Updated: Apr 29, 2020
Watching an experienced hurdler looks like poetry in motion. The athlete sprints at high speed and narrowly clears the barrier without any loss of balance. It's like a ballerina moving gracefully across a stage. It's beautiful to say the least. Hurdle are beautiful but, if you only think in the context of beauty you miss the most important component of hurdles. You need to be FAST!!!
Too often coaches focus on the aesthetics of hurdling and by pass the concept the athlete seeing them only see barriers coming at them, like lines on a highway coming at you. Training hurdles are about one thing and one thing only getting to the line first. If you neglect the concept that it's a race and athletes first need to be fast over and between the hurdles. You've already missed an integral part of training fast hurdlers.
How to think about coaching hurdles:
1) Talent identification is key, better athletes make better hurdlers
2)Speed is king no matter how technical you are, its always going to be limited by how fast you are. This is true for men and women hurdlers. More women than men due to height*
3) Rhythm is king, sprint your hurdles, drilling is fine but, theirs no medals for being a drill specialist.
4) Prepare for hurdling like a hurdler, not a distance runner. Hill sprints, Medicine ball work, jump circuits, and strength work will do the trick.