'Feed the Cats' : A Complete Hurdles Training Program
with Alec Holler,
Edwardsville High School (IL) Hurdles Coach (Track & Field) and Defensive Backs Coach (Football);
has coached 13 state qualifiers, nine All-State athletes, three state champions, and one state record holder in the hurdle events; son of 'Feed the Cats' guru, Tony Holler
The 'Feed the Cats' sprint training philosophy has been spreading like wildfire throughout the country. What many people don't know is it is applicable to, and can be utilized for, the hurdles as well.
In this video, Edwardsville High School hurdles coach Alec Holler, son of 'Feed the Cats' guru Tony Holler, presents his strategies and methodology for transitioning 'Feed the Cats' training specific to the hurdles.
'Feed the Cats' Hurdle Priorities
Coach Holler breaks down his priorities for the hurdles with an emphasis on speed above endurance, speed above technique, health above endurance, and full speed reps above drills. Hurdling can be brutal to the athlete and "happy and fast" will always produce better outcomes than "tired and injured."
Holler dissects his five rules of hurdling that promote the 'Feed the Cats' themes to producer faster, more confident hurdling. The "2 Hurdle" rule allows for diagnosis and correction of undesired effects while also identifying "upstream" causes; for example, if a hurdler is struggling in finishing a race (Hurdle 7-10), the cause (poor takeoff for example) can be fixed on hurdle 1 and 2, thus leading to the ability to train full speed and in a manner that promotes health over fatigue.
Coach Holler's 'Feed the Cats' hurdle approach is discussed for both the sprint hurdles and longer hurdle events (300/400 meter hurdles). The philosophy doesn't change - Holler always bases the development on speed, health and happiness to get success to follow.
Cues + Coaching Points
Next, Coach Holler diagnoses his cues and coaching points using a simple checklist that can be easily identified, but not obsessed over, by the hurdler. His checklists are broken down into the:
- Start and Approach
- Cut Step
- Lead Leg
- Trail Leg
Holler identifies 3-4 cues to coach up in each of these technical areas that can be taught over the first two hurdles. Of them all, Coach Holler identifies the cut step as the most critical component and provides detailed video and picture analysis of what it should look like.
Lastly, programming and scheduling is provided to give you the ability to adapt your current hurdle program to the 'Feed the Cats' philosophy. Multiple scheduling aspects are included so you can make the necessary modifications to your current programming to fit your team's need to develop faster hurdlers.
The information provided in this video from Coach Holler can help you maximize your hurdlers' potential and drastically reduce their times this upcoming season. Don't wait any longer to start 'feeding the cats'!
61 minutes. 2020.
Buy at Championship Productions
The Best of Championship Productions - Track & Field: 75+ Hurdles Drills
- Ken Harnden - University of Tennessee Assistant Coach
- Kim Carson - former NCAA Hurdle Champion (LSU); Roosevelt HS (IA) Head Girl's Track Coach
- Lawrence Johnson - Cal State University Northridge Assistant Coach
- Gary Winckler - University of Illinois Women's Coach
- Vince Anderson - Texas A&M University Assistant Coach
- Andrew Blanks - Westbury High School (TX) Head Coach
- Nat Page - Georgia Tech Hurdles Coach
- Joey Woody - Director of Track & Field/Cross Country at the University of Iowa
- George Williams - 2004 USA Olympic Head Coach
Championship Productions presents a collection of the best drills designed specifically for hurdlers. This video features numerous exercises taught by some of the best coaches in the country that are certain to boost the performance of your athletes in every event involving the hurdles.
Begin with a variety of dynamic warm up drills that are designed to help hurdlers prepare for highly demanding sessions on the track. Lawrence Johnson shows his 800 meter dynamic warm up series, consisting of skips, jogging, and strides that are designed to help hurdlers and sprinters prepare for high speed work. Also in this segment, coaches Nat Page, Andrew Blanks, and Kim Carson take you through a variety of hurdle specific static and moving stretches, designed to help improve flexibility and range of motion in athletes.
Hurdle Mobility Progressions
Coaches Gary Winckler, Ken Harden, and Joey Woody lead athletes through a variety of hurdle mobility drills, including Coach Winckler's resisted trail leg and arm drill. In this exercise, an athlete executes a standing trail leg drill with a resistance band around their foot and arm to increase difficulty, which works on mobility and coordination. Additionally, Coach Woody takes athletes through a variety of hurdle walkover drills to improve balance, coordination, and technical skill rehearsal.
Advanced Hurdle Movement
In this segment, Coach Carson begins to put all of the skills from earlier in the video together. She uses a variety of one and three step drills to help athletes improve their technique both over the hurdle and attacking the ground in between. Carson breaks down each drill in detail, while also pointing out common errors that athletes make in the event, along with ways to identify and correct them within the drill.
In addition to the segments listed above, Coach Johnson's segment on improving starting technique provides some great drills, such as the medicine ball start drill in which athletes jump into a throw, falling onto a high jump mat in order to teach ballistic force production. This drill is a great way to teach athletes to push against the ground and produce large amounts of force.
Packed with nearly two hours of drills and instruction, this video is a great addition to any hurdle coach's library. The overlapping segments, featuring a variety of top flight coaches, will enable you to gain different perspectives on drills that will further increase your understanding of the nuances of the event.
110 minutes. 2019.
