2019 has had its good points and it’s not so good points, but the good outweighs the bad.
We started the year going to Texas a couple of times, touring the Altius Facility, Texas A&M Indoor Meet, and also meeting up with other clients in the Texas area. As a magazine company, a pole vault pit manufacturing company decided that it would be useful to bring us in to rebrand their company from the start and build an online presence. I know, I know, what the heck are we doing getting involved in such things as this. But little do you know, this is what we do. From the start, we have built magazines, promoted businesses, and built brands for many of the companies that you see today. Just so you know, it was never “just about” a pole vault magazine or a club. It was always a lot more.
” Just so you know, it was never just about a pole vault magazine or a club, it was always a lot more. “
Here is a recap of our events since we last have written you and kept you up to date on where we are as a club and a magazine.
New Poles! We received a lot of big boy poles this year and all of which are 15 feet long through 16 feet long and up to 210 pounds. These will give the edge to the athletes that can get on such a pole. Coach Derek does have one athlete that can benefit greatly from these poles and if not the local colleges love renting them. Not to mention they are Suhr Adrenaline poles. Hottest poles on the market! We could just make a statement such as this with no validity, but we said the same thing about ESSX poles four years ago. Now look at the brand and how many you see floating around this Nation. Sam Kendricks just broke the National Record on the poles that we stated are the hottest ticket around in 2015. Too bad that it took a few magazine covers and some superior jumping to get the clubs around here on board. But they are now!
” Hottest poles on the market! We could just make a statement such as this with no validity, but we said the same thing about ESSX poles four years ago. “
Those are just a few poles that we have to talk about and talk about poles is what we shall do. Bruce Caldwell and his Fibersport poles will change the way that the industry looks at the sport of girls pole vaulting. I say girls because that is where they will start and huge jumps from guys will follow. Just before we left for the River Vault in Wisconsin we had the wonderful opportunity to receive new Fibersport Poles. www.fibersportpoles.com. The kids love these poles, and we could not believe how many kids at the river vault loved the poles. Everyone had to try them out and give them a shot.
Overlooking the Mississippi River, the La Crosse, Wisconsin River Vault is the place to be. The excitement, patriotism, and insane enjoyment were enough to last for the rest of the year. We came back to California re-charged and ready to go! Learned a lot about how to run a meet and the enjoyment that it can bring. We felt like we were able to step up our game a notch from what we learned. Not to mention friendship, we met so many kind and real people up there at this meet. When we tell you the pole vault world is big and there is so much to it, please take a ride and travel to some of these locations and watch the show.
” We felt like we were able to step up our game a notch from what we learned. “
2019 BBQ meet was the icing on the cake! After our youngest athletes jumped amazingly at and during the Junior Olympic process, all we could ask for is a meet to finish off the summer.
At first, we had no intentions to have a meet that late in August. We planned to take it off and let the kids and coaches all rest. (Coaches being Derek and me) Mike Wagenveld at North County Pole Vault insisted that we rock one last meet for the summer. That club and our club have always been quite the duo from day one. Both of our clubs try our best to run a tight ship and be as proficient as possible when we run our meets. Start on time, keep the warm-up to the hour prior, have an official person running the meet, and finishing in two hours or darn close to it. Oh yea, and do our best to play nice with others.
This meet was a special one after a long tasking year. Month’s prior we decided that we should have one last meet and weeks prior we decided to go all out and have an event to celebrate the pole vaulter. This same pole vaulter could be anyone young or old that you can think of; they were invited. We spent the time and smoked 16 tri-tips, made homemade baked beans, homemade potato salad, and plenty of drinks and cookies for everyone. The BBQ grill was charring up some hamburgers for the people that wanted that for dinner. We even had a smoker smoking hot dogs and picnic tables with the red checkered table clothes on top. YES! We did spend quite a lot to make it all happen, but it was well worth the investment. Anything that you do and try your best at costs you one way or another. You will find out that it paid off immensely in the end.
” A few of the people stated that they knew it was going to be a FREE B.B.Q, but they had no idea it would be this good. “
Man, it was a lot of work, filling up trailers with a smoker, BBQ, picnic tables and all the fun that it takes to put on a big meet. We had athletes from Arizona, Idaho, North California, and beyond that made the trip. We watched Masters vaulters and first-timers jump at some seriously fun bars. It was special! The kind of special that makes all of this worthwhile and the reason why we do what we do. We love it! We had so many people ask if we made all of the food. A few of the people stated that they knew it was going to be a Free B.B.Q., but they had no idea it would be this good. That made us happy! So happy that we will for sure be doing it again in the future. We made a lot of people fans of what our meet had to offer.
