I end up speaking to a number of coaches and trainers every week, and I am always curious how they use our timing equipment. Given the number of sports and creative minds out there, I continue to be surprised as I learn how just versatile our equipment is.
One thing that has struck me is that many facilities keep their timing equipment locked away, and only take it out when they want to take an official measurement of an athlete running at maximum effort. While there is nothing wrong with this, it’s kind of like using your microwave only for popcorn, even though it can do much, much more…
The trainers getting the most out of their athletes keep the timers running on nearly everything they do—not only does this give them a sense of how much effort the athlete is exerting, but it gamifies the training by giving the athlete a number to beat.
Another benefit to timing athletes during training is that it solidifies a “cause and effect” relationship between the small tweaks in technique and what they do to the overall time. Minor improvements make big differences when you are trying to shave tenths of a second off something like the 5-10-5 or 3-cone.
To make great use of your timing equipment, try making it a part of the evaluation of new athletes— however times alone only tell you a small part of the full story. By using the timers in conjunction with video and photos, you’ll know right away what to work on and what the potential of an athlete is.
If you didn’t know, our PowerPack Professional System comes with software that connects a USB camera to the laptop—this allows a trainer to take either photos or video of an athlete automatically. We use this at the NFL combine to take 4 photos 1/10 of a second apart at the start of the 40-yd dash—and after looking at enough of these photos, you can almost predict who is going to run well and who won’t. Not to mention having a photo taken at the same time stamp over and over again makes comparing two different trials, or athletes, almost effortless.
For more on the PowerPack Pro System, visit www.ZybekSports.com