Refine Your 40-Yard Dash Start Technique

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Start technique is an crucial factor that can make or break your 40 time. "How an athlete gets into his three-point stance is very important," says Travelle Gaines, owner of Athletic Gaines. "When he's on the line getting ready to run, he should be reviewing in his mind the total set-up of the sprint." Take a cue from first-team All-Big 12 and former Colorado CB Jimmy Smith.

  • Back arm should be cocked and loaded at 90 degrees behind hips for an explosive forward arm drive at the start.
  • Stay low and drive forward to avoid popping up and losing the ability to accelerate powerfully.
  • Keep head down and eyes focused on front foot to stay low and create forward body lean.
  • Take a big, powerful first step coming out of stance to avoid false steps, wasted movement and short, choppy strides.

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