Pole Vault: Academic Study

M Thomas Toledo
M Thomas Toledo
stop bad pole vault
Early in 1991, based on the personal advice of two "world-renowned" USA pole vault coaches (Bob Fraley and Don Hood), I became a first-time buyer of a high-priced UCS Spirit "competition" vaulting pole purchased for my son from UCS (United Canvas & Sling), Carson City, Nevada. From the earliest moments the "UCS Spirit" product was implemented, lethal safety issues started to surface. Immediately, I began attempting to correspond with UCS principals who simply "turned a deaf ear" to my concerns. Beginning decades ago, in 1991, UCS sports equipment manufacturing principals and other track and field "insiders" have exerted their efforts into ignoring ongoing preventable pole vault hazards I've exposed. If you are a parent with a sense of responsibility for the welfare of your own children, or you are a "coach" responsible for the well-being of all student athletes you are charged with properly supervising, please, share this life-saving information.

The following "LETHAL ADVICE" is embraced by "TRADITIONAL" pole vault "COACHES" and "IMBECILES" around the world, which should seriously alarm any responsible person aware of the fact that such dangerous stupidity is being allowed to flourish within the confines of INTERNATIONAL TRACK & FIELD:

"DON'T BE AFRAID TO BREAK THE POLE, THAT JUST MEANS YOU'RE SUPER AWESOME..." (Coach Shawn Francis-YouTube-F8J4ytXaVu0)

Today's INTERNET clearly reveals DEADLY WORLDWIDE "TRADITIONAL" POLE VAULT COACHING BAFFOONERY as displayed in the above words stated by one of the most potentially lethal COACHING BAFFOONS I've ever encountered. "Team Hoot Pole Vault" founder, Shawn Michael Francis, is just one of many negligent "coaches" openly displaying fatal "TRADITIONAL" pole vault philosophies that MUST be TERMINATED! Coach Francis is just the "tip of the iceberg" barely revealing the extraordinary volume of unmitigated abject stupidity thoroughly saturating lethal "traditional" pole vault concepts you can easily see for yourself during the first 7 seconds of the following short video.

WHAT IS THE REAL STORY BEHIND DEADLY "TRADITIONAL" POLE VAULT TEACHINGS?

Below are my own animated illustrations in which Fig 002 & Fig 003 have backgrounds similar to sketches in a "traditionally" revered scientific report titled "IOC Medical Commission, Summer Olympic Games of Barcelona 1992, Biomechanical Analysis of the Pole Vault Event." The link to illustrations in the so-called "scientific report" is provided later on this page. For now, this first link connects to a description of the "study" where the following quote is located:

"This study explains the general aspects of the biomechanics of the pole vault and presents a 3D analysis of the best official performances of the top 8 pole vaulters at the 1992 summer Olympic Games in Barcelona."

As confirmed by the animated illustrations (Fig 001 & Fig 002) "traditional" pole vault perceptions in the "Barcelona" study are firmly rooted in original 1960s advertising designed for the purpose of SELLING and PROMOTING commercial vaulting poles for "Browning Arms" more than three decades before the "academic study." The drawings in Fig 001 are based on original 1960s advertising illustrations and fatal misinformation published by the weapons maker.

Pole Vault AdPole Vault Study

Most of the asinine "traditional" assumptions concocted in the acclaimed Barcelona "scientific report" violate laws of physics and mathematics already proven thousands of years ago by ancient scholars Pythagoras and Archimedes. Many of the misguided esteemed opinions formed by our modern-day "scholars" also fly in the face of pole vault FACTS I began proving in 1991. One of our most significant accomplishments was the demonstration of how to CORRECTLY "COCK" flexible "COMPETITION" vaulting poles for the FIRST time since their inception more than 40 years prior to my evidence-based determinations. The ultimate remedy that permanently wipes out deadly "traditional" absurdity is the Air Strike Pole Vault execution illustrated here in Fig 005:

Pole Vault - Air Strike

You can see in the animated images below (Fig 003 and Fig 004) Air Strike's VERTICAL END-OVER-END properly COCKED flexible vaulting pole orientation in comparison to the cocked pole curvature and position resulting from deadly "traditional" pole vault teachings negligently misrepresented as "correct" by the ill-informed authors responsible for the "Barcelona" study.

Pole Vault 1992Pole Vault Fig 004

DEADLY MISINFORMATION IS PURPOSELY PROMOTED BY VAULTING POLE MAKERS!

Over a quarter century ago, after coming to the realization that vaulting pole makers, athletic equipment manufacturers and "traditional" coaches are complicit in spreading misinformation regarding this deadly track & field event, we sought our own solutions. One of our many 1991 life-saving conclusions crucial to our successful revolutionary flexible pole vault execution is:

"NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GRIP A FLEXIBLE "COMPETITION" VAULTING POLE LOWER THAN THE MANUFACTURER'S MAXIMUM RECOMMENDED GRIP HEIGHT!!! NOT EVEN WHEN THE MANUFACTURER'S INSTRUCTIONS TELL YOU TO!"

MARK MY SIMPLE "UNIVERSITY OF HARD KNOCKS" WORDS: The higher you hold a flexible vaulting pole, the more easily you can bend the ends closer together because there is more pole to bend. THE LOWER YOU HOLD, LEAVES LESS POLE TO BEND. When there is less area to bend, the pole becomes more difficult to flex and you don't have to bend it as much to break it.

