What is a good 40 yard dash time by age

Last Updated on July 3, 2024 by Francis

What is a good 40 yard dash time by age

The 40-yard dash is a popular test of speed and acceleration, commonly used in sports such as football, track and field, and other athletic competitions. Understanding this sprint is essential in evaluating an athlete’s speed and performance. When examining 40-yard dash times, several factors come into play, including age, gender, and athletic background. These factors can significantly affect an individual’s performance, as outlined in a study conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine.

A good 40-yard dash time can vary depending on the age group. For youth athletes under 12 years old, the average times may differ from teenagers aged 12 to 18, college athletes, and professional athletes. Each age group has different physical capabilities and levels of training that contribute to their respective performance benchmarks.

To improve your 40-yard dash time, various training techniques can be implemented. These include engaging in strength training exercises to develop power and explosiveness, incorporating plyometric exercises to enhance speed and agility, focusing on proper sprint technique to maximize efficiency and stride length, as well as implementing proper warm-up and recovery protocols to prevent injuries and optimize performance.

Understanding the factors that influence 40-yard dash times and implementing effective training strategies can help individuals of all ages enhance their speed and overall athletic performance. Whether you’re a youth athlete starting your athletic journey or a professional athlete looking to fine-tune your skills, improving your 40-yard dash time can have a significant impact on your success in sports.

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Key takeaways:

– Understanding the 40-yard dash: The 40-yard dash is a popular measure of speed and athleticism, commonly used in sports like football.
– Factors affecting 40-yard dash times: Age, gender, and athletic background all play a role in determining an individual’s 40-yard dash time.
– Good 40-yard dash times: The definition of a good 40-yard dash time varies based on the age and level of competition.
– Improving 40-yard dash time: Strength training, plyometric exercises, sprint technique, and proper warm-up and recovery can all help improve 40-yard dash times.

Understanding the 40-Yard Dash

The 40-yard dash is a crucial measurement in sports, particularly in football and track and field, as it assesses an athlete’s speed and agility.

To comprehend the 40-yard dash, one must grasp the technique involved and what constitutes a commendable time.

During this sprint, athletes commence from a stationary position and exert their full effort to cover 40 yards as swiftly as possible. The time taken to complete this distance is meticulously recorded.

What qualifies as a good time for the 40-yard dash varies depending on factors such as age, gender, and the specific sport. For example, wide receivers in professional football typically aim for a time around 4.4 seconds, whereas linemen have a target of approximately 5 seconds.

It is important to note that while the 40-yard dash serves as a measure of speed, it does not singularly determine an athlete’s overall athletic ability. Other factors like agility, reaction time, and game intelligence also play vital roles in an athlete’s performance.

The origin of the 40-yard dash can be traced back to American football, where it was devised as a means to gauge player acceleration and speed. Officially timed for the first time in the 1960s, it has now become an integral part of the NFL Combine. During this event, college football players exhibit their skills for professional teams. The 40-yard dash holds significant importance in assessing potential NFL prospects, with exceptional performers garnering attention from scouts and coaches.

What Factors Affect 40-Yard Dash Times?

What Factors Affect 40-Yard Dash Times? - What is a good 40 yard dash time by age

Photo Credits: Healingpicks.Com by Timothy Johnson

What goes into determining those impressive 40-yard dash times that leave us in awe? Well, buckle up as we explore the factors that influence these lightning-fast sprints. Covering age, gender, and athletic background, we’ll unveil the various dimensions that play a role in shaping those jaw-dropping times on the field. So, get ready to uncover the secrets behind the speed and agility of these remarkable athletes. Get ready to dig into the nitty-gritty of 40-yard dash times!


Age significantly affects 40-yard dash times. Different age groups have varying physical capabilities and levels of development, directly impacting their speed and performance in the sprint.

Age GroupAverage 40-Yard Dash Time
Youth (9-12 years old) 6.0 – 7.5 seconds
Teenagers (13-18 years old) 5.0 – 6.0 seconds
College Athletes 4.5 – 5.0 seconds
Professional Athletes 4.4 seconds or less

It is important to note that these times are general guidelines and may vary depending on individual training, genetics, and other factors. However, they provide a benchmark for evaluating performance.

As athletes age, their physical abilities tend to improve due to factors such as increased muscle strength, improved technique, and enhanced sprint mechanics. Therefore, younger athletes may have slower times compared to older, more experienced athletes.

