Monday, August 2, 2010

New Changes

So, this is nearly three or four months in the making, but I will no longer be competing at the University of Memphis. There are several reasons in this change, all of which I have disclosed to those that need to know it, and I do plan on keeping many of these reasons on a need-to-know basis. Once everything is figured out, a new post will be put up, but suffice it to say that, for now at least, I will continue to vault with Coach Guy at the Kiss the Sky camp.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Off Week :P

Sad day... the club team went to a camp up in Prescott, and I'm back here until they get back. No vaults this week, but Coach Fraizer sent me some lifts that I'll be starting on. Increased the cardio again, and I'm down five pounds from the beginning of the summer! I haven't missed a day at the gym yet. About to head down there in a few minutes to get my lift on and see how hard Tyler's lifts are.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ring Vaults

video

Ok, so i'll admit it... I LOVE ring vaulting! It's gotta be one of the best inventions for a pole vault drill ever! For everyone that doesn't know what this is, you get on some scaffolding, grab onto a ring (like one of the ones they use in the Olympics for gymnastics), you jump off the scaffolding, assume a pole vault position, and work on the vault technique in this way. It's great! Not only do I find it highly entertaining, but I get to work on a few things that I could not otherwise isolate.

video

Today, I cleared about 11 feet which isn't too bad seeing as I haven't done it in about a year. I need to get better though. Coach Guy had me working mainly on shooting my heels up to keep me moving upward rather than shooting out at the crossbar (as I have a tendency to do). I found it very worthwhile and feel that I am doing much, much better- though there is room for improvement- at this now. Other than this, I've been keeping up with my workouts. I've added a high cardio element since I last posted which I feel is trimming me up quite a bit.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Summer Workouts



So I started summer vaulting with Coach Guy out in Desert Vista. The man is a genius! This last week we've only been doing short vaults. Tuesday we were out on the track with the vaults, but the Desert Vista track is getting resurfaced, so we moved the pit under the bleachers (that's what the picture is of haha). We only have like a 40-foot runway, so I'm kinda being forced into the short run stuff. I hate short run work, but in all honesty, it's what I need to do. Tuesday was just the basics as some of the kids in the camp have never vaulted before. Thursday we split it up a bit, and I worked on getting my left leg back on the take off in order to bring more power into the swing. It really is helping, and I'm glad that Coach Guy has a lot of patience when working with me because I'm sure he knows how little I like short drills. I'm really hoping that this camp gets my technique farther along than I am currently.
Other than vaulting, I've been to the gym everyday this week, alternating upper body and lower body workouts each day and sub-setting each work out with core exercises. I've all ready dropped about six pounds according to the scale at LA Fitness (but who knows how accurate that is). I had about a thirty minute run yesterday and did sprints two others days of the week. With this, I hope to get stronger, build more agility and stamina, and complement my vault work.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Outdoor Conference 2010

"May I never miss a sunset or a rainbow because I am looking down." -- Sara June Parker

Pole:

Height: 13'6
Weight: 155 lbs.
Step: 7 step

Things to Work On:

1. Left arm out.
2. Don't bend the top arm.
3. Run all the way through the vault (don't gallop).
4. Hollow out over the crossbar.
5. Get off the top of the pole.

Comments:

I was not pleased with this conference. I had bad technique throughout the meet and was very inconsistent. I missed the first vault of each height which is something I never do in meets. After looking over the meet though, I feel a little bit better about it. After looking over video of myself, I found that I stayed at a consitent height like I have the entire year, and my technique got better throughout the meet. I feel better about it now, but I will be using this meet as a learning experience. I talked it over with Knut, and he told me that I am only a freshman and have a lot of time to get better. He is right, and I need to not be as hard on myself as I am. I took 7th overall which isn't bad, but I will be better for next season. I would have placed higher had I not missed so many heights at the lower ones. I am ready to use this to motivate me throughout the summer to train hard. Right now, I have time on my side. As a freshman, there is still time to work on technique.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

C-USA Conference in Orlando, Florida

So I haven't been all that active on here, but I figured I would add this lovely little interview to the blog as an update. We're here in Orlando, Florida waiting to vault this Saturday at 6 pm! Can't wait for the lights to go on and the competition to start! For now, it's off to bed to rest up. Thanks for viewing, and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 19, 2010

"When life gives you lemons, make grape juice. Then, sit back and let the world wonder how you did it." -- Anonymous

Pole:

Height: 13', 13', 13'6
Weight: 150 lbs., 160 lbs., 160 lbs.
Step: 7 step

Things to Work On:

1. Left arm out at the plant.
2. Let my chest go through at the vault.
3. Keep lower body back.
4. Keep run consistent (no galloping).
5. Jump up and into the pole.