Flexrod Wide Grip      Flexrod Narrow Grip

EMPIRICAL PHYSICS PROVE, unequivocally, that the audacious "traditional" pole vault opinions published in the highly acclaimed "Barcelona" academic study are LETHALLY ERRONEOUS. Regardless of the flagrantly portrayed superior intelligence and mathematical formulaic representations of self-aggrandizing collaborators involved in this "research" charade, real facts demonstrate these grand scholars have WRONGLY placed their intellectual faith in flawed FANTASY PHYSICS born from the "make-believe world" created in the minds of real-life deadly "traditional" pole vault propagandists and fools.

Isn't it incredibly ironic that "pole vault" at the "Olympic Games of Barcelona 1992" is the focus of this "study," when you realize that this is the very same sports venue at which the world's prolifically highest "traditional" pole vaulter, Sergei Bubka, FAILED to clear any height during his specialty event? Don't you also find it fascinating that, in 1992, one of the world's greatest decathletes, Dan O'Brien, was DISQUALIFIED from competing at the very same Summer Olympic Games of Barcelona after failing to clear any height applying perverted "traditional" pole vault teachings at the 1992 Olympic Trials? Another interesting 1992 fact is that, by the summer of 1992, we had already established our revolutionary life-saving Air Strike pole vault methods for the world to see but were willfully ignored.

Air Strike Pole Vault  Vaulting Pole Angles

WHAT IS THE ACTUAL HISTORY OF MODERN-DAY VAULTING POLES AND WHEN DID THEY BECOME SO MISUNDERSTOOD?

Bob Mathias 1954

Here is a brief overview of TRUE facts regarding the origin of modern-day flexible "competition" vaulting poles and some of the reasons why failed "traditional" teachings have increasingly caused senseless preventable pole vault catastrophes: Several weeks after graduating high school, 17-year-old Bob Mathias won the decathlon gold medal at the 1948 Olympic Games in London, England, where he used a thick diameter metal pole in his vaulting event. Bob, at the time, during his brief pole vault experiences (that had only begun in the late Spring of 1948) expressed to his high school athletics coach, Virgil Jackson, that vaulting poles undoubtedly needed to be vastly improved.

In 1949, shown below, Bob Mathias won the decathlon National Championship using a BAMBOO vaulting pole. The next year, 1950, he won the National Championship using the brand new revolutionary fiberglass "Sky Pole" developed by Coach Jackson. The "Sky Pole" name was coined and established as the trade mark by Virgil Jackson that same year, 1950, while he was a "full fledged member of the Pacific Laminates organization" in Costa Mesa, California.

Bob Mathias on Bamboo Pole

In 1952, Bob Mathias again won the decathlon OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL at Helsinki, Finland, where he used an updated version of Coach Jackson's flexible fiberglass pole concept while still applying ill-conceived "traditional" archaic pole vault methods. Keep in mind that, when the first fiberglass poles were introduced in the 1950s, landing areas, even for the greatest vaulters on the planet, were commonly comprised of ground-level sand. For many years, thereafter, HUGE PADDED LANDING PITS DID NOT EXIST. Thus, as verified by Bob Mathias in the video below, vaulting methods were NOT ALTERED at all when applying the original fiberglass poles.

In the 1995 video above, Bob Mathias, the person for whom Virgil Jackson specifically created the first fiberglass vaulting poles in 1950, clarifies some pertinent facts as to why "traditional" vaulting METHODS DID NOT CHANGE. It should also be noted that, in 1950, Bob Mathias was still the MOST FAMOUS amateur athlete on the face of the earth after making history during the 1948 Summer Olympic Games at 17 years of age.

You can see more recent examples of FLAWED "TRADITIONAL" pole vault tactics for yourself illustrated in the images below. The first three images display the primitive "traditional" method of bracing the lower elbow on the outside of the vaulting pole while attempting to invert. This primitive tactic was applied going way back to pre-1900s' pole vaulting when the goal was to achieve horizontal distances, NOT vertical heights. This is the same ill-conceived pole vault method that Bob Mathias applied during all of his decathlon wins and the same method John Uelses applied while using a fiberglass pole when he became the first athlete to vault higher than 16 feet in 1962.

VIRGIL JACKSON CREATED 3 ORIGINAL FIBERGLASS MODELS IN 1950, EACH WITH 6 FLEXIONS!

TRUE HISTORY unveils the FACT that, when Virgil Jackson introduced THREE MODELS of "Sky Pole" in 1950, EACH WITH SIX FLEXIONS, Coach Jackson clearly REALIZED the potential of flexibility but NOBODY knew how real-life vaulters could achieve the manufacturer's pole-bend specifications. From the very onset, lethally flawed "TRADITIONAL" pole vault methods could NEVER duplicate "mechanically" produced manufacturer flexion "specifications." The glaring TRAGIC IRONY is that NO HUMAN BEING was ever documented "CORRECTLY" bending a fiberglass vaulting pole until Chris Toledo performed AIR STRIKE "HORIZONTAL FLEXED POLE ROTATION" 42 years later, in 1992. Contrary to the negligent misinformation destroying this event, these are the TRUE FACTS.

