The Trouble with 40 Yard Dash Times


This article is way off base. It assumes that all 40-yard dash times are comparable. There is no set protocol for timing 40’s from level to level. Running surfaces will vary; there is no control for wind if they run outdoors, if the track is level or downhill or if it is actually 40 yards! Of course hand times will be faster. To be accurate all events including short shuttles must be timed electronically. The start must be activated off a touch pad with the down hand in contact with the pad and finish must be determined when the beam is broken. No hand times, hand times are faster, electronic times are “slower” because they are accurate; there is no anticipation of the start or at the finish. The problem is coaches, players, scouts, and parents don’t want accurate, they want fast. Even the almighty NFL combine times are bogus – the start is not automatic only the finish is, therefore it is a bit more accurate but not 100% accurate and reliable. Just don’t understand why people keep fooling themselves with these bogus times.

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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