Sprint Mechanics: Initial Set-up
Most athletes give all of their focus to what their final time is on their 40 yard dash, but a lot of times they are missing out on the importance of each stage of the movement pattern. One of the most important phases of the sprint is getting your start stance perfected to set you up for success in the acceleration phase. Learning sprint mechanics will help you improve your speed.
The acceleration phase of the 40 yard dash shows how fast and explosive an athlete is out of the gate and through their first 10 yards. This initial explosive power translates well into sports like football and this burst of speed is seen in positions from wide receivers creating separation from defensive players and also in defensive players showing their speed with constant changes in direction.
In the video below, we take you through this important phase of the 40 yard dash and teach you some of the basics on how to set up your start stance. Intern Coach Adriano will demonstrate how the set-up should look and give you information on what angles to look for to foster success during your sprint.
When starting off, don’t spend too much time and energy on the set-up. Find what feels natural and get into position quickly. One of the key focuses should be on the angle of your shin in your leading food. This angle is going to dictate the direction you are going and will provide a base of power to move from. You want to make sure that your shin is not angled upwards, but is directed forward towards where you are going to be sprinting.
Be sure to shift your body weight forward on that lead foot, as this will help create a good angle with your shin position. By distributing your weight forward you are also ensuring that your momentum upon takeoff is going to be driving you forward rather than holding you back.
Once shifted forward, your arm on the same side of your body as your leading leg should drive back in line with your hips. With your elbows angled upwards and forward, you are helping to create an optimal position for your arm to create the initial swing to create forward momentum.
The goal of setting up your start stance is to focus on creating forward drive and momentum and to get maximal force into the ground to propel you forward. By starting in a good position you are setting yourself up for success down the stretch.
- If you need help with perfecting your sprint mechanics, the coaches at Tampa Sports Academy can help you get where you need to be.