It should be obvious, to any rational observer, that most vaulters who SURVIVE and thrive applying horrible lethal "TRADITIONAL" pole vault methods are amongst the "overprivileged." Historical documentation confirms that, in this event, throughout decades, the same family names appear repeatedly. Access to facilities is provided for those "connected" with "insiders," in turn, lowly undesirable "outsiders" can easily be EXCLUDED! Thus, as "status quo" requires, lethal "traditional" methods live on while primarily the "less privileged" become hapless victims naively suffering avoidable hazardous consequences.

John Uelses Pole Vault2016_pole_vault1960s pole vault

Watch one of today's top world-ranked "traditional" pole vaulters, Sam Kendricks, in the videos below. I admire this young man's character as a human being but not at all as a pole vaulter. Sam is a documented fan and enabler of Coach Shawn Michael Francis, founder of specious "Team Hoot Pole Vault." Sam's father is a "traditional" pole vault coach. Please, observe Sam's ill-advised "traditional" methods in the second and third videos below and compare the facts for yourself after you carefully study AIR STRIKE RIGID POLE execution to again see why:

WITH OR WITHOUT AIR STRIKE SOLUTIONS, LETHAL "TRADITIONAL" POLE VAULT TEACHINGS MUST BE STOPPED!!!

It is quite telling that Sam Kendricks, 2016 Olympic medalist, does NOT KNOW HOW to execute proper RIGID pole vault inversion methods that I, Sergei Bubka and my son, clearly realized decades ago. In the animated image below, you can plainly see Chris Toledo (twenty-five years ago) correctly executing our "rigid" pole vault Air Strike methods that completely DEBUNK Sam's primitive ill-advised methods that irresponsibly endanger naive lesser-privileged "wannabe" vaulters attempting to imitate Sam's examples. Our AIR STRIKE PHILOSOPHY IS: "PERFECT PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!" In this deadly track & field event, hazardous "traditional" lack of concern for detail is a fatal problem that should never be taken for granted.

Metal Pole Vault

Please, watch the next video below at normal speed between 23 seconds and 25 seconds (video should automatically start on that time its first "PLAY"). After that, on the second video below, click the center button to begin play, then, enter "full screen" mode (symbol at lower right). Now, you can carefully observe the facts for yourself by starting and stopping with the pause/play functions. In negligent "TRADITIONAL" pole vault, as has now been documented thousands of times over the decades, this ARROGANT DISREGARD FOR PROPER TECHNIQUE HAS REPEATEDLY PROVEN LETHAL. Deadly "traditional" flawed philosophies need to be taken seriously if we ALL truly care to prevent senseless injuries being inflicted upon intentionally misinformed vulnerable athletes!

  

Source: U.S. Army Website Videos - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC7f9quDmPQ - Creative Commons

In contrast to the Kendricks videos above, carefully watch Sergei Bubka in the video below to see for yourself how he correctly places his left elbow between the pole and his torso to properly invert during his "rigid" pole demonstration just as Chris Toledo (decades ago) performs the same "elbow-in" procedure in the image below. (NOTE: I am specifically supporting ONLY Bubka's "elbow-in" method demonstrated in his video and specifying nothing else.)

Elbow inside     

Carefully observe at 0:10, 0:20, 0:57 & 1:05, how Bubka brings his left elbow inside, between the pole and his body. This move is crucial to properly inverting when applying Air Strike "rigid" pole vault TRAINING techniques that MUST BE MASTERED before ever attempting any full "flexible" pole vault.

"USING AIR STRIKE BAMBOO POLE VAULT METHODS, LEBRON JAMES CAN VAULT HIGHER THAN ANY 'RIGID' POLE VAULTER IN HISTORY, WITHIN 14 DAYS!" (M Thomas Toledo)

pole-vault-jump-strike

Please, keep in mind that, in 1992, when my son performed our Air Strike "RIGID" pole vault concepts his first day using a metal pole (displayed above) we had NO ACCESS to high speed Internet (a truth that shocks many who live in today's world). Also, in 1992, we did NOT have pocket-size cell phones containing miniature cameras and no access, whatsoever, to online video sharing technology to assist us. You can "take it to the bank" that my son and I created our pole vault solutions founded upon our own GOD-GIVEN COMMON SENSE, logical deductions, intelligent decisions, talent, firsthand experiences and FACTUAL PHYSICS.

HOW TO CORRECTLY "COCK" FLEXIBLE VAULTING POLES APPLYING AIR STRIKE!

In 1992, when Chris Toledo was documented as the first vaulter to CORRECTLY "COCK" a flexible "COMPETITION" vaulting pole since their inception 42 years prior, it was our own ingenuity and tenacity that produced the results of our revolutionary "HORIZONTAL FLEXED POLE ROTATION." In the image sequences below, you can see the VERTICAL END-OVER-END properly COCKED flexible "competition" pole orientation we documented more than 25 years ago.

Air Strike Pole VaultAir Strike Turbo Boost

To date, 68 years after the introduction of the first "Sky Pole" in 1950, Chris Toledo is the only person ever recorded correctly cocking a flexible "competition" vaulting pole according to the manufacturer's built-in physics specifications.

The animated image sequences above display our 1992 PROOF that Air Strike's properly executed "HORIZONTAL FLEXED POLE ROTATION" completely ERADICATES "traditional" pole vault's TWO DEADLIEST CORE TEACHINGS: "FULL-SPEED" approach runs and the lethal forward "PUSH" of the bending pole.