Buy at Championship Productions
Hurdles: Training & Technical Phase-Based Approach to Seasonal Planning
with Richie Mercado,
St. John's High School (TX) Head Track & Field Coach;
34 years of coaching experience;
USATF Level 2 Coach in Jumps and Combined Events;
Jr. Coordinator for the USA Heptathlon; Head Coach for Team USA Heptathlon in the 2008 Thorpe Cup USA-Germany dual;
has coached several SPC state championships for Girl's Track & Field, Boy's Cross Country, and won 2 of last 3 in Boy's Track & Field.
Numerous SPC champions in sprints, jumps, hurdles; coached the USATF Junior Champion runner-up and Pan Am Junior Champion silver medalist in decathlon.
Hurdling is an activity that is speed- and power-based. The athlete must be aggressive, competitive and willing to trust in a training system. A successful hurdler must learn to adapt to training requirements and also needs to possess mental toughness.
In this video, Richie Mercado aims to provide coaches with a complete training system to plan, organize and develop athletically-competent short and long hurdlers. He's created a blueprint covering the technical aspects, profile, training philosophy and training science proven to mold average athletes into above-average hurdlers.
Mechanics and Patterning
Coaches must learn how to enhance their hurdlers through training to develop better speed, power, coordination, patience and rhythm. Hurdlers who can three-step will always outperform athletes who take more than three steps between hurdles. Coach Mercado's system teaches how to get hurdlers to eliminate faulty mechanics and establish proper neuromuscular patterning for improved speed, power, body control and angles to consistently run faster times for both short & long hurdles.
Training Philosophy for Hurdlers
Coach Mercado shows how to combine all of the different training components to make a complete program specific to hurdlers. You'll see how to factor the following segments into your overall hurdling program:
- Weight room training
- Biomotor elements
- Mental toughness and adaptability
- Speed and coordination
As a coach, the ability to troubleshoot mechanics and analyze, test and establish key performance indicators goes a long way toward helping hurdlers reach their potential. Troubleshooting requires specialized knowledge to encourage proper patterning, speed mechanics for attacking the hurdle, hip usage through the hurdle, and foot placement following the hurdle. Coach Mercado outlines all of his hurdling knowledge to help you be confident in your abilities as a coach.
This video will help you learn the training and planning secrets for the short and long hurdles used by a successful high school coach. Richie Mercado explains how he creates great hurdlers season after season. This is a must-have for any hurdles coach looking for that "championship edge!"
174 minutes. 2018.
Buy at Championship Productions
Terrence Trammell: Teaching and Coaching the Hurdles
with Terrence Trammell,
Pace Academy (GA) Associate Head Coach;
3x Olympian & 2x Olympic Silver Medalist (110 M High Hurdles);
3x World Silver Medalist;
6x NCAA Champion (University of South Carolina)
Get a step-by-step plan for hurdler development and necessary skills for successful hurdling at a multitude of levels!
Three-time U.S. Olympian Terrence Trammell provides you with the drills and focus needed for success. He demonstrates everything from a proper supplemental warm-up prior to hurdling, essential drills for hurdle clearance, and a race model that allows for competitive completion of the hurdle race.
Trammell uses a series of 16 foundational drills that mimic the hurdle action to develop athletes. These drills focus on the key elements of hurdling: hip mobility, posture, and positioning. The purpose of these drills is to teach athletes how to keep speed, coordination, explosiveness, and rhythm working together.
All drills and techniques provided fall back to the centralized component that leads to hurdle success at meets. Hurdlers will learn to nail the mechanics in practice, giving them one less thing to worry about on meet day.
Running Mechanics Drills for Hurdlers
In this segment, eight specific drills are utilized to stress the essential components of creating a high center of gravity with the hips and keeping the shoulders square to maintain balance. Each of the drills maintains this focus and allows for more efficiency in sprint mechanics to allow hurdlers to travel faster between the hurdlers.
The "High Skip Drill" provided is a multi-faceted drill that fosters proper mechanics as well as strength building through its plyometric nature. This drill is an excellent way for athletes that are too young to lift weight to develop ballistic strength and power by using their own body weight.
Coach Trammell incorporates seven specific drills that focus on hurdle technique. The drills progress from mobility-based exercises, that focus on hip position and square shoulders, to hurdle clearance. Each repetition is concluded by having the athlete run off the last hurdle to simulate race conditions.
Utilization of these drills in the sequence provided will help develop hurdlers that maintain the high center of gravity with hips and square shoulders needed to sprint through the hurdles, as opposed to jumping over the hurdles.
110 High Hurdle Race Model
Every aspect of the race is covered, from block setup to race completion. Coach Trammell breaks down the race into the four component parts and provides the hurdler with the essentials for successful race completion:
- Blocks to hurdle #1
- Hurdle #1-#3
- Hurdle #4-#7
- Hurdle #8-Finish line
Get all the necessary skills, drills, and modeling needed to successfully navigate the high hurdles. With emphasis on body placement, sprint mechanics, hurdle form and rehearsal, Coach Trammell sets up the athlete for success in competition!
28 minutes. 2018.
Buy at Championship Productions
Hurdling with Speed and Rhythm
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 provide a base that coaches can utilize to develop hurdlers at all levels.
"After viewing this video, the next day at voluntary off-season workouts I was able to implement the numerous drills of the "Whole-Part" concept as described by Coach Huber for a four- year male high school varsity hurdler and an incoming freshman female hurdler with minimal experience. Both athletes during the workouts expressed a better understanding of the hurdle process through using the "whole-part" concept and the drills and progressions provided by Coach Huber in the Speed Hurdling video." - Customer Review
44 minutes. 2017.
Buy at Championship Productions