How to Put Your Best Foot Forward in Hurdles

Stop Young Athletes Stuttering to the First Hurdle

Young athletes need to be able to run fast, aggressively and unhesitatingly to and over the first hurdle in a race.

However, many young athletes slow down, hesitate and stutter, trying to avoid being “wrong-footed”. Or they clear the hurdle awkwardly with their non-preferred leg, often landing off balance or even hitting the hurdle. This then affects their ability to get to the second hurdle. Not a great start!

I have heard of young athletes struggling with this issue for years and trying multiple solutions – bigger strides, smaller strides, faster strides; BUT there is one amazingly quick and simple solution that works practically every time:

Switch the foot they have forward at the start.

It makes sense – if an athlete is continuously “wrong-footed'” to the first hurdle, having them swap feet when at the start should fix this immediately; and yes it does!

The result can be stunning. Suddenly an athlete who has lacked confidence in getting to the first hurdle runs to and clears the hurdle without hesitation.

Some athletes may feel a bit awkward at first when trying to start with their other foot forward, but they will soon be sold on the idea when they realize the result that it has.

Suggesting that an athlete swaps their foot position at the start is one of the quickest, easiest and most reliable solutions to a problem that you will come across as an athletics coach.

NOTE: I am a big believer in teaching young athletes to be able to lead over a hurdle comfortably with either leg. However, many athletes can’t do this or will always maintain a preferred lead leg.

Let me know if this works for you!

I would love to hear if you have success using this very simple tip.Let me know by leaving a comment/reply or by using the contact details below.

Further reading

Articles:

How to Teach Young Athletes to Hurdle

Should Young Hurdlers Always Lead With the Same Leg?

10 of the Biggest Mistakes Young Athletes Make in the Hurdles

Books:

Sports Coaching Books on Booktopia

Track & Field Books on Booktopia

Track & Field Books on Amazon

100 Best Selling Track & Field Books on Amazon

Top 100 Best Selling Children’s Sports Coaching Books on Amazon

There are links on this page from which Coaching Young Athletes can earn a small commission. This adds no cost to you but helps to keep this blog sustainable. I really appreciate if you do purchase through my links. Thanks for your support. Darren

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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Darren Wensor is a sports development professional, coach educator, specialist coach of young athletes and founder of the blog coachingyoungathletes.com. Learn more about him here and connect with him on TwitterFacebookLinkedin, Instagram, Anchor or via email.

Subscribe for FREE to the Coaching Young Athletes monthly newsletter HERE.

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