In the image sequence below, Chris Toledo is shown early in 1992 doing the dangerous "TRADITIONAL BULL-PUSH" of the "UCS Spirit" vaulting pole like everyone else. Chris was negligently taught this foolishness, firsthand, by each of these celebrated "traditional" coaches: Don Hood, Jan Johnson and Bob Fraley.

bubka-01lavillenie-01Chris Toledo - UCS Spiritolympic-pole-breakborges-pole-vault

The four yellow background silhouette images you see above illustrate actual body positions of ill-advised top world class "traditional" pole vaulters applying lethal FULL-SPEED approach runs to "BULL-PUSH" flexible poles forward. The figure illustrated breaking the pole displays the fact that the stress of the vaulter's excessive misapplied forward pressure has caused the pole's reinforced lower portion to break FIRST. The pole-plug can be seen above the label as the completely detached lower section of the broken pole is pointing back towards the vaulter. If you look closely, you will see that the lower portion of the pole is also broken approximately 8 inches above the "plug."

All of the preceding facts are further substantiated by the recollections of an exceptional 1960s European pole vaulter who authored the following testimonial he sent me August 7, 2015:

"The video of the [Air Strike] technique is stunning!! That really is 'How to Pole Vault'. I broke our National record five times and vaulted for the National team as a senior while still in mid teens. I was vaulting on the cusp of fibre glass poles entering the pole vault scene in UK schools and to be fair to my coach (and other school coaches) they really weren't qualified to know how to teach us the technique for the new poles. I did however shortly before I gave up vaulting go to a training camp for our international vaulters, where the then new national coach told me I wasn't driving hard enough with a straight left arm on plant (I am right handed). The first time I did as he asked I broke the pole in mid bend. Four vaults later on a stiffer pole and him telling me I was still not driving hard enough I broke this pole as well. Did I lose my confidence, yes!"

Below are actual video images of a world class European female pole vaulter in 2013 applying the "old standard" ignorant 1960s lethal "traditional" pole vault methods detailed above and the inevitable resulting hazardous consequences.

European Girl  European Girl Backside

Source of images: FISUTV - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtcgmKQF8TM - Creative Commons

Modern-day FLEXIBLE "COMPETITION" vaulting poles are designed as NON-UNIFORM DIAMETER TUBES. They are manufactured with thicker lower portions combined with easier to bend upper portions. When applying foolish "traditional" methods of "SPEED" and "PUSH" to LOAD flexible "competition" vaulting poles, the athletes' forward-moving momentum automatically causes the LOWER (more resistant) portion of the pole to bend detrimentally. The consequences are the resulting broken poles you see above and vaulters being "rejected" backwards, which forces them to fall into the plant box and descend onto the runway.

HURTING PEOPLE IN ORDER TO PROFIT FROM THEIR VICTIMIZATION IS WRONG, DOING IT ON PURPOSE IS CRIMINAL!

Austrian female vaulter, 21 year-old Kira Grunberg, European Championships pole vault finalist, was PARALYZED July 30, 2015, while attempting the "TRADITIONAL BULL-PUSH" of a "UCS Spirit" flexible "competition" vaulting pole as you see above. Applying exactly these same deadly "traditional" methods, Kira Grunberg unwittingly volunteered herself to be one more gullible victim of negligent lethal "traditional" pole vault teachings. December 2014, Rice University pole vault coach, David Butler, "UCS Spirit" criminal negligence enabler and USA National Pole Vault Development Staff member, had the means to prevent Kira's horrible tragedy. Instead, Kira's preventable disaster was purposely allowed to become further evidence exposing the barefaced criminality of self-absorbed athletic "Establishment" elites who continue brushing off my decades of warnings.

The vaulting pole in the image below is a 1980s predecessor of the deadly "UCS Spirit" poles used by my son and Kira Grunberg. In 2014, I discovered a 07/14/89 SUPREME COURT OF NEBRASKA case involving the death of a high school pole vaulter in 1983. My conversations with the victim's father were deeply emotional, to say the least. While still just a teenager, Darin E. Ohnstad was senselessly killed using one of these poles. Darin's vibrant young life perished due to a completely AVOIDABLE tragedy during, what should have been, a harmless event at a high school track meet. Darin's "SPIRIT" alone is my resolute motivation to continue fighting this battle opposing LETHAL CRIMINALS promoting the "traditional" pole vault absurdity that ruthlessly extinguished Darin's earthly light and forever altered the life of Kira Grunberg while disgusting "insider" miscreants revel in their "privileged" pompous impunity.

The sixth image farther down displays my own teenage son, in 1991, suffering the consequences of naively attempting exactly the same DEADLY "TRADITIONAL" STUPIDITY that had already abruptly ended Darin Ohnstad's life eight years prior and devastatingly altered Kira Grunberg's life 24 years later.

