When Should you Grip Up?
Everyone knows that if you grip higher, you can jump higher, but how do you know if you should grip up?
Often coaches and athletes will try to raise grip, regardless of pole speed which can lead to athletes getting stood up, veering to the left or right and possibly hit a standard, and or get rejected. This can eventually lead to an athlete that now has developed fear of taking off due to some sketchy jumps. That’s when the run throughs begin. So how can this be avoided?
Coaches must watch pole speed and have this be the guide for when to grip an athlete up. If an athlete is landing deep into the pit and the pole isn’t bending a lot, grip up! If there’s lots of pole speed and a big bend, go up a pole.
So now as a coach, you might be thinking, well how do you increase an athlete’s grip if they don’t have enough pole speed? Focus on technical adjustments or physical improvements!
Watch your athlete and try and pinpoint what technical error is preventing them from gripping higher. If it’s take off, do some take off drills to work on it, and then have the athlete focus on this during full jumps. This should allow the athlete to improve pole speed, and once they
do, then grip up.
If you find that your athletes jump looks pretty good, maybe you need to focus on some physical improvements. Maybe if you can get your athlete faster, they will move the pole better. Look up some strength and conditioning programs, do some lifts, plyo metrics, and sprints. Once your athlete gets faster, and if you are correct about the athlete’s technique being pretty good, the pole should move better, grip up!