Fourteen Year Gap in Modern PV Technique in the 1970s?

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Re: Fourteen Year Gap in Modern PV Technique in the 1970s?

Unread postby dj » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:39 am

good stuff... AD

i regret "how" i tried to explain the "physics" i was seeing, what i gained from Volkov and the French in Colombes(Abada, Vig-Qu, coach Perron') , positive and/or negative and by using the "pole vault" language of1980, does not come out correctly with the "language" and terms we use today...

"Hang"....... what i was trying to do was to get vaulters and coaches to STOP the "flip on your back"/g into a tuck and shot... at the takeoff and have a long but very fast swing.. long and fast produces more force so the vaulter can grip higher which potentially produces higher vaults..

i did say longer but did not emphasis "faster swing" until later in the article...

point two.. and ill explain later is Bell, Roberts or Tully never, never, ever tried to "push" with the left hand to bend the pole... they tried to "reach" as high as possible with the top hand and create as much "space" as possible between the pole and the chest, which meant to extend the left arm as far as possible "before" the pole tip hit the back of the box...

more later...

Kirk.. the "proof" of what you or I or Shannon were/was trying to accomplish was in the "drills" we created to accomplish the correct technique..

later

dj
Last edited by dj on Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fourteen Year Gap in Modern PV Technique in the 1970s?

Unread postby KirkB » Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:36 pm

Yes, very good points ADTF. You are a top-notch coach of elite vaulters, and I respect your opinions highly. :yes:

dj wrote: ... and ill explain later is Bell, Roberts or Tully never, never, ever tried to "push" with the left hand to bend the pole... they tried to "reach" as high as possible with the top hand and create as much "space" as possible between the pole and the chest, which meant to extend the left arm as far as possible "before" the pole tip hit the back of the box...

more later...

Kirk.. the "proof" of what you or I or Shannon were/was trying to accomplish was in the "drills" we created to accomplish the correct technique

DJ: Yes, on many occasions Dave Roberts and I discussed the plant, and he was emphatic in reaching the top arm as high as possible. He called it a "tall plant". As I've stated in my posts, I copied Dave's plant - he did not copy my plant. His plant (including free takeoff) was better than anyone else's (other than maybe Isaksson).

Good point re Shannon's drills. I learned to vault on a highbar and short-run vault drills. Long run vaults were just for competitions.

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Re: Fourteen Year Gap in Modern PV Technique in the 1970s?

Unread postby KirkB » Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:22 pm

I'm also thinking that we should take a look at Bob Seagren's 1972 vaults (maybe comparing them to his technique in his 1968 vaults).

Prior to 1972, his WR was 5.41 in 1968. Then in 1972, he tied Isaksson in El Paso with a WR 5.59 (May 23), and then won the Olympic Trials in Eugene OR with a new WR 5.63 (July 2).

I had studied his 1968 technique but didn't pay much attention to it, as I thought Isaksson's technique was a better model. He laid low in 1969-1971 (didn't jump much, and no new WRs), but came back suddenly in the Olympic Year of 1972. In 1972, I was more concerned with my own technique and again didn't study Seagren's technique.

I'm wondering whether he changed his technique in some important way? What accounted for his sudden 0.24 (6.6") increase in PR, other than his competitive juices re Olympic glory, and Isaksson (and Nordwig and Johnson and Smith and Roberts) pushing him to excel?

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Re: Fourteen Year Gap in Modern PV Technique in the 1970s?

Unread postby clymb » Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:23 pm

I just read the thread starter post, then only one or two of the others, so I may be repeating, but...

I always understood that Petrov based his model on Warmerdam and Isaksson. Warmerdam is the one you hear him reference all the time, but I've always thought most of his plant (arm specific) and off-the-ground technical aspects were based on Isaksson. I don't know or remember where I heard that specifically (maybe just from watching a bit of video on both of them), but I've always understood that to be true. However, I've been wrong a lot about a lot, so...

I'm actually in the process of putting together a (hopefully short) presentation comparing Bubka and Isaksson, based off that assumption, tentatively called "Kjell Isaksson Doesn't Get Enough Credit", in which I'm making some positional comparisons of them throughout the vault.

I think Petrov is a vault genius, but I'm sure he didn't derive all of what he and Bubka accomplished technically off of just Butch...I'm putting my money on the Swede.

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Re: Fourteen Year Gap in Modern PV Technique in the 1970s?

Unread postby clymb » Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:33 pm

After reading a few more of the post on this thread, maybe Isaksson is getting enough credit amongst the very best informed folks on this site and in the vault community...but I'll make the vid anyway...at least get the visual comparison out there into the universe.

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Re: Fourteen Year Gap in Modern PV Technique in the 1970s?

