The NFL combine has come and gone. The all important 40 yard dash will come under constant scrutiny during this time. Why are so many athletes hung up on the 40? It does not indicate what kind of athlete you are in my eyes. How often will you run a straight line sprint on a football field. Probably never!
The truth is since the NFL, as well as national high school combines are making a big deal about it you have to perfect it. It could mean mean milllions of dollars lost in the NFL and a loss of a scholarship for college if you do not do well at this test. I was misinformed for years by poor instruction in high school and college on what the best method was to improve on this test. I tried sprinting more but that just improved my muscular endurance and conditioning. Why do we run 880 meter runs for football anyways? Most Colleges are working on speed endurance and conditioning but rarely work on speed.
I did not make any progress in my 40 yd. time until I used the instructions I received from Joe Defranco's tape on Mastering the combine. I learned that the 40 was all about technique, stride frequency, and stride length. I learned the Valsalva breathing method. Once you learn what effects the 40 yd. dash you can design a program that works on your starting strength, power, and flexibility. All these instructions coupled with hardwork took me from a 4.66 40 yard dash my freshman year in college to running a 4.30 for the New Orleans Saints when I graduated college.
There are a lot of factors that can help improve your 40 yard dash, but until you know what those factors are you are behind in the game. Don't let a misinformed coach make you less than your best. Find someone that has done what you are attempting to do and knows how they got there to teach you. In the end it might help you become the best athlete you can be. If you have any questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.