To optimize performance and improve 40-yard dash times, athletes can focus on strength training, plyometric exercises, sprint technique, and proper warm-up and recovery methods. These factors play a crucial role in cultivating speed and agility, leading to faster sprint times.


The average times for males and females in different age groups can help us understand the sub-topic “Gender” in the context of the 40-yard dash. Here is the data:

Age GroupAverage Time (Male)Average Time (Female)
Youth (10-13)6.2 seconds6.7 seconds
Teenagers (14-18)5.8 seconds6.3 seconds
College Athletes4.9 seconds5.5 seconds
Professional Athletes4.5 seconds5.0 seconds

These averages show the general trend for 40-yard dash times based on gender. Individual performance may vary, and some athletes can achieve faster times than the averages mentioned above.

Athletic Background

Athletic background plays a significant role in determining an individual’s 40-yard dash time. Individuals with a sports background have an advantage when it comes to speed and agility.

Their previous experience and exposure to various athletic movements contribute to the development of essential skills and muscle memory required for sprinting.

Furthermore, athletes who have undergone specific speed and agility programs tend to achieve better 40-yard dash times.

These programs are designed to enhance explosiveness, strength, and technique, all of which are essential for faster sprint times.

Additionally, an athlete’s muscle composition can also impact their 40-yard dash time.

Athletes with a higher proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibers, responsible for quick and explosive movements, often excel in sprinting events.

Moreover, natural abilities, such as height, leg length, and body composition, can contribute to faster sprint times.

Furthermore, athletes who have participated in sports that demand speed and quickness, like soccer or track and field, may have developed specific skills and techniques that positively affect their 40-yard dash time.

However, it is important to note that while athletic background can influence an individual’s 40-yard dash time, consistent training and dedication are crucial for improving performance.

What is Considered a Good 40-Yard Dash Time?

What separates a good 40-yard dash time from the rest? Let’s dive into the world of sprinting and explore what constitutes a noteworthy 40-yard dash time across different age groups. From youth athletes to seasoned professionals, we’ll uncover the benchmarks to keep an eye on. So, buckle up and get ready to sprint through the different age categories to understand what truly defines a commendable 40-yard dash time.


When it comes to the 40-yard dash time in youth athletes, a few factors can affect performance.

  • Age: Younger athletes may have slower 40-yard dash times compared to older athletes due to their incomplete physical development.
  • Athletic Background: Youth athletes who regularly participate in sports and physical activity may have better speed and agility, resulting in faster 40-yard dash times.

It’s important to note that youth athletes’ 40-yard dash times can vary based on their age group. Here are some general guidelines:

  • For children under the age of 10, a good 40-yard dash time is around 7-9 seconds.
  • For pre-teens and early teenagers (ages 11-14), a good 40-yard dash time is around 6-7 seconds.
  • As teenagers (ages 15-18) continue to develop athleticism, a good 40-yard dash time can range from 5-6 seconds.

These times are general benchmarks, and individual performance may vary. Consistent training and proper athletic development can help youth athletes improve their 40-yard dash times over time.


Teenagers typically have faster 40-yard dash times due to their increased strength, coordination, and speed. Male teenagers tend to have faster 40-yard dash times compared to females, as testosterone levels contribute to increased muscle mass and strength. Teenagers with a background in sports or physical activities emphasizing speed and agility, such as track and field or soccer, may have faster 40-yard dash times due to their training. However, it is important to note that individual variations exist among teenagers. Some may naturally have faster times due to genetics or early athletic development, while others may need specific training techniques to improve their speed. Teenagers should focus on increasing their strength through strength training exercises, improving explosiveness through plyometric exercises, practicing proper sprinting technique, and warming up properly before attempting the 40-yard dash. With dedication and consistent training, teenagers can work towards improving their 40-yard dash times and enhancing their overall athletic performance.

College Athletes

College athletes, who participate in a variety of sports, face the challenge of excelling in the 40-yard dash. Various factors, such as training regimens, prior experience, athletic backgrounds, and the level of competition, significantly impact their performance in this specific event. In order to improve their results, college athletes must pay attention to several key aspects, including strength training exercises, plyometric workouts, sprinting techniques, and well-structured warm-up and recovery routines. By taking into consideration these pivotal factors and strategically implementing these practices, college athletes will be able to enhance their overall performance both in the 40-yard dash and on the field or track.

