Elite Level Coaching for Sprint Hurdles
My name is Julie Pratt-Benterman.
For those that don’t know much about me, I am a former international sprint hurdler. I competed for Woodford Green and Essex Ladies as a young athlete and progressed through the age groups. I gained my first GB U20 vest at 17 years old and the following year was selected for the European U20 Championships in Slovenia.
This event, unknown at the time, was about to shape the athlete I later became. After qualifying for the final in first place, I went into that race full of confidence. At hurdle 8, while leading, a quick loss of concentration resulted in me crashing to the track and not finishing the race.
With a determined mindset, I got back into training and worked towards the World U20 Championships in 1998 in France. Going in to the competition, I was ranked top 10 in the world and qualified for the final in 5th place. On finals day, I was drawn in lane 2 and after multiple false starts (we used to have more than 1 back then!) we got away. I lead from the gun and hung on to win the title by one thousandths of a second. I was world champion and am still the only British female athlete to win a world title for sprint hurdles.
This propelled me into a world of sponsorship deals and big race opportunities but I stayed grounded, I remained humbled. On and off with a few seasons of niggling injuries, I fought back to qualify for my first senior championships at the Commonwealth Games in 2002. Here I ran a huge personal best to qualify for the final and finished 6th. After suffering another few seasons of injuries and niggles I, again, qualified for the Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2006.
Here I wasn’t fully fit as I had torn my hamstring 8 weeks before but battled to make the final and finished 6th, yet again. After this point, I turned to coaching and that ran alongside my own training and competition until I retired in 2010. Coaching has always been a passion for me, the chance to pass on my knowledge and expertise to anyone that wanted it. In my coaching career, I have taken two athletes to World U18 Championships and European U20 Championships respectively.
I now work with England Athletics as their Talent Event Lead for Sprint hurdles and am a Regional Coach Lead for the South East. This past summer I was luckily enough to work with Great Britain U20’s as they travelled to Colombia for the World U20 Championships and will continue to work with the GB age group team for the forthcoming summer.
So this is where Hurdle Dynamix comes in, over the years there has always been an abundance of talent in sprint hurdles in the younger age groups but something happens as they progress through to U20’s and we loose a considerable amount. I want to change that! I want to give athletes the best opportunity they have to reach for the stars and to achieve those targets that they set themselves every season. Whether your targets are to win a medal at the county championships, make a final at the English School or be selected to represent Great Britain, goal setting is such an important part of training and a coach and athlete being on the same page is just as important.
Hurdle Dynamix starts as a taster session but I want it to become a regular Monday night training session that supplements the existing training you are doing with your respective coaches and builds towards achieving those targets. I will bring event specific hurdle training, work on flexibility and mobility, increase your speed and make you a more rounded athlete.