Unread postby KirkB » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:46 am

climb wrote: I'm actually in the process of putting together a (hopefully short) presentation comparing Bubka and Isaksson, based off that assumption, tentatively called "Kjell Isaksson Doesn't Get Enough Credit", in which I'm making some positional comparisons of them throughout the vault.

I think Petrov is a vault genius ... I'm putting my money on the Swede.

I'm looking forward to your Isaksson vid!

I would NOT say that he's gotten enough credit. But for this thread that I started, he's been relatively ignored - especially by the Petrov pundits.

I do agree that Petrov was a genius, and so are Altius and Agapit :) but you, me, and DJ and only a few other guys of the 1970s era have given Isaksson the PV pioneering credit he deserves!

I think that it's only been recently - perhaps after he saw the Isaksson vid in the past month - Agapit (Roman B.) has come around and sees some Petrovish-ness and 640 Model-ness (if that's a word) in Isaksson's technique. :yes:

You may already be aware that it was only after we (Ken Shannon and myself) watched Isaksson at the 1971 Portland Indoor that I switched to a high, weightless pole carry, and I improved my PR by a foot in a single week!

I would also argue that a weightless pole carry is NOT a myth. I lived it!

In fact, the main reason that it helped my increase my PR so quickly and dramatically was because I was no longer leaning back in the last part of my run - because the pole was weightless! 100%. It's not a myth - you just have to time it right. :yes:

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Re: Fourteen Year Gap in Modern PV Technique in the 1970s?

Unread postby clymb » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:31 pm

KirkB wrote:You may already be aware that it was only after we (Ken Shannon and myself) watched Isaksson at the 1971 Portland Indoor that I switched to a high, weightless pole carry, and I improved my PR by a foot in a single week!

I would also argue that a weightless pole carry is NOT a myth. I lived it!

In fact, the main reason that it helped my increase my PR so quickly and dramatically was because I was no longer leaning back in the last part of my run - because the pole was weightless! 100%. It's not a myth - you just have to time it right. :yes:

Kirk Bryde


My apologies. Mythical was a bad choice of words...and only referring to, in a purely literal sense, that it is impossible to make a 5m long implement held at the very end of it, strictly weightless or void of mass...especially when outdoors in the elements. As I typed mythical, I didn't really consider the context of transitioning from the wide gripped nearly horizontal pole carry that was standard during the first half of last century. The weightless vertical carry was definitely one of the greater technical evolutions of the approach.

If I had the opportunity to transition from the wide gripped nearly horizontal pole carry to the narrow gripped vertical carry and drop, I am sure I would consider it epiphanal and life changing as well. At 40 I feel like a youth challenged person, but when I learned to vault it was with a narrow grip, vertical pole carry and drop. I appreciate and am envious of the wisdom of the vaulters (who now coach) that experienced the technical and equipment evolutions of the generations prior to mine. I look forward to benefiting more from that wisdom through this website and message board.

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Re: Fourteen Year Gap in Modern PV Technique in the 1970s?

Unread postby PVstudent » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:10 pm

Coach Clymer,

Before you go much further could you please recognise and acknowledge that there can be no such phenomenon as a "vertical weightless Pole" at any stage in the pole vaulting process. If you think about this concept, as you state it ,it is plainly nonsense.

What you may mean is that a pole carry in which the pole is held closer to a 90 degree angle to the horizontal produces less TORQUE acting on the vaulter due to the weight force of the pole.

The variable giving rise to the sensation you describe as weight is the sensation due to torque not merely the weight force of the pole.

The torque acting is variable depending on the perpendicular distance from the axis of support of the pole to the vertical action line of the weight force (which is a constant for the pole (-mg)) which remains constant throughout out the pole carry and plant phase.

Note that I refer to Plant not "Drop" phase. If a vaulter dropped the pole they would be highly likely to trip over it... drop is not an accurate or meaningful descriptor whether you intend to describe felt or experienced sensations by the vaulter or the action being observed.

Words and their meanings are important. The pole vault jargon you use is likely to confuse some of us who do try very hard to understand what contributors to pole vault power try to communicate.

If you wish to use your own terms and definitions that is fine but please give us your definitions or we readers will be mystified!

Negative Inversion, whether first used by Mr Pfaff or whom ever, literally means the opposite of inversion which in the pole vaulting context would mean to remain suspended by the hands attached to the pole but with the vaulter's body remaining below the hands. Very confusing and of course plainly wrong.
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Re: Fourteen Year Gap in Modern PV Technique in the 1970s?

Unread postby KirkB » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:29 am

PVstudent wrote: The variable giving rise to the sensation you describe as weight is the sensation due to torque not merely the weight force of the pole.

