18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

Monday, January 21, 2013

Reno Recharge

I must say that the 2013 Reno Pole Vault Summit was one of the most exciting and memorable Summits to date. I would like to say thank you to everyone who works so hard to make such a massive and complicated event possible. I would also like to say thank you to everyone who attended. Winter travel can be difficult and people brave the trip from all over the country and even from all over the world. Its all those crazy vault fans and athletes that make this event so very special, so once again, thank you.

My story continues on. I wanted to be indifferent about my outcome in Reno, stay relaxed and enjoy myself. After watching the event on Friday night a small unplanned fire was lit inside of me and a powerful hunger for success on Saturday grew overnight and into the next day. So what wound up happening was that I tried to hard. You here that term often and sometimes I think it starts to lose its meaning, but that's exactly what I did and there is no better way to describe it. I tried to hard and it cost me. When coaching the vault I am constantly teaching athletes about the importance of relaxing on the runway emphasizing posture, position, and mechanics rather than focusing on pure speed and power. When you finally get it, you realize you actually feel like you are doing less work but running faster, hitting better positions, and ultimately jumping on larger and larger poles. I created a common problem for myself this weekend by forcing my run. Caving to the excitement and trying to move down the runway much faster than I did the previous week, my pole drop was still timed up for the slower approach, meaning I was planting the pole late on each approach and while rushing it down into the box I got into a very bad position (leaning back) at takeoff. That being said, I enjoyed the extra speed (or feeling of speed, not sure what the numbers are yet) and honestly didn't realize that I was able to move that well right now, finishing on a bigger pole than I jumped my 2012 season best. My back is beat up from my mess of travels and competitions over the past two weeks, so a one or two week break from the vault is imminent but when I return I plan to try and time up an earlier pole drop for a more aggressive approach in hopes to yield better more forward body position at takeoff and higher results. Timing, as they say, is everything.

Do to the complexity and importance of my life outside of this sport, I operate on a week to week basis on focus for my own, most likely short, future as a vaulter, but at the moment the good old Reno Recharge has me all kinds of inspired.

I do want to start writing about ideas I have to help support the upcoming group of post-collegiate athletes. Times are tough, and they are going to need our support more than ever. Enough talk for now, but we will start to tackle this next time. Regards, and stay relaxed.

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