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Another "is he/she suitable"

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:25 pm
by Riven

Apologies if you have gone over this 100 times before.

Daughter is 10 years old is 4'4" and weighs 58 pounds, she has been training gymnastics for 5 years (she has done quite well and has got to regional level), but the 22 hours a week training is beginning to get to her and she is looking to move to something else, and to be honest so are we, gymnasts have such a short career for so much training and we want her to be able to do something for many years to come and not burn out at 15/16.

Obviously high jump is out (she is second smallest in her class!) as are things like shot putt (she hasn't much weight!) despite her height she is quite quick over short distances she can just about hit 15 seconds for the 100m, and is very strong (can hit 20 straight leg chin ups without a sweat), but she is never going to be the tallest person in the world, so we are at a loss as to what sport would work.

So would PV be a good option?, is she a bit young?, how much training would be involved initially? and would she even be able to lift the pole?

Any advice would be appreciated


Re: Another "is he/she suitable"

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:35 pm
by VaultPurple
If you have a good coach in your area that is willing to let her mess around with it then it could be a fun experience as long as she just sticks to it for fun and a learning process as first. At her current height and weight she is probably not going to destroy any records, but could still have a little fun with it.

A second thought, since there are not too many options for someone of her age to compete in the vault, is to just start doing track and field and continue with the gymnastics training (full or part time with the gymnastics depending on level of commitment to that). Continue this way for the next few years, and then pick up a pole around 13 or 14. Just running track and doing more sprint and technical type things will just make her an athlete, then when she starts she will have a great back ground in speed and explosiveness as well as the great body awareness from gymnastics. I would recommend events like the 100/200 as well as the hurdles (despite her size, girl hurdles are very low) because it will just make her more coordinated. Long jump is also great preparation for the vault regardless of how good you are at them.

One big mistake people make when teaching a gymnast to pole vault is that they think they can be great on technique alone and forget to work the speed size of things. But starting at an early age and size where actually vaulting may be a little difficult without an experienced coach, she may have a great opportunity to make sure she has the speed and body awareness she needs in a few years to give it a go.

Re: Another "is he/she suitable"

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:54 pm
by botakatobi
She probably has talent to become a springboard and platform diver. Her stature would be a positive for diving, but somewhat of a negative for pole vaulting.

Former gymnasts typically do very well in diving and exceed the performance of non gymnasts.

Re: Another "is he/she suitable"

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:47 pm
by rainbowgirl28
Your biggest challenge would be finding a pole vault club in your area that is able/willing to coach an athlete that young. There is no harm in beginning this young, but most are introduced to the sport through their school, so do not begin until middle school or high school. In other words, if she can't try it now, it won't hurt her if she starts in a few years. She won't be behind.

She is short now, but that could change. I was VERY small, always the smallest in my grade, until 7th grade, and now I am 5'6"! Plenty of short girls have become successful vaulters, so I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Now is a good age for her to try lots of different sports. It would be great if she could continue in gymnastics, either doing team for a few more years, or finding a way to enjoy it more recreationally. If she can find a track program, even without pole vault, where she can begin learning how to run and jump, that would be great too. Diving could be fun to try.

Good luck!

Re: Another "is he/she suitable"

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:26 pm
by fishman4god
Seek out a USATF club. They will typicaly be your best bet on getting "off the ground" no pun intended. I have a 10 year old the comes around now and then to vault and she is having fun (safely) and is learning. But ditto on the other comments!

Re: Another "is he/she suitable"

Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:59 am
by Riven
Thanks for all your replies, she is actually doing sprint training at the moment as we "gently" guide her towards athletics!, and it was at the end of her last track session that the Pole Vault coach that came over to ask us if she would like to consider trying it which sparked my initial question so now I think there is no harm in giving it a go.

I shall keep you posted

Re: Another "is he/she suitable"

Posted: Thu May 02, 2013 11:31 pm
by bigg24-7
I recently went to an indoor complex where a guy was training a 7 year old and she was clearing 9 feet!!! talk about a humbling experience for a 19 year old college vaulter who was on the struggle bus this year trying to get over just 4.0 meters. This sport is all about experience and there is nothing wrong with starting her early in my humble opinion. Just be sure to keep vaulting fun and don't pressure her until she is in high school at least. Seeing any kid younger that 12 pole vault any height has always impressed me, and I've never seen a young kid hate the pole vault.

Re: Another "is he/she suitable"

Posted: Fri May 03, 2013 8:10 pm
by KirkB
None of my sons followed me down the PV path, but one of them was a very good trampolinist. This is a sport that's perhaps not as well-known as gymnastics, but has been an Olympic sport since 2000.

The sport of "Trampoline" actually has 4 events: Trampoline (an Olympic sport), Double-Mini Trampoline, and Tumbling. There is also Synchronized Trampoline, where 2 trampolinists (on 2 separate tramps) perform their synchronized routines (10 tricks) side-by-side.

Needless to say, trampoline and gymnastics are similar enough that good gymnast are good trampolinists, and vice-versa.

And if your daughter is good on Floor Exercise, then she will certainly be a good Tumbler. The main difference between Tumbling and Floor Exercise is that Tumbling is done on a springy "runway", whereas Floor is done on a square "floor" and the tumbling tricks that a gymnast does corner-to-corner on Floor are very, very similar to the tumbling tricks done in Tumbling.

The approach run on Double-Mini Trampoline is also a bit similar to the approach run on the Vault event of gymnastics. Instead of the wooden springboard in Vault, DMT has a springboard that's more similar to a tramp - thus the name. If you know what a trampolette is, double-mini is similar, but has 2 bouncing surfaces - from which the athlete does 2 tricks (a mount trick and then a dismount trick).

Search for vids of all this.

Tramp is the closest to Gymnastics, and Diving is also close. I would recommend that your daughter try both these sports and see what she likes.

She should also continue her interest in Pole Vault, but as noted by others, her stature does limit her ability to vault as high as taller girls. A world-class gymnast could readily become a world-class trampolinist or diver, but due primarily to less sprinting ability/experience and stature, she would have more difficulty in becoming a world-class pole vaulter. However, many (most?) female pole vaulters have a strong gymnastics background.

Ten years old is still quite young. Unlike gymnastics - where you MUST become serious at that young age to become successful, 10 years old is too young to be thinking too much about training to make an Olympic team in pole vault.

It MIGHT not be too old to start serious training for Diving or Tramp. :star:

Encourage her to try many different sports, and see what she enjoys the most. :idea: