What Is A 3-Point Stance In Football?

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When you watch a football game, you might notice that players often start in what looks like a crouched position with their hands on the ground. This starting position is known as the 3-point stance and is an essential part of the game.

In this post, I’ll discuss the basics of a 3-point stance and why it’s so important to football. 

What Is A 3-Point Stance? 

A 3-point stance is a starting position used by offensive and defensive players in American football. From this stance, players can move quickly in any direction and gain momentum for running plays or rushing the quarterback. The three points of contact refer to two hands and one foot being placed on the ground.

This position allows players to lower their center of gravity, making them more stable when they make contact with another player or try to break away from blocks. 

Why Is A 3-Point Stance Important? 

The 3-point stance is an essential part of football because it allows players to get off the line quickly, giving them more time to react to plays or put pressure on opposing players. It also helps maximize explosive power, giving teams an advantage when trying to run or pass plays.

Having all three points of contact firmly planted on the ground also gives linemen extra stability when blocking other players or protecting the quarterback from getting sacked.  

How To Properly Execute

1. Start by aligning your feet shoulder-width apart and pointing them slightly outward.

2. Bend your knees and lower your hips so your thighs are parallel to the ground.

3. Place your hands on the ground just outside of your shoulders.

4. Shift your weight forward onto your hands and toes, keeping your back flat and your head up.

5. When you’re ready to engage in play, explode off the ground and drive through with your legs.

When Should Players Use A 3-Point Stance? 

Most offensive and defensive linemen use a 3-point stance when they line up at the start of each play since they need stability and quickness for blocking and pass-rushing maneuvers, respectively.

Running backs may also use a modified version of this stance if they are lined up behind a quarterback who is under center rather than in shotgun formation. This allows them to have better balance when taking handoffs from the quarterback before running downfield with the ball.  


As you can see, understanding how to correctly execute a 3-point stance is an important skill for any football player who wants to be successful on the field. It gives players stability while allowing them to get off the line quickly so they can react faster during live plays.

Next time you watch a game, note how many times each player uses this technique—it will give you a better appreciation of how much goes into the game of football.