Ask the Coach Your Pole Vault Questions
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Studying questions and
answers about pole vault 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.
Tim Thanks a lot for all of your advice. My swing has gotten a ton better which
has allowed me to get to the point where another problem arises, my
turn is terrible. I keep going
over the bar on my side. I think if I could rectify this problem I could add at
least a foot to my jump. I've already jumped at one meet this year, everything
was good, my plant was on, I jumped off the ground, I swung my legs to my hands,
dropped my shoulders back, but I just can seem to get the turn down. Any advice
you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
That's an easy one. It's called the "Shoot the Gap Drill". You can find it under
High Bar Vaulting on the page:http://www.advantageathletics.com/polevault/pullturnpush.htm All
you need is a chin-up bar and a something to vault over. You don't have to be
that high up to start the drill as in the pictures on the page. Just high enough
so your shoulders can drop under you when you swing your legs up. The idea is
to get your body perpendicular to the 2 bars and Shoot the Gap! Notice as the
crossbar gets higher and closer to the chin-up bar that angle changes. It's
learning how to adjust this angle in your vault that will help you make bars at
Kristopher 10/03/01 writes:
I am only able to load half (Bubka) of the pictures and would
like to see (and show my vaulters) the other half. I am in complete
agreement with your pv philosophies and am having a hard time convincing
them because all the vaulters around here want to sweep the leg and row
If you can help me out I'd appreciate it.
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
I was at USC last week because Dennis
Kholev (NCAA pole vault champion)
was vaulting with Melissa Astete (our high school 13'+ girl pole vaulter from
last year) (she's at USC this year), and he wanted to know what I taught her. He
said that she has great technique. He was also telling 2 of the other new
vaulters not to row the hands forward when they swing. He said Melissa has a
great swing because she can lead with her head and chest. She doesn't "row" the
pole forward, and she can swing and get back further than any of the other
vaulters. She also vaults on poles 30 lbs over her weight with the standards all
the way back.
However, if you let your top hand get too far behind you you'll
be too much on your back (horizontal) when your top hand, shoulders, hips and
trail foot line up. When that does happen you should be at a 45` angle to the
runway and your foot should be pointed at the box. That's a good reference. If
the vaulter "rows" his/her top hand forward too much, that line will be more
vertical. Pressing too much at the take-off with the bottom arm will also cause
the line to be too vertical. Pressing too much with the bottom arm stops the
shoulders from moving forward. That should give you, as a coach, a good visual
to look for when a vaulter swings.
The swing originates from the top hand. When the top hand,
shoulders, hips and trail foot line up the swing transfers into the shoulders,
and the hips and feet rotate around the shoulders. We look for the ankles
getting high up on the hands after the swing with the legs straight when the
ankles get to the hands. The next move is the "Bubka Drill" to straighten the
inverted body up. Watch out for doing the Bubka Drill too fast. It should be
done smoothly and in timing with the pole straightening. If the vaulter pops out
of the Bubka Drill, the hips and feet will come away from the pole. If it is
done correctly, the hips will finish next to the pole and the feet over the top
of the pole. If the vaulter is very good at this the shoulders will drop under
the hips and feet. I've seen Bubka (at 19' 10") and Mike Tully (at 19' 3") go
past vertical on big vaults.
You can find a better Bubka sequence at:
Notice that Bubka never shoves "rows" his top hand forward. His
top hand doesn't pass his shoulders until he turns.
Also see the page: Pole
Vault Trail Leg Swing Compared to Gymnastics Horizontal Bar Tap
I have been using your drills from Advantage Athletics and they work great.
However are there any drills that will help in getting inverted?
*Defying gravity each jump at a time *
The key to getting inverted is having the strength to do so. All the drills you
need are in:
Make these drills the #1 thing you do every day. If you can't do
a drill, try them to the best of your ability every day. You don't have to do
many at first. Just make about 6 attempts for each set. We do about 3 sets of
If you don't have a bar to do these drills on, get a 2' length
of 1" galvanized pipe from your local hardware store and string a piece of
strong rope through it. Tie knots on the rope on each end of the pipe so it
doesn't slide. Tie the ends of the rope to a strong tree branch, beam in the
garage or something that can hold your weight safely.
Start each drill in the take off position. Use
your trail leg swing to help get both of your ankles up to the bar. Hold your
ankles close to the bar as long as you can. If
you can hold your ankles to the bar, straighten up without falling away from the
big mistake most athletes make is rushing out of this position. If you rush to
straighten up, your feet and legs will fall away and down from the bar.
If you have a stationary bar at school, the park or home you can
do the Rockback Rack Drill. You
don't need to have the Rack to do the drill. Have someone push your shoulders
forward while you get inverted. If you can't get inverted all the way, make 6
attempts each set to the best of your ability.
We have a squat rack in our weight room that is stable enough to
do the Bubka and Rockback Rack drills on. Check your weight room to see if you
have the same. Ask your coach too.
For more help see: Ground
Advantage Athletics, Pole Vault Coach