New Level Performance Tips for an improved 40 yard dash
(from Coach Jimmy Lamour, at New Level Performance)
I decided to write these tips after being asked to help at a local indoor football tryout. I was amazed how many athletes were not in a proper stance for the 40 yard dash. I knew I could not make any difference in strength in such a short period of time, but sometimes some refining in technique can help with an adequate base of strength. I told one guy to make sure he fires of off both feet and to make sure his first step is horizontal not vertical. He used those cues and dropped his 40 yard dash from a 4.78 to a 4.68. I wanted to share these tips with you because I know I was once misinformed about how to perform at my best in this test. I have to thank Coach Defranco because the tips I practiced from his Mastering the Combine DVD helped me run a 4.30 40. I hope you find this useful and feel free to contact me with any questions.
1) Start in front of the line and let your body be in front of the line.
2) The shin angle should be pointed forward
3) Head should be aligned with the spine
4) The left hand should be at little higher the side of the hip
5) First ten yards are quadriceps dominant
6) Let your body naturally rise or sprint will be hindered/ Don’t try to stay low.
7) Keep your toe up when sprinting because a shorter lever is a faster lever
8) 90 Degree arm position during sprint creates a shorter and faster lever
9) Maximal strength makes the biggest difference in the acceleration phase of the sprint because its trained from a dead start like the early part of the sprint.
10) Explosive power makes a big difference in how fast force is applied to the ground
11) The posterior chain muscles are the “Core” of sprinting. They include the abs, glutes, hamstrings, and the spinal erectors.
12) Stretch the hip flexors to increase the ability to extend the hip.
13) Low body fat helps sprinting speed because muscles were made to move
14) The chest up position allows proper stride mechanics and hip extension
15) Low heel recovery is common in the first ten because of the piston like motion when
driving in that sprint phase
16) The maximal velocity phase should include driving the feet under the hips to
propel the body forward
17) The shoes worn should be ideal for the surface and leave no room for the foot to
move within the shoe
18) Training the alactic energy system is essential to improving the short sprint
19) Relaxing while running is key to fluid movement of the body and proper sprint
20) Relative body strength is a key indicator of sprint speed
21) Long term approach must be utilized to realize all the abilities that improve sprint
22) Upper body power exercises must not be neglected in order to maximize the speed of
the arm swing
23) Visualize that you are a race car ready to start your engines. Replay the steps in your
mind before the event
24) Train with other fast sprinters to create an atmosphere of competition
25) Push off of both balls of the feet when in the starting stance
26) Time all of your sprints electronically to measure the effectiveness of the program
and to decide when it is time to quit the workout
27) Make sure that your sprint time improves weekly even by .001
28) Monitor the volume of sprint training during different blocks of training
29) Remove yourself from anyone who doubts your ability to reach your goal
30) Mentally prepare to run the 40 in any order during your event
31) Protect your environment and intensity level by focusing on the task at hand and not
32) Foam Rolling helps remove knots in muscle which improves elasticity or flexibility
needed for sprinting
33) Five to Six and a half steps should be the aim for the first ten yards by pushing and not reaching
34) Make Sure you stay in a straight line. The shortest distance between two points is a
35) Video tape your sprint so your weaknesses may be examined
36) Avoid rocking back in the start because all your weight should be going forward
37) Stay shoulder width apart with leg positioning to maximize the body’s ability to move
38) The first knee drive out of the stance must be horizontal and not vertical
39) Cover as much ground with each stride by pushing not overstriding
40) Remember that practicing your sport skill is what improves performance; the 40 is
just a test
41) Warm up enough to break a sweat and improve ease of movement
42) Resistance sprints teach you to put power in the right direction
43) Be patient as speed is not an overnight process
44) Make sure you rest for 8 hours a night as recovery affects adaptation
45) Don’t come to training hungry as that will affect production
46) Give yourself a year of consistent effort in a dedicated program
47) Learn which jumps affect each phase of the 40
Coach Jimmy Lamour is a Certified High School Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the IYCA. He is also a certified Youth Fitness Specialist
. He played college football at Guilford College and then played for the Greensboro Prowlers, Winston- Salem Energy, and Greensboro Revolution. He is known for having ran a 4.30 40 yard dash twice for New Orleans Saints Scouts.
He has trained hundreds of professional and amateur athletes of all levels and sports. Coach Lamour has trained 22 College Football All-Americans, All State Athletes, and MVP’s. He currently has 3 clients on NFL rosters and continues to lead the way with his innovative training techniques. He has been published and featured in the News & Record, Elitefts.com, 97.1 FM, Fox 8 news, WQFS 90.1 AM, www.criticalbench.com, and www.strengthcoach.com
Contact- Contact info.
336-257-9151 or Coaches@newlevelperformance.com