Team Steve Sprint & Hurdle Camp

August 6, 2017

As some of you already know, I will be conducting the Team Steve Sprint & Hurdle Camp for athletes of all ages on November 11-12 of this year at the JDL Fast Track indoor facility in Winston Salem, NC.

I am very excited to be conducting this camp, as it will provide me with an opportunity to teach to a large group the style of hurdling that I have taught to individual hurdlers that I have coached over the past 23 years.

I am excited to have the camp in November because that will give athletes and coaches who attend the camp the time they need to incorporate the lessons they learn into their training sessions well ahead of the peak phase of the outdoor season.

I am excited to have the camp at the JDL Fast Track because weather will not be an issue, the track features a fast mondo surface, and we will have access to all the equipment we need (hurdles and starting blocks) for a large camp. Also, we will have enough space to spread things out and keep things moving so that athletes aren’t spending a lot of time waiting and watching other athletes.

My full-time employment is that of an English teacher at the high school level, and I take a teacher’s approach to coaching sprinters and hurdlers. The Team Steve Camp, therefore, will be a teaching camp. Athletes will learn how to sprint and hurdler efficiently, without a lot of extra wasted movements. With hurdling in particular, I emphasize the importance of being fluid, rhythmic, and balanced. I’ve noticed over the years that a lot of hurdlers put a lot of wasted effort into getting over each hurdle, causing fatigue and breakdowns at various points in the race. I teach the importance of minimizing (and ultimately eliminating) extra efforts that put strain on the muscles and lead to increased airtime, loss of balance, and loss of forward momentum. I teach that the lead leg and trail leg must harmonize with each other. The lead arm and trail arm must harmonize with each other. The lead arm must harmonize with the lead leg. The lead arm must harmonize with the trail leg. Athletes must run tall on the balls of their feet, maintaining forward momentum heading into each hurdle and coming off each hurdle. When the limbs are in sync with each other and the sprint mechanics between the hurdles are on point, then hurdling will feel “easy,” and the hurdler can just focus on being fast.

To ingrain a fluidity of motion, and to inculcate an understanding of how the limbs relate to each other when attacking a hurdle, the athletes at the Team Steve Camp will be doing lots and lots of drills, especially on the first day. Most of the drills can be found on MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL. On the second day of the camp, we will look to speed things up and apply the lessons of the drills to attacking the hurdles at full speed, out of starting blocks. It is important to first learn new concepts at slower speeds and lower heights before speeding things up and raising the hurdles to race height. By the end of day two, campers should me more tired mentally than physically. We will be feeding them a lot of instruction in a very short amount of time.

While we are hoping to have a large number of attendees at the camp (our max will be 50), we will undoubtedly have the capacity to provide athletes with one-on-one attention as needed. Joining me will be East Carolina University graduate Hector Cotto, who ran in two Olympic Games for Puerto Rico and boasts a personal best of 13.49 in the 110m hurdles. Cotto currently coaches several athletes at the youth, high school, and professional levels, and he is the webmaster of www.sprinthurdles.com, an excellent resource for sprint hurdlers of all ages. Also with me will be Jenna Pepe, the sprint coach at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. I coached both Cotto and Pepe (Cotto for one year during his professional career and Pepe during her high school years), so we all share similar philosophies and we all emphasize the importance of teaching, teaching, teaching. Also, Coach Kevin Howell, who has coached many outstanding sprinters over the years and with whom I have worked in tandem in the past, will be helping with sprint mechanics and block start mechanics. In addition to that core group, I have already rounded up three former athletes who will be coming to assist in the teaching, in demonstrating the proper way to execute the various drills, and in providing one-on-one instruction to campers. We are hoping to gather more former athletes. Plus, some of my current athletes will be attending the camp as campers, so they too will be able to demonstrate drills to younger campers.

Please note that this camp is for sprinters and hurdlers of all ages. We were originally planning to limit the camp to just youth and high school athletes, but we have received some feedback from older athletes expressing the desire to attend, so we have opened it up. So, come one come all! And as I made clear in the previous paragraph, we will have enough staff members to handle hurdlers of all ages, experience levels, and ability levels.

For this camp, since we will be indoors, the emphasis will be on the sprint hurdles (55mh/60mh/80mh/100mh/110mh), but we will also have sessions for learning to alternate lead legs and  hurdling on the curve for the 200m, 300m, and 400m hurdlers. Also, mastering the drills and learning efficient mechanics will be beneficial to hurdlers in all hurdling events.

Let me end by stating, unequivocally, that if you come to the camp, you will not regret it, even if you have to travel from very far to get here. You will leave feeling like you know what your flaws are, that you know what to do to correct them, and that you have valid, concrete reasons to believe that you can drop a significant amount of time from your current personal best.

We have plenty of spots left, but they’re filling up quickly, so REGISTER NOW!

Here is a link to hotels in the area for those who will be traveling from out of town.

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