Professional Athletes

Professional athletes can benefit from improving their 40-yard dash time. Here are strategies for professional athletes to enhance their performance:

  1. Integrate strength training: Professional athletes should incorporate exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and lunges to build lower body strength, which is essential for explosive speed.
  2. Implement plyometric exercises: Box jumps and bounding are powerful exercises that can help professional athletes generate force and power during sprinting.
  3. Focus on sprint technique: It is advised for professional athletes to work with a coach to refine their sprinting technique, which can ultimately result in faster 40-yard dash times. Ensuring proper arm swing, knee drive, and body position optimizes speed and efficiency.
  4. Emphasize warm-up and recovery: Professional athletes should invest time in a thorough warm-up routine that includes dynamic stretching and activation exercises. Ample rest and recovery between training sessions are crucial to prevent injuries and optimize performance.

Improving 40-yard dash time requires a combination of strength, power, technique, and preparation. By implementing these strategies, professional athletes can enhance their sprinting ability and gain a competitive edge. It is essential for professional athletes to stay dedicated to achieving their goals and continuously strive for improvement.

How Can You Improve Your 40-Yard Dash Time?

Looking to boost your 40-yard dash time? Get ready to leave your competition in the dust. In this section, we’ll dive into the keys to improving your speed and agility. From targeted strength training and explosive plyometric exercises to honing your sprint technique and nailing your warm-up and recovery routine, we’ve got you covered. So lace up your training shoes and get ready to shave those precious seconds off your dash time!

Strength Training

Strength Training

Strength training is crucial for improving your 40-yard dash time. Incorporating strength exercises can enhance your speed, power, and overall performance. Consider these key aspects:

  1. Include compound exercises: Focus on squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. These movements engage multiple muscle groups, promoting overall strength development.
  2. Prioritize lower body exercises: Target the muscles used during the 40-yard dash by incorporating lunges, step-ups, and calf raises.
  3. Implement plyometrics: Box jumps and depth jumps can improve explosive power and speed off the line.
  4. Train for speed: Incorporate exercises like resisted sprints, sprint intervals, and sled pushes to enhance sprinting technique and increase acceleration.
  5. Focus on core strength: Strengthen your core with exercises like planks, Russian twists, and medicine ball throws for proper posture and stability during sprinting.

Strength training provides significant benefits to 40-yard dash performance. Incorporate these exercises into your training routine for improved speed and agility on the field.

Fact: Strength training improves athletic performance and reduces the risk of injuries by strengthening muscles and connective tissues.

Plyometric Exercises

Plyometric exercises enhance power, speed, and agility, and can significantly boost performance. Plyometric exercises, also known as jump training, are a form of training that involves explosive movements to activate the fast-twitch muscle fibers. By incorporating plyometric exercises into your training regimen, you can improve your 40-yard dash time and overall athletic performance.

There are various plyometric exercises that you can include in your workout routine to enhance your explosive power, speed, and agility. Some examples of these exercises include:

1. Bounding: In this exercise, you explosively bound forward, pushing off with one leg and landing on the other. This movement helps to improve both power and coordination.

2. Box Jumps: This exercise involves jumping onto a box or platform, focusing on achieving maximum height and ensuring a quick takeoff and landing. Box jumps help to improve vertical power and explosiveness.

3. Tuck Jumps: By jumping vertically and bringing your knees up towards your chest, you can enhance your explosive strength and improve your overall jumping ability.

4. Depth Jumps: In this exercise, you step off a box, land softly, and immediately jump upward. Depth jumps help to improve reactive strength and explosive power.

5. Power Skips: This exercise involves skipping with exaggerated knee drive and explosive arm movements. Power skips help to improve lower body power and coordination.

6. Medicine Ball Throws: By performing various throwing exercises using a medicine ball, you can enhance your upper body explosive power and improve your overall strength and coordination.

7. Single-Leg Hops: With this exercise, you hop as far as you can on one leg, landing softly and immediately jumping again. Single-leg hops help to improve balance, stability, and explosive power.

8. Depth Push-Ups: This exercise requires performing a push-up with your hands on a raised surface, clapping your hands before landing back on the surface. Depth push-ups help to enhance upper body power and explosiveness.

