40 Yard Dash

Setup

Mark off 40 yards and indicate both the starting line and the finish line.  If timing the drill, set up the timers even with the finish line.

Purpose

Primarily used as an evaluation drill, the 40 Yard Dash measures the amount of time it takes an athlete to run 40 yards in a straight line.  Both initial acceleration and full speed are an important aspect of this drill.

Drill Description

At its core, the 40 Yard Dash is simply a straight line sprint that focuses both on acceleration and top speed.  Unlike other football situations, however, this drill is no started by a snap count or some other sort of external command.  Instead, this drill is begun voluntarily at the athlete’s sole discretion.  Therefore, the timer must closely watch the players first movement in order to begin timing the drill.

Advanced athletes will get in a three-point stance with their hand on the starting line and their feet moved as close as possible to the line in order to gain every inch of momentum towards the finish line at the very start.

The 40 Yard Dash is the most commonly used drill to measure an athlete’s speed and is often the most talked about portion of the NFL combine.

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