During Winter and Spring it is difficult to make major technical or physical changes due to the competitive seasons and Summer is also filled with beach vaults, vacations, and some athletes leaving early for college. Fall is when everyone returns to their normal schedules of work and or school, no more vacations, and few if any competitions. Fall is the perfect time to really hit training hard and get ready for a new year.
I always tell athletes Fall is the only chance they have to get good at the drills and skills that they are bad at. If it doesn’t get fixed during fall they will have to live with their mistakes throughout the indoor season. If you have a flat take off and always take off under, it will be very difficult to change that during indoor track while you are competing. During the Fall you have the opportunity to do the drills on and off the runway to figure out how to jump up and incorporate it into your jump. Fix it or live with it.
The great Alan Launder had a quote in his book Beginner to Bubka, “What is technically desirable must be physically possible”. (If you haven’t read the book do yourself a favor and get a copy.) If you have been having trouble with some technical aspects of the vault you may have a strength issue. Address it in the Fall. In the Fall you don’t have to worry about being too sore for a meet, you don’t have to be ready for a full approach practice, build the strength you need to accomplish your technical goals. If you have trouble hitting the speed required on the runway or can’t jump up, lower body needs to be the focus. If you have trouble of the ground: can’t get inverted or can’t get any push off the top of your grip, upper body needs to be the focus. Choose strength building exercises for those areas.
Don’t let this Fall pass you by without making yourself a better vaulter!