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Any track coach will tell you that the approach is the key to the pole vault. In this segment Indiana State Pole Vault Coach, Jeff Martin, takes you through a simple drill that will help your athletes improve their acceleration mechanics on the runway. Adaptable to any area coaches may have to practice, this drill only requires the athlete’s pole and a couple of cones.
The coach chooses the distance between the cones for the athlete to perform a progression of acceleration mechanics- ankle steps- high knees- jog- run. Athletes get the feel of the acceleration progression and coaches get an opportunity to provide simple verbal cues to improve the vaulter’s acceleration and approach in a controlled environment, while not taking up valuable run-way space.
John Gartland, 10x Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year, explains a simple drill that will get your athletes to lean from their ankles and improve their approach, leading to higher jumps. This drill will improve the flexibility in the ankles of your athletes and make them think about their approach footwork in an easy-to-follow way.
Gartland shows you how to set-up the drill, which is based on each individual jumper’s approach. A circle is drawn in chalk or tape on the track and athletes perform the drill while the coach provides feedback. This drill will help your athletes keep their speed at an optimum during their approach, because your jumpers will learn to not lose speed from the approach. This drill can be performed during any part of the season and will be a useful addition to any track coach’s high jump drills progression.
2010 USTFCCA Great Lakes Region Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year, Jeff Martin, provides you with a series of drills to help pole vaulters run upright and with a quick foot contact. You will also get a look at the incorrect way to perform this progression in order to point out errors to your athletes.
It is important to use the stubby pole in this series so that your athletes get a feel for having a pole in their hand while performing the mini hurdle exercise.
Here high jumpers will have the opportunity to learn a penultimate drill that focuses on arm movement. Indiana State University Women’s Track & Field Assistant Coach, John Gartland, has a male and female athlete demonstrate how to drive the arms upward to increase your height.
Athletes will make a short approach in a half circle. Also, it is important for athletes to maximize their speed before getting to the penultimate step before takeoff.