TestimonialsAlthough the redesigned hurdlesfirst.com has only been here for a short time, countless people know Steve McGill for his previous website and coaching. Here are just a few testimonials to the ability and expertise of Steve McGill.
I was blessed to have been very athletic and enjoyed participating in sports while growing up. I learned at a young age that the harder I work at something the better I become.
When I entered high school I was a completive cheerleader and an elite soccer player. I had my mind set on playing soccer in college. Then my sophomore year I did the same two sports except I was asked to run in a couple of track meets that spring. However, my high school had tons of sprinters, but not a lot of hurdlers. Since I was able to get over a hurdle without falling and run to the next one, the 300 hurdles became my event. That season I won second place at the state championshops in the 300 hurdles.
After I did so well that season, I decided to put all of my focus into track. I dropped all of the rest of the other sports I previously participated in. My sister started to look around for different coaches that I could work with, and she finally found Coach McGill’s hurdle website. After I went to the first practice, his excitement and dedication to making me better took me by surprise. He was a great coach who helped me to become the athlete I am today. He became more than just a coach to me; he was more of a father figure. He cared about me as a person, not just me as an athlete, and that is what I admired the most.
The knowledge he has about this sport is unbelievable. He studied the sport from his own experiences and also studied other athletes and coaches to increase his abilities. Not only did he make me successful, but he also had other athletes that he developed. He used to always tell me that everyone has their own story and background, and after seeing how I developed over time on and off the track, it all makes sense, and I now have a better understanding through my own experience. Another thing that I admired about his coaching was the way he explained hurdle technique and did everything in his power to help me understand it in ways that were easier for me. He had different teaching strategies for everyone, according to their abilities to learn.
After training with him my last two years in high school, I was very successful and moved on to compete collegiately at the Division 1 level. Even now, I still train with him on holidays and every other chance I get. He is the one person I can always count on for advice when needed. He is one coach that I look up to and whom I truly care about as a person. I wish him the best of luck with The Hurdle Magazine and also with his website. You deserve it.
-Keni Harrison, 2013 NCAA finalist in the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles
Kevin L. Howell
We made the decision during my daughter Jacklyn’s sophomore year in high school to become a hurdler. As a father and a sprinter coach, I had never trained, nor had the experience at the time to help Jacklyn with the mechanics of hurdling. So I talked to a friend who mentioned a good coach named Steve McGill. I took Jacklyn to train with him after trying other hurdle coaches. Instantly we both knew he was the one to teach her hurdles, but we still did not know that he was a legend as a hurdle coach. His spirit was so humble, but his hurdle knowledge was so advanced that it took me off guard. Most of the coaches whom I have come across with this kind of coaching ability and with a huge track record of producing very successful athletes have BIG egos and are very arrogant, and it is more about them as a coach than the athlete, but not coach McGill. His teaching method has taken Jacklyn from the point of - this is a hurdle, to placing third in the USATF National Junior Olympics. Jacklyn’s goal in her senior year, with Coach McGill’s help, is to break the high school national record by year end. Jacklyn is being heavily recruited by the top athletic programs in the nation. Thank you Coach Steve McGill!!!!!
Kevin L. Howell, Sr., President
STERLING Bookkeeping, Payroll and Tax Services
In support of HurdlesFirst.com, I would like to say, this site has been a valuable resource for me. When I started coaching hurdlers, my knowledge was minimal. Through Steve McGill’ss writing, and his vast depth of understanding of the subject matter, not only did I have a source for drills and methodology, but I found his pure passion for the “Art of Hurdling” infectious. I always find his analysis of technique thought-provoking and beneficial. His writing is masterful and informative. His knowledge of the “Hurdling Greats” and the way he brings them to you on the site gives you an appreciation that you will not find anywhere else. I will always refer to this site, and recommend it to anyone who Coaches the Hurdles, Runs the Hurdles, or is simply a fan of the Discipline. This site has been instrumental in our development of some of the best young hurdlers in the USA.
Blane Williams, Head Coach
The Heat Track Club
Training with Coach Steve McGill, I really came into my own as a track athlete. I grew so much under his coaching. I won many races and earned a scholarship to Wake Forest University because I gained three things. I gained the knowledge of how to hurdle effectively. I gained the sprinting and hurdling skills necessary for fitness, which helped me to compete at a high level. Most importantly, Coach McGill helped me find a love and a passion not just for hurdling, but for track and field in general. The passion I found for the sport under McGill helped me endure through tough workouts, helped me to want to be the best, and helped me get to where I am today.
