, after all...


Re: New practice video with my new camera

Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:22 pm
by altius
Would love to comment on your vault Tom but do not want to cause any problems!

Re: New practice video with my new camera

Posted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:23 pm
by vaultmd
Polevaulter2012 wrote:Got a new camera the Casio Exilim EX-FH100. Its the best camera. Check out my vaults. Starting to do somethings better.

I recently bought the EX-FC100

Re: New practice video with my new camera

Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:37 am
by Polevaulter2012
Here is the vault video from today's practice. I was really happy with it. Things seem to be coming along and I am enjoying it.

vaultmd wrote:I recently bought the EX-FC100

Do you like it?? I love my camera. Its a really good tool.

tsorenson wrote:I am guessing that none of this will change Scott's mind, and I am hoping to not have offended him by adding to the discussion!

No you are not offending me, no one one here is offending me. You are right that none of this is going to change my mind though. I believe in my method and am going to continue training and perfecting it. I am not to were I want to be with it, but I have many years. The vault is my life. I enjoy the sport and how friendly people involved in the sport are and how they try and help others. There are not to many sports where you have competitors trying to help each other out. Its awesome! I have met a lot of great people because of this sport and I like learning and hearing other coaches thoughts, but when it comes to the left arm I am going to continue and strive for what I am going for with it. I know its possible. I do enjoy everyone's thoughts and input though, so thank you everyone. Even if I am going with trying to have a straight elastic left arm i still learn stuff from other things you say. I am not shutting any information out. I am just picking what i think will help me the most.

Re: New practice video with my new camera

Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:32 am
by superpipe
Wow! I just realized how amazing your new camera is for the price. It's about time someone came out with a high speed camera that wasn't a million dollar movie one. Now, do I get what you have now or wait until March to get the latest model, the EX-ZR100? The ZR100 is only $300.00 and these camera's are rated well for low light. Ridiculous! I think I'm gonna wait until March. Thanks for posting this since I was trying to wait until I could afford a nice $1,000+ full HD camcorder. Forget that now.

This Casio high speed camera is an absolute MUST in my book for every vaulter. I still can't believe how cheap it is. I've done lots of research over the years on the best cameras for $1,300 and less trying to get the best high speed for what I could afford. I've never given Casio the time of day so this is why I probably missed even seeing this. So excited about this.