Olympic champion shares hurdle experience with WMAA coach
Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association (MITCA) 2020 track and field
clinic was held January 31 st at the Crowne Plaza in Lansing Michigan.
This year’s guest speakers were Olympic gold medalist Gail Devers, Olympic
bronze medalist Larry Myricks and nationally-recognized head track coach of LSU
Gail Devers is a three time Olympic gold medalist, 13 time world indoor and
outdoor champion. The former champion presented two hurdle sessions
emphasizing women’s 100M hurdles.
The first session covered hurdle technique, sprint mechanics, taking the hurdle,
arms and legs. Gail selected coaches from the audience to help demonstrate
correct running posture. WMAA coach Todd Gayan was selected by Gail to
demonstrate correct arm motion. After demonstrating to the audience his poor
arm form Gail was happy to correct Coach Todd’s flaws. The crowd had a good
laugh and embraced Gail’s feedback to share with their athletes.
The second hurdle session covered hurdle drills and race break down, race vision
and crossing the finish line. Gail spoke about the lead and trail legs drill to
improve hurdle efficiency. Her hurdle demonstrations were technically
enlightening for all the coaches.
During lunch break Coach Todd had an opportunity to speak with Gail one on one
about WMAA hurdlers. Coach Todd spent 10 minutes reviewing videos of WMAA
hurdlers with the former champion. Dever’s was gracious and gave Coach Todd
some pointers to improve our athletes hurdling.
Coach Boo Schexnayder has coached 20 NCAA Champions, 11 Olympians and part
of 12 NCAA championship teams and served as a coach for Team USA.
Boo’s presentation focused on training for the 300M hurdle event. His talk
covered improving speed, technical work, improving work capacity and event
specific and rehearsal.
His focus was on two types of workouts for hurdles during the course of the year,
acceleration and tempo. These workouts are broken down into three training
categories, general preparation (early season training), specific preparation (mid-
season training) and peaking (late season training). This training method is used in
conjunction with the touchdown chart. The chart is a tool to develop a hurdlers
time from the start to the first hurdle and every hurdle thereafter. WMAA
Hurdlers have a new training regime to follow this year.
Larry Myricks is a former long jumping champion, NCAA indoor and outdoor
champion, U.S. National champion and bronze medal winner in the 1988 Seoul
Olympics. Mr. Myricks gave 5 long jumping sessions during the clinic.