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Pole vault training information

One of the four jumping events, the pole vault is also the eight event in the decathlon. The equipment and rules for the pole vault are very similar to the high jump, as is the training, with the crucial difference that the athlete uses a pole to clear the jump.

Clearing a jump depends on many factors, including the speed, strength, technique and confidence of the athlete. There are also other factors in a successful pole vault that an athlete won't have any control over, such as wind speed and direction, and temperature. However, choosing the right pole plays a significant part in the jump's success. The length and stiffness of the pole need to match the athlete's ability. If the pole is too elastic, the vaulter may end up flying underneath the bar instead of over it. If it's too stiff, the vaulter can be hurled backwards onto the runway.

As with other jumping events, the core elements in a vaulter's training are strength training, plyometrics and flexibility. Strength training develops the body's core body strength, providing the athlete with endurance for the event. Plyometrics help to convert that basic strength into the explosive power needed to jump effectively. And flexibility training helps to regenerate the body after the stresses put on specific joints and muscles by competition, and prevents injury.

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