Friday, March 6, 2015

Pole Vault Take Off

When describing pole vault to people, I tend to combine other track events to give an image to what is required of a vaulter. A vaulter must run like a sprinter, jump like a long jumper, and have the strength of a thrower. All of these techniques come into play during the take off in pole vault. The take off in pole vault is when the vaulter plants the pole and leaves the ground.
To have the ideal take off the vaulter must have a good kinesthetic sense of where they are on the runway in respect to the pole pit. When the vaulter is three strides away from the pit, they begin lowering the pole and raising their arms until their top hand is directly above their ear and their bottom hand is straight and slightly in front of the vaulters face. The chest should drive forward as the vaulter jumps off the ground.1 If the vaulter is right handed they will jump off their left foot and vise versa for a left handed jumper. They should drive their opposite knee into the air and the swing will begin.
In an ideal plant the vaulters arms will be straight above their head2 before the pole hits the back of the box. The vaulter will be standing tall ready to jump off of the runway. A lot of steps happen in a short amount of time but the take off will determine if the rest of the jump will be good or not. It is hard for a vaulter to recover from a bad take off so it is very important for vaulters to practice it.

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Falk, B., & Strawderman, M. (2015, January 1). The Pole Vault Take-off and Drive Swing. Retrieved February 22, 2015, from

McGinnis, P. (2007, December 13). MECHANICS OF THE POLE VAULT. Retrieved February 22, 2015, from Vault Training/2007NPEP-McGinnis.pdf

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