Skip to main content

How to Avoid a False Start in Sprinting

Learn how to avoid a false start from sprinting coach Shane Paul Neil in this Howcast video.


Hi my name is Shane Paul Neil from City Coach Multisport, and today I'll be talking about how to avoid a false start. Depending on the meet that you're in, a single false start can get you disqualified from your race. Here are few simple tips to avoid false starting in your race. Keep in mind that there are three commands to a sprint start, runners on your marks, set, and go.

Depending on the starter the time between set and go may vary, and at this point generally speaking you're in your start position in which your knees are off the ground and your hands are down, so it can be a little strenuous and an uncomfortable position. Sprinters have a saying you want to get started at the b of the bang, which means that you want to go as quickly as possible once the pistol goes. Because at sometimes you will jump or sometimes you'll be tempted to jump, with sprinting again, it's better to be a hair late than a hair too early.

The best thing you can do is practice your starts on the track with your coach with varying times. One of the things I used to like to do is actually perform different exercises and wait for my coach to give the go signal. So I may do push-ups, and when he says bang I may come out of there. Doing something to take your mind off of what's happening, just to dial back in to the start sound. If by some chance you get into your set position and you're uncomfortable or you feel like you're about to fall, you can raise your hand to have the starter reset.

While in track and field it's not a hard and fast rule, it is generally recognized for meets that if you raise your hand they'll reset the start for you. And that's how you avoid a false start.

Popular Categories