Most football players are quite familiar with the three-point stance, which is often the most intuitive starting position. However, this stance is wrong from the knees up.
"Do not bend your legs too much in the starting stance. Too often, an athlete will crouch down like he's in a football stance. The bent legs uncoil and press him up when he starts, which costs valuable time. The key is to bend at the waist with the knees bent about 15 degrees. Your legs will look relatively straight, and this will be the highest position you attain during the entire test."
The Down Hand
Football instincts usually take over when placing your hand on the ground for this drill. Many players put their right hand down, because it is the hand typically used in a three-point stance. The second instinct is to put a lot of weight on the hand—much like the start for a 40-yard dash. Both impulses can kill your final time.
ROONEY: "I prefer that the hand opposite from the side you are running be down at the start—the left hand if you're moving to the right first. Also, keep the down hand as un-weighted as possible. When you place a ton of weight on the hand, it takes time to un-weight it, and that arm isn't available to help you run. This costs time. Also, keep your eyes and head down—not straight ahead. Looking ahead sends you upward at the start, and, again, costs time."
The Up Arm
Look at any offensive lineman in a three-point stance, and you'll see his up hand or forearm resting comfortably on his thigh. Although effective for the big uglies in the trenches, it is counter-productive in the Pro Agility. On the flip side, letting your arm hang freely does not save time either.
ROONEY: "If sprinting to the right first, position your right arm with the elbow at 90 degrees and your hand next to your right hip. Placing the hand on the right thigh will cost you time, and letting it hang down is a mistake, because then you have to activate and move the arm. Keep your up arm tensed and ready to fire forward to match the cross step of the left leg."