Sprint Hurdles Development day well attended

Sprint Hurdles Development day well attended

Exeter hurdlerSprint hurdles coaches and athletes came together from London Boroughs, Essex, Norfolk and even  Dorset to attend the first of four development days at Lee Valley. This coach focused session was led by Tony Benton, prominent hurdles coach in Essex and former East region hurdles co-ordinator; Steve Mitchell, current coach to Georgia Atkins and Lauren Bouchard and also a member of the EA National Coach Development Programme; and Julie Pratt, former World Junior Champion. These development days have been funded by England Athletics and hope to raise further the standard of hurdles coaches across the South area.

This first gathering was well attended by both coaches and athletes and it was evident that a collaborative coaching approach led to a significant amount of learning around technical coaching points, hurdles related drills, testing protocols and generic core strengthening exercises. It is hoped that the coaches that attended will now cascade their knowledge to other sprint hurdles coaches at their clubs. As we get to that critical time where athletes are preparing to compete indoors it was good to see a certain level of competitiveness, particularly during the afternoon assessment session.

During the morning practical hurdling session it was noticed that a number of athletes needed to improve their trail leg technique so the lead coaches were able to provide feedback to the personal coaches and offered practical suggestions on addressing this through observing of rear leg isolation drills.

After lunch the athletes ran over hurdles at reduced spacings so that they could improve their cadence and concentrate on technique. The lead coaches were on hand to give their feedback and ask questions of the personal coaches as to what they observed. Future days will set aside time to specifically address just the coaches and incorporate some use of video playback and analysis.

Following this session the athletes were tested using a number of well known protocols to get some benchmark data. They were tested over a 60m sprint, with a flying 30m sprint measured through the timing gates and also performed a standing long jump to assess leg power. Personal coaches that were not familiar with these tests were involved in this session throughout. The data of all the tests were collated and tabulated for circulation via email with some feedback of the results from the lead coaches.

The next development day on 2nd January aims to build on the success of the first session and ultimately raise the coaching bar as the indoor season gets under way.

For further information please contact Tony Benton at tony-benton@ntlworld.com
Please download the attached flyer for details of future dates. Please note that pre-registration will be required through Tony Benton. Athletes turning up on the day without pre-registration will not be accepted. There is no limit to the number of coaches that can attend but it may be necessary to restrict numbers in certain age groups which are already close to the maximum numbers.