Bolted onto the underside of the tail end of a skateboard, the tail guard (also known as a "skid plate") protected the tail end from skid stops and other maneuvers that would otherwise wear away the wood (commonly known as razor tail) and decrease the longevity of the tail. Typically made of plastic, these were widely popular in the '80s but their usage quickly diminished with the arrival of two-tail board designs, which became increasingly popular in the '90s.
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To get higher ollies, I would suggesting resting your back foot on the very end of the tail and the front foot in the middle of the deck to allow for more slide. Popping as hard as you can and catching your board in the groove of the nose with you ankle practically resting in the groove will level the board out in the air. after this initial movement slide you feet back to the bolts on the tail and nose to ensure a clean landing.