I will stay out of the negative inversion terminology argument, but I'm afraid I'm just as much to blame as Clym in referring to a "weightless pole carry".

Yes, you are correct from a strict physics standpoint, and who can argue with physics? The pole DOES weigh SOMETHING, so it's not weightless. When we say weightless, I suppose we mean just what you explained - TORQUELESS! :D

But somehow, it just doesn't sound as good as WEIGHTLESS.

Thanks for the clarification. :yes:

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Re: Fourteen Year Gap in Modern PV Technique in the 1970s?

Unread postby PVstudent » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:32 am

At the instant when the centres of mass of the vaulter and of the pole are in the same vertical line above the pole tip pivoted in the vault plant box the pole – vaulter system is torque less . The vaulter at that instant experiences no torque due to the weight of the pole nor is the pole experiencing any torque due to the weight of the vaulter. This is the only time in the pole vaulting sequence (Start of the 1st step till pole release) where one can legitimately claim the system to have zero torque acting due to weight force of the vaulter or the pole! (ie the sytem is TORQUE-LESS meaning without torque due to weight of the vaulter, the weight of the pole or both weights combined). The recoiling pole will be exerting a torque on the vaulter until the instant their respective centres of mass become vertically aligned. Note that Newton’s Laws must also apply at all times.

However the vaulter may be feeling the effects of other torques at that instant due to the configuration of their body segments with respect to body joints. The vaulter-pole system possesses momentarily zero torque due to the effects of vaulter and or pole weight because the masses of the pole and vaulter are being acted on by gravitational force directed through their respective mass centres which are vertically aligned.

Now let me consider the pole carry and plant action.

For the pole planting action to be torque-less (ie there must be zero torque ... torque possesses magnitude and direction hence the net sum of the torques acting is zero and the object will experience constant angular velocity (angular speed in a direction)) the pole would maintain a constant angular speed in the direction towards the runway and the bottom surface of the planting box.

This is clearly not what is observed in the planting action.

If the pole rate of declination (rotation about an axis of an object moving towards a horizontal referent surface in which the angle reduces) in the plant changes then that acceleration must be due to torque/s acting on the pole to bring about that change in angular speed.

Now to the meat of the matter! (literally and metaphorically).

If the vaulter is feeling that they are resisting the declination of the pole in the plant action then they are exerting a counteracting torque on the pole that effectively resists the pole rotation induced by the weight of the pole acting at some perpendicular distance from the pole support axis. Whether the pole rate of declination stay the same, speeds up, or slows down is dependent upon the vaulter applying a torque and the manner of it’s application.

If the vaulter feels that they are offering no resisting torque to the pole during the plant action the pole will positively accelerate about it’s rotation axis (ie the angular rate of declination increases until the pole tip contacts the ground / bottom surface of the planting box).
If the vaulter does not exert any resisting torque to the declining motion of the pole the vaulter can legitimately claim to be exerting no torque to resist the pole motion ie the VAULTER is APPLYING Zero Resisting Torque which can be translated loosely as the vaulter is TORQUE-LESS against the angular motion induced on the pole by its own weight.

The nub of the issue is whether the vaulter should exert, no resisting torque, some additional accelerating torque, or apply a variable torque dependent upon the spatial and time components of the pole planting motion.

Given the inherent variability in every vault attempt the plant has to be precisely timed and the pole accurately placed to secure a successful take-off.

Therefore I conclude that there has to be some controlling (variable) resisting torque applied by the vaulter at some stage, or even throughout the plant, in order to secure an efficient and effective takeoff because of the variable environmental factors as well as inherent individual variability challenges that must be met in every single vault attempt.

The plant is not a torque-less process! If it were there would be very many highly unpredictable take-offs observed in competitive pole vaulting and hugely increased takeoff disasters for beginners.

Petrov, to the best of my knowledge, has never advocated a weightless or torque-less planting action. In fact careful observation and analysis of the Reno 2005 Petrov video shows that he has a very clear story to tell in regard to controlling the planting action. It most certainly is not torque-less.

Whilst use of the term weightless, instead of torque, is ubiquitously applied in pole vaulting it produces some esoteric and strange explanations for the sensations (kinaesthesis and proprioception) genuinely experienced in the act of pole vaulting. It can also lead to complex “Folk Physics” explanations for very simple Newtonian Principles being applied extraordinarily well by elite pole vaulters.

Out of this, instead of KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) in pole vaulting, we perpetuate complexity, mystique and magic elixirs for all our pole vaulting ills.

Newton did not have all the mechanics answers but has helped us with some very useful theory upon which to build technical proficiency and extend physical achievement in pole vault performance.

