Pole Vault Tips

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What is the most important phase of the pole vault?

…Is Fast Approaching

Take the “right” steps in your approach. The pole vaulter should begin the run aggressively, building momentum. The vaulters' steps should be directed along the axis of the pole, so that the pole is being “pushed” down the runway. A pole vault approach should be between seven and ten takeoff steps, shorter for a beginning vaulter and all runs should be appropriate to a vaulter's ability to accelerate and hold that speed, not the athlete's actual top speed.

The best vaulters are not always the fastest, but the best at not slowing down just before the plant and accelerating into the pit. When pole vault coaching, make it easier on your athletes and tell them only to count their steps with their takeoff foot, so they are counting in a fairly regular pattern, not too fast, and only up to seven, eight, nine, or ten.

I am a long jumper, can I learn the pole vault?

Jumps Are All Running Jumps

If you've ever high jumped, long jumped, or triple jumped, you know that the approach sets up the entire jump. Whether an athlete has a successful jump is almost always determined by the approach. The same is true for the pole vault. You cannot have a good plant and everything thereafter if you're approach is wrong. Get consistent.

How do I hold the pole vault pole?

Hand Holding Heaven

What is the best way to hold pole vault poles?

Answers: Grip the pole with hands about shoulder-width apart (measuring trick: grab the pole with your top hand, rest your forearm on the pole and grip with your bottom hand just below your elbow). Top hand with palm facing up, bottom hand with palm facing down and the top hand should be within the assigned grip range of your pole vault pole.

When you carry the pole, the top (rear) hand should be just behind the hip and the bottom (leading) hand, near the center of the chest at a right angle to the elbow. After the first few aggressive steps, the pole tip is relatively high, the pole tip should drop slightly with each step, the change in position controlled by top (rear) hand. The tip of the pole vault pole should be at forehead height just before the plant. Next, it's on to the next phase.

Is pole vaulting as hard as it looks?

1, 2, 3.

Never tried the pole vault? Don't worry, it's as easy as one, two, three! Well, one, two, three, four, five, to be exact. The pole vault can be learned in five phases.

They are;

  1. the approach
  2. the plant
  3. the takeoff
  4. the swing
  5. the clearance.

Pole vaulting is a method. It is a dynamic sequence of movements combined with strength, speed and flexibility. Perform these steps in order and you'll get over the bar and into the pit.

Are there places for girls in competetive pole vaulting?

Wonderful Women

Does your high school have the pole vault? What about girls' pole vault? Girls' high school pole vault is one of the fastest growing events in girls' athletics. Why? Because girls were not even allowed to jump until just a few years ago! Not to mention there is plenty of money in womens' college athletics and if you are an up-and-coming female pole vaulter, chances are the colleges will look at you as a great investment.

Where do I begin learning the pole vault, what should I do first?

Where To Start

Questions: One of the first things to learn when beginning pole vault training is getting familiar with the pole.

  • How do I grip it?
  • How do I carry it?
  • How do I run with it?
  • When do I begin the pole drop?

Most athletes when just picking up the pole vault have these and hundreds of other questions. The simpler you keep the answers, the easier they are to commit to memory, they become a part of your routine, and the faster you'll learn the pole vault.

What type of clothes do pole vaulters wear, and what kind of material are they made of? Has the clothing changed since 1945?

Pole Vault Apparel

Pole vaulters generally wear shoes designed specifically for field events. And some governing bodies have also begun requiring the use of a pole vault helmet. But other clothing worn by pole vaulters tends to be more generic.

Shorts and singlets are predominant for men. Many women opt for bra tops or even "sprint suits," which better address their special support and coverage concerns.

Various forms of nylon and polyester are the most common fibers used in track and field wear today. Lycra and Spandex are commonly added to stretch and form-fitting items.

By the mid-1940's, both nylon and polyester had been invented - and nylon was in wide use for certain products, such as women's stockings. But, at that time, cotton held about 75% of the fiber market. It wasn't until later that man-made fibers became predominant in the manufacture of track and field apparel.

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Heidi Splete