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2020 - the Year of the Vault

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  • #16
    Originally posted by polevaultpower View Post
    Chris Nilsen 5.82 today for another indoor PR!

    Zach Bradford 5.71 for an indoor PR. Said he left up 5.76, but the bar bounced up and landed on top of the standards, therefore a miss.

    At the meet in Rouen, where Sam jumped 6.01, we also had Harry Coppell jump 5.80 to hit the Olympic standard for the first time, and Cole Walsh 5.80 for an indoor PR.

    Oh and last week Kurtis Marschall 5.80, coming back after being out with an injury.
    Coppell becomes the 4th Brit over 5.80 (Nick Buckfield, Steve Lewis and Luke Cutts).

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    • #17
      So, I guess the obvious question is this: did something change? Great athletes are great athletes. Is the training suddenly better? Has the equipment suddenly improved?

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Dave View Post
        So, I guess the obvious question is this: did something change? Great athletes are great athletes. Is the training suddenly better? Has the equipment suddenly improved?
        Some are wondering what the shoes have to do with it as well. The new Nike spikes have a spring in the forefoot, but we don't know if there is a PV model yet and that wouldnt explain the non Nike athletes.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by americantrackfan View Post
          The new Nike spikes have a spring in the forefoot
          Not really. A spring is an 'elastic' object that stores mechanical energy; the new Nike shoes have carbon plates that give back more energy than ever before. But that's true of almost every generation of running shoes.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Dave View Post
            So, I guess the obvious question is this: did something change? Great athletes are great athletes. Is the training suddenly better? Has the equipment suddenly improved?
            Honestly, I think it is the Mondo effect. Most of the guys jumping well are young. I think growing up, seeing this kid do things that never seemed possible, helped inspire a generation of vaulters to achieve higher heights.

            The event has ebbed and flowed over the years. The two outliers right now, IMO, are Mondo (obviously) and Sam Kendricks.

            In some ways, Sam's achievements are more impressive than Mondo's, in the sense that Sam is doing an astonishing job of maximizing his potential in nearly every competition. Sam is not all that fast, and on much shorter poles than everyone else, but has found the ability to execute a near perfect jump time and time again, and the result has been an incredible consistency over 5.80+ that just should not be possible, on paper. If Mondo someday reaches that point (not possible at the moment since he is still getting stronger and faster and moving up poles), it's scary to think the heights we'll be seeing on a regular basis.

            The rest of the field is not doing anything unusual, what is unusual is the depth and youth of the group as a whole.

            Over the past thirty years, the technology improvements have been minimal. The peg length and tighter rules make the event more challenging. Stricter doping controls have an impact, I'm not going to pretend that every vaulter in history was clean.

            On the plus side, poles continue to be more available. Altius and ESSX now make high caliber poles, and some vaulters tend to do a little better on one size of pole or another, so it isn't like a breakthrough happened in pole technology, but the increased availability could mean more elite vaulters getting closer to reaching their potential.

            Technology improvements certainly make it much easier to watch video of other vaulters, learn a variety of coaching and training techniques, etc, though that it not always a positive.

            I can't speak to the depth right now compared to the 80s and 90s, but surely right now is the deepest the men have been since the pegs were made shorter.

            I do think shoes will impact the event, but not to the extent that they will impact the running events. I don't know if any elites are testing out prototypes right now. Vaulters can be pretty skittish about change. Stacy Dragila did not respond well to Nike's PV Lite spikes and it played a role in the end of her career. A spike that makes you run faster is obviously a positive, but for most vaulters that means adjusting steps, poles, grips, etc, so it would not necessarily translate to bigger bars. But if a better jump spike comes out, eventually most will transition over.

            If we see a surge of men clearing 6 meters after changing to a new style of spike, that would be comparable to what is happening in LDR right now, and it is certainly something I have mixed feelings about. But at this point, the change is going to come, whether we like it or not, and given the timing, with this wave of young talented vaulters, all signs are pointing toward big years ahead.

            I think the biggest threat to this next generation of vaulters is the lack of money in the sport. We already have EIGHT American men over 5.80, and only two of them have a shoe contract. Maybe a couple more get picked up for gear and bonuses before the Olympic Trials, but at the end of the day, most of these guys aren't going to make any money, which impacts how long they will be able to stick with the sport.

