This time of year is one of my favorite times of year. Track season begins, but what also happens is the NFL Combine. I can’t get enough of the Combine. I binge-watch as much of it as I can.
It ended yesterday with the defensive backs. This was good because db’s are very athletic skilled dudes who are fast. So if you want to see some fast 40’s, then watch the db’s and wide receivers.
Every so often they would have a simulcam shot of two athletes who had run the 40 and laying it out like they were running against each other. It was good so you could see how much one athlete would beat the other athlete by.
In one shot, two athletes were running and one ran a 4.40 and the other ran a 4.50. So it was a difference of a tenth of a second. They froze the frame right as they passed the finish line and you could see the gap between them caused by the .1 second difference.
It was a little over 2 feet.
That might not seem much, but if you are ahead of someone by 2 feet, can that person tackle you? Maybe if he dives. Will that person get to the soccer ball for you? Probably not. Is that person crossing the finish line before you? Absolutely not.
What this illustrates is what we’ve been preaching to our athletes for years. A .1 second may not seem like a lot, but if you can make that improvement then you are truly getting faster.
People have to put it in perspective. At my training facility, we time in the 10 and 20 yard dashes. You are not improving those times by 1 second. Unless you are really, really, really slow to begin with (thus a higher ceiling for improving) that type of change is not going to happen.
You don’t go from being really slow, to really fast over the span of a few months. You can definitely improve your speed, but it is more along the line of tenths of seconds. That should be your expectation and that should be good enough based on what was discussed earlier in this post.
For the Combine a .1 second could mean the difference between getting drafted in the first round and the fourth round. That is potentially millions of dollars. For most of my athletes, that won’t ever be a worry because they won’t be close to making it to the pros.
But, what could be realistic is what I talked about earlier – getting the soccer ball, beating a throw to first, or showing a little more speed and now you make that travel sport team you are striving for.
Improving by .1 seconds is not easy though and not everyone after a few months of training can make that improvement. Especially for younger kids, their bodies might not be ready to make that type of change. It happens.
But, at some point their bodies will be ready. And when that happens look for an improvement in the tenths of seconds range. You get that improvement and you will be able to see plenty of the speed that your athlete is desiring.