From Beginner to Bubka -and Isinbayeva too! A review.
One of the major problems in sport is the dichotomy that so often exists between coaching and sports science. Alan Launder’s book, “From Beginner to Bubka, an Australian approach to developing pole vaulters”, bridges this gap. The author has not only based his coaching practice on the best available science but has managed to clarify critical biomechanical issues in modern pole vault technique. While this situation is not unusual in track and field, where practice has often been one step ahead of theory, it stills comes as a surprise in an event seemingly made for scientific analysis.
With outstanding illustrations by John Gormley, the book is a rich, superbly-illustrated weave of theory and practice. As such, it has strong lessons for every technical event, and indeed for every sport. It is therefore essential reading for all sports scientists, if only because it reveals how outstanding coaches have translated sports science into vibrant and successful practice. The book is possibly the best technical work on athletics in the English language. It should be required reading for teachers, coaches and sports scientists.
The book is supported by a two hour DVD that not only clarifies the Petrov/Bubka technical model through stunning video sequences, but it shows how this model can indeed be used to take youngsters from beginner towards elite performance. Most importantly, it uses some of the author’s own athletes to demonstrate the carefully structured program of drills through which this can be done. It concludes with a sequence of instruction that should be of interest to any in the field of teaching or coaching.
Tom McNab: British National Coach for Athletics 1963 – 1979, Coach with the British Athletics team at 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympic Games, Coach with the British Bob sled team at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games. Fitness advisor for the England Rugby Team at the 1987 and 1992 World Cups. Author of five highly acclamed novels with a sports theme and of the stage play “1936”.
Both the book and the dvd can be obtained from Becca, Rick Baggett or Sean Brown.