Sprint Starts                

Sprint Starts
In the sprinting events there is a need to have an efficient start. This page looks at the standing, crouch and block starts and the correct positions for the "On your marks" and "Set" positions.


Standing Start
On your Marks

The foot is placed up to the starting line but not on it.
The feet are about shoulder width apart to obtain a good balanced position
The weight is distributed so that about 2/3rds of the weight is on the front foot.

Set

Bend the knees and lean forwards.
Arms synchronized with the legs - in this case right foot forward and left arm forward.
Back, neck and head in line.
Remain motionless.


Crouch 4 point Start
On your Marks

Place the right foot behind the line
Place the left foot behind the right
Remove the right foot and place the right knee adjacent to the left ankle
The toe of the right foot should be turned under
Hands should be slightly wider than shoulder width
Arms should be straight but not locked at the elbow
The fingers must be behind the line
The fingers should form a bridge, with the thumbs pointing towards one another
When viewed from the side the shoulder should be above the start line
The head and neck should be in line with the spine

Set

Hips raised to a position slightly higher than the shoulders
There should be an angle of 90 degrees at the front knee
There should be an angle of 120 degrees on the rear knee
When viewed from the side the shoulder should be above the start line
The head and neck should be in line with the spine
Remain motionless.



40 Yard Dash 3 point Start
Place your stronger leg, usually the leg you jump with, in front. For most athletes, if you are right-handed, your left leg will be your stronger leg
From a kneeling position, place the left (stronger) foot forward so that the edges of your toes are approximately 16 to 20 inches behind the starting line.
With the knee of your back leg on the ground, position it alongside the ball of your front foot with a 4 to 6 inch space (fist) between the legs
Extending your right arm out just behind the line, raise your hips up to a position where the angle of the front leg is about 90 degrees, and the angle of the rear leg is about 120 degrees
The right hand should be extended up onto the fingertips with the fingers spread.
The left arm should rest on the thigh of the left leg or in a position behind the body as if in a running position.
Assume a relaxed position with most of your body weight on the legs and a small amount of your weight on the extended front arm.
The power at the start comes from your legs, not your arm, so don't lean too far forward so that too much weight is on your arm.


Block starts
On your Marks

Blocks correctly positioned in the lane (200m/400m at a tangent to the curve)
Correct distances from the start line to the front and rear blocks
Foot blocks at the correct angles
Blocks firmly located in the track
Feet correctly located in the blocks
Fingers behind the line and form a high bridge
Hands evenly positioned slightly wider than shoulder width
Shoulders back and vertically above or slightly forward of the hands
Arms straight but not locked at the elbows
Head and neck in line with the spine
Eyes focused on the track (1 to 2 meters ahead)
Gentle breathing
Face and neck muscles relaxed

Set

Hold the breath
Hips rise slowly to a position above the shoulders
Head and neck in line with the spine
Eyes focused on the track one or two meters ahead
Shoulders vertically above or slightly forward of the hands
Front leg knee angle approx. 90 degrees
Rear leg knee angle approx. 120 degrees
Feet pushed hard back into the blocks
 

     Maurice Green

Types of sprint starts
There are three types of sprint starts:

Bunch or Bullet start - The toes of the rear foot are approximately level with the heel of the front foot and both feet are placed well back from the starting line.

Medium start - the knee of the rear leg is placed opposite a point in the front half of the front foot.


Elongated start - the knee of the rear leg is level with or slightly behind the heel of the front foot.


Research by Henry(1952) and Sigerseth and Grinaker (1963) supports the medium start as being the one that offers the most advantage to the sprinter. The medium start, compared to the other two starts, allows the sprinter to exert a higher force against the blocks for the longest practicable time which in turn produces the maximum impulse so that the athlete leaves the blocks with the greatest possible velocity.

Source: www.brianmac.co.uk