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High Hurdles
World Class Track & Field Series

There is none better than Renaldo Nehemiah and Coach Jean Poquette to share their insights into the high hurdle event. This 36 minute video tape covers the scope of the event including: eight components of technique, the start to the first hurdle, drills, flexibility, strength, weights (over a dozen lifts), and speed. As Coach Poquette is talking you will see Nehemiah demonstrating each method. The camera shots are isolated, often from the side and front, and most in slow motion to make it easy to pinpoint the element being described. Three qualities are noted for athletes seeking success in the high hurdle event: Technique, strength, and speed.

There are numerous elements that you will not find in any other hurdle video. For example, examining the lead foot rotation to obtain the best angle (thereby reducing the center of gravity over the hurdle), explanations of back and forth drills, and the use of jamming for speed development. It is also recommended that speed work not consume a large amount of time at the high school level since there is a high frequency of competitions. This is a one tape that cannot be recommended too highly and if there is only one hurdle tape on your coaching shelf, this should be it. Both coach and athlete alike will want to study this presentation again and again to get maximum benefit.

The four major components of technique:
  • Lead Leg: The lead leg is the most important element in the mechanics of hurdling... The knee of the lead leg should drive towards the hurdle with the foot trailing behind the knee. The foot of the lead leg should not get ahead of the knee until the knee drives up higher than the hurdle and the foot now prepares to the action over the hurdle.
  • Trail Leg: The motion of the trail leg is a rotational motion with the knee leading the action until the leg comes completely up around in front of the runner... The foot of the trail leg remains below the knee throughout the motion. The knee of the trail leg comes close to the armpit area as it rises to clear the hurdle and then rotates into the first step.
  • Lead Arm: The purpose of the lead arm is to assist in the forward drive into the hurdle and to maintain balance. The lead arm extends towards the hurdle at the same time as the lead leg... The elbow of the lead arm should initiate the backward pull of the lead arm.
  • Trail Arm: While the lead leg is driving up and forward, the trail arm is drawn back with the elbow initiating the action. The trail arm remains at an angle of approximately ninety degrees and the hand of the trail arm comes back to the trunk of the body... If the trail arm is drawn back during the lead leg action it can then be used to punch forward and provide upper body thrust as the trail leg drives through.
Rehaldo Nehemiah is the only high school athlete to break 13 seconds in the high hurdles. After two years at the University of Maryland he left to sign a contract with the Puma. This was followed by three world records between 1979 and 1981, and also being the first man to break 13 seconds (best of 12.93) over the 42 inch barriers. Nehemiah turned his attention to football with the San Francisco 49ers for a short period (earning a Super Bowl ring) and was later reinstated as an amateur in 1986 when he returned to hurdling. He was far from over with his specialty event as his best time in 1991, when this video was completed, was 13.19. Get your copy directly from the producer at Championship Productions.com where you can also view a Sample Clip.