Build a plan that allows athletes to hurdle faster in practice and competition!
- Design a specific warm-up program for hurdling with and without hurdles
- Train athletes to push out of the blocks efficiently to maximize acceleration mechanics and develop speed into the first few hurdles
- Learn how to use 5-step patterns and variations to increase speed into and between the hurdles
with Lucky Huber,
University of South Dakota Director of Track and Field & Cross Country/Head Women's Coach;
2x USTFCCCA National Coach of the Year,
16x Conference Coach of the Year;
has coached 12 National Champions
Speed hurdling is an essential tool for developing highly competitive hurdlers. The concept of speed hurdling uses hurdles placed closer and lower than competition distances to help athletes develop a motor pattern that is faster than race pace.
In this video, two-time national coach of the year Coach Lucky Huber details the program he uses at the University of South Dakota to help hurdlers compete at the highest levels of the NCAA. He provides an in-depth discussion of his four major concepts:
- Warm-up routine
- Training and drills
- Development of an acceleration pattern to get athletes to the first hurdle in proper position
- Development of a successful race model
By setting up psychological and physical successes at practice through drills and progressions, Coach Huber models an approach that creates high speed practice success for a successful race day. Additionally, the PowerPoint presentation displayed throughout the video provides insight into the benefits of speed hurdle training and the various ways you can implement these concepts into your practice.
Using a combination of walks and skips, Huber takes you through a warm-up that will help your athletes prepare for the challenges of hurdle workouts. These drills progressively challenge each athlete's range of motion through walking drills. By progressing to skipping drills, athletes are able to challenge their balance and coordination. Drills in this section include hurdle walkovers with medicine balls to improve balance and posture, while skipping drills enable athletes to begin developing the rhythms they will use throughout the session. In addition to being a good choice for specific warm-up drills, hurdle mobility work is essential to help young hurdlers acclimate to the demands of this unique event.
Developing a Powerful Start
In order to generate the speed needed to run an effective hurdle race, all hurdle athletes must be effective starters. Coach Huber breaks down a variety of start drills, including three-point starts, box starts, and traditional block starts. By opening the segment with falling starts and progressing through a variety of starts without blocks, Coach Huber shows you a unique way of developing the skills needed for a powerful block start before athletes ever step foot into the blocks.
The activities in this segment serve as a warm-up for athletes and are a great addition to any collegiate program warm-up. They could also stand alone as a great way to introduce younger athletes to starting mechanics before adding in the complexity of block starting.
Using 5-Step Patterns
Workout examples with a multitude of hurdle variations between three and five step progressions, as well as extended starts, are provided to best prepare athletes for the demands of a race. These provide the ability to train "fast" through the spacing and strides required to navigate the hurdle.
A great example is the 3-5-3 variations utilized in practice. By extending the hurdle distance, athletes are required to take five steps to the desired number of hurdles. This five step pattern increases not only the athlete's speed into that hurdle, but off the hurdle as well. This is especially important for younger hurdlers who may lose speed and technique at the end of their races. By using a five step pattern prior to a three step pattern, the hurdle will feel closer and faster, enabling athletes to navigate more hurdles quickly and confidently.
Coach Huber explains, models, and modifies the speed hurdling approach through warm-ups, hurdle drills, acceleration drills, and race modeling to provid
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