Fiberglass Competition Pole  Darin E Ohnstad

THIS IS A DEATHLIST OF ONLY 24 PREVENTABLE FATALITIES I WAS ABLE TO VERIFY. THERE ARE MANY, MANY MORE. ALL OF THESE YOUNG DEATHS ARE THE ABSOLUTE AVOIDABLE CONSEQUENCE OF "TRADITIONAL" POLE VAULT NEGLIGENCE!

deathlist_pole-vault-C1deathlist_pole-vault-C2deathlist_pole-vault-C3deathlist_pole-vault-C4

Vaulting pole manufacturers are FULLY AWARE that when the more difficult to bend LOWER portion of any flexible "competition" vaulting pole is "PUSHED" forward by the vaulter, IF the pole does not break, the STRESS on the REINFORCED section of the pole will REACT with an EQUAL and IMMEDIATE violent push-back of its own AGAINST the vaulter. This is always the instant that "traditional" pole vaulters are "jerked" violently backwards above the runway as illustrated in the images you are seeing here while these deadly teachings continue being purposely condoned and protected by lethal profiteers.

Deadly Pole Push  Lethal Stupidity

You can also see in our examples HOW these deadly pole vault weapons become even more dangerous when gullible athletes are further purposely encouraged by EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS to GRIP LOWER than the MANUFACTURERS' MAXIMUM RECOMMENDED GRIP HEIGHT on their lethal vaulting poles! This is simply additional "criminal negligence" for which equipment manufacturers and "TRADITIONAL" coaches remain entirely culpable.

Dave Johnson-UCS-Speed  Chris pole vault reject

Since the LOWER portions of flexible "competition" poles are HARDER to bend than their UPPER portions, deadly "traditional" pole vault teachings automatically place lethal unnecessary STRESS on the MOST RESISTENT portions of flexible "competition" poles that vaulters are being negligently taught to "PUSH" precariously forward while running full speed!

Looking at our animated examples below, you will see that our unrestricted flexible rod bends uniformly and very easily. "Uniform diameter" flexible poles, such as the FiberSport "MAXIMA" brand poles we purchased to assist us with attaining safer TRAINING methods in the early 1990s, BEND based exactly on the same principles as the fiberglass rod in the image displayed first below. When we encase a portion of the same fiberglass rod inside a section of PVC pipe, as shown in the second image next, the rod's flexion inside the reinforced section becomes absolutely limited. To bend the portion of fiberglass rod inside the PVC pipe is now EXTREMELY DIFFICULT while ONLY the NON-reinforced section of flexible fiberglass rod outside the PVC pipe remains EASY to bend.

Flexrod Easy Bend    flexrod up and down

Based on the same physics principles, STRONGER reinforced sections of real-life flexible "competition" vaulting poles are purposely FACTORY DESIGNED TO RESIST FLEXING while the WEAKER sections of the poles FLEX EASIER. In other words, NON-uniform diameter flexible "competition" vaulting poles are DESIGNED to bend NON-UNIFORMLY with the LOWER portions much MORE resistant to bending than the UPPER portions.

As you can see in our 1992 video evidence, 65% CHORD IS AMPLE pole-bend on CORRECTLY flexed "competition" poles. Since the bottom tips of real-life vaulting poles need to remain inside plant boxes until the vaulter releases the pole, the lower (stronger) reinforced sections of flexible "competition" vaulting poles are intentionally designed NOT to over-bend. That is why, when COCKED PROPERLY, flexible "competition" poles will ALWAYS appear similar to an inverted capitol letter "J," as illustrated in our animated image of flexible fiberglass rod inside PVC pipe and real-life 1992 video of Chris Toledo correctly "cocking" our "UCS Spirit" flexible "competition" vaulting pole.

flexrod J    J Pole

In order to emulate REAL-LIFE vaulting pole ABUSE, a TREMENDOUS amount of ENERGY was exerted to achieve the deformed BEND in the PVC pipe shown below. (If you don't believe me, try it yourself sometime.) Since it is VERY difficult to distort a PVC pipe to bend this way, the amount of wasted energy required to force a real-life flexible "competition" pole to FLEX INCORRECTLY is both extraordinary and deadly. Can you imagine the mammoth amount of misguided energy it takes to BREAK an improperly flexed "competition" vaulting pole?

flexrod push sideview  pole vault push

Flexible "competition" vaulting poles are FACTORY DESIGNED TO NEVER be bent as depicted in the images displayed here. Yet, in spite of this physics reality, negligent vaulting pole manufacturers and irresponsible "coaches" relentlessly continue encouraging vaulters to apply lethal "traditional" pole vault methods. Shown below, applying "traditional" fatal pole-bend, is David Cox. Cox was mentored by Coach Bob Fraley, creator of the 1989 Pole Vault Summit at Fresno State University that catapulted UCS Spirit vaulting pole sales.

1962 pole vault addavid cox pole vault FSU1992 fan

Lethal "traditional" vaulting methods taught by Fresno State University's Coach Bob Fraley, mirrored the misguided 1980s methods of Billy Olson, mentored by Coach Don Hood at Abilene Christian University in Texas. In the 1980s, Billy was Sergei Bubka's nemesis while Billy's success triggered Coach Don Hood's world-wide recognition. These vaulters were admired as "DAREDEVILS" with exceptional running speed! This same abject stupidity continues being propagated for profit in 2018 as a new generation of criminally negligent coaches follow in the footsteps of the past. For example, the following quote is by Minnesota "millennial" pole vault coach, Shawn Michael Francis:

"You have to hit it with everything you've got and, if you really do break a pole, and it, and you break it a good way, you'll land in the pit anyways. So, don't be afraid to break the pole, that just means you're super awesome and you probably need the next stick anyways. So, in, in reality, I guess I look at a pole-break as a graduation, ah, to being even more awesome!" (Shawn Francis-YouTube-F8J4ytXaVu0)

YES, I IDENTIFY THE ABOVE AS ILLICIT ABJECT COACHING STUPIDITY. PLEASE, USE YOUR OWN COMMON SENSE.

