Page 1

april 2014 issue

www.thevaultermag.com

2014 the vaulter magazine

1


VAULTER

MAGAZINE

Only Track & Field News can keep you fully informed about which athletes to watch, who’s hot and who’s not. We take you step-by-step, meet-by-meet, through the indoor season, outdoor conference championships, the domestic relay and invitational carnivals, the NCAAs, the U.S. Nationals, the Grand Prix events in Europe and of course the Olympics and World Championships. Each issue is packed with meet stories, performer lists and other useful stats, interviews and profiles of your favorite athletes, action photos galore, opinion columns and feature articles, and everything else you need to keep abreast of the total track scene. If high school track is your special interest, seven issues during the year carry prep top performer lists and reports. If you like track, you’ll LOVE Track & Field News. Call the toll-free number below today and we’ll start your subscription immediately.

Wri comp te for our le of tra te listing s ck and t books ours.

es)

igital issu $38.95 yr. (12 d 2 print issues) (1 r. y 5 .9 3 4 $ + digital issues) t n ri p 2 (1 r. y $48.95

K A R T T E G 1-800 C/Amex Charge to Visa/M rs USATF membe nt to

2

Special discou

the vaulter magazine 2014

Track & Field News 2570 W El Camino Real, Suite 220 Mountain View, CA 94040 Phone 650/948-8188 Fax 650/948-9445

TRACK PERIODICALS • BOOKS • TOURS TO THE OLYMPICS, WORLDS, ETC.


april 2014 issue

contents

www.thevaultermag.com

36 FROM THE EDITOR

4

Financial Aid Award Letters!

8

It’s a Cinch for Rusty Shealy Pole Vault

14

The “Little Lions” of SCAHS Roar Loud in the “Happy Valley”

24

Technique

36

24

14

Photo by Celyn Szoke

2014 the vaulter magazine

3


VAULTER

MAGAZINE

FROM THE EDITOR Spring is here, although it does not feel like it is spring yet in many places, and another school year is about to come to an end for most. This means that many high school seniors have received their college acceptance letters and many should be getting, or have gotten, their financial award letters. Penny Hanson, our College Connection writer, has once again brought us some helpful information; this time about how college finances work and the different options available. If you are college bound, or thinking about

college, this is a good article to start with. Don’t miss it.

Bubba Sparks has also brought us another helpful piece on vaulting technique. Like always, he has many more wonderful tips and philosophies to share. We always appreciate the honest and open teachings of Mr. Sparks and know you will find this article just as refreshing as his previous works.

Another member of the Shealy family is gracing our pages this month as we feature

Brad Walker Olympic Training Center, Chula Vista, CA

his facility known as Rusty Shealy Pole Vault in Columbia, South Carolina. His vision and creation are inspiring. This is a must read for any vaulter. And if you liked reading about Shealy Athletics, we know you will enjoy reading about this addition and where it is going. And our cover story this month features a high school located in a very unique area with a lot going on. It is State College Area High School in State College, Pennsylvania near Penn State University. The area they are in is known as the “Happy Valley” and, from what we have learned of the love between Coach Sarra and his team, this is a very appropriate name. It is truly special what this team has. Don’t miss this one either. Please enjoy this April issue. Thank you again for sticking with us. As always, we look forward to bringing you more great stories and information next month. Take care. Editor Doug Bouma editor@thevaultermag.com

4

the vaulter magazine 2014


april 2014 issue

www.thevaultermag.com

2014 the vaulter magazine

5


VAULTER

MAGAZINE Ashley Privett and her Father

6

the vaulter magazine 2014


april 2014 issue

www.thevaultermag.com

2014 the vaulter magazine

7


VAULTER

MAGAZINE

Financial Aid Award Letters! Now that you have been accepted, each of your colleges will send a financial award letter listing their proposed financial package. This financial package is developed by the school based on the financial information you have supplied to them in your FAFSA and CSS profile. This will be the first time you will see your actual financial picture at each schools! Your financial award letter may include grants, scholarships and/or loans. Grants and scholarships are known as gift aid and are based on need. They do not have to be repaid. The most common grants are:

• Pell Grants: Federally funded awards to students with high financial need. These are currently capped at $5730 per year and do not have to be repaid. This grant is automatically awarded. You must file a FAFSA each year to be eligible.

