Every pole vaulter that has ever lived has ran through once in his/her life. Whether it is a once in a moon occurrence, or a persistent problem, we’ve all struggled with it at some point in our vaulting career. Words can’t express how frustrating running through is. Your coach sometimes can’t relate, your parents always pester you with questions about it; you just don’t have an explanation. Something just feels off and it’s not allowing you to take it up. Everyone always gives the same advice, “It’s all in your head” “It’s a mental block”. Well they’re actually right. A lot of vaulters don’t want to hear that. They want to hear an adjustment from their coach like, “scoot your step back 4 inches” or “hold a fist lower on that pole”. But what if I told you that it’s how you perceive pole vaulting in your head and what you focus on during your vault?
When work with the kids I coach I use analogies constantly. Whether it’s “swinging the axe” or “jumping up to dunk a basketball”, cues that I’m giving my vaulters are always coming from a place of familiarity. So lets think of the first time you played hopscotch as a kid. At first it was hard to get the footwork just right to land in the middle of each box, but after 4 or 5 times it was easy and not intimidating at all. Well, assuming you’ve vaulted for a year or at least 6 months, you’ve probably taken hundred of vaults. So what’s the problem? It’s the answer no one wants to hear; you’re scared of pole vaulting
It’s nothing to be ashamed of; it’s the most intimidating track and field event. Even I get times in