Today it is all about the second Purple Cow Quality, Speed
One of the first thing college recruiters will look for, and one of the first things they will evaluate on film, is how well you run and how explosive you are on the field. College coaches are a pretty confident group. They will always figure they can get you bigger, stronger, and teach you better technique once you have been in their system. The one thing that they will want to see you have coming in, is that you can RUN – and that you DO RUN on the field during a game!
One of the biggest mistakes many athletes make as they prepare for their college career is to work very hard at “getting big” but neglect the running part of their training regimen. Do you want to be a remarkable high school football player? Do you want to be a Purple Cow? Then run – and train for speed, quickness, and explosiveness .
College coaches will look for (and ask about) three things related to speed and explosion:
- What is your 40 yard dash time?
- What is your vertical leap?
- Does your speed show up on the field? (Do you play FAST)
How do you improve speed, and thereby improve your 40 time? How do you become a remarkably fast athlete… an athlete with Purple Cow speed?
Speed training – If you are currently not doing this as part of your workout program, ask your coach for a program you can do on your own (or look at this sample speed training program). There are also some excellent videos of speed training drills at this Central College web site. In order to improve your speed, you have to run fast. Running long slow distance may improve your overall fitness, and help you lose weight, and improve your cardio-vascualr system, but to learn to run faster, you have to RUN FAST! Speed training programs are all about running shorter distances, and running at top, or near top speed.
When I was an assistant coach at the University of Central Missouri, we used to test our athletes in the mile run before the pre-season practice started. Now, the mile run is probably not the best indicator of “football speed” or being in “football shape”, but we used it just to test their toughness more than anything else. One year we had a track runner (800 M runner) walk on our football program. Needless to say, he tested lights out in the mile, although in the 40 and all the other speed and agility tests he was middle to end of the pack for his position. When he finished his mile test, one of the other assistant coaches turned to the rest of us who were helping time and said, “Well, if it is ever 3rd down and a mile to go, we know who our man is!” That was the last year we tested in the mile, opting for a 10 x 40 yard dash test instead.
Hear is a TIP …
One of the easiest and quickest way to improve your 40 yard dash time is by improving your start. Most high schools (and colleges) will have you start your 40 yard dash test in a three point stance. The watch (or electronic clock) will start when your hand comes off the ground. An efficient, explosive start can shave .2 to .3 seconds off your 40 yard dash time! This video from the Parisi Speed School is one of the best I have seen on teaching the technique of the 40 yard dash start. Most of the collegiate players testing at the NFL Combine will use the techniques taught in this video
An efficient way to get some good speed training in, is go out for your high school track team if you are not involved in another spring sport. College coaches like seeing athletes (contrary to popular belief) involved in other sports. If you can take part in another sport, and improve your playing speed, that is a bonus!
Tomorrow we will talk about explosion – how to improve your vertical leap, and playing FAST!
Remember – You Can Do More …. your brain is lying to you, don’t believe it!
Any questions – comment or email – I will respond!
Jeff Floyd – firstname.lastname@example.org