Being a hurdler
23rd March 2014
Jeshua Anderson put himself on the US track and field map with various titles in the 400m hurdles during his time at Washington State.
His journey into the sport was influenced by his uncle, as he made a transition from football to track during his youth.
“My uncle got me into the sport, I played football in high school and my football coach made us do track,” explained Jeshua.
“I didn’t know what event I should do and my uncle said ‘you should do hurdles’. He ran the 400m at USC and was a pretty good 300m hurdler at high school running just over 37 seconds in the 300m hurdles.”
“He did pretty good and I guess that’s what got me into the event. I worked a little bit harder every year during my tenure in high school and I was getting a little bit better. Everything clicked at the end of my junior year.”
Anderson, who still harbours football ambitions, remembers two key moments when he felt his hurdle career started to fall into place.
“I guess when I began to think I could be a really competitive hurdler was at high school. I dropped from 40 seconds flat to 36.7 at the end of my junior year. Another highlight for me was breaking 48 seconds winning the USA Nationals, I hadn’t got a new PR for a while. So that one sticks out for me.”
His achievements list a host of Pac-10 and college triumphs including an impressive three NCAA titles in four years. He reflected on one particular race at Drake Stadium, Des Moines, when he won his third of those titles running 48.56 seconds, despite his preparation being hampered by a 60-minute delay due to lightening.
“The third NCAA win was big for me. I am probably really hard on myself as I wanted to run a lot faster in that meet. It definitely meant a lot to me though and was an indication that my hard work was beginning to pay off.”
He uses those past achievements to drive him forward and is currently training hard to prepare for the outdoor season.
“I just keep aiming for higher and higher goals and let those achievements fade. I want to do better and that’s what keeps me driven.”
Jeshua outlined his 3 top tips for hurdlers hoping to improve their technique below.
Three tips for hurdlers
1. Work on your hurdle technique time and time again. The more fluid you are in your movement the more energy you preserve to take the next hurdle.
2. Repetition is important! As with anything the more you do something it will become a routine. Always strive to have the best quality rep every time you step on the track. Repeating that will help with muscle memory. A space where you’ve gone over a hurdle so good every time you don’t have to “think” about it you “just do it.”
3. Your coach should be your best friend. Filming your technique over the hurdle, out of the blocks and in between the hurdle is essential. Breaking down the recording with your coach hearing his take on what mistakes your making is priceless.