This week we continue our look at a very important part of the NFL Draft process, traini..."/> This week we continue our look at a very important part of the NFL Draft process, traini..."/>

NFL Draft Inside Look: Training for the 40 Yard Dash


This week we continue our look at a very important part of the NFL Draft process, training facilities.  Ignition APG continues to provide us with an in-depth look at the different training techniques aimed to improve different aspects of each athlete’s game.  This week we are going to examine the 40 yard dash and the training that goes into preparing for this important event.

This February hundreds of NFL hopefuls will make the trip to Indianapolis to lay it all on the line in an attempt to improve their draft stock.  The NFL Draft Combine is a significant event because it has the potential to earn prospects major amounts of money.  There is no bigger stage at the Combine than the 40 yard dash, where a mere tenth of a second can vault you into 1st round consideration.   For example last year Ignition APG client Devin McCourty improved his stock from a potential 2nd round pick to a mid 1st round selection.  Here is a direct quote from Mel Kiper Jr. After running a 4.38 sec. in the 40 yd. sprint at the combine McCourty moved himself from the late 2nd round into the late 1st round”.

Ignition APG Website

Ignition APG 2011 NFL Combine Brochure

I know most if not all NFL Draft fans are aware of the importance of the 40 yard dash but what you may not know is the role training facilities such as Ignition APG play.  Ignition calls the 40 yard dash the “money drill” because it is the drill that has the potential to earn you a ton of money.  Anyone could step out on to a field, line up, and run 40 yards.  However, it takes practice and dedication to truly learn the art form of running a 40 yard dash.  Ignition drills into their trainee’s heads that you only get one shot at the 40 yard dash so the 6 weeks of preparation is very important.

Ignition takes a systematic approach to teach the 40 yard dash technique.  Their approach has been researched and proven to take over more than two tenths off a player’s time.  They implement a 5 step process that can take as long as eight weeks to master.  The key is to focus on one step until it is mastered!  The 5 steps are as follows: The Stance, The Start, The 10 yard, The 20 yard, Finishing the 40 yards.

Ignition uses a lot of different training tools such as sleds, parachutes, overspeed bands, sand training, and Woodway treadmills.  Like in any training the prospects spend a ton of time in the weight room.  However, Ignition uses Olympic lifts such as the snatch and clean in an attempt to teach fast twitch movements that help them get out of the blocks faster.  I was surprised to hear that they also focus on improving flexibility.  The idea behind that is to increase range of motion which impacts stride length.  The main technique to improve flexibility is sports yoga.

Ignition is a big believer in practice makes perfect and providing feedback.  They utilize video tape analysis to provide the most accurate feedback around.  Ignition is dedicated to keeping their training groups small with a 1 to 5 ratio of coach to player.  The overall goal is to improve your 40 time and that comes by repetition.  The more efficient with your movement the better 40 time you will run.  Ignition’s favorite saying is “for every action there is a reaction”.

Ignition APG Performance Director Clif Marshall stated “We have a lot of tools in our tool box that we use in the training for the 40 yd dash. The tools, when applied,  give resistance or assistance when sprinting”.

So thanks again for reading our inside look at the preparation that goes into preparing for the NFL Draft.  I want to again thank the people at Ignition APG for giving us this in-depth behind the scenes look.  Be sure to check back each and every week as we look at different training opportunities offered by Ignition APG.  Also check out Ignition’s website (CLICK HERE) and their NFL Scouting Combine Brochure (Click HERE)