8

the vaulter magazine 2014

• FSEOG: Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants are awarded to students with exceptional need as determined by the FAFSA. This grant awards $100$4000 per year. Unlike the Pell Grant, this grant is not automatically awarded. The college will select recipients of this grant and once the funds are gone, they are gone. You must file a FAFSA each year to be eligible. • TEACH: Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education grants are for students pursuing a degree in education. The award caps at $4000. Students must agree to teach in a high need field and/or school for four years after graduation. You must sign an agreement for each year to accept this grant. You must file a FAFSA each year to be eligible.

• Work study: Another form of

need based financial aid. The student works on campus or for a non-profit or private entity that supports the college. The student is paid directly for this employment and the salary is often higher than minimum wage. You must file a FAFSA each year to be eligible.

While you may already have been notified of scholarships awarded, they will also be listed in this package. Scholarships are often renewable for each college year, usually contingent upon the student maintaining an academic level and/ or continuing participation in the activity which prompted the award. Scholarships do not have to be paid back. Be sure that you are clear about all scholarship requirements and penalties, if applicable. You may have to actively accept the scholarship to receive it. Read the small print!


VAULTER

VAULTER

VAULTER

VAULTER VAULTER


VAULTER

MAGAZINE

nancial aid office will make adjustments to your financial aid.

Possible reasons for appealing your financial aid award include: • Job loss or salary reduction

• Unusual medical expenses

• Loss of your home due to fire, tornado or other natural disaster • Death or disability of a wage earner

• Unusual capital gains or other one-time events that inflated your family’s 2013 income • Elementary/Secondary Tuition Expenses for private school expenses • Extraordinary such as educational loans

• Separation/divorce of parents (after filing for aid)

If one of the above, or something similar, applies to you and your family, you need to write a short, concise letter to the financial aid office outlining your concerns and why you wish to have your aid package reviewed. The financial aid office will review your letter of appeal and if it is deemed to

10

the vaulter magazine 2014

have merit, they will request further documentation to support the letter. Be prepared to provide verifiable, third-party documentation of your claims to the financial aid office.

In the end, you need to be entirely comfortable with your ability to manage the cost of attending a college before you submit an enrollment deposit. If you have concerns, it is best to direct them to the financial aid offices of the colleges in question. Remember that this financial package is awarded for the freshman year only; you will file the FAFSA each year that your student is in college. Students should continue to apply for scholarships every year. The biggest push for scholarships comes from high school seniors, but there are many scholarships available for college students, so do not forget to apply!

Once you are comfortable with your financial responsibilities, you need to accept the college’s offer of admission and submit an enrollment deposit. This deposit is non-refundable and guarantees that you will have a place in the freshman class. Once the deposit is submitted, you will receive information about the residence halls, roommate selection and meal plans. An additional deposit will be made when these

forms are submitted. This deposit is often partially refundable and is determined by the date of the refund request. I encourage you to submit your residence hall and roommate request as soon as possible! I have personally known students who spent the better part of their first semester in a motel because they did not submit their requests until the summer. Don’t be one of those students! After you submit your acceptance to your selected college, you will need to notify your other colleges that you will not be attending. Please take the time to do this so that these schools can offer your place to wait-listed and conditional students. The specific method to decline acceptance is listed in your acceptance letter. Please be courteous and notify these schools of your decision. You are now ready to go to college! Be proud of the work you have done to get yourself to this position! Congratulations to all of you!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have! Penny Hanson Hanson College Consultants 720-883-6800 penny@hansoncollegeaccess.com


april 2014 issue

www.thevaultermag.com

Cody Smith

2014 the vaulter magazine

11


VAULTER

MAGAZINE Joel Fraser

12

the vaulter magazine 2014


april 2014 issue

www.thevaultermag.com

o w t r o . f s e h n t i n o afted w m r e p r c 6 d 2 n $ a Just inning, h w d r a aw Experience Fine California Wine from Small Family Wineries.

1-800-404-5316 Call us Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm PST.

Void where prohibited, some restrictions may apply.

