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I needed to figure out for myself what the difference in a 40 yard dash time is. I just can't understand the difference between a 4.4 and 4.5 second time in a real world sense, so I tried to put it in terms that I could understand. I made a lot of assumptions, and I am not trying to prove or disprove the usefullness of this measurable. Because, in my research I was unable to find an average acceleration for human sprinters, I am going to use the first 10 yards as the 'accleration zone' and use 1.5 seconds as the average time to transverse that first 10 yards.
Assuming equal acceleration
Now, the first assumption I am going to make is that 'player x' and 'player y' both accelerate at the same rate (average rate listed above), so there is a difference in the top-end speed of each player. Looking at the difference between 'player x' at 4.4 (9.091 yd/s average) and 'player y' 4.5 (8.888 yd/s average) over the 40 yard, there is a real difference of about 0.9 yds when 'player x' crosses the finish line. At the end of the 40 yards, 'player x' is topped out at 10.345 yd/s and 'player y' at 10.000 yd/s, so for every subsequent 10 yards, 'player x' extends his lead by 0.333 yds (about 1 foot).
So, translating this to an entire football field... which is a huge assumption and probably not realistic for most to carry their top-end speed over that length... the difference at the end would be approximately 3 yards.
Assuming equal top-end speed
This one is easy. Lets just say that 'player x' transversed the acceleration zone in the average 1.5 seconds, but 'player y' takes 1.6 seconds. 'Player x' still scores a 4.4 and 'player y' scores a 4.5 just like above. Because the difference is all in the acceleration zone, that means that the top-end speed is the same. Still, 'player x' is 0.9 yds ahead of 'player y' when he crosses the 40 yard mark, but in this example the distance seperating the two remains constant. So, at the 100 yard mark (same assumptions as above), 'player x' still leads 'player y' by 0.9 yards.
Assuming a slow/fast start
Now this is where things get a little interesting. Lets say that 'player x' accelerates the zone in 1.5 seconds and scores a 4.4, but 'player y' stumbles and transversed the zone in 1.8 seconds but still scores a 4.5. Same as above, 'player x' leads 'player y' by 0.9 yds at the 40 yard mark. 'Player x' still has a top-end speed of 10.345 yd/s, but 'player y' now has a top-end speed of 10.714 yd/s. In this example, 'player y' actually makes up 0.344 yds, so at the end of the 100 yds, 'player y' is actually leading by a little over 1 yd.
I started this with the assumption that these values would remain constant for every 0.1 second difference in times, but the distance seperating the two athletes assuming a 4.7 vs. 4.8 time is only 0.85 yds vs. the 0.9 yds used in the example.
Again, I am not trying to prove any value in using the 40 yard dash time, I just wanted to run some scenerios to provide myself some understandable values and I thought I would share it here. I did think the seperations would be a lot more for as much value as the 'professionals' put on these values.
Member of the Gringo Mafia - chief infiltrator of the federales --- If life hands you lemons, throw them at an UofM fan
I was just going to post this EXACT same thing. I've checked what you put up, and it matches my numbers, no sense in being redundant, I'll trash my examples.
No down-vote please - thank you!
No down-vote por favor, gracias !
Gringo Mafia ~
amigo el número cuatro
Very well done. I appreciate your effort and insight. It is interesting how in all your scenarios the 0.1 s difference really doesn't make that much of a difference. Nice work.
Yea, what you said. Haha. +1
Gringo Mafia Director of Recruiting Analysis // POTW --> 5-16-11 / 5-30-11 / 3-5-12 / 12-30-12 / 2-24-13 / 9-1-13 / 9-22-13
Wait, when will Train A make it to Seattle?
I can't help but think that if Teo and Motta had run decent times that these topics would not be here or we would be touting their quickness.
Remember Eddie Lacey gliding through our secondary? To me, that is the difference.
Tenths of seconds are often the difference between making the tackle and swiping at air.
If Joe can paint a house in three hours and Sam can paint the same house in five hours, how long will it take to paint it together?
Assuming they each paint all parts of the house at a constant rate, 1.875 hours.
In a straight line pursuit, sure. But most tackles are made because the defensive player puts himself in the right spot or takes the correct pursuit angle.
In most cases where there is direct pursuit, the defensive player usually made a decision earlier in the play to get out of position.
But I need to remind you ,,, Sam is a slacker, has a problem with the weed and is dating a stripper..... Can I get a new estimate on the finish time?
Great topic. 3 yards over a hundred only means you will not catch him from behind. But if you have an angle you will get there. A 5 flat at the right angle may get there. 40 times are usually made at the start - tells how explosive you can be and with the right preperation you can lower your 40 time at least by .2 seconds just with how you start - assuming you have a strong body. I have found over the course of my 49 years that 40 times are not the measure that best simulates football - the pro shuttle 5-10-5 is a better predictor of athleticism and football ability. The one other thing I will say about 40's is this - I want a kid who runs the 40 in 4.7 or less "in pads". Give me 6 players (skill) on each side of the ball that do this and I will take my chances (if they are football savvy).
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