Oh man its been a while since my last post and i have a bit to update. If youve read my last couple of posts you know that I have been struggling with my confidence level and dealing with hesitation in my vault. In all sports you go through struggling times and it seems especially prevalent in the pole vault.
I was still struggling as i went to compete at the Drake Relays. I was feeling healthy and hoping that i could start to turn things around at the meet. Drake is one of my favorite meets to go to because the fans are awesome and Ive had great success with the mall vault in the last 2 years. The only bad thing about Drake is that the weather never seems to cooperate, if the wind is good its raining, and if the rain holds off the wind is always crazy. Well this year we had a little of both. The rain held off until the very end of the vault but the wind was all over the place, it would be a tail wind in the back but a head wind in the front. So during warmups I was really struggling with my run and wasnt able to get anything rolling. I was able to make 5.22(17') on my third attempt, after that my run was starting to feel better. I went up a pole and made 5.37(17'7") on my second attempt. I was taking off way under so i was never really able to catch up to the pole. My three jumps at 5.52m were not too great either but my run was feeling better each time.
Last week i was determined to figure out what was going on and fix it. Monday practice went pretty well from short run, afterward I decided to do some sliding box drills. This is where you run and plant into a plastic box which slides along the ground. I was running from 5 lefts and noticed that i was angled down a bit instead of driving my chest upwards. I went over to the mats and did some drills where i was really trying to keep my chest driving up at the takeoff and it seemed to be helping a lot. Wednesdays practice was awesome, one of the best of the year, I was holding high and jumping on big poles. So i was really feeling confident going into the meet on Saturday.
There was a threat of thunderstorms all day Saturday but it held off for the mens vault. They had a board runway set up on the track which made it feel a bit faster. Warmups went awesome, I was taking off at 14ft and moving through my poles really well. I came in at 5.40m(17'9"), came down the runway and jumped up big off the ground and made the bar easy. I was ready to jump 19 ft i could feel it, everything was going really well as I went up to 5.55m (18'2). I went up a pole and made another easy clearance! I put the bar up to 5.70m (18'8), my first attempt I took off at 14'6" which is just a little too far out for me and rode the pole into the pit. My second attempt was really good i just bumped the bar off on the way up. Third attempt was my best of the meet and the pole ended up being too small. I was frustrated that i wasnt able to jump higher since i was feeling so good but very happy with the way things ended up going.
I got some more good news, I will be heading to Brazil for 2 meets on the 16th and the 19th in Forteleza and Belem. I will also be traveling to Europe at the end of the month for 3 meets which Im very excited for.
I will try to write more often so that my posts arent so long.
Always Pursuing -Mark-