More than 200 scientists, coaches and athletes from 31 countries attended the seventh edition of the European Pole Vault and High Jump Conference in Cologne, Germany from 11-13 November.
It is a long tradition that an outstanding athlete opens the conference with an overview of their illustrious career. Swedish high jump legend Stefan Holm, the 2004 Olympic champion and four-time world indoor champion, was given the honour and provided the audience with a thorough insight into his long and successful career.
Holm was also a speaker on one of the weekend’s main presentation topics on coaching behaviour in the high jump along with Cliff Rovelto which also included workshops and practical sessions to further articulate their premise. They concluded there wasn’t a singular technical model and this should influence the training means and methods.
In the pole vault section of the three-day conference, six metre-plus vaulter Jeff Hartwig led a presentation illustrating the key elements of their work with top-level vaulters. It included both the technical model and special training exercises while British coach Steve Rippon went into an in-depth discussion on planting the pole.
The programme also included a theory-based presentation on the latest findings on neuromechanics and the stiffness of the musculotendinous system; Dr. Klaus Cachay delivered a presentation on coaching behaviour based on empirical studies of more than 800 athletes; and the three-day event concluded with an analysis on the high jump from biomechanical, training-related, statistical and psychological perspectives.
The programme also allowed for intensive discussions with the speakers and the participants.
All presentations will be available on the conference website www.polevault-symposium.de.