Also Makes a Fun & Unique Gift 2014 the vaulter magazine

13


VAULTER

MAGAZINE

It’s a Cinch for Rusty Shealy Pole Vault By: Michelle Walthall Rusty Shealy Pole Vault, part of Shealy Athletics in Columbia, South Carolina, has much to offer pole vaulters from all over. Coach Rusty Shealy says, “During peak season we have over 50 weekly clinic athletes, plus camp kids and private sessions. We offer ten weekly clinic times: Sundays (4), Mondays

Alina McDonald Image by Celyn Szoke

14

the vaulter magazine 2014

(2), Tuesdays (2) and Thursdays (2), as well as PV 101 on Wednesdays. Camps are offered regularly throughout the year. It is not uncommon for people to come from all over the country for camps and private sessions.” They also offer many experienced vaulters to learn from. Coach Shealy also

tells us, “My son Chase Shealy, Christian Lloyd, and myself do most the coaching. We also bring in nationally recognized coaches, when available, to assist with our camps throughout the year.”

In addition to providing a good pole vault education, Coach Shealy strives to create a well-rounded, memorable experience at his facility. His philosophy is: “If you do something good for someone they will not only speak highly of you, they will come back. If you help them to create incredible memories they will tell many others and flock to you. One of my goals has always been to create great moments that are etched in people’s minds. One of the best things we have done is to lease a home on Lake Murray for summer camps, creating the ultimate camp experience. We also bring in some of the very best coaches to assist


VAULTER

VAULTER

VAULTER

VAULTER VAULTER


VAULTER

MAGAZINE

pionships, and two athletes qualified for the USATF Junior Olympic Nationals in Seattle. The trip changed my life forever. In Seattle, my oldest son Chase competed in the youth boy’s (13 and 14 year olds) division. As we sat in the stands watching the young men’s competition, we watched two vaulters from Texas compete. They each had 17’3” personal bests as high school juniors; from the same high school. This was nothing short of amazing, since our state meet record at the time was 15’3”, and had only gone up 2” in the previous 19 years. I couldn’t get that out of my mind. On the flight back to South Carolina I put a lot of thought into it. Why could athletes from Texas do this, but not in our state. Texas is ten times the size, but athletes are athletes regardless of what state they live in. I thought about what would make it possible. Coaching was a major ingredient. I spoke to any coach who would give me time. We also needed a good selection of poles for proper progressions, as well as a safe location and landing system. Another key ingredient was supportive parents, willing to bring their kids and even buy poles to make sure they had what they needed. And lastly but mostly, we needed high school coaches statewide to believe in us and trust us to de-

16

the vaulter magazine 2014

velop their athletes. To me, this has turned out to be one of the greatest collaborations in our sport. I could not do what I do if it were not for the support of great high school coaches.”

Pictured left to right: Max Fleming, Reagan Fleming, Blake Oldfield, Donna Harris and Peyton Stewart

As Rusty Shealy is part of Shealy Athletics, they get much of their support from this main facility. But, since its start, Rusty Shealy Pole Vault has also managed to gain the generous showing of support needed from parents to keep it going. Coach Shealy tells us, “We have an incredible group of parents that help to transport groups of vaulters. Some travel twice a week, driving two to three hours each way, for our two hour clinics. We even have one athlete and parent so dedicated that they travel nearly six hours each way for clinics. Parents are one of the key ingredients to our success, without their love and support of the kids our success would be limited.”

The performance of the Rusty Shealy vaulters proves that the mixture of training experiences and support is working. “We are fortunate to have vaulters who are always pushing, or pulling, each other to greater heights,” Coach Shealy says. “Our top female this week is Amanda ‘Jackie’ Barnes of Beaufort High School. Jackie, who is 15 years old, posted the

#1 jump for sophomores this past weekend with a jump of 12’9”. She started jumping in December of a year ago and is progressing very nicely. Our top male this week is Harrison Hix of Wren High School. He is a senior who jumped 14’6” a couple of times from five lefts. We just moved him to seven lefts


april 2014 issue

www.thevaultermag.com

and he jumped 15’1”. In fact we just moved both of them back to seven lefts, so we are expecting some huge results as they get used to their new approach runs and bigger poles. I am a firm believer that you learn to vault technically sound from short run (3L). Whether you jump well from short run or

not, as you take your run back you magnify what you’re doing- good or bad. So get it right, then back it up and create what I call the ‘Wow Effect’.”

