Action Analysis : Analysis and Discussion of Pole Vault and High Jump Action

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From the collection of Hans Perk at A. Film L.A. and reprinted here with his permission.

[...] Most of the movement is in the elbow rather than
in the shoulders. The head is almost stationery
because he is watching for a place to put the pole.

He tends to keep the reaction in the shoulder down to a certain
extent. But there is a balancing problem involved - if he were
running with a 15 pound weight suspended around his neck he would
have a much more even movement in his shoulders, but due to the
fact that the weight is all on one side, the shoulder motion is
not accented evenly.

He uses the right arm to keep the pole in line. If he kept both
the right arm and the left arm stiff, the free end of the pole
would move around too much. But instead of that he takes up the
movement of the pole in his right arm, so that really he is
guiding with his right arm and lifting with his left.

... The start of the run is definitely marked on the
runway, and also the take-off into the jump and the
stride is increased between these two points.

QUAKENBUSH: The right shoulder is extreme at the
same time as the left leg.

The next problem is to get the pole in the ground. As he
approaches the end of his run he swings the pole around, bringing
his right arm forward and up, throwing the elbow low, which brings
his arm underneath the pole, and from this position he gets the
pole into the ground. He drops the front point of the pole as he
lifts the back end of the pole, using the left arm as a fulcrum.
While he changes the direction of the pole, he contacts on the
right foot, and when he hits on his right foot, he is under the
pole Then he goes into his next step on the left foot, and from
the position underneath the pole, with both arms raised, he is
in an ideal position for the swing. Taking advantage of the mo-
mentum he has created by his run, he then takes off from the left
foot. There is a little bit of bend on the pole in this action.

Since he is well under the pole, and the pole is higher than his
head, the momentum forward into the pole has a tendency to whip
him up and forward, feet first. Then on the whip forward, the
action is transferred into the body and the pull in the arms begins.

LEFFINGWELL: He shoves the pole forward into the
hole in the ground so that he has it there before
he runs up to it.