Teaching Students about Pole Vault: An Exciting and Challenging Journey


Pole vault is a unique and thrilling sport where athletes use a long, flexible pole to propel themselves over a high crossbar. The challenge of teaching pole vault to students lies in its unfamiliarity, technical difficulty, and potential risks. However, with proper guidance, encouragement, and safe practices, students can successfully learn the sport, building their physical skills and self-confidence in the process.

Important Considerations for Teaching Pole Vault

1. Introducing the Sport

The first step in teaching students about pole vaulting is to introduce them to the sport by showing videos of experienced athletes or organizing trips to watch live competitions. This will help students to understand the techniques involved and gain a visual representation of what it takes.

2. Safety Precautions

Safety should be a top priority when teaching pole vault. Teachers must ensure that students are introduced to the necessary safety equipment (e.g., helmets) and that they follow proper safety protocols (e.g., checking the runway for obstacles). It is crucial for teachers to supervise every step of the training process.

3. Basic Techniques and Drills

Before diving into actual vaults, instructors should break down pole vault techniques into simpler components that are easier to teach. Some of these fundamental techniques include the approach run, plant position, take-off, swing up, rock-back extension, and ultimate push-off clearance.

Drills play a significant role in developing these skills. As students progress through early stage drills focused on running form and coordination between hands gripping the pole, they can move on to more advanced techniques like take-offs and swings on ropes or lower bars until they’re comfortable with full-height attempts.

4. Physical Conditioning Exercises

Pole vault requires strength, flexibility, agility, and speed. Therefore, incorporating additional conditioning exercises into teaching sessions will equip students with the physical capabilities they need to succeed. Include core strengthening exercises, sprint workouts, plyometrics, and flexibility exercises to produce well-rounded athletes.

5. Progression and Emotional Support

Pole vault can be intimidating for students due to its height and complexity. To ease their anxiety, provide clear demonstrations and explanations for each exercise, ensuring that students feel safe while learning. Guide them gently through progressions, allowing them to become comfortable with one aspect of the movement before advancing to the next level. Offering positive reinforcement during successes and failures can also boost their self-esteem and motivation.

6. Competitions

As students gain confidence in their newly-acquired pole vaulting skills, they may want to test themselves in competitions. Encourage students to participate in intra-school or inter-school events where they can experience the excitement and challenge of live competition.


Teaching pole vault to students can be a challenging and rewarding experience for both teachers and their pupils. With proper guidance, encouragement, dedication, and an emphasis on safety measures, students will grow as athletes and reach new heights—literally—in this amazing sport.

Choose your Reaction!