The facilities and equipment are surely another factor helping the Shealy Vaulters do well. Coach Shealy says this of his

facilities: “We train on what we call ‘The Back 4.0’ (in reference to ‘The Back 40’). The ‘Back 4.0’ was densely wooded when we acquired the property. We have slowly been opening it up, creating a park-like environment with a jogging trail of approximately 220 meters. We hope to have an expanded turf

2014 the vaulter magazine

17


VAULTER

VAULTER

VAULTER

VAULTER VAULTER


april 2014 issue

www.thevaultermag.com

Shealy continues of the equipment. “We are also in the process of setting up a second landing system, and a long jump pit for sand vaulting. High bar, rings and rope are great, though the rings and ring vaulting have become a favorite, and one of the best developmental tools for our vaulters. There are many great pole-vault-specific drills for each.”

tion, now working on our 2,500 sf guest house, plus an added 1,200 sf basement with high ceilings. Every day, take steps towards your goal and inch by inch, it’s a cinch!”

If you would like to know more about Rusty Shealy Pole Vault, you can visit www. ShealyAthletics.com or call 803-315-5998. We know it will be worth checking out.

It looks like Rusty Shealy Pole Vault has something wonderful, but it’s also not over yet. Many great things are planned for the future. Coach Shealy says this: “The goal is for us to have a complete athletic training facility that any athlete would love to be a part of, whether new to the sport or an elite athlete. We have been in discussions to bring in a multievent coach, as well as possibly adding a batting cage, pitchers mounds, even classes like Zumba, Pilates, etc. These coaches and trainers have proven track records and would operate under their own names at our facility. We plan to offer a complete athletic training environment. My philosophy is that everything you have should pay for itself. By adding others events or sports, they will help to pay for what I hope to be the best pole vault training facility in the world. It’s a big goal, but I believe in big goals. We are in a constant state of construc-

2014 the vaulter magazine

19


VAULTER

MAGAZINE

20

Standing left to right: Alina McDonald, Maddie Aune, Christian Lloyd, Chandler Neal, Rusty Shealy, Anna Holley, Jackie Barnes, and Paige Lawson. Seated left to right: Jay Brawley and Reagan Fleming.

the vaulter magazine 2014


VAULTER

VAULTER

VAULTER

VAULTER VAULTER


VAULTER

MAGAZINE

Jay Brawley Image by Celyn Szoke

22

the vaulter magazine 2014


april 2014 issue

www.thevaultermag.com

Rusty Shealy Image by Celyn Szoke

2014 the vaulter magazine

23


VAULTER

MAGAZINE

The “Little Lions” of SCAHS Roar Loud in the “Happy Valley” By: Michelle Walthall Coach Joe Sarra has some very exciting things going on with his team this year. He starts off by telling us about his unique location: “State College Area High School is located in State College, Pennsylvania; the city built around Penn State University. Our mascot is the ‘Little Lions’. They also call our town ‘Happy Valley’.” While Coach Sarra humbly asked us to keep his part brief and focus on his team, he provided us with impressive facts about his coaching history. “I have been coaching high school athletics for 5 years now at the same place,” he says. “I originally started off as just a javelin coach, but in 2011 I got the opportunity to save a pole vault program that just lost their coach. The school was going to get rid of the pole vault for a few

24

the vaulter magazine 2014

seasons until they found a new coach, but they approached me about taking it over and I was more than happy to. The first year was tough; trying to learn everything that I needed to just survive. Now I love the everyday challenge this event poses and how you never stop learning. I have coached three New Balance Nationals AllAmericans, one NB national champion, and another Penn Relays record holder in the javelin. This was through private coaching, and at our high school. I am also a USATF Level 1 certified coach.”

“I was not a vaulter in high school,” Coach Sarra continues. “I competed in the javelin and some jumping events while in school. As a young coach of 22 (23 in May) I am extremely motivated to help young people

succeed and I feel like I have a lot to prove, this fuels my fire every day. Due to not being a vaulter I had to seek advice from several different people. The coaches at VaultWorX, including Matt Concannon, were a huge help to me. Also, the coaches from the awesome Kiss the Sky Pole Vault Camp in Payson, AZ were an immense help to get my knowledge of the event to where it is now. Just to name a few, I would like to thank Greg Hull, Todd Lehman, Jeff Guy, Dason Phelps, Robert Tilley, Joe Sullivan, Matt Hull and Shea Kearney. If you ever get a chance to go to one camp for pole vault, Kiss the Sky is the one to attend.”