Malcolm Nunley, Wake Forest University class of 2014
I finished my sophomore year of high school with PRs of 15.78 in the 110m hurdles and 41.56 in the 300m hurdles. I was hoping to improve my hurdle times, so I contacted Coach McGill in the fall of my junior year. At our first practice, he didn't put me over a single hurdle for two hours; he said, "You have to learn how to run before you can learn how to hurdle." Though our first practice was unconventional, I trusted Coach McGill. That year, he taught me how to lead with the knee, drive the trail knee forward, and to keep running over the hurdles. I finished the year with PRs of 14.92 and 40.13. In the fall of Senior year, McGill and I switched gears, choosing to de-emphasize the high hurdles and focus primarily on the intermediate hurdles. We still relied on the basics from the previous year, and he also improved my speed endurance and taught me how to lead with either leg. Perhaps most importantly, he helped me strategically plan my races and run them with excellent rhythm and timing. I finished the year with a PR of 38.94, and now run the 400m hurdles for a Division I program. I never could have achieved this dream without Coach McGill. He is an excellent coach with an impressive breadth of hurdling knowledge, and he truly loves the sport.
-Jordan Myers, Princeton University class of 2016
David Coe – Hampden-Sydney College class of 2014
As an athlete there is always a methodology to how you approach your sport. One sport in particular, which had a lasting life message to me, was the 110 high hurdles. Coach McGill was very insistent in comparing the subtleties and nuances of the sport to the obstacles we face in life and how we approach and attack them. "Over, back on the ground… over, back on the ground." This quote still rings in my head when I take on challenges outside of sports. McGill told me that the ability to attack a hurdle and land with just as much momentum as you had upon approach goes beyond hurdles, because in life the issues and obstacle that can arise must not hinder your path. Before I met McGill I was a kid in middle school full of energy and little focus, but thanks to McGill I gained a focus and determination, which I still use today as I pursue a career in medical school.
Thank You and God Bless
Sincerely, David Coe
Minority Student Union President
Hampden-Sydney College class of 2014
My hurdling journey started in 2001. At that time Coach McGill was one of two hurdling coaches for the Junior Striders Track Club in Raleigh, NC. On those hot summer days at the Paul Derr track at NC State University, a younger Coach McGill was very capable of demonstrating hurdle technique and joining in on hurdle drills. Although he is no longer physically able to cross the barriers, his hurdle knowledge and expertise continually helps young athletes reach new heights. McGill's approach to coaching hurdles is unlike any track and field coach you will ever come across. For example, in his article, “Talk Yourself Through” he says, "The way I see it, my role as a coach is to instruct you when you need instruction, to guide you when you need guidance, to push you when you need to be pushed, and to be quiet when you need me to be quiet" (“Talk Yourself Through” 2013). His goal as a coach is to develop hurdlers into being the best hurdler they can be and to guide them to reach their full potential. I can attest to this fact. My senior year of high school I decided to take hurdling seriously and compete with the goal of earning a track scholarship. With the help of Coach McGill I surprised those close to me and myself with how quickly my technique and times improved. I accomplished my goal of earning a track scholarship (Virginia Tech) and although I no longer trained with Coach McGill he continued to assist me via his articles and workouts on hurdlesfirst.com. Now at the age of 23, after 2 years of no track competitions, I am working on a comeback. With the help of Coach McGill I can only imagine what lies ahead for me. I am very thankful that I had McGill as my coach in the past and I look forward to working with him on my future hurdle development. I fully support his new business endeavor and see it as a great opportunity for other hurdlers to have access to the knowledge and expertise of Steve McGill.
Last year my son needed some detailed coaching assistance to shift from an 8-step start to a 7-step. He is a 6’7” division I hurdler without a hurdle coach. As he became stronger, he got too close to the first hurdle, creating multiple issues that could not be corrected easily without this change. I searched for a coach with the same hurdling philosophy as my son before we contacted coach McGill. We spent a couple of sessions shifting to the 7-step approach, using some basic instructions from Coach McGill through internet conversations. Then we traveled to North Carolina to work with him. In one session he was able to analyze in great detail several key modifications to his approach and hurdling style to allow him to make this transition. During the following season, we kept in touch with Coach McGill, and he analyzed videos of my son’s races and workouts to continue to improve his form and efficiency. We made one additional visit prior to the indoor conference championship to make final adjustments. Throughout this entire period Coach McGill gave positive, detailed analysis and corrections which had immediate impact. We will continue to utilize his insights and understanding of the nuances of hurdling for future competition.
Ron Rippon, Lake Orion, Michigan