Why is it that USATF, IAAF, UCS, AJSM, ASTM, NHSF and other "experts" professing their concerns for the "safety" of athletes, not only condone the lethal "traditional" pole vault philosophies negligently spread by Coach Shawn Francis, they also promote the same deadly "traditional" teachings themselves? What do you think would happen if foolish "traditional" pole vault coaching is eliminated from existence and the vaulter's energy could finally be intelligently applied using safer AIR STRIKE pole vault methods to replace CORRUPT "traditional" indiscretions?

In 1994, I recorded one of the world's greatest athletes pole vaulting during the USA/Germany decathlon in San Luis Obispo, California. The coach of the Germans, to whom I had spoken before the meet, did not have any interest in sharing a dialogue with me. The video images displayed here expose the consequences paid by an outstanding, but very naive, world class athlete, Norbert Demmel, who is the ultimate victim of his "elite" German coach's close-minded ignorant propagation of negligent "traditional" pole vault teachings. Through no fault of his own, Norbert's tremendous athletic potential was foolishly squandered by athletic "Establishment" stupidity decades ago.

Norbert Demmel

You can see that Demmel is very high off the ground when the pole tip "strikes" but his pole vault execution FAILS miserably without the application of Air Strike's "horizontal flexed pole rotation" principles. Along with his litany of other lethal errors, this great athlete's pole vault efforts are even further thwarted by his low grip on the flexible "competition" pole. Lethal recoil reaction becomes exponentially more hazardous to vaulters gripping flexible "competition" poles LOWER than the "manufacturer's recommended maximum grip position" because lowering the grip further DECREASES the bend area of the pole.

This vital WARNING to you cannot be repeated often enough: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GRIP A FLEXIBLE "COMPETITION" VAULTING POLE LOWER THAN THE MANUFACTURER'S MAXIMUM RECOMMENDED GRIP HEIGHT!!! NOT EVEN WHEN THE MANUFACTURER'S INSTRUCTIONS TELL YOU TO!

Flexible "competition" vaulting poles have become so incredibly dangerous primarily because culpable athletic equipment manufacturers continue purposely promoting deadly MISUSE of their EXPENSIVE flexible "competition" vaulting poles while focusing principally on inflating their PROFITS and SALES results. LETHAL "TRADITIONAL" pole vault teachings actually flagrantly CONTRADICT MANUFACTURER SPECIFICATIONS while, at the same time, arrogantly defying laws of physics dictating the ultimate "linear elastic behavior" of every flexible "competition" vaulting pole manufactured.

It needs to also be noted that an ever-EXPANDING volume of BROKEN flexible "competition" vaulting POLE-REPLACEMENTS inherently and predictably INCREASES the "BOTTOM LINES" of vaulting pole manufacturers. Simultaneously, BROKEN poles and CATASTROPHIC INJURIES also foster INCREASED SALES VOLUME of very, very, very PROFITABLE "MANDATED" SAFETY-RELATED EQUIPMENT requirements that metamorphose perpetually as a result! There are horrendous conflicts of interest openly violating "public trust" stemming from the tentacles of corruption devouring track and field's pole vault.

Above, you can watch top-ranked vaulters Jenn Suhr and Sandi Morris BREAK poles using lethal "TRADITIONAL" pole vault methods. As the Internet has developed exponentially since 1992, so has the clarity and abundance of evidence exposing industry "insiders" who've methodically eliminated LESS EXPENSIVE "UNIFORM DIAMETER" flexible vaulting poles while they shamelessly shrug off the disastrous consequences suffered by naive victims of their purposeful negligence. No mortal human being can safely learn to pole vault properly by starting out using flexible "COMPETITION" poles that are absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to BEND CORRECTLY applying dangerous "TRADITIONAL" pole vault teachings. Exraordinarily important, that last statement demands repeating:

No mortal human being can safely learn to pole vault properly by starting out using flexible "COMPETITION" poles that are absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to BEND CORRECTLY applying dangerous "TRADITIONAL" pole vault teachings.

Looking at our images of "UNIFORM DIAMETER" vaulting pole examples below, you can see that we purchased several diameters of the FiberSport "MAXIMA" brand poles. This multi-uniform diameter pole process is the SAFEST and MOST EFFICIENT method of learning HOW to properly BEND flexible vaulting poles and master the application of "HORIZONTAL FLEXED POLE ROTATION" principles. With these phenomenal poles this procedure CAN even be done completely WITHOUT EXPENSIVE LANDING MATS!

