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Pole Vault Drills

The instructions for these drills are for a right handed jumper.

Plant Drill

  • Place the pole tip in the box or against a curb
  • Hold the bar as normal
  • Place the left foot directly under the right hand
  • Look straight ahead and you should be able to see under your left hand
  • Bring the right knee up and level with the hips
  • The right toes are dorsiflexed (up) and directly below the right knee
  • Put a mark where the left foot toes are on the ground
  1. Leaving the left foot stationary and the top hand above the head step back with the right foot and put it on the ground a couple of feet behind the left foot
  2. The hips, shoulders and top hand should be above the right foot with the left foot on the plant mark
  3. Step forward into the take-off position (Fig 4)
  4. Keep the hips, shoulders and top hand in line and vertical as they move forward until the pole tip hits the back of the box or curb
  5. Repeat the drill from 1

Keep the pole tip on the ground as it moves back and forth in this drill and do not lean on the pole when it hits the back of the box or curb.

One step Plant drill

  • Start in the plant position
  • Step back with the right foot
  • Step back with the left foot
  • Keep the right hand next to the ear (Fig 2)
  • Lift the pole tip 6" off the ground
  • Step forward into the plant position raising the right hand straight up above the head
  • Do not push the pole into the box
  • Lower the pole tip as the hands rise
  • The right hand should be completely extended before the pole tip reaches the back of the box or the left foot touches the ground (Fig 3)
  • Do not let the left foot pass the left knee as it steps forward
  • Make sure the toes of the right foot pull through under the hips and into the plant position quickly
  • Do not let the toes of the feet point back as they rise coming off each step

Two Step Plant

  • Start in the plant position
  • Step back with the right foot
  • Step back with the left foot
  • Step back with the right foot
  • Lower the right hand to just above and along side the hip (Fig 1)
  • Raise the pole tip to the same height as the right hand
  • Step forward into the one step plant position raising the top hand to the ear and lowering the pole tip as they move forward (Fig 2)
  • The feet should make the same turn-over as in the one step plant drill
  • Continue moving forward into the plant position
Pole Vault
Fig 1
Pole Vault
Fig 2
Pole Vault
Fig 3
Pole Vault
Fig 4

Pole Carry

Equipment set up

  • Put a tape box on the runway or track with plenty of running room after the tape box
  • Measure your step and put a tape mark (#1) at the starting point
  • Put a tape mark (#2) two steps out from the plant
  • Stand on the (#2) tape mark, holding the pole horizontal in the two step plant position
  • Place two hurdles, one on each side of the runway, along side of the pole tip with the hurdles set at the same height as the hip
  • Place two hurdles, one on each side of the runway, ten yards from the first set of hurdles
  • Place two hurdles, one on each side of the runway, ten yards from the second set of hurdles
  • Now, you should have three sets of hurdles, ten yards apart and all set at hip height

Plant Position Running

  • Start at your run up starting mark (#1)
  • Assume the plant up position (Fig 3) with the pole tip 6" off the ground
  • The right hand stays directly above the head tying to keep the hand high
  • The left arm pushes up on the pole to maintain its position
  • The left elbow is bent and slightly out to the side
  • Do full approach runs in this position, keeping your running speed through the box
  • Work on keeping the hands above the head while the feet maintain good turnover
  • Try to keep the knees up
  • Accelerate until a constant stride length is achieved, then maintain that stride length
  • Keep running until you pass the box

Hurdle Drill

  • Begin at your starting mark (#1) with a normal approach start with the pole up in the vertical position
  • Do the acceleration and pole drop phase of the approach
  • When you reach the (#2) tape mark on the runway, the pole tip should be even with the top of the hurdles and over the centre of the runway
  • Hold the pole in this position, level with the runway, until the pole tip reaches the second set of hurdles
  • Put the plant up on the next two steps (Fig 3)
  • Let the pole tip hit the ground when the plant goes up
  • Hold the plant up until the body passes the last set of hurdles
  • Try to maintain total body and pole stability and proper running technique
  • Keep the stride length constant through this phase

Rules of Competition

The competition rules for this event can be obtained from:


Page Reference

The reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2004) Pole Vault Drills [WWW] Available from: http://www.brianmac.co.uk/polevault/drills.htm [Accessed

Related Pages

The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic:

Associated Books

The following books provide more information related to this topic:

  • How to Teach the Jumps, D. Johnson