was developed to guarantee accurate start times for short sprints.
It can be used on all tests but excels when times get short like in a 10 yard dash.
It’s a ground mounted device that projects a visible laser line across the floor. When your hand or foot leaves the laser, timing is started.
How do you learn if what you are doing is working?
- Speed is everything.
- Speed in agility
- Speed in reaction
- Speed in stopping
- Speed in reversing
I have heard too many people say.....I have a stopwatch, or 'we use GPS'. Coaches make incremental improvements on athletes. See that word.... 'incremental'. You owe it to yourself, as a coach to have the tools to measure these incremental changes.
Stopwatches are OK for a trained coach looking for a 40 Yard dash time....if he/she is at the finish line, and if he/she is well versed in the use of a stopwatch. Even so, his results will not be the same as electronic timing.
How about GPS?? Its for macro measurements, not the micro measurements that timing gates give. Great for match and training stats, but not enough granularity in results to give key indicators of the tiny improvements you are looking for.
Explosivity...... the thing that makes the difference between a good, and a great athlete.
The first 0-5 yard time makes all the difference in competition, so how can you measure it?
Here are a few NFL Combine statistics courtesy from
Top-End Sports (http://www.topendsports.com/testing/results/sprint-tests.htm) ....a great resource.
- Marquise Goodwin, a wide receiver from Texas had the fastest 40 yard time at the 2013 NFL combine, running the distance in 4.27 seconds.
- DeMarcus Van Dyke had the best result at the 2011 NFL Combine, with a 4.28 second 40 yard dash.
- Dwain Chambers, former champion sprinter now wide receiver, has been rumored to have a very quick 40 time of 4.10 seconds (and that was on grass too). Was this over 40 yards or meters? and possibly a flying 40 (with a running start). More details are being searched for.
- The all time best 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine is a hand-timed 4.19 seconds by Deion Sanders (DB), from Florida State in 1989.
- The fastest electronic timed sprint is 4.24 secs by Chris Johnson in 2008.
- The fastest ever 10 yard split times at the NFL Combine is 1.40 secs, achieved in 2008-9 by three players: Cedric Peerman, Chris Johnson and Justin King. (more NFL combine results).
- Over 10 yards at the 2007 NFL combine, 1.43 seconds was achieved by Aundrae Allison, Eric Weddle and Marcus McCauley, the top three fastest ever recorded up to that time. (more NFL combine results).
Can you see a pattern here? A good athlete will do 5m in just under a second. His velocity at that point will be about 5.5m/s
Every 1/100 of a second means about 5cm (a couple of inches) at this speed. Maybe the difference of being tackled or not.
You can expect a good athlete to have a velocity at 40m (or yards) of about 9m/s. So.... at the 40m point every 1/100 of a second the athlete travels close to 0.1 of a metre, or around 4".
Stopwatches normally give approximately a 0.24s faster time, mainly caused by the reaction time of the stopwatch operator to the initial movement of the athlete. He CANNOT predict the start, but CAN predict the final split. Of course, on a 5m or 5 yard split the error would be much worse as the Coach has not much time (sub 1 second) to press the button twice.
Now consider what 0.24 seconds (24/100's) means at the 5m mark. If 1/100 of a second is 5cm (2") , 24/100's will be 1.2m or 48"!
A 1/100 of a second improvement in your athletes performance over 5 m (or yards) is around 1% improvement. Its impossible to measure such small improvements when stop watch error can be 25 times this . Yes, that's right 25% error. Of course there will be those that say "yes but the 0.24 seconds just means that the times will be shorter, but repeatable". Sorry...that's just plain wrong .........we can never rely on a human to offer that sort of repeatability...never.
So what is the answer?
Electronic timing (http://swiftperformance.com/bundles/) ? That is only half the answer. The most important thing is the starting mechanism. A flying start through any gate at all, whether it be single beam, single beam corrected or dual beam is prone to error. Due to athlete position, and the possibility for the athlete to increase their initial velocity by lunging at the start, or sneaking their start position back a little, errors will creep in.
About 4 years ago the famed International Rugby Coach Eddy Jones, then working for Japan Rugby
, and his talented Strength/Speed guy John Pryor asked Swift to develop a special sensor to measure when the athletes foot moved. John knew that with the smaller average player size in his Japanese squad, muscling up was not the answer. Fitness and explosive speed was.
We cobbled up a prototype, and got good feedback, and so, Speedstart
SpeedStart is the answer to precise starts and accurate short sprint times. Of course you can use it on any sprint, or even use it in a three point start with it sensing your hand.
Food for thought?