The approach or run up should enable the vaulter to run as freely as possible and build up speed gradually for the plant. The pole should start inline with the skeleton so the weight is not carried purely by the arms, but by the body. A smooth and gradual pole drop throughout the run up is the aim.
Most athletes use a high knee action and lean forward slightly. As they run their foot strikes the ground directly underneath the hips, pushing them forward. The hands should be around shoulder width apart. The following practice drills am to improve the run up.