Denis Fraizer
Started vaulting in 7th grade (PR 7’6”)
Bob Seagren was my first introduction to vaulting
Self taught with help of father and friends
Didn’t have film
Watching and asking better vaulters for advice
Grew up learning from Joe Dial,the Buckinghams, Stubblefield, Duplantis,
Lytle, Klee, Metzger, and Tom Hays
Vaulters are like family
High school PR 15’6”
KU Relays and 2A State Champ
Vaulted at WSU
Began coaching in 1985 at South HS in Wichita (3 years)
Started coaching again at BCCHS in 1999 when son started HS
Continue to coach through the years, adding USD 259 and Local Track Club
In 2010, started up the Junior High Parochial League Pole Vault
Close to 100+ athletes every year
Pole Vault for Beginners
 Because of the volume of athletes, I decided to create a
simplified standard of coaching, basically a “Pole Vault
for Dummies”
 A lot of the athletes that I help either don’t have
coaches or access to a coach in the off-season
 This is MY simplified style of coaching beginners,
regardless of age
 Important because kids love to watch themselves
 What they think they look like VS What they actually look
 Instant Feedback
 Ipad
 Phones
 Cameras
 Apps
 Hudl
 Ubersense
 Coaches Eye
 Youtube
 Inventory is KEY!
 Trade and share with other schools
 Develop Relationships with other coaches
Acquire Information
 Youtube
 Tom Hays
 David Butler
 Rick Attig
 Pro Vault NW
 Any videos containing names such as:
Renaud Lavillenie
Sergei Bubka
Yelena Isinbayeva
Jenn Suhr
Jordan Scott, Mark Hollis, Mary Saxer, Sean Francis (Team Hoot), etc. Social Media to follow
 DVDs and VHS
 NeoVault
 Books
 Beginner to Bubka
 Magazines
 Vaulter
Camps and Clinics
 Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada
 College Camps
 KU
 Emporia State
 Cowley County
 Pole Vault U (Rick Attig)
 High School Camps
 Garden City
 Andale
 Derby
Vault Clubs
 Shocker Track Club
 Tailwind PV Club (“Doc”-Concordia)
 Xtreme Athletics (Doug Lytle, Rick Attig-Kansas City)
 Just Vault (Todd Cooper-Missouri)
 Indoor Season:
 KU
 Mizzou
 Oral Roberts University
 Pitt State
 Joplin
 Johnson County CC
 Summer Outdoor
 Junior Olympics
 Street Vaults
Wichita River Fest
Maize South
Step 1: Getting a Grip
 To make things easier, we are going to assume
everyone is right handed
 There are many different ways to acquire a grip
 Grips vary with each individual
 There are 3 basic grips to start out with
Step 1: Getting a Grip
Hands to side
with thumbs
touching hips
Step 1: Getting a Grip
Top hand on
reach with
bottom hand
Step 1: Getting a Grip
Top hand with
elbow touching
pole. 1-3 grips
from elbow
with bottom
Step 2: Pole Carry
 A proper pole carry is important to maintain top speed
down the runway
 Pole tip is high in the air
 The higher the pole tip, the lighter the pole will feel
during approach
Step 2: Pole Carry
Relaxed open grip
Step 2: Pole Carry
Top hand is behind hip with
a flexed elbow
Step 2: Pole Carry
•Bottom hand in front
of chest
•Thumb up
•Elbow lower than
•Thumb and index
finger are used as
•Bottom elbow
tucked slightly
Step 2: Pole Carry
•Avoid back and forth
motion while running
•Slight up and down
motion is acceptable
Step 3: The Approach
 The run and approach are very important and will be
covered in later section
Step 4: The Plant
Pole should be close to eye level four steps out
Plant foot will be athlete’s left foot
Here is the Step-by-Step process that I use:
Step 1
Top hand should start leading
forward through hip
Step 2
Top hand should move
from hip to shoulder
Keeping bottom hand as
pivoting fulcrum
Step 3
•Top hand should extend to temple
or slightly above head.
•Both arms near full extension
•Pole tip should be near the box
Step 4
Fully extended arms with
top hand above plant foot
Jump and push upward with
both hands
Driving lead knee
Drills for Starters
 Learn to take off and swing
One Step Drill
 From Ground:
Reach up on toes to get a top hand grip
2. Place left hand in front of face
Take small step back
4. As right knee drives forward, push right hand up as high as possible
5. Left elbow should be against pole, slightly inside
6. As you jump off plant foot, drive right knee forward and SWING from
right arm
7. As soon as trail foot is off ground, pull trail leg toe up and push heel
down to keep trail leg straight
8. Land on trail leg heel
 The key is to HANG and rotate from top hand, not bend and pull
 Repeat drill until confident in athlete’s safety
One Step into Sand
 This is a continuance of the One Step Drill
 In the sand to achieve a slightly increased vertical and
horizontal distance while remaining in a safe learning
Progression into the Sand
 Will need to raise grip
1. Place pole vertically in front of athlete
2. Reach up with left hand to get grip
 This will be the bottom hand
3. Acquire proper grip from previous drill
4. Place pole in sand and repeat One Step Drill
 Focus on driving top hand down to opposite hip
 Let bottom hand come to side
 Rowing like in a canoe
 Land on trail leg heel out in front and step through
 Take two large steps back
 Raise grip two fists length
 Repeat drill, increasing vertical and horizontal
Time to Move to the Mats
 Repeat same drills
 Work on beginning of inversion
 BE PATIENT on rock back and inversion
 This will come in time with proper leg swing
 Confidence is key
Invert and Rock Back Drills
 Pop-ups
 Rope
 High Bar
 A Frame
 Pulley System
 Water Vaulting
High bar
Pulley System
Water Vaulting
Keys for a Better Invert
 Long, straight trail leg makes for easier rock back
 DO NOT throw head back
 Get hips up to top hand
 Don’t look at feet
 Relaxed head
 Turn to look at left shoulder
Turn and Release
Pull top hand to bottom shoulder
Pinch butt cheeks to keep hips close to pole
Pop hips and turn over (similar to “Round Off”)
Hollow out chest and abdomen
Keep pushing
Release with thumbs down
 This ensures bending of elbows
 DO NOT throw hands back
 This will drop chest into bar
 Land on your back, not your feet
 Handstands
 Bounding
 Wall Plants
 Towel or Slide Box Drills
 Over the Tip Drill
 High Bar
 Rope Drills
 Table Drills
 Stiff Pole
Wall Plants
Towel or Slide Box Drill
Over the Tip Drill
High Bar
Rope Drills
Table Drills
Stiff Pole
 Tapping
 Equipment
 Poles
 Rules

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