There is a wonderful team working with Coach Sarra at SCAHS. He tells us, “We have 8 coaches total in our program


VAULTER

VAULTER

VAULTER

VAULTER VAULTER


VAULTER

MAGAZINE

enters his 4th season as the boy’s distance coach and has turned the program into one of the best in the country. They currently have the 3rd best overall 4x800m in the country, which also took gold at the PTFCA State Championships. Steve is a former PSU athlete and stills holds the Penn Relays record for the 4x800m from 1980. Matt Seeland has been the throws coach since 2010 at State High. He is a former college football player and wrestler out of the Chicago area. He has coached school record holders and several State Meet qualifiers. Artie Gilkes joins the coaching staff this season. He is a former volunteer assistant coach for PSU and an elite distance coach. Taking over the jumping squad, Artie had a second place finish in the triple jump at the recent PTFCA State Matty Suchanec

26

the vaulter magazine 2014

Championships where one of his athletes jumped 46’6”. Tom Kleban is a volunteer with the hurdles and a former decathlete for PSU. He has a very large wealth of knowledge of every event on the track and in the field. Tom mainly assists Rusty with the hurdle events but ventures to the pole vault pit every once in a while, being a former 16’+ vaulter himself.”

Parents also play a big roll on the State High vault team. “We have a parent-run booster club. Our current president is Jen Yoder,” says Coach Sarra. “As far as pole vault goes, we have several parents who help out our program tremendously with their relentless support and volunteering their time to make events happen.”

Sponsors have helped out

the “Little Lions” as well. Coach Sarra says, “We have partnered with the Kevin Dare Foundation this year to replace one of our outdoor pole vault boxes. One of our boxes developed a hole over the winter last year and needed to be replaced. The KD Foundation was kind enough to donate a brand new Skydex soft box for our kids. They have been crucial to developing safe standards for pole vaulting over the years and continue to support the community.” Here is what the State High vaulters have to say about their coach: “Joe Sarra is the best coach we have ever had. He dedicates more time and energy to making us better athletes than anyone realizes.  He truly cares about our success on and off the track and we are proud to call him our coach.  He makes practices fun, even during hard workouts, and we know that Joe will always be there for us no matter what.  He teaches us that being an athlete is not everything, but how you treat people is the most important thing.  Everything he does for us is more than we could ask for and we are beyond grateful to have him as a coach.” They continue with these statements about Volunteer Coach Tom Kleban (also Known as Tek): “We are all amazed by how knowledgeable Tek is about pole vaulting.  He is so support-


april 2014 issue

www.thevaultermag.com

Megan Fry

ive of us, whether it is in school or on the track and is always encouraging us to reach for the stars no matter what happens.  We are incredibly lucky to have such an excellent person to call coach, someone who is always reminding us to believe in ourselves.” Even Coach Sarra calls Coach Tek “truly a great person and a great advocate for our sport”. “The pole vaulting in Penn-

sylvania is tremendous and is continually getting better,” Coach Sarra says of the vaulting in his area. “We have great competition in our immediate rivals of Altoona Area HS and their coach Rob Wahl. Also, we see tough competition at every meet we go to because 1.5 hours south of us is a very good club in VaultWorX and a couple hours to the east you have Vertical Assault; both great clubs that produce elite vaulters year

in and year out. Overall, as a state, the competition is growing every year and it makes my job as a coaching more challenging.”

About the State High program specifically, Coach Sarra tells us, “Our program is one of rich tradition, especially on the boy’s side. We have a school record of 15’9” from former Junior National Champion Kevin Dare. It takes 13’9” to crack our

