Last week I had the honor of speaking to the football players at a local high school. There coach called me and asked me if I could come in and talk to the athletes before they were about to time some 40 yard dashes.
I went through a quick tutorial on the 40 yard dash start position trying to give these young atheltes some technical cues they could put to work right then and there to run a faster time. It was a cliff notes version of what I cover in my Combine DVD but I hit on the major tips.
The coach then asked me what were the biggest problems that hindered speed development in athletes. I responded with a lack of flexibility and arm mechanics...
Athletes as a whole don't stretch enough or not at all, they are tight and stiff, and especially high school athletes whom are going through growth spurts tend to be very inflexible. I told the athletes that flexibility training is THE most overlooked component of speed training. So if you want to get fast... Get flexible!
Arm mechanics especially in the top speed phase of the 40 yard dash can either make or break your time. I see too many athletes running with a short choppy arm swing. This short arm movement shortens your stride length, so at top speed when you want to open your stride up, you are shortening it and losing speed. Next time you run when you reach full speed exaggerate your arm swing to run a faster time.
Summer football training is just starting, if you need a surefire program to make the most of your training and train like an NFLer get my Training For The NFL Program.
Check out our speed sleds, if you are up to the challenge! We use these sleds daily to increase acceleration off the start. Get the Sled to lower your 40 yard dash