Comments:

This was a good practice after going through such a rough meet this last weekend. While I wasn't going for height, coach got me up on my big pole (the one that I got a concussion on). I will admit, I was scared to get up on that pole at first, but once I did it, I was much much more confident with the vault. Good things are gonna happen at the next meet. I'm not going to settle with these heights I have been getting. It's time for a new record!

Meet Updates

So I'm not as far behind as I was last time I did this, but it's still the easiest way to update...

Meet Location: Ole Miss Invitational
Height Attained: 3.35 meters

Pole:

Height: 13'
Weight: 150 (fake 150)
Step: 7 step

Comments:

Not pleased with the height or the form in this meet. It was rough, but I plan on using this as a learning experience.

Meet Location: Memphis Tigers Invitational
Height Attained: 3.32 meters

Pole:

Height: 13', 13'6
Weight: 150 lbs., 160 lbs.
Step: 7 step

Comments:

Something needs to change... this was the most misses I've had in a meet ever. I'm going to start hitting body weight exercises and walking drills really hard in these coming weeks. I also think I need to take less warm up jumps. I may be wearing myself out in the warm up and not saving enough energy for the higher jumps.

Monday, April 5, 2010

April 5, 2010

"In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear for failure." -- Bill Cosby

Pole:

Height: 13'
Weight: 150 lbs (Fake 150)
Step: 7 step

Things to Work On:

1. Learn how to collapse left arm when going inverted.
2. Jump into the vault.
3. Don't slow down on the runway (get faster!!!).
4. Left arm out before the plant.
5. Get behind the pole when inverted.

Comments:

I feel like I'm doing better. Something on the top of the vault clicked this last weekend, and now I'm working on duplicating it in practice so that I can do it again at the meet this coming weekend. I have a better grasp now of what it is that I am supposed to be doing. It's just a matter of getting my body to do what my mind is seeing.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

April 3, 2010

Joey Haines Invitational

Meet Location: SEMO
Height Attained: 3.50 meters

Pole:

Height: 13'
Weight: 150 lbs.
Step: 7 step

Things to Work On:

1. Remember to bring pole to meet.
2. Jump into the vault.
3. Get more vertical off the top of the pole.
4. Pull myself off the top of the pole rather than falling out.
5. Turn all the way over the crossbar.

Comments:

Had a really great meet today and am very excited about the results. I made a new outdoor PR today of 3.50 meters! I think that's pretty good coming off of a concussion haha. My technique was pretty strong today. I had left my main pole back at the UoM, and therefore had to work with an even smaller pole. Somehow, it worked out in my favor; coach thinks that I can get 12 foot on that pole, so we might continue to vault on this one. I felt more technically sound on this pole, so I'm not afraid to try it out.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Injury Update

"Whenever you suffer a setback or disappointment, put your head down and plow ahead." -- Les Brown

Okay, so hitting my head wasn't such a great idea apparently. This marks my first ever concussion. Want to know the story? Here you go...

During warm ups, I was going up for a vault (I was about 12 feet up) when suddenly I noticed that the pole was moving backwards on me. I was all ready swinging up, so I was unable to bail out over the parallels of the mat. Remembering my training, I decided to hold onto the pole and ride it down so that I could land on my feet. I remember thinking this and then realizing that, in my position, I was not going to be able to land on my feet. The next thing I knew, I was on the ground and my head really hurt. I was not knocked out, and I was allowed to continue to compete. Later on during the day, symptoms started coming, and the trainer had me come in Sunday morning for an Impact Test. If I had scored a 5 or lower on it, I would be practicing this week. Unfortunately, I scored a 29 and had to be evaluated by the team doctor. He has me out until Thursday at the earliest. I will be reevaluated then, and we will go from there.

Hopefully I will be all right at the end of the week so that I can compete at the SEMO meet. If you see a post on how I did at that meet, that means I was able to go. If not, I'm still waiting for my brain to heal.

March 27, 2010

LSU Relays

Meet Location: Louisiana State University
Height Attained: 11 feet 1 inch

Pole:
Height: 13'
Weight: 160 lbs.
Step: 7 step

Things to Work On:

1. Get more upside down when swinging up. (keep my hips up)
2. Continue turning and hallow out over the crossbar.
3. Keep run consistent and aggressive.
4. Left arm out even more at the plant.
5. Jump into the vault.

