Pole vault is all about taking flight. And fittingly, everything that happens after an attempt centers on preparing for the next time you take flight. Like an airplane executing a touch-and-go, you only land so you can take off again.
If that last attempt was a clearance (a make), you stick with what's working, or maybe you tweak something to be sure you'll also clear the next height. If it was a miss, you figure out what went wrong, and what you can change to make the bar the next time around.
As a reminder, this is Part 2 of a series about what it feels like to pole vault. The thoughts are my own, and they're illustrated by photos I captured at the Elite Meet at this year's National Pole Vault Summit. I have no idea what goes through anyone's head but my own.
(In photo: Sarah Sheppard)
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© Omari Stephens