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article imageMeet Philippe d'Encausse: World-renowned pole vault coach Special

By Markos Papadatos     Feb 3, 2019 in Sports
World-renowned pole vault coach Philippe d'Encausse chatted with Digital Journal about his coaching and athletic career. d'Encausse is the coach of the world record holder in the men's pole vault and two-time Olympic medalist, Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie.
d'Encausse shared that pole vault was in his roots. His father was a three-time Olympian (1964, 1968 and 1972). "It really is a difficult sport because if you want to reach the high levels, you need to be excellent in sprinting, gymnastics, as well as in technical drills and weight lifting. Even if you're strong and fast, you need to be mentally strong too," he said. "Although it is a difficult specialty, it remains very fun and playful. That's why you never get bored when you practice pole vaulting."
When asked what he loves most about coaching, d'Encausse said, "When you have the chance to work in an environment that is your passion and you know well, it's like being in holiday all the year. I like to welcome young vaulters and try to bring them to the highest level, in order to make sure that they surpass themselves."
Renaud Lavillenie and Coach Philippe d Encausse
Renaud Lavillenie and Coach Philippe d'Encausse
Philippe d'Encausse
On his future plans, d'Encausse said, "I always think of the present. I never look back but always remember what we did in training. I think we are entering a very exciting period for pole vault with the young talent such as Mondo Duplantis, Timur Morgunov, Emmanuel Karalis, Kurtis Marschall and the older pole vaulters that are still competing."
As a coach, his proudest professional moment is Renaud Lavillenie's world record of 6.16 meters. "Renaud's world record is especially for me because as a vaulter, I've been to Donetsk many times, and I was there when Sergey Bubka broke his last world record. For 21 years no one has approached this mark, and during the 2014 winter season, I realized that Renaud was not so far, and I begin thinking: 'This can be possible, it's not a dream anymore."
On the impact of technology on the sport of pole vault over the years, d'Encausse said, "When I look at the last 30 years, I don't see a lot of technological innovations, for example, the poles I used in the '90s are the same as the poles that Renaud uses. The most important change can be in the evolution of video. It is more easy to use and it makes it easier to get data. At the end of all this, there is a vaulter and his pole and no one can jump for him."
The hardest part of his job as a pole vault coach is when he is more motivated than some of his athletes. "It can happen, unfortunately," he said. "The injuries are also obstacles for the coach when you cannot plan an effective training process."
For aspiring pole vaulters, d'Encausse encouraged them to love the sport, as well as the "vault for myself" and to "never stop training."
A native of France, d'Encausse defined the word success as the "goal of his work," whether or not success is the assessment of his training process.
More about Philippe d'Encausse, pole vault, France, Coach, World record
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