Lone Star Pole Vault Club Newsletter
September 10, 2014


Welcome to Fall Training for all the pole vaulters and parents currently attending practice.  Our attendance numbers are much larger for the month of September than in past years.  This is encouraging as I believe that folks are beginning to see that in order to truly be competitive in this event and realize your full potential, a year-round approach is not optional.  It is no coincidence that our club had 7 vaulters competing in the State Track Meet last spring in the most competitive State in the country for this event.  It is also no coincidence that 2 of the 8 All-American Girl Vaulters in the U.S. train here, we had 3 high school girls vault over 13 feet, and 2 of our seniors are now attending UT on athletic scholarships.  Those are just a few stats from this year alone!  For over 12 years we have produced similar numbers with one simple common denominator: a long-term approach.  I'll discuss this issue more in the "Expectations and Goals" section of this newsletter.

Membership, Rates and Requirement: What is the difference between being a "Club Member" versus being a "Client?"  Simple: members attend group practices and pay by the month which offers them the best value for regular attendance.  Members also compete for our club "team" at various events throughout the year.

To take advantage of any of the services we offer, we require 3 items:

  1. An Athlete Information Sheet completed and on file. (attached to this email)
  2. A Waiver of Liability form completed and on file. (also attached to this email)
  3. A current membership with USA Track and Field (USATF) submitted and on file.  To obtain a membership, go to www.usatf.org/membership and sign up under Lone Star PV, LLC in the South Texas Association, then forward your confirmation email to me.  Memberships cost $20/year for youth and $30/year for adults.  This is not optional as my insurance company requires it.  USATF memberships operate on a calendar year basis, expiring on December 31st, so they must be renewed for January-on participation.

Group Practice Schedule:  It is truly a challenge to set up a weekly schedule that can accommodate the travel discrepancies and time-management needs of our wide array of clients.  Some want to begin practice earlier in the day while others can't arrive until later.  I understand that traffic, dismissal times from school, and other daily goings-on can be unpredictable, so I am flexible on arrival times.  If you want to arrive 15-30 minutes earlier or later than your scheduled practice time and complete the warmup, that is ok.  The practice is structured in a way that each individual can follow the warmup routine on their own and work in on the pit when ready.  You may not begin actually pole vaulting though unless I am present.  I do need to finish practices relatively close to on-time as I have family commitments to attend to, so please bear that in mind.  In order not to get bottle necked with too many people on the pit at once, I do REQUIRE that EVERYONE schedule their practices ONLINE: https://instant-scheduling.com/sch.php?kn=570316  I am attaching instructions on how to use the Online Scheduler if you need assistance on doing so.  If you cannot make it work, please call our Office Manager Roxanne Alvarez at 830-620-1175.  DO NOT simply show up without an appointment.  The Online Scheduler also is an attendance record required by our insurance company and for reference in billing.  If you are unable to attend practice, you can also cancel and/or reschedule

Private Lessons: I do offer private and semi-private (shared with another vaulter) lessons on request.  Since I am currently the only coach at Lone Star, my availability is limited to weekdays between 9-3, and Saturdays between 2-5.  Sunday is my day off reserved for family.  I charge $60/hour and offer 1, 1.5, and 2 hour lessons.  Beginner and youth vaulters generally only benefit from a 1-hour lesson, while 1.5-2 hours is sufficient for more experienced vaulters.  Private Lessons are to be requested via our Online Scheduler: https://instant-scheduling.com/sch.php?kn=570316

Open Gym: Open Gym is simply access to the gym to train on your own during times when there is no group practice or private lessons taking place.  You may use any of the equipment in the gym, but we have a few rules: 1) If you're under 18 years of age you MUST have a parent or guardian present.  2) You MUST have a signed waiver of liability on file including your health insurance information.  3) You MUST have a current USATF membership on file with us.  4) You agree to pay for or replace any equipment that is damaged or broken during your workout.  Like all services we offer, you MUST schedule Open Gym time online: https://instant-scheduling.com/sch.php?kn=570316

Competitions: I encourage ALL of our vaulters regardless of experience level or age to take advantage of the all-comers competitions coming up in the next few months.  In addition to being fun, competition provides both the athlete and coach valuable feedback as to the effectiveness of your training.  I charge a $40 coaching fee for local meets outside of our gym which includes coaching and equipment.  For in-house meets, members may compete with no coaching fees charged.

Expectations and Goals:  This is already a lengthy newsletter, so I'll try to be brief.  For those new to Lone Star, it is important to understand that our methods and processes for developing pole vaulters are long-term in nature.  I don't believe in quick fixes, magic bullets, or overnight successes.  For anyone seeking those things, I encourage you to look elsewhere, as there are other coaches and clubs that may purport them.  25+ years experience in this sport has taught me that progress is made via gradual progression and quality control over the training.  In a society rampant with a fast-food mentality, this often doesn't sit well, however I make no apologies for my methodology.  Rushing a pole vaulter to record a lifetime personal record performance can and often does result in bad technique, injuries, plateaus, and dead-ends.  Most if not all of the best European and South American training systems utilize a long-range approach where vaulters often do not even actually pole vault over a crossbar for months at a time.  I realize that in our society, applying that methodology undiluted would most likely lead to attrition more often than not.  My training model is adapted to provide frequent repetition of actual pole vaulting, however I do require adequate degrees of proficiency and skill mastery as prerequisites to advancing to longer approach runs and PR attempts.  Simply put:  If you can't do it right from 6 steps, you're not moving to 8, 10, or anything longer until you can.  I help vaulters to establish specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based (SMART) goals for the development of their technique.  Intense focus upon the PROCESS instead of the PRODUCT has yielded the most success in our club.

Tribute to Alan Launder:  A dear friend of mine, Coach Alan Launder of Australia passed away a week ago Saturday.  Alan was much more than a friend though, and his role as a teacher and mentor for pole vaulting has largely shaped our program over the past ten years.  Alan put on 3 separate clinics here at our Lone Star gym over the years, the last one being in the Summer of 2013.  His direct, straightforward, and passionate lectures and instruction made permanent impressions upon thousands of vaulters around the world.  His book and legacy "From Beginner to Bubka" is widely considered to be the finest publication to detail the fine-points of and implementation of the Petrov-Bubka Technical Model for pole vaulting which we use here at Lone Star.  Rest in peace Alan, you will be greatly missed!

I will try to keep everyone up to speed on relevant information as much as possible.  Please do not hesitate to email or call myself or Roxanne with questions.  Our office number is 830-620-1175.


Kris Allison
Lone Star Pole Vaulting