2014 the vaulter magazine

27


VAULTER

VAULTER

VAULTER

VAULTER VAULTER


april 2014 issue

www.thevaultermag.com

2014 the vaulter magazine

29


VAULTER

MAGAZINE

Kate Nese

fitness center. Diane Swauger, who is a great asset for us as coaches, runs the weight room. We also use multiple training aids that include ropes, pulley system, springboard, mini hurdles, and so much more. Also, we have access to the high school pool from time to time to do underwater vaulting. We also bump to music while we practice, always. I think it is of the utmost importance to create a fun environment for kids to practice in. It keeps them coming back and the mood light.” “All three of my top girls rank in the top 8 all-time for our high school,” Coach Sarra says of his team. “Only three vaulters on our roster are entering their 3rd year or more of vaulting, they are Mark Henry, Matty Suchanec and Kate Nese… We have two sophomore boys who jumped 12’9” this indoor season, Lucas Gray and Griffin Thompson. Griffin also jumped 13’ at the State Games of America in the summer after his freshman year.” Here is the detailed breakdown he gave us of his vaulters and what they have learned:

“Megan Fry (junior, PR 10’9”): This is her second full

30

the vaulter magazine 2014

season pole vaulting with the high school team and she is a high-level soccer player… [This year] qualified for her first PTFCA Indoor State Championship. She finished in a tie for 14th with a jump of 10’6”. She says, ‘Pole vaulting has taught me that working hard and staying positive no matter the outcome is the key to success. I’ve also

learned that pole vaulting not only takes an immense amount of physical strength but, more importantly, mental strength which is what can make you great at what you love’.”

“Kate Nese (senior, PR 10’): She is the lone senior of the group. This is her 3rd full season vaulting. In the fall she


VAULTER

VAULTER

VAULTER

VAULTER VAULTER


VAULTER

MAGAZINE

standards. No matter what, always keep raising the bar’.”

“Matty Suchanec (junior, PR 11’): is the father of the group and my oldest boy as a junior. He went from jumping 8’9” as a sophomore to jumping 11’ indoors this year. He says, ‘Through pole vault I learned that anything that you are passionate about, you must put in

a lot of hard work and dedication. You have to be mentally strong because you always end in failure when pole vaulting’.”

“Mark Henry (junior, PR 10’6”): only participates in pole vault during spring track. He jumped 10’6” as a freshman and looks to improve upon that this year. He says, ‘Pole vault has taught me hard work and

determination will ultimately pay off. The only way to get better is to dream big. When your mind and body connect anything is possible’.” And, last but not least, there are: “Ian Schrock (senior, PR 9’6”), Rob Brant (sophomore, PR 9’3”), and Ryan Lunsford (sophomore, PR 8’9”), all with one season of vaulting under

Vaulter: Megan Fry (Joe Sarra Holding), “Piking”: Kate Nese Holding “Crossbar”: Connor Pighetti, Hunter Schrock Back Row (boys): Mark Henry, Griffin Thompson, Nate McMahon, Matty Suchanec, Ben Gingher, Lucas Gray Front Row (girls): Anna Reapsome, Abby Fortin, Kinsey Thompson, Zoe Wicks

32

the vaulter magazine 2014


VAULTER

VAULTER

VAULTER

VAULTER VAULTER


VAULTER

Jenn Suhr

MAGAZINE Amy Lynn Hop

34

the vaulter magazine 2014


april 2014 issue

www.thevaultermag.com

2014 the vaulter magazine

35


VAULTER

MAGAZINE

Technique By: Bubba Sparks

As a rule, I do not write about technique nor post about it online or on message boards. That said I am a fanatic about the minute details of every single technical component. Remember I wrote about breaking the vault down into eight sections and then listing six subsections of each.  Unfortunately, I learned a long time ago that people have set beliefs in this area and will passionately disagree. Mike Tully told me once that he doesn’t discuss technique because he knows he’s right and doesn’t have the desire to defend his position. I agree. 

It may surprise you to hear the following statements made by elite coaches and athletes whom I greatly respect. In fact it’s because of who said these things that my mind remains open. • Before the pole even hits the back of the box I’m try-

36

the vaulter magazine 2014

ing to get my hips to my hands. 

• To achieve high vaults you need to be able to pull your bottom hand down as hard as you can after takeoff.  • The key to controlling a high grip is to push your bottom hand up while pulling your top hand down. 

• The only way to get vertical is to let the bottom hand pressure off during the swing. 

These statements sound crazy but when I had them explain to me their process, it wasn’t far off from my own ideas. Well some were closer than others. ;-) I’m convinced that most technical disagreements are more from loss of translation or semantics.  Alan Launder says that each vaulter is taught a model and

on top of that model they overly their style. He also said what is technically desirable must be physically possible. I see a lot of vaults pieced together to cover physical or technical weakness. 