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            • #21
              The depth is amazing this year with far more athletes over 5.80 than I could find going back to 2002.(that is the earliest the world athletics site has). There was at least one year with two guys over 6.0m in the early 2000s. It would not surprise me if that happened from time to time while Bubka was active.

              most years through the nineties, there were two guys over 6.00 indoors. I found this by looking at the all time list on AW with an end date of 1/1/2000. There aren’t so many 6 meter jumps as to make this difficult. It would be more work than I am ready to do to go to 5.80.
              Last edited by Dave; 02-10-2020, 09:40 PM.

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              • #22
                Regarding technology, I think real time video review has been a big change in the past decade. Sure, you could do so in the past on the trusty Sony handicap, but it wasnt as easy or as large a screen to see detail (and it may have technically been against the rules 10-20 years ago). Now, coaches can re watch vaults on an iPad and not rely totally on their own eyes and brain for adjustments.

                The vault may have the most variables of any field event, so this can make a huge difference in nailing standard placement, pole selection, or small technical adjustments.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Merner521 View Post
                  Regarding technology, I think real time video review has been a big change in the past decade. Sure, you could do so in the past on the trusty Sony handicap, but it wasnt as easy or as large a screen to see detail (and it may have technically been against the rules 10-20 years ago). Now, coaches can re watch vaults on an iPad and not rely totally on their own eyes and brain for adjustments.
                  The vault may have the most variables of any field event, so this can make a huge difference in nailing standard placement, pole selection, or small technical adjustments.
                  Absolutely. I became a MUCH better jumps/hurdles coach once I had an iPad! There are so many things going on in the take-off of any jump, or the approach/clearance/touch-down in the hurdles that the naked-eye can miss. Especially when you can prove to an athlete that they're not doing what they say they are!

                  "but coach . . .

                  I wasn't looking at the board,
                  I didn't chop my step,
                  I didn't over-stride,
                  I didn't collapse my bottom arm,
                  I did get my hips up,
                  I did arch my head back at clearance,
                  I did drive my arms,
                  I did hit my mark,
                  I did punch my knee,
                  I did keep my feet up at landing,"

                  the list is endless!

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Atticus View Post
                    Absolutely. I became a MUCH better jumps/hurdles coach once I had an iPad! There are so many things going on in the take-off of any jump, or the approach/clearance/touch-down in the hurdles that the naked-eye can miss. Especially when you can prove to an athlete that they're not doing what they say they are!

                    "but coach . . .

                    I wasn't looking at the board,
                    I didn't chop my step,
                    I didn't over-stride,
                    I didn't collapse my bottom arm,
                    I did get my hips up,
                    I did arch my head back at clearance,
                    I did drive my arms,
                    I did hit my mark,
                    I did punch my knee,
                    I did keep my feet up at landing,"

                    the list is endless!
                    Have your athletes improved as a result? I’d expect for at least some, it would be tremendously helpful.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Dave View Post
                      Have your athletes improved as a result? I’d expect for at least some, it would be tremendously helpful.
                      As I said, "I became a MUCH better jumps/hurdles coach."
                      18 years ago, when I got my (3rd gen) iPad, I could not only demonstrate all the skills myself, but I could show them what they were doing wrong by mimicking what they were doing, but I also needed the iPad to slow down their execution (frame-by-frame is AWESOME!) and make them see themselves do it wrong (or right!). It made a huge difference to the HJ/PVers first, but then LJ/TJers, and finally the hurdlers, moreso the 100/110H, cuz the 300Hers already knew when they were chopping or over-striding. To show the proper arm-carriage of the high hurdler pros on the iPad, and then show them their own flailing arms and legs was PARAMOUNT to their progress.
                      This was not only a godsend (OK, a Jobssend) in practice, but in meets I needed to see them on video to give their best corrections.
                      Game-changer!!!

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                      • #26
                        KC Lightfoot 5.83 for an NCAA leader and #2 in the US.

                        So coming in to USAs tonight, the top 3 season's best performers are not competing, but I am looking forward to a very exciting competition! We have five vaulters who have jumped 5.80 this season. Who will win? Roll the dice!

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Atticus View Post
                          As I said, "I became a MUCH better jumps/hurdles coach."
                          18 years ago, when I got my (3rd gen) iPad, ...!
                          neat trick, considering the first iPad didn't come out until 2010 :-)

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                          • #28
                            Huge PR for Branson Ellis in Albuquerque--5.80 with room to spare. Matt Ludwig also over 5.80, also with some room. Next height 5.85.

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                            • #29
                              Ludwig clears 5.85 for a PR and the win. Wow!

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                              • #30
                                Zach Bradford jumped 5.80m at the Tyson Invite

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