Maxima Vaulting Poles

It is imperative that you realize "horizontal flexed pole rotation" CAN NOT be learned with maximum safety without the use of "UNIFORM DIAMETER" flexible vaulting poles. They are VERY STRONG, yet, EASY TO BEND. "Uniform diameter" flexible poles are crucial to safer and proper flexible "competition" pole vault execution in that, from the very beginning of applying "uniform diameter" flexible poles, athletes can get the feel of a bend while moving very slowly and safely.

no-mats-pole-vault-drill

One of Air Strike's major safety revelations is the elimination of "FULL-SPEED" approach runs. It is a proven "traditional" pole vault FACT that SPEED KILLS! Although, successful AIR STRIKE approach runs are much SLOWER than "traditional" expectations, the time it takes to penetrate the "Vertical Threshold" using our methods is much FASTER than primitive "traditional" pole vault tactics. "Traditional" pole vault methods drastically RETARD the forward horizontal TIMING of athletes being jerked backwards and forced to ASCEND DIAGONALLY while they are still way out above the runway. Contrary to foolish "traditional" concepts that endanger pole vaulters, Air Strike's "HORIZONTAL FLEXED POLE ROTATION" immediately glides the athlete into "pull-over" position safely above the landing mats while the vaulter remains lower to the ground plane prior to Air Strike's "vertical launch."

Air Strike vs Traditional   Horizontal Flexed Pole Rotation

Air Strike's "horizontal flexed pole rotation" principles allow the vaulter to DANCE with a flexing pole that naturally embraces the suspended vaulter's bodyweight while the horizontal rotation of the bending pole's top end carries the forward-moving vaulter into perfect vertically inverted body position. It is only after the recoiling pole is in the process of pulling the inverted vaulter vertically skyward, safely above the landing mats, when the LOWER portion of the flexing pole is FINALLY FULLY LOADED.

Air Strike Pole VaultAir Strike Turbo Boost

This, FINAL LOAD, occurs based upon the fundamental physics principle that the vaulter's body mass is being vertically directed while the vaulter remains suspended at the top of the recoiling pole from an overhead position that is nearly perpendicular to the ground plane. The LOWER, most powerful section of the recoiling pole, can be seen BOWING OUT as it absorbs the resulting ANCILLARY energy of the vaulter's well placed mass. After digesting the additional natural downward gravitational pressure produced by the vaulter's ideally suspended bodyweight, the STRONGEST portion of the flexing pole now adheres to its built-in "linear elastic behavior" by REACTING with EQUAL and OPPOSITE FORCE as the pole STRAIGHTENS even more powerfully due to the assistance of Air Strike's "TURBO BOOST."

ONLY from our correct VERTICAL END-OVER-END POSITION, can a cocked flexible "competition" vaulting pole recoil in a direction nearest to perpendicular above the ground plane. Air Strike's "horizontal flexed pole rotation" is the only method humanly possible to achieve PROPERLY "COCKED" flexed pole POSITION.

pole-vault-mechanics

AIR STRIKE'S "horizontal flexed pole rotation" completely eliminates lethal "traditional" pole vault predicaments in which vaulters are jerked backwards above runways and plant boxes. Properly applied "HORIZONTAL FLEXED POLE ROTATION" always MAXIMIZES the energy of the vaulter while correctly utilizing the THICKER lower portions of flexible "competition" vaulting poles. By allowing the bending pole to properly spin away from the vaulter's forward path, the critical pole-bend now occurs in the UPPER (easier to flex) portion of the pole, while the harder to bend LOWER portion of the pole pivots to the outside of the vaulter's lower hand-position. During that same instant, the vaulter's upper hand position travels horizontally above the ground plane directly towards the safety of the landing area.

3 Views of Air Strike

In 1991, 41 years after the first fiberglass "Sky Pole" was introduced, I concluded that "traditional" FULL-SPEED approach runs are a disastrous FAILURE. Sergei Bubka was, at that time, and still remains today, the MOST SUCCESSFUL "traditional" style pole vaulter in history. Stated more precisely, Sergei Bubka is the world's greatest ever at executing DANGEROUS "traditional" pole vault methods that naturally result in vaulters being immediately and violently "PUSHED" backwards by powerful INCORRECTLY FLEXED vaulting poles. It is a proven ugly fact that the same "traditional" pole vault misconceptions, successfully performed by Sergei Bubka, have killed and maimed countless "wannabe" athletes who've proven to be far less adept than Mr. Bubka. Limited by "real" physics, "traditional" pole vault methods reached their PEAK in 1991, when Sergei Bubka surpassed the 20 foot mark proving "SPEED" has NEVER been the solution but has ALWAYS been one of the most lethal PROBLEMS at the core of deadly "traditional" pole vault.

Please, watch this 2017 video once more to again see real-life AVOIDABLE consequences of combining DEADLY "TRADITIONAL" SPEED misconceptions together with a very expensive flexible "competition" vaulting pole. After noting the "UCS Spirit" BROKEN POLE and "UCS" landing mats, you might even join with me in concluding that THE ONLY CERTAIN BENEFICIARY of this INTENTIONALLY LETHAL POLE VAULT EXHIBITION is UCS SPORTS EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURING. "Show me the MONEY!"

The indisputable root cause of avoidable pole vault deaths and injuries is the purposeful negligence of athletic "Establishment" lemmings who continue to propagate archaic "FULL-SPEED" approach runs and the lethal forward "PUSHING" of flexible vaulting poles as vividly displayed in the video immediately above. These deadly methods have been irresponsibly endorsed and approved by the sorely ignorant academics involved in publishing the "IOC Medical Commission, Summer Olympic Games of Barcelona 1992, Biomechanical Analysis of the Pole Vault Event." My own conclusions are further substantiated by the "Barcelona" study itself, which unintentionally reveals and confirms the obvious reasons "TRADITIONAL" flexible "competition" vaulting pole PROBLEMS ALWAYS occur while vaulters are still dangerously ABOVE plant boxes and runways.