Comments:
Had a pretty good vault day. I feel like I am progressing more than usual now which is nice, but the heights aren't showing this improvement just yet. I hit my head on the track vaulting, but we're not sure if I'm all right or not. I'll post something on that later. All in all, it was a great vault day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

March 23, 2010

"So many fail because they don't get started - they don't go. They don't overcome inertia. They don't begin." --W. Clement Stone

Pole:

Height: 13'; 13'6
Weight: 145; 150 (unofficial)
Step: 5 step

Things to Work On:

1. Left arm continuing to stay out at the plant.
2. Keep my right arm close to my head rather than out.
3. Hold my hips back for the take off.
4. Stay fast on the runway.
5. Be more aggressive.

Comments:

All right, so the quote above is the opposite of what is happening to me. I'm finally getting it! Left arm out almost all practice :) I was so excited! Now I just need to get my lower body to stay back and do this all in a meet, and I'll be set for life! Nate showed me a new exercise that will help me with my top hand placement. My shoulder has been too stiff to move it the right way, so this will stretch it out and hopefully help change that. As of now, I am super sore!

Monday, March 22, 2010

March 20, 2010

Rhodes Open

Meet Location: Rhodes College
Height Attained: 3.34 meters

Pole:

Height: 13', 13'6
Weight: 160 lbs; 160 lbs
Step: 7 step

Things to Work On:

1. Left arm out at the plant.
2. Right arm needs to not be behind me.
3. More aggressive, faster run.
4. Hips need to get up, over the bar (no shooting out at it).
5. No galloping.

Comments:

Rough start to the outdoor season. I think it's mostly because we trained through the week. We had no breaks to let our legs rest which will help as we get further into the season, but I am not pleased with the results I had. I opened half a foot lower than usual because of a shaky warm up, and then I had a difficult time getting over it. I think it was mostly because I was running slow. The slow start though changed as I got a little bit of adrenaline pumping. By the end of the meet, my usual pole got too small on me and we had to move up. I got rejected by it because I haven't been up on it yet, but that'll change as I get more practice. I was letting the pole control me (something I usually don't have a problem with). I definitely vaulted off the mat. I went up, planted way too far right, and the pole shot me so far left that I landed off the mat. I was rejected back onto the runway, onto the parallels, and had a hard time getting into the pit. I think this mostly has to do with my run and my plant. I will be working on this for the next meet.

March 18, 2010

"Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all." -- Sam Ewing

Pole:

Height: 13'
Weight: 150 lbs
Step: 5 step

Thing to Work On:

1. Left arm out initially at the plant.
2. Do not gallop on the last or second to last step.
3. Keep hips back at the plant.
4. Plant in front rather than straight up and down.
5. More aggressive plant.

Comments:

Coach says that I'm vaulting like I'm expecting the pole to do all the work. While it is supposed to do most of the work, I need to put some more into the pole so that I will get more out of it. It's not that I'm expecting it to do all the work, but that I need to learn how to put more into the pole. We've changed so much with my vault, and I'm starting to get frustrated with it. I know that what I'm being taught will help me in the end, but I'm wanting to see the results sooner than I am. Patience.... patience.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Indoor Conference 2010

"He who would learn to fly one day must learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

Pole:

Height: 13'
Weight: 160 lbs.
Step: 7 step

Things to Work On:

1. Left arm out on the plant initially.
2. Get up off the top of the pole.
3. Hold the plant longer.
4. Continue turning over the crossbar (hollow out).
5. Stay fast at the end of the runway.

Comments:

Took third in the Conference as a freshman and got a new Personal Record of 3.55 meters! There was a great article on the meet posted by the University. It said: "Freshman pole vaulter Lauren Gale entered the C-USA Championship hoping to post a personal-best vault. The Gilbert, Arizona native not only posted a personal-best mark of 3.55 meters (11-07.75) in the competition, she finished third to score six points for the Lady Tigers. 'That was phenomenal character displayed by a true freshman today,' Robinson said of Gale. 'To set a lifetime best at her first championship is an outstanding accomplishment.'" I was so proud at that moment to be a Memphis Tiger! It was my finest moment as an athlete to date. Coach Rob's quote made me want to cry... it was very heartfelt and touched me deeply because I respect him so much as my head coach. I am forever greatful to my family for their support and love throughout this season, Coach Guy who helped me as a high school athlete to get better technique, to Coach Fraizer for working with my rudimentary technique as a pole vaulter, and all my friends that have supported me so far. I can't wait to get outdoor season underway! I'm going to be turning heads as a Tiger! Look out! :D

