Tim Robertson coaches Ted Ginn on how to improve his 40 yard dash. Ted is able to improve his speed strength by aligning his body correctly with the floor.
Tim Robertson: The first thing is the foot placement. You want to hug that line as close as possible. So if your right hand is on the line your left foot will be on the line and you're usually about, and this differentiates with about each athlete, usually right on the line to two to three inches behind the line. I do know that this year at the NFL combine they had them line up about two to three inches behind the line which is fine. But the further you are away from the line the more distance you have to cover, it's simple.
Their spinal alignment has to be very close to being parallel with the floor and it's basic biomechanics that the athlete is involving or incorporate into their actual start. If their spine is rounded or their spine is on an incline or a decline versus being parallel with the floor the body is going to react to that by adjusting their gait in a natural fashion.
So when an athlete has their foot placement and their hand placement right, most of their weight is on their front foot, a little bit of weight on their back foot and most of their weight is on their hand that is up on the line with the back nice and neutral and flat.
It's very similar to the squatting
position of the back. You need to be nice and neutral, nice and relaxed with a flat position. With the first five to seven, five to eight yards, they're basically concentrating on driving out, getting a nice drive through the ground, getting turn over on the legs. You don't want to over stride, you don't want to understride. So through repetition you're going to reach that happy medium where you know that you're going to be getting two to three steps in that distance.
I think the biggest part with that is relaxing. A lot of times when athletes come out in their 40
they're already tensed up and their heads all over the place and they need to be relaxed. For the first seven or eight yards their head is looking down and as the upper body alignment increases the head will naturally increase.
So that head is attached to the spine in the neck so it's got to be nice and neutral, nice and relaxed. Ideally for a great start you have to have near perfect power angles. If you too much bend of the knee or hip it's going to work against you, the same way if you have too little bend or too great it's going to work against you too.
So you have to be right at that near perfect power angle of the knee and the hip with most of your weight on the front foot. That's your drive foot. If you have to utilize the back foot to propel you forward your weight is usually going backwards. So if your body is going backwards and you want to go forward it's sort of a negative stimulus on your body that you have to overcome.
For more with Ted Ginn Jr., check out his Explsoive Starts