HURTING PEOPLE IN ORDER TO PROFIT FROM THEIR VICTIMIZATION IS WRONG, DOING IT ON PURPOSE IS CRIMINAL!

Please, click the following link to see detailed illustrations of the "Barcelona" study for yourself. Examine the "Cover page" image along with figures 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5, which are excerpts from the "study." - https://www.cs.indiana.edu/~kinzler/pubs/pvfigs/ - These intricate illustrations expose the fact that lethal "traditional" pole vault recoil is actually INTENDED to occur while vaulters are still directly above the runway and plant box. NOTE: "Traditional" parlance for the term "cocked" pole is "MPB" or "Maximum Pole Bend." If you simply look at the illustrations in the "study" for a brief moment, you will see the evidence that still, as of 2017, ALL "traditional" pole vaulters, including world class vaulters, DO NOT BEND flexible poles correctly.

"Here is a PHYSICAL FACT: If you choose to use 'TRADITIONAL' methods that FIGHT AGAINST the flexible vaulting pole, I can assure you, a day will come that YOUR MISUSE OF THE FLEXIBLE POLE WILL CAUSE YOU SERIOUS HARM!" (Chris Toledo)

Thiago Braz da Silva - Sam Kendricks - Renaud Lavillenie

Thiago Braz da Silva, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2016 Olympics gold medalist, is shown below relying completely on RUNNING SPEED to "BULL-PUSH" his flexing "UCS Spirit" vaulting pole forward. The consequences are completely predictable as the "UCS Spirit" pole reacts to being "pushed" forward! Watch the video as Thiago forces the bending pole forward and the pole "pushes" back. As a result, Thiago descends awkwardly, landing extremely close to the lethal plant box. You will also see below, "TRADITIONAL" vaulters Sam Kendricks and Renaud Lavillenie doing the same.

Below, the first video reference begins at 41:10, the second at 44:00. You will see the results of Sam Kendricks, 2016 Olympics bronze medalist, relying on his RUNNING SPEED to "BULL-PUSH" the bending pole forward. If proper Air Strike technique was being applied, there would be NO NEED for Sam's lethally excessive approach SPEED. Sam Kendricks is completely THWARTED as a consequence of his attempting to "BULL-PUSH" the flexing pole. Clearly, when the pole reacts to being "pushed" forward it "pushes" back against Kendricks, which forces him to wrangle with the crossbar and land dangerously near the plant box. (On the first "play" each of these two videos should begin automatically at their previously referenced times.)

 

During Kendricks' seemingly innocuous landings (shown above) you can see for yourself that Sam Kendricks, 2016 Olympics medalist, injures his neck when his head is "whiplashed" due to the self-inflicted consequences of ill-conceived "TRADITIONAL" vaulting methods.

In the next two videos, Renaud Lavillenie, 2016 Olympics silver medalist in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, relies on his RUNNING SPEED to "BULL-PUSH" his flexing "UCS Spirit" vaulting pole forward. Renaud is a phenomenal acrobat who veils deadly "TRADITIONAL" methods using his atypical physical skills. There would be NO NEED for Renaud's lethally excessive SPEED if he applied proper Air Strike technique. Lavillenie SQUANDERS his sensational talent as a result of his application of RUNNING SPEED to "BULL-PUSH" the bending pole.

At 48:03 of the first video below, you can see how the pole reacts to being "pushed" forward when it "pushes" back against Lavillenie causing his DIAGONAL ASCENT above the runway and plant box. Because of his misguided diagonal trajectory, Lavillenie ends up desperately in a battle with the crossbar as he also descends to land dangerously near the plant box. (On the first "play" each video should begin automatically at its referenced time.)

  

The second video above, at 46:45, displays Renaud's extraordinary ACROBATIC skills that he applies to minimize the potential of his disastrous "traditional" pole vault execution. ANY LESSER acrobatic athlete attempting Lavillenie's misguided methods is clearly exposed to a much higher risk of injury than the extraordinarily acrobatic Renaud.

WITH OR WITHOUT AIR STRIKE SOLUTIONS, LETHAL "TRADITIONAL" POLE VAULT TEACHINGS MUST BE STOPPED!!!

As the last five videos above vividly demonstrate, the world's TOP THREE 2016 Olympic pole vaulters are nothing more than completely out of control "daredevils" who haven't the slightest idea how to apply FINESSE to their vaults. UNCONTROLLED RUNNING SPEED WILL NEVER PRODUCE THE FINESSE REQUIRED FOR PROPER POLE VAULT RESULTS! Video documentation of today's "world-class" vaulters makes it obvious that SPEED KILLS while it is also the avoidable cause of needless injuries suffered by exploitable athletes in this INTENTIONALLY MIS-EDUCATED DEADLY track & field event.

CAN YOU NOW COMPREHEND HOW HORRIBLY CONTEMPTUOUS THE "TRADITIONAL" POLE VAULT "ESTABLISHMENT" IS? HURTING PEOPLE IN ORDER TO PROFIT FROM THEIR VICTIMIZATION IS WRONG, DOING IT ON PURPOSE IS CRIMINAL!

FLEXING POLES CORRECTLY TO VAULT SAFER, HIGHER & PROPERLY, DOES NOT REQUIRE "SPEED"!!!

Chris Toledo Pole Vault

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