Control Your Destiny as an Athlete…
Don’t Put Your Future in Someone Else’s Hands.
In talking with coaches, recruiters, and scouts a recurring theme keeps coming up – the most frustrating part of their job is receiving information on an athlete that is not correct or can’t be trusted.
“Is he indeed 6 ft. 2 inches?”
“Does he actually have a 38-inch vertical?”
“Can he run a 4.4 in the 40-yd dash, or does he really run a 4.8?”
Recruiting is relying more and more on performance numbers to help identify athletes. While numbers do not replace game film, academics and character – they are one more piece of information that contributes to the overall ranking of an athlete.
So why do these numbers matter?
Every athlete competes against a different level of competition, and has a different team surrounding them, so comparing yards gained or touchdowns scored is not an apple to apple comparison. To compare two athletes in a fair manner, you need to have them take the same tests, and have those tests measured the same way by someone who is impartial – sound familiar? This is the same concept as the S.A.T. Test in academics… and this is precisely why more and more colleges are asking for a “Standardized Athletic Test” for those who want to get recruited.
The Core of the Sports S.A.T. consists of the 40-yd dash, the 5-10-5, the 3-Cone, the Broad Jump and the Vertical Jump. These tests do not show sports skills, they measure pure athleticism, and they show how well an athlete compares to others the same age and position.
Question: How do we make this fair for everyone and make sure these numbers are trusted?
Answer: We use Fully Automated Timers. (FAT Timers)
Stopwatches are not to blame for all the problems in recruiting, but they are not helping the cause. The problem isn’t that athletes ‘appear to run faster’ when Hand Timed vs. FAT Timed – the problem is that we do not know how far off the hand time is from the real time they ran. Hand timing can both hurt and help an athlete given how much the time varies each time it’s measured.
For example, let’s say Athlete 1 ran his 40-yd dash and was timed on a Stopwatch and FAT Timer.
40-yd dash (Hand Timed) – 4.55 seconds
40-yd dash (Fully Auto) – 4.75 seconds
And let’s say Athlete 2 ran his 40 and was timed the same way.
40-yd dash (hand timed) – 4.45 seconds
40-yd dash (Fully Auto) – 4.75 seconds
If both athletes are reporting the hand times, Athlete 2 ‘appears to be faster’ than Athlete 1. But fully automated times show that both athletes ran the same. Unfortunately, by using hand times, these athletes are playing roulette with their future by hoping that they ran in the lane where the person timing it pushed the button a split second later to start the clock.
This is not a wake-up call for most people, as we all are beginning to understand that stopwatches are going to be “faster” – but they give some athletes more of an advantage than others and this is unfair. A 300-lb offensive lineman who runs the 10-yd split in 2.1 seconds won’t get drafted and one who runs 1.9 seconds will get some sincere consideration… How can you leave that up to chance?
Your athletic future should rest in your hands, not the hands of someone else using an imperfect method to time you.
In the spirit of sports and competition, I hope that more parents and athletes start to demand Fully Automated Times whenever or wherever they are measured. Sure, it will be a tough transition as ‘artificially fast hand times’ will seem ‘slower’ when automated – and this is exactly why we are taking both times. We want athletes and parents to start seeing the difference and making the transition to a more transparent and accurate method of timing that is fair to every athlete.
Please, be proud and confident when you tell coaches and recruiters that your times are verified and accurate. As more colleges begin to ask for verified numbers, you are ahead of the curve and giving your son the best opportunity be taken seriously as an athlete.
Train. Test. Achieve.