Many times in pole vault we hear stories about athletes who began working with a coach and in no time they pr several feet. This creates a mindset that lead many in the pole vault community to believe in a magic bullet. We all want to believe that if we just get taught the right drill, or hear the right technical cue we too can pr several feet. However this really couldn’t be further from the truth. Once an athlete is introduced to a system and integrated, progress comes from consistent long term work. If you really are interested in progress make sure you understand that it will come gradually and you need to address the following areas, technique, physical training, and seasonal and yearly periodization (planning).
You must have a technical plan of attack that addresses the 5 systems of the vault 1. Pole carry 2. Run 3. Plant 4. Take off 5. Off the ground. You must have not only drills that address each area, but also a process to take athletes through those drills often enough, not just volume but frequency(how often in a week, month year) of drills.
After taking athletes through technical drills you can figure out a very clear and specific plan of attack for physical training. Most beginners need plenty of GPP (General physical preparedness). You can start with basic movements like pull ups, push ups, goblet squats, kettle bell swings, leg lifts, etc. However even at early stages you can find where to focus depending on an athlete’s weakness. If an athlete runs fast but has trouble inverting or moving the pole, you should focus on the upper body, if you have an athlete that’s great on the pole but has trouble with speed on the runway, the lower body should be the focus.
At Apex we follow more of a linear model of periodization, we start seasons off at a low intensity and high volume, (5 sets of 8-12 reps at 60-75% 1RM on core lifts) and end the season at high intensity at a low volume (5 sets of 2-4 reps, even singles at 95% plus 1RM). A conjugate method is very good as well and might even be better, but I only want to speak of what we do.
Again this article is about the framework that people can use to create a system that can yield continual progress.