What is the Pole Vault Education Initiative
In 2002, it became very apparent that there was a large amount of incorrect, anecdotal, and outdated information, as well as, questionable pole vault techniques being used, promoted and accepted as fact. Furthermore, at that time, current reliable information in the pole vault was very difficult to find and trust. Even textbooks and many manuals were outdated. Worst of all, it was very difficult for many coaches and athletes to attend the few clinics or camps that offered accurate pole vault information and training that could be trusted.
Another problem, and arguably a major problem was that of reluctant learners, both coaches and athletes alike believing that their methods or techniques were the only correct way and would not consider anything other than what they were doing. The distorted notion that athletes and coaches that have had success must be correct and safe could not be further from the truth. It is quite possible to have some success while incorrectly executing many phases of the vault. By the same token, moderately successful performances do not necessarily mean safe performance. Therefore, when someone refers to a coach as “Great Coach” or an athlete as “The Champ” they are inferring to both as the “Gold Standard Experts” which often isn’t the case. Remember one thing; it is quite possible to vault relatively high while using improper and/or dangerous concepts.
Moderate Success by the vaulter or coach does not mean that they understanding Pole Vault Mechanics
Moderate Success by the vaulter or coach does not mean that they understanding Correct Pole Vault Technique
Moderate Success by the vaulter or coach does not mean that they are Vaulting Safely
Therefore, a major project was proposed to Coach Bob Fraley (Chairman of the USATF Pole Vault Education Committee) by Coach Mark Hannay (Chairman of the Northeast US Region of the same committee). The project was to have an Internet Library of Current, Expert, Correct, and Conclusive Pole Vault Information. Coach Hannay was given the green light to develop this concept and PVEI was born.
The project became the first version of the “Pole Vault Education Initiative” or PVEI. The success of the project quickly showed with over 250,000 visits a month and spiking with more than 350,000 visits per month during the track and field peak months. Furthermore, an average of 30,000 visits per month were lasting over 30 minutes, indicating the readers were reading and/or studying several articles during their visit. As a result, PVEI quickly became the number one web address for pole vaulting. Unfortunately, after about a 6 year run, the site was hacked and all was permanently lost.
Many of the noted problems and concerns have improved but, not completely disappeared. In addition, there are a few really ominous problems looming. One, the main problems is the amount of inaccurate and unsafe techniques and practices that flourish on the internet. Two, far too many coaches are trying to make a name for themselves through the performances of their athletes that often compromises the athlete’s safety. Three, far too many schools have coaches that really don’t take coaching and learning about the pole vault seriously. Often football or basketball coaches look at coaching track & field and maybe pole vault as an easy three month job strictly for a supplemental pay check or keeping an eye on "their" athletes.
The new PVEI.org will address the above concerns by posting solutions and numerous articles in our library pertain to accurate pole vault techniques and concepts. Pole Vault Safety, Knowledge, Understanding, and Pole Vault Performance are the concerns of USA PVEI and its entire staff.
Unlike other pole vault sites, PVEI.org is a completely nonprofit web library. All members of the staff participate in this effort to improve the pole vault event's performances & safety, without compensation.