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Pole Vault
Learning the Proper Take-off

by: Tim Werner

       Studying this article about the pole vault take off may can increase your ability to coach or train for the pole vault. These sequence photos of pole vaulting and pole vault drills with an explanation of proper technique will enhance your pole vault knowledge and form.  These exercises for weightlifting, running, sprinting, throwing and jumping will help develop form, balance, technique, flexibility, speed, strength and power.

  • Photos and videos of athletes in Advantage Athletics are used for reporting public events and educational purposes.  The athletes in these pages are NOT endorsing or promoting Advantage Athletics coaching, web site or products.


     This is an Advantage Athletics pole vaulter learning the Take-off.  This vaulter does it very well.  This vaulter is learning the action of the bottom arm and hand.  She is pressing the bottom hand up without locking the bottom arm straight.  Her shoulders stay square to the box.  Other things to look for are:

  1. In the far right picture note the green line: The Take-off foot being under the top hand at the plant.  
  2. In the far right picture note the purple line: The eyes focuse directly forward under the bottom left hand.
  3. In the far right picture note the blue line: The right knee got up to level with the hips.  That leg continues the same running form as done on the runway.
  4. In the far right picture note the yellow line: The head, shoulders and hips stay in the vertical line.
  5. In the middle picture note the yellow line: The head, shoulders and hips stay in the vertical line during the take-off.  The bottom, left, hand is pressing the pole up away from the head and shoulders.  The pole vaulter must keep the head and shoulders moving forward while doing this.
  6. In the middle picture note the purple line: The eyes stay focused directly forward under the bottom left hand.
  7. In the middle picture note the blue line:  The knee and hips stay in horizontal line.  The lead foot moves forward as it did in the run.
  8. In the far left picture note the yellow line: The head, shoulders and hips stay in the vertical line.
  9. In the far left picture note the purple line: The head, shoulders and hips stay in the vertical line during the take-off.  The bottom, left, hand is pressing the pole up away from the head and shoulders.  The pole vaulter must keep the head and shoulders moving forward while doing this.
  10. In the far left picture note the blue line: The knee and hips stay in horizontal line.  The lead foot moves forward as it did in the run.