With the football season wrapped-up, prospects, whether they have aspirations the a university scholarship or hearing your name dubbed on draft night, are turning their fist to speed. The is no secret that one of the finest ways to boost your stock together a prospect is by improving your time in the 40-yard dash. While most coaches know a good time as soon as they check out one, countless struggle to in reality make your athletes faster.

You are watching: Average 40 yard dash times by age

I was in that exact same boat, but I wanted more. Ns wanted means to analysis the data from my athletes and make better training decisions from the data. After acquisition a deep dive into the time of NFL draftees end the last 5 years, i have found a couple of trends that deserve to hopefully assist guide girlfriend on your quest for boosted speed. ~ reading, girlfriend will have a better understanding of the intricacies of this extremely valued sprint and be much better able to help your athletes accomplish their rate goals.

Before us begin, recognize that the time being debated are solely from the NFL Scouting Combine. All reps were operation in Lucas Oil stadion in Indianapolis utilizing Zybek time systems. The times we see released publicly space started through hand with gateways at 10, 20, and also 40 yards. Zybek walk compile FAT data the is not mutual with the public, yet they did explain on Twitter that: “If the coach is at the 6 garden line, the median is 0.085 ; however, over there is a +/- 0.05 secs or larger (1 typical ) in the finest case.”

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Figure 1. This chart provides projections ~ above splits throughout the 40-yard dash. The models are based upon the 40-yard dash splits in ~ the NFL Scouting combine that space released to the public, hand-started through a laser gate. Please keep in mind that the 20-30 and also 30-40 space projections and not based on actual data, due to the fact that the NFL does not document a 30-yard split.
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Figure 2. This chart shows just how the publicly data from the NFL Scouting combine fares as soon as cross-referenced with the original chart.

The Three-Second Rule

In the last 5 Combines, 376 draftees ran sub-4.6 seconds; 365 (97%) ran the “flying 30” portion in 3.00 seconds or less. Because that the high school athletes ns coach, we usage the 30-yard fly as our primary max velocity metric due to the fact that I love just how seamlessly that ties in v our 40-yard dash training. For most high institution speedsters, to run a 30-yard paris in three secs or less is no a daunting task, but when you mitigate their run-in, the job becomes more challenging and aligns v the acceleration needed to master the 40-yard dash.

It is necessary to understand the difference between ‘how rapid can girlfriend get?’ and also ‘how fast can you gain fast?’, says
CoachStokowski. Click come Tweet

It is essential to know the difference between “how fast can friend get?” and “how rapid can you gain fast?” once you understand the speed strengths and weaknesses of your athletes, you can narrow her training focus to resolve those needs. Cameron Josse involves mind as soon as I think of making use of pragmatic exercise choice to attend to needs on the force-velocity curve.


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Big Fellas need a great Start

One that my favorite metrics come play around with is pounds-per-inch: a means of assessing relative size and also the speed essential for success at that size. Athletes at 4.0 pounds-per-inch or larger conquer in the trenches of professional football. We room talking about body sizes ranging (on the small end) from 72 inches, 293 pounds (4.07 pounds-per-inch) to 79 inches, 317 pounds (4.01 pounds-per-inch).

One-hundred sixty-nine athletes 4.0 pounds-per-inch or larger have actually been drafted due to the fact that 2016. Twenty-two of castle (13%) were able come crack 5 seconds in the 40-yard dash. As soon as looking at the splits from those attempts, I notice a unique difference between the speed profiles of skilled linemen and also high school skill players. Running similar 40-yard dash times, the linemen excelled in the acceleration part (0-20 yards), if the novice high schoolers fared much better on the earlier end (20-40 yards).

Taking a closer look in ~ those 22 linemen, your times ranged native 4.75-4.99. Top top average, your front 20 yards clocked in in ~ 2.85, when their earlier 20 came in in ~ 2.06. None of those 169 draftees, various other than Caleb Benenoch (his released splits point to a feasible error in ~ the 2nd gate), were able to break 2.00 seconds from 20-40 yards. Top top the flip side, I have actually recorded 119 40s in between 4.75 and also 4.99 from my high institution athletes, obviously much smaller clientele. Their mean front/back break-up is 2.86/2.02, i m sorry does not seem like lot of a difference, however 38 (32%) the those ran sub-2.00 top top the back 20 yards.

Two takeaways:

Once a body it s okay to a certain size, there is not as much velocity potential. In other words, linemen at the integrate do not have actually the best velocity capability to outrun a sluggish start. They MUST acquire through 20 yards rapid (relatively) to end up fast.When a high schooler legitimately lowers your time by a significant amount, the area the most innovation happens early on in the dash. Does an improved maximum velocity help? Absolutely! but never forget that roughly one-third of your time happens end one-fourth that the distance.
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Figure 3. This graph breaks down picks end the last 5 drafts (2016-2020) by position, year, size, and also 40-yard dash splits.

Apples, Oranges, and Doughnuts

When pointing out the 40-yard dash, it is essential to remember the the gold standard, the NFL Scouting Combine, is an ext concerned with consistency 보다 accuracy. We recognize this since both FAT and hand-started times space recorded, yet the hand-started times room the ones shared with the public.

The goal of recreating exact testing variables is a fool’s errand, but there is value in attempting to find a level the consistency and accuracy in your experimentation protocol. Surface, shoes, weather, and a myriad of various other nuances make the means you time the 40-yard dash unique. I think we have to all try to produce a experimentation protocol that offers an comprehensive look in ~ our athletes’ abilities and also gives us information on whereby our time would be finest spent in your training. In class terms, I believe we need to be utilizing the 40-yard dash as a formative assessment and a summative one.

