About the Club
Club Goals
Joining the Club
Poles Policy
What should I bring to a training session?
Training Session Format


About the Club
Mansfield Athletics Pole Vault Club is a USATF-New England certified pole vault club (USATF Club # 02-0309). The club's home base, and outdoor training facility, is located in Essex Junction, VT. Indoor training is curently held at The University of Vermont.

The club is part of an effort to promote the pole vault and to educate athletes and coaches in a way that allows for safety and success to go hand-in-hand. Year-round training allows us to let the athletes progress naturally at their own comfort level without having to "rush" in preparation for meets. We stress step-by-step skill progression with a safety first motto. Our vaulters are not allowed to progress to higher handgrips and longer poles without mastering the basic techniques first. It is our hope that in teaching athletes and coaches the proper progressions in a low-stress, fun environment that the vaulter can maximize their potential without feeling the pressure of meet-based performances. Our competitions are with crossbars, not with other vaulters.

The club also provides opportunities to create friendships that transcend the usual school and team boundaries. Those friendships help to create a positive, cooperative experience for everybody. Above all, it's about becoming a better athlete and having fun.

The club welcomes coaches and their vaulters to come train. Owner, Chris Mitchell, will be available to meet whatever needs you have for your team, whether it be additional coaching support or just facility and equipment use.

Club Goals
  • Promote pole vaulting in a positive, safe manner
  • Introduce the pole vault to new athletes, coaches and schools
  • Supplement high school programs
  • Provide opportunities for athletes whose schools do not offer the pole vault
  • Make the pole vault a fun and challenging experience
  • Teach athletes about the physics and mechanics of the vault
  • Improve athlete's physical and mental fitness
  • Teach athletes to challenge themselves to the utmost of their abilities
  • Help athletes translate their success on the runway into success in other areas of their lives
  • Support all athletes in their quest to become better vaulters and better people

Joining the Club
For insurance and liability purposes a ***USATF (USA Track & Field) membership*** is required of ALL athletes prior to working out with the club. There are NO exceptions to this rule. USATF is the national governing body for track & field in the United States and the membership covers supplementary insurance for each athlete. A one year USATF membership costs $20.00 for those 18 and under and $30.00 for those 19 and up. This membership covers you until the end of the calendar year (December) in which you sign up. You may obtain a USATF membership online at (Our USATF-Registered Club # is 309). We will need proof of your USATF membership before we can allow any athlete to participate. If you sign up for a USATF membership online via a credit card just print out the receipt.

Training sessions are normally 2 hours long and held throughout the year. Outdoor parctices during the Spring/Summer are currently held at Coach Mitchell's house in Essex Junction, VT. Indoor parctices during the Fall/Winter are currently held at The University of Vermont. You will be notified by email (up to 2 hours prior to practice) if practice is cancelled for any reason. Check the webiste home page ( for current practice dates, locations and times.

Club membership is currently still FREE! (A USATF membership is required)

***Session fee/s*** include two options:
  1. "Pay As You Go" -> $25.00 for a single session. Sessions are 2 hours long. There's no additional charge for sessions longer than 2 hours : )
  2. "Pay Monthly" -> Pay up-front for all available sessions in a given month and the cost is only $20.00/session. Example: If we have 6 sessions scheduled for May, it would cost you $120.00 if paid by the first practice of the month. That saves you $30.00 compared to the "Pas As You Go" option.

Athletes must also complete and have signed (Parent must sign if athlete is under 18) a ***Mansfield Athletics Pole Vault Club Info Form*** and ***Mansfield Athletics Pole Vault Club Liability Waiver & Release Form***. Both of these forms can be found on the forms page: Please bring both of these forms to your first training session.

To summarize, the following is needed at the first training session: * Coaches are always welcome to attend training sessions

Poles Policy
Progress in the pole vault relies heavily on having a large pole inventory to insure every vaulter has access to the right poles for their ability and progression. Aside from coaching itself, this is the #1 issue holding back athletes from becoming the best they can be. With that said, the club's pole policy is for every club member to bring what ever poles they can and allow sharing of those poles with everyone else.

What should I bring to a training session?
  • A good pair of running shoes (They're worth every penny)
  • Water
  • Track spikes
  • Small notebook and pencil for writing down approach run lengths and workout notes
  • Poles
* Restrooms are avaible on site

Training Session Format
Our philosophy is that we must learn the basic skills before attempting to combine them into more complicated skills. With that in mind most of our vaulting is done on shorter poles, shorter grips and shorter runs to decrease the margin of error for learning the skill and to increase the number of successful attempts per workout. Only after the basic skills are learned through numerous repetitions do we progress to the more advanced skills.

All training sessions generally start with a dynamic warm-up that consists of unique exercises that prepare the body for movement. Essential plyometric drills (walking on toes and heels, high knees, high knee butt kicks, high knee skipping and karaoke) lead into some striders to close out the warm-up. Short run (3 lefts/rights or less) drills on the runway start the vaulting portion. Depending on the athlete and their goals, vaulters may progress to longer runs (5-lefts/rights to 8-lefts/rights) or continue working from a shorter 3-left/right or 4-left/right approach. Other off-runway work (pole runs, speed work or gymnastic work) may also be suggested. A warm down of some light stretching will close out a training session.

Training sessions are structured differently depending on the skill level of the athlete. For the most part, our sessions are "open pit", meaning anyone and everyone can vault during the duration of the session after a structured warm-up. For our more serious athletes we like to prepare more cohesive workout plans. Our practices include but are definitely NOT limited to just pole vaulting. Workouts include many of the following:
  • Working on the approach run (proper first step, running form, acceleration, pole drop timing and more)
  • Strength training, speed training and plyometrics (this will enable you to run faster and jump higher)
  • Gymnastics including "bubkas" and swinging "bubkas"
  • Tons of drills that mimic every aspect of the vault
  • Video taped vaults for visual analysis

This is alot of info to take in. Please feel free to call or email Chris, with any questions you may have, at (802) 598-9216 or