If you can help your hurdlers get their steps right you will improve their confidence, speed and ultimately their results. This cut step drill is designed to help the athlete take a cut step and push into the hurdle and create momentum.
In the clip below, courtesy of Complete Track and Field, Coach Marc Mangiacotti from Harvard University demonstrates a cut step drill. Coach Mangiacotti has put together a complete training program that includes drills and progressions. For more information about that program click the link Marc Mangiacotti Hurdle Rhythm:Drills and Progressions
As a hurdler runs at a hurdle, his/her strides get bigger and their knees are higher. When the hurdler gets to the hurdle, the athlete must get “smaller”. Coach Mangiacotti explains that in order to push at the hurdle and gain momentum, the athlete must use a cut step and push quickly into the hurdle.
The coaching cue that he utilizes is to step over the ankle on the last step and the push .This will change the cadence of the steps. The last two steps occur with a shorter time interval between them than the previous steps. Cutting down the last step before the hurdle gives the hurdler more distance from the hurdle so that the athlete can push properly into the hurdle with their take off leg.
Coach also states the athlete should feel their foot (on the take off leg) behind them. Their ankle, knee, hip and shoulder should be in a straight diagonal line (But not angled too much)
In this cut step drill the athletes march towards the hurdle placed against a wall and then on their last they step over the ankle quickly and push their lead leg over the hurdle and into the wall. He stresses that athletes should place a marker in front of the hurdle where they want to take off from. This is also a good time to check the position of each hand over the hurdle. Coach uses the phrase “check the watch and wallet”.
The purpose of the drill is to help the athletes learn to cut and push to hurdle. It the get their hands “watch and wallet” they will remain square and will be able to run off the hurdle.
The YouTube video below as audio, so please make sure that your sound is turned on and that you have access to the site. Some schools block access to YouTube.