Not running a fast 60-Yard Dash? You’re not alone! I had the same issue for the majority of my playing career. It’s wasn’t until later in my college career (senior year – talk about late right?) where I finally lowered my 60 time to 6.42 from around 7.2-7.4
How did I do this? I was always training hard and was pretty strong but I neglected to improve my top speed running mechanics, acceleration mechanics, and I neglected any kind of movement based training. This was mostly because I just didn’t know. Once I finally saw the importance of each and started actively applying multiple sprint drills, heavy sled drags and movement based training to my daily workouts things really started to change for me. In about a 12-18 months my 60 time dropped a whole second. That improvement in my speed is due to these four things…
- Relative Strength – The stronger you are the more force you’re going to be able to apply into the ground with each foot strike. What this does is propel your body further in space with each foot strike. This in term leads to a longer stride.
Here’s an example of CrAzY relative strength – Marlins OF, Matt Brooks Trap Bar Deadlifts 3x his body weight! It should come as no surprise that Matt is also extremely fast
2. Flexibility and Mobility – It wasn’t until later in my college baseball career that I spent time improving my mobility and flexibility. By improving flexibility and mobility in my hips and legs I was able to improve extension of my hip, knee, and ankle when accelerating.
3. Acceleration Technique – The first phase of your sprint in the 60 yard dash is known as the acceleration phase. For this phase of the sprint your goal should be to maintain a steep forward lean and a positive shin angle. This will give you the best mechanical advantage to accelerate and dominate the first 10 yards of the 60 yard dash.
Exercises to Improve Acceleration Technique: Push-Up Sprint Start, Mountain Climber Sprint Start, Falling Sprint Start, Sled Drags, Sled Pushes, Hill Sprints
4. Top Speed Mechanics – Once you have concluded the acceleration phase of your 60 yard dash you will approach the top speed or max velocity phase where your body angle will shift to more of an upright posture. During this phase you want your foot strike to be directly underneath your center of gravity and you want to perform more of a cycle action of the lower limbs, as opposed to the drive action we’re looking for with acceleration.
Exercises to Improve Top Speed Technique: Flying Sprints, Speed Bounds, Straight-Leg Bounding