altius wrote:More that any other events the pole vault and hammer throw are coach driven sports. So the key is the competence and passion of the vault coach at the college in question . and are they going to be there throughout the athletes career. On the evidence this is not as common as it ought to be. I also have to say that taking a quick look around college ranking lists and results does not fill me with any great confidence in the overall quality of vault coaches at the college level. Given the facilities, time for training and the vast range of competition opportunities at most if not all colleges I believe many are not doing the job. Challenging - but having spent considerable time working in a less than favourable environment, like most coaches in OZ, I believe standards in US colleges should be much higher.
I do realise that the vault is the poor relation in many programs and often assigned to anyone willing to take it on, but coaching this event is not rocket science - how many college coaches are real students of the event and of how best to teach and coach it. Not as many as there should be. I trust this will get a vigorous response -if only to show there is indeed some passion out there.
There are over 1000 collegiate track and field programs in the US. Too few give adequate time and energy to the vault. So, from an overall situation point of view I could not agree more with Altius.
However, I would like to say that I believe there are MORE good coaches in the US than what people generally count. Many of the BEST coaches in the US work in situations where they are making chicken salad out of chicken s!@# with average athletes and less than optimal facilities.