In the realm of football, speed is often spotlighted as the defining metric.
However, the methodology and context in which we measure this speed are crucial. Traditional track and field metrics have been the longstanding yardstick, but as technology and understanding of the sport evolve, so does the approach. Enter NextGen Logic's Project MPH.
Track and Field: Time Honored Measure
Track and field metrics have long been the gold standard to measure an athlete's speed. They provide a controlled environment, eliminating variables, and offering a pure measurement of an athlete's sprinting prowess.
While track times provide a clear, controlled measure of an athlete's raw speed, track and field is more than just sprinting. Field events, such as shot put, discus, long, triple and high jump are strong indicators of an athlete's explosive power, balance, and body control. These events, often overshadowed by the glamor of sprints, offer invaluable insights into an athlete's comprehensive capabilities.
However, the real-world of sports, especially team games like football, introduces myriad variables. A player's top speed during a 100-meter dash doesn't necessarily reflect their in-game performance, where tactics, opposition moves, and on-the-spot decisions come into play. Moreover, not all players run or participate in track and field.
Reel Analytics: The Modern-Day Vanguard
In the contemporary age, where technology intertwines with sports, companies like Reel Analytics have emerged at the forefront. By leveraging computer vision technology, they analyze real-time game performance, capturing those fleeting moments of athletic brilliance. This partnership between NextGen Logic and Reel Analytics represents the next phase of sports analytics, focusing on in-game movements, decisions, and speed.
Yet, even this sophisticated analysis has its limitations. An athlete's role, position, or the team's strategy might restrict them from reaching their top speeds during a game.
Bridging the Gap: The Vision of Project MPH
Project MPH is designed to complement both traditional and modern methods, providing a holistic view of an athlete's speed and power. Especially beneficial for athletes who might not frequently showcase their peak speeds, it gives a balanced perspective on their capabilities. To further gauge straight line speed across all football positions, we introduced the 55M dash indoors. This dash allows all athletes, regardless of their position, to showcase their speed and explosive potential, ensuring a level playing field for talent evaluation. The key data extrapolated from Project MPH is centered around the big three: Peak Force, Peak Velocity and Peak Power. Peak Force (First Step): Using a 0-45m acceleration from a 2pt start measured by the MuscleLab Laser, we are able to calculate a force score for the first step of a sprint. The greater the force of the first step, the greater the speed AND distance traveled. Improving Peak Force allows athletes to "get fast, faster". Peak Velocity (m/s and MPH): Using the 0-45m acceleration from a 2pt start measured by the MuscleLab Laser, we are able to calculate a peak velocity within that distance in both meters per second (m/s) and miles per hour (mph).
Peak Power (Steps 4-6): Using a 0-45m acceleration from a 2pt start measured by the MuscleLab Laser, we are able to calculate a power score for steps 4-6 of a sprint. The greater the power of steps 4-6, the greater the acceleration in the early stages of a sprint. Improving Peak Power allows athletes to become better in their transition to maximum velocity. “Our mission is to help High School Football student-athletes improve their speed and explosive power to further enhance their high school playing ability as well as their performance in college and beyond,” said Dominic Zanot, NextGen’s Director of Sports Performance and Founder of Athletics Westchester.
Engaging the Grassroots: Project MPH at the Classic Camp Series
In 2024, Project MPH is slated to expand its reach. Collaborating with the Classic Camp Series—a notable high school football showcase—NextGen Logic will run speed tests in:
Long Island, NY
This initiative underscores NextGen Logic's commitment to the grassroots level, ensuring the next generation of athletes gains crucial insights into their speed and power potential. ”We have spent a great deal of time researching the best speed measurement technology in the world. The instantaneous speed measurements will allow evaluators and student athletes the ability to gain a better understanding of how a player ran a particular time, ” NextGen National Analyst and Classic Series Director Brian Hawkins
Speed, power, balance, agility—each plays a pivotal role in an athlete's performance. With Project MPH, NextGen Logic is revolutionizing the way we understand, measure, and optimize these attributes, paving the way for a more comprehensive and informed approach to sports analytics. Zanot continues, “This is a very unique event. Not only will athletes receive quality instruction/video analysis with professional Track & Field sprint coaches from Athletics Westchester, they will also receive world class diagnostic testing. Speed and explosiveness can be improved with intentional training. Providing athletes with quality instruction, video analysis and diagnostic testing at Project MPH is a unique opportunity that will help focus their off season preparation and in season performance. We hope athletes and coaches take advantage of this pioneering event,”