National Hurdles Conference full of energy and enthusiasm
35 coaches attended the National Hurdles Conference at Aston University from November 24th to 26th.
The theme of the conference was ‘Developing optimal mindset and technique of a hurdler.’
On Saturday morning Mikkel Larsen, coach to Olympic 400m hurdles silver medallist Sara Peterson, kicked off the conference talking about 'Developing the foundations of a successful 400m hurdler.'
Istvan Tomhauser, Hungarian National Hurdles Coach and the mastermind behind Balazs Baji’s bronze medal at the World Championships in London, then shared his philosophies on 'Developing the Sprint Hurdles Events.'
Nick Dakin, coach to many of the UK’s top 400m hurdlers then gave his thoughts on what to look for in a 400m hurdler and what sort of qualities a coach should consider when looking to move an athlete to the 400m hurdles.
An interactive session run by England Athletics Coach and Athlete Development Manager James Hillier and a high quality practical session run by Mikkel completed an excellent day.
In the evening Olympic 400m hurdler Rhys Williams spoke candidly about his career - advising coaches that keeping it simple and being patient were paramount to success.
On Sunday Mikkel Larsen shared his LTAD model after 14 years working with Sara Peterson; Istvan Tomhauser shared his experiences of 10 years working with Balzs Baji and James Hillier talked about how to get the best out of your athletes. All three emphasised the importance of late sport maturation with both Sara and Balazs peaking at age 28, both only being moderate athletes in the teens and early 20’s. The day culminated with Istvan running several volunteer athletes through their paces with a practical session.
Coach and Athlete Development Manger for Speed James Hillier said “The whole weekend was hugely subsidised by England Athletics ensuring that it was made affordable for coaches. The weekend emphasises England Athletics commitment to coach education and development. I would like to personally thank Mikkel and Istvan for travelling so far to present for the first time in the UK. Also to Nick Dakin and Rhys Williams for sharing their stories and philosophies. I would also like to thank all of the coaches and the energy and enthusiasm they brought to the weekend."
Watch a round up video (90 seconds) of the event below.