National lead for Steeplechase, Spencer Duval, delivered a Flying Coach session to coaches from five clubs: Bristol & West AC, Team Bath AC, Taunton AC, Gloucester AC and Mendip AC on Wednesday 12th November 2014. Coaches were invited to bring athletes and 17 athletes with a 9:8 split of female:male athletes were there in force ready to bravely tackle the demands of steeplechasing. The session took place at the Kip Keino track in Filton with thanks to Bristol and West AC who enabled the session to be run alongside one of their club night sessions.
This second session in a series of two focussed on the water jump and Spencer soon had the athletes confidently jostling for position as they approached the obstacle. Inevitably one or two athletes ended up getting a little wetter than they intended, but a lot of fun as well as some valuable learning took place. Coaches and athletes alike had a much better understanding of foot placement, body position on the barrier and in flight, approaching and exiting the water jump by the end of the session. Spencer also imparted lots of ideas on how to quickly build confidence in tackling the water jump.
CCSO Charlotte Fisher said ‘With a new enthusiasm for the event amongst coaches and athletes in the South West and a greater knowledge and confidence in coaching the event we expect to see many more athletes giving this event a go next summer. Spencer’s practical based, no-fuss approach to coaching has really resonated with those who have attended the workshops.’
Bristol & West Development Adviser, Keith Brackstone, is now exploring with England Athletics the possibility of running a monthly steeplechase session alongside the usual weekly endurance session run by the club at the venue.