Berson Punt Return for TD Speed Development

This is a great movement we utilize with our athletes to work on strengthening the hip flexor.  Also, with this movement you are able to work on simple running mechanics such as arm swings, torso posture, driving your knees up, and toes up.

Teaching cues:                                                    

Chin up & Chest up (posture)

Arms at a 90 degree angle & swing at the shoulder NOT at the elbow (arm swings)

Pocket to chin with the hands (arm swings)

Knees up & toes up (knee drive)

How to improve your 40 time

I know you’re thinking how difficult can running a 40 yard dash be, but for some individuals it could be a game changer.  For example a high school kid goes to a college football camp and he records a 4.7 on the 40 and he could have run a 4.6.  That one tenth of a second could cost him and his family a full ride scholarship which could be a difference of 160,000 dollars at a private academic school such as Harvard, Wake Forrest, Clemson or Wofford.  It could be the difference between being a free agent in the NFL or a 4th round draft pick.  Needless to say if you look at it in terms of money, a good 40 time is tremendously valuable.

In this article I am going to break down the 40 into 5 basic steps to help you record a better time.

1.The Warm-Up

A Dynamic Warm-up consists of utilizing specific movement patterns to stretch the body’s muscles.  The warm-up also increases the body’s temperature, range  of motion, and blood oxygen levels prior to exertion.

Note: It is not recommended to do static stretches such as touching your toes and holding it for 10 seconds.  Studies have shown that static stretching is beneficial to increasing mobility but it is not recommended prior to explosive movements.

2. Setting the Feet

When setting the feet you have to first determine which of the two legs is your power leg.  The power leg is usually the leg you most depend on when jumping, landing, cutting and so on, most of the time it is simply your strongest leg.  Once you determine which leg is your power leg.  You will put your foot of the power leg hands width (pinky finger to the thumb) from the line as shown in the picture. Then take your other foot (non-dominate leg) and place it behind the heel of your front foot.  The next step will be to slide your foot over to be exactly hip with apart for optimal power output when exploding out of your stance.

3. Cocking the GUN

To cock the gun your feet must be set. Once the feet are set go ahead and relax and drop your knees to the ground without moving your feet. Then walk your hands out to stretch your body and to increase blood flow to your legs.  During this time you should use normal breathing methods and start thinking about the task at hand. Once you get your mind right walk your hands back in toward your body and place your hand that is opposite from your power leg down on the line.  Your other arm should be cocked at a 90 degree angle and place your hand directly next to your hip to hide.  This is to hide your hand from the timer standing 40 yards away.  Then just before you burst out of your stance rock forward shifting your weight to your hand, this will put your body in the proper position to burst out at a 45 degree angle allowing for maximal knee drive and power output.  The process of walking your hands out and back should only take a few seconds for optimal explosion.

4. Pulling the Trigger

Pulling the trigger is simple.  At this point you should be ready to go mentally and physically. First you should take in a huge breath of air. Then within seconds you will fire out in a 45 degree angle with every ounce of effort in your body.  During your first step you should drive with most or all of the force being generated through your power leg.  Your cocked arm should also be driven forward simultaneously meaning the hand by your hip. During this time you should have good chest back posture and a natural head position.

5. Follow through

Once you take a few steps your eyes and head should gradually come up and focus beyond the finish line.  During this time your arm swings and knee drive have to be pristine, meaning your arm swings are pocket to chin with the hands, you are driving your elbows forward and back with locked elbows at a 90 degree angle, and everything has to be moving forward and backward with no sideways motion.

Correcting Arm Swings

This Video will teach coaches how to fix bad arm swings.

Mike Srock on Speed Drills – Coach Srock one of the nations best  speed & strength coaches talks about training football players at Byrnes High School located Duncan in South Carolina.

Destorm Power on Speed – These two sprint videos are very comical but there are tons of great speed drills in these videos as well.  Destorm Power is known as a master triple jumper and rapper.


Coach Ed Barber Usa Track & Field Level 3 Coach – This is the first of many videos in the Speed Drills and Mechanics Series. In this lecture Coach Ed Barber talks about developing training strategies based on the age of your athlete.

Coach Ed Barber Usa Track & Field Level 3 Coach – In this segment Coach Ed Barber gives an overview of the 100 meter dash. The various phases of the race are broken down and defined. You’ll get a complete outline for how to coach the 100 meter dash.

Coach Ed Barber Usa Track & Field Level 3 Coach -Part 3 in the Speed Drills and Mechanics lecture. In this video Coach Ed Barber explains the concept of first motion and associating a skill with one’s response to a audio cue.

Coach Ed Barber Usa Track & Field Level 3 Coach– Two things come to mind. First, how you apply the force you have is critical. In the initial clearence of the blocks there is speed expressed through power. I hope your getting to these points (10 and 20m) powerfully, not with quickness. You do have to be strong enough to DRIVE, (acceleraton I), out to 20m. If your not using “horizontal force” through that phase then that needs to be worked on. Secondly, your power moves you. If you feel your force is lacking, maybe start there.



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