Before I go into what I personally work on I want to tell you that I discovered this quite by accident as I was recovering from an injury and just trying out technical ideas. The results were astounding in that at age 54 I was able to move up 11 poles and jump nearly a foot and a half (45cm) higher from the exact same run. Quite simply a better energy transfer and return.  So what are my base thoughts? First off I coach every athlete in a way to best utilize their strengths while building new pathways to better technique. 

From the beginning I have heard to get my top arm locked


VAULTER

VAULTER

VAULTER

VAULTER VAULTER


VAULTER

MAGAZINE

This will be the most questioned thing I say because it can’t actually be done. You have to try and stop your top hand without letting the pole go behind your head. Why? Stand with your pole in the box with your hand straight and locked over your forehead. Now lean into the pole. You will find that you are very strong in this position because it engages your stiff torso. Now let the pole come back just 3”/7cm and you will notice that you suddenly have no strength and you will collapse into the pole. You’re now dependent on only your arm with out the stiff torso support.  Now running full speed at the box makes this impossible because of the sheer force trying to drive your hand back. Let’s not forget too that once your hand comes behind your head you have lost your big take off angle. The result is a smooth and efficient transfer of energy. With great force being initiated by the top hand, the vaulter will seem to rise off the ground with no visible jerk if done correctly.  From this point I’m trying to drive my right hand forward and down to my hips while still upright. This moves the pole bend toward the back of the pit rather than you getting sucked inside the arc where there is no leverage. So what’s going on

38

the vaulter magazine 2014

with the bottom hand? 

If you have equal pressure with both hands then the point between your two hands has to get to vertical. Too often vaulters start releasing bottom hand pressure to get vertical. In this scenario as the lower hand pressure begins to release,  you’re actually raising your grip during the middle of the jump. Ever feel like the pole is moving really fast and then you come up short? The point of equal pressure between your hands is no longer in the middle but closer to the top. To offset this tendency you should squeeze your bottom hand during the entire jump while trying to stay upright.  OK so here is the tricky part. If you stay upright while trying to drive your hands down the pole shaft to your hips, if you don’t allow your torso to fall back, then the hand pressure becomes so great that your hips will fly up without even trying. Too often we let this pressure off and fall away to help get vertical and the swing dies. You simply canceled out your swing by moving your hands forward while falling away. A split second longer and your hips would have come up without effort.  Once vertical there is a sim-

ple and easy one jump fix to assure you don’t flag out. Drive your trail leg up the pole. Think about it, the pole is vertical so if your leg is guided up the pole you will be too. This is super simple to do and gets your eyes away from staring at the bar. 

In closing I can tell you from experience that a particular technical focus may work on one day and not another. It’s the ones that always work that you can depend on. I can easily find and depend on these keys every practice. So give it a shot and enjoy the process. I find it funny in a not so “HaHa” sort of way that I had to be 54 to find these revelations even though I started vaulting at 12 years old. Hopefully this saves you a few decades.  ;-)  Enjoy!  Bubba Bubba


april 2014 issue

www.thevaultermag.com

Innovators push the boundaries. They're change agents who relentlessly make things happen and bring new ideas to execution. Innovators consider the history but take necessary leaps of faith in order to blaze their own path. Pole vaulting is all about taking leaps of faith. The UST ESSX Recoil and UST ESSX Recoil Advance were a labor of love and science that produced a durable, lightweight pole with the responsiveness every vaulter strives for. The design accommodates a smaller mandrel grip size and is almost one pound lighter to get you there faster. You will feel the pole lift you smoothly with easy-to-bend characteristics due to OVAL Technology and our built in pre-bend with the best roll-over in the industry.

Dawn of a new era in pole vaulting Introducing ESSX:

Special Ad Offers: • Buy 2 Recoil poles and get free shipping... • Buy 3 Recoil poles and get a 4th pole FREE plus free shipping... • Call 817-819-1472 to order or for more information.

WORLD CLASS VAULTING POLES

2014 the vaulter magazine www.UST-ESSX.com

39


VAULTER

MAGAZINE

40

the vaulter magazine 2014


April 2014 Vaulter Magazine  

April 2014 Vaulter Magazine

Advertisement
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you