No less than 125 participants from 18 countries travelled to Falun, Sweden, for the European Horizontal Jumps and Hurdles Symposium from 10-12 November.
The three-day event, part of the European Athletics 2017 Coaching Summit Series, started with a keynote speech from Dr. Wolfgang Ritzdorf whose topic was: "From talent to elite athlete". The main part of this lecture was a report made by Dr. Ritzdorf on behalf of the IAAF where they examined results from the first edition of the World U18 Championships and how the top-eight ranked athletes in each event developed over the next four years.
Andrea Hjelmåker from the Swedish Sports Confederation then gave a highly-regarded lecture on how the Bosöns Folk School has a one-year education programme designed for recently retired elite-level athletes.
One of those who passed through the programme is 2003 world pole vault bronze medallist Patrik Klüft (former Kristiansson). Hjelmåker received a lot of questions, especially from external lecturers, about the programme after his lecture
One of the highlights of the Saturday was a theoretical and practical presentation led by renowned American coach Loren Seagrave before Rüdiger Harksen from Germany gave a theoretical presentation, focusing specifically on the sprint hurdles.
For the horizontal jumps, Jeremy Fisher from the USA delivered two theoretical presentations and one workout.
He went through the basics of using jumps as part of training as well as demonstrating and stressing the differences in stiffness in the tendons of different athletes.
Denmark’s Lars Nielsen then gave a theoretical presentation focusing on how his country formulates training programmes for young athletes designed to facilitate the transition to senior level. At an elite level, Lars showed that Danish athletics has never been stronger in the last 25 years.
Sunday morning started with a roundtable featuring all of the participants, including Sweden’s head coach Karin Torneklint.
Among the topics they discussed with the audience included their favourite exercises for developing reactive strength among young athletes and why there are so few elite level female coaches.
The symposium ended with a presentation by Anders Henriksson from Dalarna University entitled: "Managing jumps and hurdles in the development of athletes and coaches".
The three-day event received positive feedback from all of the participants. All of the presentations can be found here.