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Fitness Testing Norms for Football

There are many fitness tests that are conducted on football players in training and when assessing their potential. Football players need to be strong, powerful and fast. The position you play also determines how important each physical attributes is. Running speed is most important for the wide receiver, though other playing positions would require good speed too. Power would be more important to players on the defensive team.

There are already well established testing protocols for football, that used for the annual NFL scouting combine, and the Football SPARQ protocol to assess the potential of young athletes, below are norms for two of these tests. There was also a one off quarterback combine which focussed on the specific needs of a quarterback.

Test Norms

Below are norms for two commonly used tests, the 40 yard sprint and the 3-cone agility drill, with suggested scores for the different playing positions. These values were presented by Martin Chase, a retired NFL player who has played with the Giants, the Saints, the Redskins, the Ravens, and the Jaguars. He suggests that you should aim for these scores "if you want to impress college football scouts".

  40 yard dash 3-cone drill
position time (secs) time (secs)
Quarterback < 4.7 < 7.1
Running Back < 4.5 < 7.1
Wide Receiver < 4.4 < 7.0
Full Back / Tight End < 4.7 < 7.2
Offensive Lineman < 5.2 < 7.8
Defensive Tackle < 5.1 < 7.7
4-3 Defensive End / 3-4 Outside Linebacker < 4.8 < 7.2
4-3 Outside Linebacker < 4.7 < 7.1
Inside Linebacker < 4.7 < 7.2
Safety < 4.5 < 7.1
Cornerback < 4.5 < 7.0

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