One of the highlights of every edition of the Olympic Games is the pole vault. If you wish to become a professional in this event, you will need to devote many hours a day carrying out a variety of drills.
Brief Introduction to Pole Vaulting
Pole vaulting is a famous Olympic sport all across the world. The best pole vaulters of the world spend many years practicing their drills to become better athletes, and to develop a better understanding of this highly technical and physically demanding sport. A huge amount of concentration goes into this to get it right. A combination of various drills will ensure that an athlete progresses in his jumping ability, and is able to achieve as much height and distance in his jump, along with avoiding any serious injury. The technique of pole vaulting is certainly not an easy thing to learn, and this takes many years of dedicated hard work and commitment to master.
Facets of Pole Vaulting
There are a few fundamental areas that these drills aim at progressing. These are the grip, the approach, the takeoff, and the pull of the athlete. Each of these are vital elements to become a good pole vaulter, and the various training drills aim specifically at these four areas. A sportsperson who has not developed these facets of his/her technique will not be able to deliver the desired level. The best of them in the world have been practicing drills since a very young age, and this is perhaps the only way to become an expert pole vaulter. A very common drill that has been practiced all over the world is the long jump practiced over the jumping pit. You will need to stand about 4 feet away from the jump-off line, and proceed to grip the pole in the following way. Hold the pole upright in front of you, grip it as high up as you can with your stronger hand, and grip the pole with the other hand in a place that is comfortable for you, and then make the pole horizontal. Now place your takeoff foot forward, and take three steps towards the long jump pit and make the pole land on the line. You need not start jumping yet, but drills such as these are for beginners, and will improve your technical knowledge immensely.
You can slowly change the routine by moving to a different surface, or by holding the pole even higher, or by practicing vaulting from a higher level to a lower level (preferably just a few feet). You must remember that the potential for injury is very high here, and as a result, one needs to be extremely careful while performing these drills.
There are many other drills that improve speed, stamina, strength, balance, and vision as well, as all these qualities are absolutely essential for this sport. In order to build up these essentials for an athlete, indoor drills are most commonly used. Drills for the approach shows one how to maintain consistency and a good rhythm while running with the pole, and this is a very important aspect. The planting of the foot in the right manner helps one achieve a good takeoff, and this necessitates for an impressive height on the jump. Swing drills teach one about the correct position and shape of the body, that needs to be maintained while airborne in order to avoid touching the pole on top.
The technique an athlete adopts while turning their body in the air also helps in achieving a good clearance over the bar. All these areas get their own dose of attention in the drills that a coach or an instructor designs. It is important to learn from a person who has pole vaulted professionally, and has a fair amount of experience in doing so.
Famous sportspersons like Sergey Bubka and Yelena Isinbayeva have spent many years of their lives practicing the various drills to become the champions that they are today. Each and every small detail deserves a fair share of attention, and that combined with dedicated hard work would fetch optimum results in pole vaulting.