Monday, February 22, 2010

Updates on Meets

Arkansas State University Invitational:

Location: Arkansas State University
Height Attained: 3.16 meters
Comments: Still learning how to vault and getting a better grasp of new technique changes. Alyssa broke her pole here, and I'm pretty sure that shook up everyone. Not the best meet, but looking forward to the next one.

Rod McCravy Memorial:

Location: University of Kentucky
Height Attained: 3.40 meters
Comments: Better meet than ASU. I was happy with how I performed and felt stronger and more technically sound here. Fast track made it easier to run.

SIU McDonald's Invite:

Location: Southern Illinois University
Height Attained: 3.40 meters
Comments: Not happy that there is no improvement as far as the numbers show, but I felt strong at this meet. Started a new diet for this meet (no eating after 6 pm). It's not hard, and it's helping. Happy with the finish, but want a higher height.

Hoosier Hills Invitational:

Location: Indiana University
Height Attained: 3.04 meters
Comments: ugh! I hate getting sick! Caught Laryngitis the Sunday before this meet and was just getting over it for the meet. I could not move on Tuesday, and stayed in bed most of Wednesday. We traveled Thursday and vaulted on Friday. It was hard, and the anitbiotics made me slow. I was happy to be able to vault and get a height with the condition I was in.

SEMO Invite:

Location: Southeast Missouri State University
Height Attained: 3.35 meters
Comments: kind of frustrated with this meet as I really wanted to get a PR, but sometimes you just have to wait it out. I was very very close to a new personal best on the last vaults, but my form wasn't all there. My first attempt at 3.50 meters, I had my left arm out almost perfectly but didn't get off the top of the pole very well. Second attempt was terrible. Third attempt, I had no left arm but got off the top of the pole better. If I could combine the first vault and the third one, I am confident that I will get that height the next height easily!!!

February 21, 2010

"Do not look to the ground for your next step; greatness lies with those who look to the horizon." -- Norwegian Proberb

Pole:

Height: 13'... 13'6
Weight: 160 lbs
Step: 7 step

Things to Work on:

1. Left arm out initially at the plant
2. Keep my hips back in the C Position off of the take off
3. Vault into the pole... don't block out!
4. Keep toes up while running.... get knees higher.
5. Work the top of the pole.


Comments:

Soooo.... it's kind of been a while since I've updated this. Just got a little too busy for a bit. I've changed poles more throughout these past few weeks than I have my entire pole vaulting career, but it's been a great experience. I'm just blowing through these poles faster than we can get them. I'll post an update on how I've done at all the meets for those that want to know. As of yet, I'm learning a lot more about the vault (more than I knew before coming to the University of Memphis, that's for sure.) I am loving this experience! Coach came up with a quote for me: "You can't read until you learn the alphabet." Basically, I can't vault the way I want to vault until I learn all the little technical things first.

Friday, January 15, 2010

January 14, 2009

"If we did all the things that we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves." -Thomas Edison


Pole:

Height: 13' 

Weight: 150 lbs.

Step: 7 step


Things to Work on:


1. Left arm out!

2. Be more parallel to the box at the take off.

3. Attack the box!

4. Widen grip.

5. Keep run consistent.


Comments:

We got a new vaulter yesterday. His name is Karlis, and he's from Latvia. He's quiet and very focused on pole vaulting. He is going to be a great asset to the team. He helps me more than the others, and he really knows what he's talking about. I'm glad to have him on the team. It's going to be like having another coach really. My run was fairly consistent yesterday, but there was one run I was way off, so #5 is more of a reminder to myself than anything. Karlis told me to try to widen my grip, and I felt stronger in the vault. Now if I could just get my left arm out at the beginning of the vault, I'll be good to go! Jeez! This is frustrating, but it's great to be back in training :)

Over the Break Review

Vaulted about nine times over the break on various poles. I was working mainly on getting my left arm out. It was productive. My run feels stronger from it, and I got a lot more repetition at it (which is something I really needed). I think I'm going to start initiating the plant sooner to cause my left arm to be out more at the plant rather than having it in and then pushing it out.