Sure it costs to pole vault and to spectate! Of course, that is what it’s all about. Nothing worth having is FREE, well most of the time. The BBQ was Free. We always have entry fees to get in, and we always charge spectators $5 to watch. We have gone to many meets where we have had to pay, and it’s a way of giving back to the program. Pay for facility fees, medals, gear and all the business related items. If you want to be taken seriously, charge for your effort and never look back. See, here is the catch. People that give it all out for free tend to half effort the event or training. What the heck, it was free, so no one can complain. That’s not the way that we work, and that will never be the way we do it. You can not please everyone. There will always be someone that disagrees with what we do. P.S. we do have free training throughout the year.
End of Summer Disneyland trip! Last year we fund-raised and of course, when you get a free ticket, you have kids lined up around the block. The initial 3k came from the club to get the chocolate needed to fundraise. This would be used to get the entire club into the park. (and of course a plane ticket for a coach to the Junior Olympics in North Carolina) We did it. We sold all of the chocolate, bought t-shirts for the kids last year and Disney tickets. We started the day with a huge 5:45 a.m. breakfast with Mickey Mouse pancakes, scrambled eggs and bacon, orange juice, danishes, granola bars, and fruit. All of which they could also bring with them to the park and in the van. We had trivia in the van and gave out quite a few $50 Disney gift cards. It was one heck of a trip and one heck of an effort. The first through third place athlete that sold the most chocolate also received $300, $200 and $100 for their selling skills. That was last years event that started it all.
This year the coaches and parents decided that they would buy their ticket and shirts and make it a fun day at the park. This year was a lot less stressful on the families and us. No huge 3k upfront investment, no chocolate sitting around the house and kids that still enjoyed the trip. We also had a huge breakfast, van, and all the same fun.
” This year the coaches and parents decided that they would buy their own ticket and shirts and make it a fun day at the park. “
We had a great time, and the new Star Wars Land was a huge hit. Again, we spent the whole day at the park, had trivia gift cards to give away. Of course, we showed up when the park opened and left at closing. We all had matching shirts this year and the kids really enjoyed themselves. All of this cool stuff is quite the effort to manage and keep track of. Some look at it as a hassle and we look at it as part of the plan. Give the kids something that they can not get anywhere else.
Where do we go from here?
Well, fall workouts have started. A trip back to Texas in September and we hope the heat isn’t too bad for us. Building new relationships throughout the sport and beyond. Preparing for meets in the fall, jumping at the EXPO Explosion where we will see so many of our friends. www.expoexplosion.com
Gill Athletics continues to step up for us and other organizations such as the EXPO Explosion 2020 this year, where they will be featured on the floor with four tents for advertising. We want to include everyone at this event, all companies, vendors and athletes. Throughout the year we feature many of the Gill product throughout our club. Weighted vests, running gear, poles, slide boxes and more. They are legit and have been since 1918 – leader of the sport!
Then from there we will turn around and go to Reno for the pole vault summit. It will be a huge year in 2020 as the Olympics go down and a huge year for our club. Many details you will read about as they happen, but we are always working on the next step.
A bit of a take away from Doug, the owner of Vaulter Magazine – Vaulter Club Inc. Yes, the guy writing this up as we sit. Work hard, build relationships, stay steadfast with your goals, be patient, fair and trustworthy. Wow, that is a mouthful, but I believe in personal and parental accountability. Every day I wake up and try to do better than the day prior.
There will always be naysayers and haters in all things that we do. As you get more successful, many people take cheap shots at you. Weekly on social media people are trying to knock us down for what we do. Many of you never see this ugly side of the sport, but it is there. When you get popular enough the attention seekers come after you in all ways that they can. We have been privy to such attacks, and you just have to know why they are doing it and keep trucking on. We called it for the last few years, and we knew it was coming. We also know that because of human nature, it will not stop.
These commenters are never happy with what you do. Whom they think you associate with and how you run your business. If you have too many boys on the team, they comment about it, too many girls they comment. If that doesn’t work, your team is too old, too young, too light, too dark, or whatever they can try and sling at you. In the end, you look around left and right. Log into social media and the same people are duplicating everything that you do.
So enjoy the ride.