By Jim Ciccarello: La Cueva High School

“Paralysis by Analysis” (too much thinking)

Hurdling made easy A to Z! (Not rocket science)

1. Picking a Hurdler

A. Speed                        D. Great work Ethic

B. Long Legs                 E. Mentally tough/over barriers

C. Flexibility                    F. Former gymnast or dancer

2. Hurdle technique(Use a demo!)

A. Lead Leg/Knee bent. (Cue-no foot lead)                         F. Sprint Action

B. Trail Leg/Lift and rotate (cue-to middle)                         G. Eyes up/Ahead

C. Lead arm/slightly bent/(cue-look at watch)                   H. Forward motion

D. Trail arm/Back and bent 90D                                           I. Paw toes at track

E. Hips Tall j. Do not drop knees

3. Steps between hurdles

A. 3 Steps (the best!) Champions!

B. 4 steps (still competitive/girls only)

C. Wall drill-trail leg 1-2-3-4

D. Wall drill-hip circle

E. Wall drill hip circle over hurdle

F. Walking hurdle action. (walk and imitate hurdling)

G. 5 steps (very developmental) (JV) I suggest 3 steps immediately for exceptional athletes. 4 steps for kids who struggle but want to compete. This 4 step pattern also helps them alternate in 300 hurdles

4. Drills (work both sides of body)

A. Hurdle sit-sit on ground-lead leg/trail leg. ( coach-fix them)

B. Alternate-switch back and forth trail and lead leg. (do not drag leg on ground)

C. Roll over-again switch legs by rolling toward straight leg side.

D. Wall drill-Lead leg kick up on toe. (opposite arm-opposite leg)

5. Mini hurdles 10 H (one stride apart)

A. Walk over

B. High Knee fast over

C. 1-2-3 quick step over

D. 1-2-3 quick lateral step over

E. Grapevine over

F. Squat jump over

G. Squat jump first 3 and then run over

6. Drills (hurdles) (5)…. 5 is used so they don’t get tired!

A. Set up hurdles back to back and walk over. Lead leg/trail leg

B. Over one and under one. Pivot under

C. Side scissor over all hurdles (lead leg-knee bent)

D. Weave scissor over one (lead leg-knee bent)

E. Set hurdles 4 strides apart. Work side first and then middle.

F. Walk over.

G. Skip over and March over

H. 1-2-3 quick step over

I. One step over

J. Stop on hurdle and freeze. (coach corrects hurdle form)

K. One hurdle –over and back

L. One hurdle-1-2-3 trail leg drag- step out/ Knee up!

7, Special drills (coach get “creative”)

A. Crunch Hurdles (move all hurdles two strides closer to hurdler)

1. Run three steps as fast as possible over side and then middle when ready

2. Lower hurdle to 30” for confidence. Repeat

3. Move hurdles further apart as confidence grows

B. 5 High Knee Steps over /with hurdles at the marks /over side and then middle.

C. Four steppers alternate over all 5 hurdles

D. Combination heights and distance. Use your imagination to design a pattern

1. Example-First hurdle 33” and 2nd hurdle 33” with next 3 hurdles 30”-vary distance

2. Athletes will find this interesting and it helps them “focus”!

3. Off set hurdles/ so they run down the lane working their lead leg first and then their trail leg second.

4. Over and back-set 5 hurdles in one direction and then 5 hurdles coming back to start.

8. Blocks/starts

A. Sprinters start

B. Lead leg back in blocks.

C. 8 Steps to hurdle (tall long stride folks can do 7)

D. Drive arms fast

E. Eyes come up to look for hurdle

F. Take off about 6’ ft. away

G. Lead with knee/not foot

H. Lead leg snaps to the ground over hurdle/land on toes

I. Lead arm and shoulder raises for men/chest forward

J. Trail leg pushes on track to the forward position

K. Quick lead leg-Quick trail leg to the ground.

L. Drive forward into and off hurdle

Practice blocks and starts over 1 hurdle-2 hurdles every week

9. Training Philosophy

1. Your team will flourish with good hurdlers.

2. Hurdlers will be great leaders

3. Hurdlers love to do drills.

4. Hurdlers love to demonstrate and help new hurdlers

5. Hurdlers can also run your relays

6. Hurdlers must do the sprint workouts (hard)

7. Hurdlers must budget their time to do hurdle workouts after sprint workouts

8. Hurdlers make good jumpers

9. Hurdlers must “focus” (injury is always lurking)

10. Coaches must watch hurdlers! Do not neglect your power athletes.

11. Early season-no timing- more repeats-late season stop watch time with fewer repeats. Quality!

12. Special tip-when the wind blows (duh…in NM) turn hurdles-run with the wind at their back!

13. 2nd Special tip-Jump rope every day-fast-and your kids will get better.

Hurdlers are made by hard work and repeats. Do drills 3-4 days a week. Modify and adjust each and every day. Watch your hurdlers and give them a break when they need it. Individualize as they are all different. I like to do 100 hurdles on Tuesday and 300 Hurdles on Thursday. On Friday-we do a bit of both .


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We are the NMTCCCA !!!

Begun in 1987 by a small group of visionaries with the goal of a NM Meet of Champions, as well as developing better communication and unification between all track and cross country coaches, the New Mexico Track and Cross Country Coaches Association was born and has grown to what you see today. Our association has and must continue to be the guiding force for positive change and the protection of all aspects of New Mexico Track and Cross Country that we believe important to our athletes and our coaches. Changes are a part of life. We are our best "Advocates" for helping to direct that change in a positive and constructive way. We must continue to "Educate" our membership and give them the best tools for success. And, as a professional organization, we must "Celebrate" those successes, those stories, those special moments and actions that make our sports such wonderful tools in helping to mold the youth of New Mexico. We ARE the NMTCCCA !!!