I'm a little concerned about the project of only jumping on 14' 7" (4.45m) poles tomorrow just because I don't know what to expect. The first one should be fine from 12 or even 14 steps if needed, but we will see. I play this game called "getting to know you" where I start at 2 steps and move my hand up one grip at a time until I am at a grip I can vault with. If the pole isn't moving fast enough I move back another stride. The scary part is that at some point I will be in "no man's land" where the grip is pretty high, but the pole doesn't really bend. I just have to use all of the tools I know to make the pole move, big angle, reach out of socket, stiff body, etc. Once I'm past that I will be fine.
When I was in high school we got a new coach who had a kid who had jumped 15' 6" so he brought me over my NEW pole - a 1665. I had been on a 1555 so this is a MASSIVE pole for me. He says that we are going to play this little game called "getting to know you", and that he would be standing there with his paddle and that if I failed to leave the ground I should just come over to him, and bend over for my reward for being a coward. Not surprisingly he was also the head football coach. Not being afraid to be called a coward, but afraid of getting swatted, I took off no matter where I was. I think I climbed down the pole about 15 times that day and made the pit three times. Three days later at a meet at Rice University I vaulted 14' 6" by a foot. My PR had been 13' 10" so now I'm a believer that I could always do more than I thought I could. Thanks Coach Hart!! Ended up loving that guy. He was tough but he would never ask me to do something he didn't know I could do. It was then MY job to believe in me.
I've always done this game when I get a new key pole in a series. In the meet a few weeks ago I felt that the first 14' 7" twisted a little so with a low grip I can isolate and mark that pole properly. I also NEED to warm up by HAVING to jump up and reach up so I see nothing bad that can happen from these efforts. Oh, except for that mentally weak thing. I don't really have that issue but it will certainly be challenged tomorrow. I'll report back afterwards. Have a great day! Bubba