There are several components to teaching the Pole Vault. In the video clips below Jeff Martin,
Indiana State University Assistant Track & Field Coach, demonstrates three different drills to help teach the proper running form and approach for your pole vaulters.
The clips are from an instructional DVD in which he shows you 40 different drills that he uses to teach the 10 essential components of pole vaulting. The drills will cover the following components: Grip, Pole Carry, Approach, Plant, Takeoff, Swing, Pull and Turn, Push-Off, Safety in Pole Vaulting, and When to Teach the Pole Bend.
For more information regarding Coach Martin’s DVD click the link Curriculum Guide to the Pole Vault
The YouTube videos have sound, so please make sure that your sound is turned on and that you have access to the site. Some schools block access to YouTube
The following is a quick summary of the three drills with key coaching points:
Drill 1 – Mini-Hurdles Running form
Place 8 mini-hurdles 4-5 ft apart. Have the athletes run over the hurdles placing two feet between each hurdle. The athletes should run in a tall upright position with quick foot contact. The shoulders and hips should be square. The knees are lifted high and the foot strikes the ground directly below the knee.
Drill 2 – Mini-Hurdles with Stubby Pole
The set-up is the same as drill one. The only difference is now you have your athletes carry a short pole. This is a great use for the broken poles that you likely have around. This helps to teach proper running form while having to hold the pole.
Drill 3 – Slow to Fast Drill
This drill is designed to help the athletes learn a smooth slow to fast transition on their approach. Five cones are placed in a line. The distance between each cone will depend on your athlete’s ability. They might be just 3-4 strides apart. Again it varies depending on the athlete. While holding their pole (full size), the athlete will use ankle steps between the first two hurdles and then transition to high knees between cones two and three. Between cones three and four they transition to a jog. After passing the fourth cone the finish the drill with a run to the final cone. The athletes should use proper grip and run tall with chest up and shoulders back.