I recognize the method I time (apples) is not the way the NFL walk (oranges), yet both execute a an excellent job of providing feedback. Just telling one athlete the they ran “4.4” (doughnuts) is no true (99% the the time) and does not administer them v the info needed to enhance their speed. Sure, it renders them feel good, yet it does not make castle better. By providing separation times in ~ the 40-yard dash, we have the right to learn far much more about ours athletes’ strengths and weaknesses.

By providing separation times within the 40-yard dash, we can learn far much more about our athletes’ strengths and weaknesses, claims
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I usage Freelap to time the 40-yard dash, on a rubberized track wearing spikes. We use the touchpad together a consistent way to tether our athletes to a moment of near-zero front momentum. Us place break-up transmitters (cones) at 10 yards + 80 centimeters, 20 yards + 80 centimeters, 30 yards + 80 centimeters, and also 40 yards + 80 centimeters. (For those unfamiliar through Freelap, 80 centimeters accounts because that the radius that the electromagnetic field developed by the transmitters.) By setup up the mechanism the means I have actually explained, we acquire 10 pieces of data indigenous one single attempt: 0-10 yards, 10-20, 20-30, 30-40, 0-20, 10-30, 20-40, 0-30, 10-40, and 0-40.

In my three years timing athletes using Freelap, ns have had actually two athletes break 4.70 seconds. Coincidentally, those room the just two ability players who have been readily available any type of NCAA department I football scholarship. With that knowledge, we understand running in the 4.6s, making use of our metric, has actually value.

Our favorite 2 segments come analyze room 0-20 and also 10-40, and the formula because that success is simple: 2.70 seconds from 0-20 yards and also 3.00 seconds from 10-40 yards. If the athlete can discover just one-hundredth of a second, they rest 4.70.

Two seasons ago, I had actually two athletes operation 4.73 top top the same day. Athlete A ran 2.71 native 0-20 and also 3.16 from 0-40. Athlete B ran 2.80 indigenous 0-20 and 2.99 indigenous 10-40. The same outcomes with significantly different rate profiles! Athlete A needed maximum velocity intervention while Athlete B had far-reaching room to enhance on his acceleration.

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Figure 4. Two years ago, I had actually two athletes that ran 4.73 ~ above the same day. They had identical outcomes yet significantly various speed profiles.

Need for Speed

Using mph as an easy-to-understand metric for young athletes is all the rage. I am on the bandwagon, and also I want to know what kind of speed we are seeing from the upstream athletes at the NFLSC.

Here is a failure of the “flying 20-yard” section of the 40-yard dash. We room looking at average time, pounds-per-inch, and also mph the draftees because 2016. Save in mind that the Vmax numbers are faster than I will show, since the athletes, because that the most part, are much faster at garden 40 than yard 21. Also, be careful comparing turf times with minimal run-in to track times with unlimited run-in.

2 (3 total); average: 4.26 seconds; pounds-per-inch: 2.74; paris 20: 1.76 = 23.24 mph3 (43 total); average: 4.36 seconds; pounds-per-inch: 2.77; paris 20: 1.80 = 22.73 mph4 (159 total); average: 4.45 seconds; pounds-per-inch: 2.87; paris 20: 1.85 = 22.11 mph5 (171 total); average: 4.54 seconds; pounds-per-inch: 2.97; paris 20: 1.89 = 21.65 mph6 (131 total); average: 4.64 seconds; pounds-per-inch: 3.13; flying 20: 1.94 = 21.09 mph7 (73 total); average: 4.74 seconds; pounds-per-inch: 3.29; paris 20: 1.98 = 20.66 mph8 (68 total); average: 4.84 seconds; pounds-per-inch: 3.44; paris 20: 2.03 = 20.15 mph9 (45 total); average: 4.94 seconds; pounds-per-inch: 3.72; paris 20: 2.07 = 19.76 mph0 (51 total); average: 5.04 seconds; pounds-per-inch: 3.98; flying 20: 2.12 = 19.30 mph1 (52 total); average: 5.15 seconds; pounds-per-inch: 4.11; paris 20: 2.16 = 18.94 mph2 (54 total); average: 5.24 seconds; pounds-per-inch: 4.08; flying 20: 2.21 = 18.51 mph3 (30 total); average: 5.34 seconds; pounds-per-inch: 4.13; flying 20: 2.26 = 18.10 mph4 (6 total); average: 5.44 seconds; pounds-per-inch: 4.19; flying 20: 2.33 = 17.56 mph5 (7 total); average: 5.55 seconds; pounds-per-inch: 4.18; paris 20: 2.37 = 17.26 mph

In conclusion, ns hope the this info will aid you far better understand the data on your athletes, and, in turn, you will be maybe to carry out them with much better feedback and also training. While not every athlete us coach will certainly reach their rate goals, you will see renovations in team speed if you save it a emphasis of her programming. The 40-yard dash is a puzzle, however one the reaps enormous rewards when mastered. I hope this source helps you far better understand the piece of that puzzle!

If you would prefer to speak shop or have any kind of questions, carry out not hesitate to reach out to me at coachstokowski
gmail.com.

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Coach Joe Stokowski is in his 3rd year in ~ Pepperell High college (Lindale, GA) whereby he serves as the boys track & field coach in addition to special teams coordinator and defensive secondary coach because that the football team. He additionally teaches English at the high school. Before his time in Georgia, Coach Stokowski offered as the head football and boys track coach in ~ Villa Grove High institution (Villa Grove, IL), a tenure that had a 2017 IHSA 2A playoff appearance. The has likewise had coaching stops at Farmington main High school (Farmington, IL) and also Illinois State University.