Plant & Take Off
The plant is very important. If you get this wrong the rest of the vault will likely go wrong. It is important for the athlete to keep their head looking up, not down at the box, as in athletic movements the body follows the head. Both hands should be pushing the pole up above the shoulders, with the palms aiding this upward push. The athlete must drive up off the take off foot and not just let the pole guide them up. The position of the takeoff foot differs for individual athletes but somewhere underneath the top hand is best. The following drills are aimed at perfecting the plant.
On this drill what we are looking for is a strong take off position, hands above the head driving the right arm up, hitting a nice strong take off position with a knee drive. Front toe turned and and foot dorsi flexed (pointing upwards), rolling the pole forwards, holding the take off leg back to prepare it for the next stage of the vault.
This is a two step running take off starting with the arms above the head. The top arm is driven up and over focusing on pole movement and keeping the pole driving forwards. Aim to drive the knee drive upwards on take off after two dynamic steps, focusing on the primary aim of pole vault which is to get the pole to vertical nice and quickly with the left leg or take off leg staying long behind you.
This is another plant take off drill but this time done in the long jump pit. This enables the vaulter to put a bit more speed and height into the drill without fear of the bottom of the pole moving once they are airborne. Concentrate on driving the top arm high and through the correct position, not letting it drop behind you or coming too far in front. Aim to drive up and jump at the same time or just before the pole tip hits the sand pit.
This drill is adding plant action to previous drills. A six step running take off moving the pole through, right arm up the line of the body with a nice strong take off position, knee up and take of leg back preparing for the next phase of the vault.
To achieve the four step running take off drive both arms up though the tack off into an explosive movement forwards.
To achieve the two step take off hands should start above the head with the take off foot almost directly under the top hand.
To achieve a one arm take off slide the pole down taking off with full extension and really driving the top arm forwards. The end of the pole vault run up is similar to the lung jump so it is faster, shorter and sharper at the end preparing to transfer the horizontal speed into vertical take off.