Phenomenological descriptions have their place but we should not be misled by the allure they can offer as explanatory principles.
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Re: Fourteen Year Gap in Modern PV Technique in the 1970s?

Unread postby CoachEric » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:36 am

PVstudent, you've taken the discussion to a level of precision that might resolve the differences in perspective on pole carry/pole drop that we've seen in recent threads. Well written.

Given the inherent variability in every vault attempt the plant has to be precisely timed and the pole accurately placed to secure a successful take-off.

Therefore I conclude that there has to be some controlling (variable) resisting torque applied by the vaulter at some stage, or even throughout the plant, in order to secure an efficient and effective takeoff because of the variable environmental factors as well as inherent individual variability challenges that must be met in every single vault attempt.

The plant is not a torque-less process! If it were there would be very many highly unpredictable take-offs observed in competitive pole vaulting and hugely increased takeoff disasters for beginners.


I think you would agree though, that it is highly beneficial for the vaulter to attempt to minimize torque thoughout the pole carry and plant motion. This is done by maximizing the role of acceleration due to gravity on the pole. Yes, there is inherent variability in every vaulter and in every vault. No one's technique is perfect. Yet we use ideas like "weightless pole" to communicate the concept to athletes who are striving for perfection.

Out of this, instead of KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) in pole vaulting, we perpetuate complexity, mystique and magic elixirs for all our pole vaulting ills.

I hope I'm not the only one who appreciates the irony of this comment. While you're explanation is accurate, I think a lot of athletes would have trouble following it. So, out of curiosity, and since you're a stickler for terminology, what are some of the cues, drills, concepts, etc. that you use to train vaulters in lieu of "weightless pole" or other ideas that you take issue with. You've communicated the physics better than anyone else here, so I'm curious to hear how you coach.

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Re: Fourteen Year Gap in Modern PV Technique in the 1970s?

Unread postby KirkB » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:27 pm

CoachEric wrote: I think you would agree though, that it is highly beneficial for the vaulter to attempt to minimize torque thoughout the pole carry and plant motion. This is done by maximizing the role of acceleration due to gravity on the pole. Yes, there is inherent variability in every vaulter and in every vault. No one's technique is perfect. Yet we use ideas like "weightless pole" to communicate the concept to athletes who are striving for perfection.
:yes:

To add to CoachEric's good comments, what I did when I vaulted was to STEER the pole to the TORQUE-LESS equilibrium state.

Remember that in the torque-less pole carry (which I prefer to call the weight-less pole carry - even tho that's not as correct), the objective is to let the pole free-fall into the plant box at precisely the right moment at takeoff. Due to the variable factors of wind and minor balancing mistakes, each vault is a one-off. So MY answer is to STEER the pole to the equilibrium point, rather than holding the pole up by leaning back in the last few steps.

That is, having a constant torque of the pole too much in the forwards direction causes me to lean BACK to compensate, otherwise the pole will drop too early (maybe even before it's in the box).

Conversely, having a constant torque of the pole too much in the backwards direction requires me to force the pole forwards (with your bottom hand) - so that it accelerates at more than the gravitational pull on the pole mass - and this will also be sub-optimal.

I actually experimented with this idea for couple practices, as I theorized that if I got the pole dropping faster than gravity and then had to hold it up nearer the plant, that the torque of the pole would actually accelerate me towards the box on my last stride.

This turned out to be bad science, and I realized this once I felt how inefficient the pushing forwards on the pole (with my bottom hand) affected my impact on the ground (thru my foot as I was running), and also the inefficiency of pulling backwards on the pole (with my bottom hand) was also fraught with loss of energy.

I concluded that it was better to have the smoothest run possible, with the best running posture possible (don't lean back) and the most weightless/torqueless pole drop possible, and not "play" with the physics by playing with the acceleration of the pole dropping - more acceleration, then less acceleration. This is similar to pumping the gas pedal in a car - highly inefficient. I concluded that just STEERING the pole to keep it in the torqueless equilibrium state was most optimal. In the car analogy, this is similar to keeping constant pressure on the gas pedal, but pressing slightly more after a sudden headwind, and slightly less after a sudden tailwind.

I fear that my thinking on this still conflicts with yours, PVStudent, because you state that a torqueless drop is impossible, and SOME control during the pole drop is inevitable, therefore you seem to conclude (?) that during the last few steps you should expect to lean back a bit - to compensate for the torque of the pole out in front of you causing you to lean forwards?

Whereas I state that the most important cue is whether you're leaning back AT ALL during the plant, and if you are, you're letting the pole drop too early (which is causing you to lean back)! You need to STEER the pole so that it's constantly BALANCED.

I'm hoping that you can explain the science behind this in relation to my STEERING concept.

Kirk Bryde
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