The key to hurdling is maintaining your speed and running form while going over an obstacle-not for everyone.
- We NEVER do a full flight of hurdles in practice. It is counterproductive and not necessary. I see this all of the time with Junior High athletes thinking they need to go over 10 hurdles as many times as they can the day before a meet. If you can maintain good speed, form and technique over five hurdles, you can do the same with 10. (my wife was a sub 15 second hurdler and could NEVER three-step in practice!)
- We do a lot of block starts to the first 5/4/3/2/2. Sometimes lowered and shortened to maintain speed and to work on three-stepping. *Simulating a meet in practice is always the problem with practicing the hurdles.
- I know some coaches do not emphasize block starts as much as we do, but I feel it is a key to mastering the high hurdles. The more reps we have at the actual start, the less stress the athletes will feel in a meet-becomes 2nd nature.
- Much of our conditioning involves SPRINTING. To BE FAST, you need to TRAIN FAST! We do a lot of 100s, 150s, 200s and 300s at race speed at various reps.
- Getting young kids to ATTACK the first hurdle is the key to future success.
- I time and film the high hurdlers (Hudl) often to show them the speed needed to obtain the desired time. Here is a great site to calculate touchdown times also. Excel file download link. (You can also use the chart to see at what point of the race the athletes are having trouble.)
- One Step Drill. We do this probably once/week. Does a great job of getting a lot of form work done in a short amount of time. Great drill for indoors also with a limited amount of space.
- Rhythm 3 Step Drill: We do this every couple of weeks to work on quick 3 STEP rhythm and footwork. Hurdle heights (inches): 27/27/30/30/33/33/33/30/30/27/27. Hurdle spacing (feet): 10/12/14/16/18/20/22/22/22/22.
Rhythm Drill: We do this every couple of weeks to work on quick 1 STEP lead and trail leg rhythm and footwork. Hurdle heights (inches): 27/27/30/30/33/33. Hurdle spacing (feet): 10/11/12/12/12.
- We do this drill I call "Speed Hurdles" or 7 Steppers. Take out every other hurdle doing 1-3-5 both directions x 3. Use for a conditioner.
I follow a guy on YouTube and Instagram, Terry Reese, who was a world-class hurdler (13.23 in 110 HH) and now helps coach various athletes in Raleigh, North Carolina. @teereesejr on Instagram and "Tee Reese" on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/user/teereesejr
COACHING FOR SUCCESS IN THE 300 HURDLES