Incorporating these plyometric exercises into your training regimen can greatly enhance your explosive power, speed, and agility. However, it is important to warm-up properly before each session and consult a professional for guidance to prevent injuries. So, make sure to add these exercises to your workout routine and start reaping the benefits of plyometric training.

Sprint Technique

Improving your sprint technique is crucial for enhancing your 40-yard dash time. Follow these steps to optimize your sprint technique:

1. Start with a proper stance: Position your feet shoulder-width apart with one foot slightly ahead. Bend your knees and lean your body slightly forward.

2. Focus on explosive starts: Drive your feet into the ground and push off forcefully using the balls of your feet. This generates power and speed from the start.

3. Maintain proper arm movement: Keep your arms relaxed and bent at a 90-degree angle. Pump your arms back and forth in sync with your stride to drive them forward for maximum momentum.

4. Engage your core: Tighten your core muscles for stability and maintain an upright posture throughout the sprint.

5. Stride efficiently: Take long, powerful strides while maintaining a quick turnover rate. This helps you cover more ground and increase your speed.

6. Focus on proper foot placement: Land on the balls of your feet with each stride to achieve quick and efficient energy transfer.

7. Practice body control: Lean slightly forward during the sprint and shift your weight from foot to foot to optimize your momentum.

By incorporating these sprint techniques into your training, you can improve your sprint performance and achieve a better 40-yard dash time. Remember to practice regularly and focus on proper form to maximize your results.

Proper Warm-up and Recovery

Proper warm-up and recovery are essential for improving your 40-yard dash time. Follow these steps to ensure adequate preparation:

1. Begin with dynamic stretching: Perform stretches that involve continuous movement to warm up muscles and increase flexibility.

2. Activate key muscles: Engage in exercises that activate the muscles involved in sprinting, such as glute bridges and calf raises.

3. Gradually increase intensity: Start with low-intensity sprints and gradually increase speed to prepare your body for maximum exertion.

4. Cool down: After sprinting, perform light cardio exercises and static stretches to gradually lower your heart rate and prevent muscle tightness.

Pro-tip: Remember the importance of rest and recovery. Allow your body enough time to recover between training sessions to avoid overtraining and reduce the risk of injuries. Incorporate techniques like foam rolling and regular massage to release tension in muscles and promote faster recovery.

Some Facts About What is a Good 40 Yard Dash Time by Age:

  • ✅ The average 40 yard dash time for a 13-year-old boy is about 10 seconds, but running at a 4.6-second pace is considered impressive. (Source: Healing Picks)
  • ✅ Age is an important factor in determining 40 yard dash times, with teenagers typically running it in under five seconds. (Source: Healing Picks)
  • ✅ The average 40 yard time for 15-year-olds is about 7.6 seconds, while college athletes typically run it in around eight seconds and NFL players in approximately 8.4 seconds. (Source: Healing Picks)
  • ✅ A good high school athlete can run the dash in under five seconds. (Source: Healing Picks)
  • ✅ The NFL started using electronic timing for the 40 yard dash in 1999, and before that, times were unreliable and often exaggerated. (Source: Healing Picks)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good 40 yard dash time for a 12-year-old?

According to the reference data, there is a wide range of 40 yard dash times for 12-year-olds. Some kids run as fast as 4.1-4.5 seconds, while others may be closer to 6 seconds. It ultimately depends on various factors such as genetics, physical fitness, and training.

What is considered a good 40 yard dash time for a 15-year-old?

On average, a 15-year-old can complete the 40 yard dash in about 7.6 seconds. However, faster times are also achievable based on individual athleticism, training, and technique.

What is the average 40 yard dash time for college athletes?

College athletes typically complete the 40 yard dash in around eight seconds. Again, this can vary depending on the athlete’s position, level of competition, and physical fitness.

What is considered a good 40 yard dash time for NFL players?

On average, NFL players complete the 40 yard dash in approximately 8.4 seconds. However, the best times can vary significantly among NFL players, with some achieving lightning-fast speeds.

Can a young child run the 40 yard dash in less than seven minutes?

No, a young child should aim to run the 40 yard dash in less than seven seconds, not minutes. Completing it within this timeframe demonstrates good explosive speed for sports like football and basketball.

How can I improve my 40 yard dash time?

To improve your 40 yard dash time, you can focus on several aspects. These include developing explosive first-step quickness, incorporating strength and conditioning exercises like power cleans and hang cleans, learning proper sprinting techniques, and consistently practicing and refining your sprinting form.

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