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February 18, 2013
How to Run the Perfect 40 – The Start (Part I)
With the NFL combine getting underway this week, and various Pro Days in the next month, we are getting our football players ready to run here at Sparta. The 40 yard Dash is just one of the many tests that scouts use to evaluate prospects, yet it seems to be the one that garners the most attention and can take an “unheard of” and transform them into a top round pick. There are varying opinions on the validity of the 40 as a true indicator of football speed since very few players in very few situations truly run an all out straight line sprint for 40 yards.  However, components of the 40, especially the 10 yard split, give us a great look at how well a player accelerates, and acceleration is a key part of game speed.

All About Acceleration

Acceleration comes down to two key factors
  1. How much force an athlete can put into the ground – GRF
  2. The angle at which the force is applied
The result of GRF and Angles produces the classic equation for speed (stride length x stride rate) So, speed comes down to maximizing GRF which is best done by addressing the specific strength and power needs of your individual movement signatureTM.  Speed also comes down to developing the skill to maintain great angles over the course of your sprint.

The Start

The start dictates the tone for the rest of the sprint.  Today’s video looks at how setting up proper angles in your stance, particularly for your movement signatureTM, will allow you to maintain better body position over the course of the entire sprint. We use the Ubersense app to get some great footage of our athletes that can then be used help them see and learn in order to improve their skill.
As you can see in this shot, the athlete’s shin angle is too vertical at 57.5 degrees.  The shin angle must get closer to 45 degrees before he is able to start driving.  So, by setting up more aggressive angles with the shin and torso we are able to leak less force, and lose less time.
Take the time to learn and perfect a start that puts your body and movement signatureTM into a great position for force production.  Check back over the next couple weeks as we look at
  • Making Money – The First 10 Yards (Part II)
  • Finishing the Race – Transition to Top Speed (Part III)
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February 18, 2013
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