Michael Poulton (Athletics
Australia National Coaching Manager), approached me to review the
DVD that has been produced by Athletics Australia and I am honoured
to do so.
Roy Boyd has been coaching hurdles for 50 years. He was approached by Athletics Australia to ‘share his knowledge’ about hurdling with the Australian track and field fraternity. In those 50 years Roy has coached seven Commonwealth Games athletes and four Olympians. His most successful athlete has been Kyle Vander Kuyp – finalist at both the 1995 world championships and the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and national record-holder in the 110m hurdles with a time of 13.29. Fifteen years on, this mark remains unchallenged.
There is no more respected coach in Australia than Roy Boyd. He is a man of seamless modesty and integrity. Devoid of ego, Roy is driven by a moral and ethical code imbued with common sense and decency that inspires. When Roy speaks people listen respectfully. There is no interjection. This superb DVD will be Roy’s enduring legacy. It is a beauty!
On starting the DVD, you are confronted with a list of the 10 segments or chapters in the main menu. The contents in each of the 10 is listed below:
An interview with Kyle Vander Kuyp and a simple, purposeful address by Roy.
Single male model demonstrating components of the high hurdles.
There are four: continuous, passive, dynamic and competition.
4. Static Hurdle Drills
Four for lead and trail leg functions.
5. Close Hurdle Drills
Subset of 11, including lead leg pick-up, alternate leg stepping with skip.
6. Hurdle Flexibility
Single entry of seven minutes with Roy narrating and testing young athletes in hurdle positions. One good model to observe and poor model for comparison.
7. Sprint Hurdles
This is the aorta! Twelve options here including ideal hurdling characteristics, speed, from the start to the first hurdle, speed endurance. A great segment!
8. Intermediate Hurdles
Ten aspects listed including spatial awareness and stride pattern change-down.
The DVD offers five each with a specific intent including power, continuous conditioning and upper body weight exercises.
10. Other Documents
Hurdle specifications, touch-down times, practical coaching points. Athlete and coach responsibilities.
Hurdles with Roy Boyd is a class production.
Junior and developing athletes have been deliberately chosen to demonstrate the entire gamut of hurdling. They are obviously members of Roy’s squad. Therefore, they demonstrate drills, technique and procedures fluently. Roy is either the voiceover, or he is on screen for the duration, and what a handsome beast he is after surviving the Victorian sun and winter chill for half a century! Watch for him on 60 Minutes.
The forte of this DVD is pace. Roy’s background is engineering - but he should have been a teacher. Given the technical load he had to deal with in analysing high and intermediate hurdling, he is masterful in relaying analytical detail. Single instructive sentences, pausing, multi-angled filming, freeze framing, repetition of image and labelling all make absorption easy. The camera work is outstanding. It is polished and professional.
It is uncertain how long this DVD is. The 10 segments listed above all branch out into specific technical/training aspects of variable length. After clicking on 'warm-ups', a choice of four appeared. I clicked again on ‘continuous warm-up’. Roy presents a program of 32 exercises! I am uncertain whether the intention is to complete all of them per session or to choose from within. Next, I viewed ‘dynamic warm-up.’ This time the viewer has a regimen of 17 exercises to peruse. The 'competition warm-up' presents a two-part plan which total 25 minutes of activities to prepare the athlete for competition.
I cite the specific example of warm-ups to indicate the thoroughness, the comprehensiveness of this DVD. There is nothing in the marketplace to match it!
The final feature is the supplementary PDFs that accompany each and every chapter listed in the main menu. These contain invaluable notes that can be printed separately and collated.
Athletics Australia must be congratulated on this venture. It was a master-stroke to choose Roy Boyd to compile it. It has taken Roy 50 years to reach his standard of excellence. He knows what works and what doesn’t. Every hurdles coach must have a copy of Hurdles with Roy Boyd.
Produced: ATHLETICS AUSTRALIA & LynchPin Media
Price: $19.95 plus postage and handling
Available: Athletics Australia - see the online store
Reviewed by: Mr Peter Lawler, Level 5 Coach – Throws, National Event Consultant (Throws) – ATFCA
For an online preview or to order your copy today, click here.
Subscribe to our newsletters to keep up to date with Athletics in Australia.