Thursday, March 11, 2010

Combines Good and Bad

Three years ago I attended a football camp where the campers were going through the basic speed tests. The Pro-shuttle was giving some of the campers real problems. First time for many of the campers. All the while, the person timing, never got up off of the chair to help the guys being tested. Thus began my plans to host an educational football combine.

This month the first Ohio High School Football Coaches Developmental Combine will be held at the D1 Training Center in Columbus. The first part of the day will be instruction. After a short break, prospects will be tested in the usual combine tests. The 40 yard dash, the pro-shuttle, the L-shaped cone drill, the power ball throw, the vertical, and the long jump. The results will be sent to colleges all over the country. Of course, prospects will have the choice to record the results.

Even as a head football coach,I have never been blown away by the bench press. Long arm guys are at a disadvantage. I have some concern for safety. Bench press results do not always indicate how well a player changes direction and how well he can play football. Of course, the bench press helps a player get stronger and faster, but I do not how much the results football ability potential. We are using the power ball test.

Combines are a good way to get football prospects ready for the college football camps in the summer. With my combine, I hope campers leave with the confidence that they understand how to perform the tests. The results are really secondary. Honestly, how many propects are in the same condition now that they will be in August. But if they understand what is asked of them at college camps, they will be much more comfortable after attending the OHSFCA Combine.

At the OHSFCA Developmental Combine only the instructors and prospects will be allowed in the testing area. Parents and coaches will be upstairs on the balcony. These are safety precautions. Because it is educational and space is limited, we can only accomodate parents and coaches.

Concerning different combine results, many college coaches are more concerned if a new name has popped up on the list, rather than the times of the participant. For example, a dad called me recently to tell me his son ran a 4.4/40 at a combine in February. I was not there, so I believe him. But wow! that is fast. He has really improved his time.

There are many combines across Ohio and the nation. Some, like Nike, measure alot of different drills. Some have campers rated either by points or scouts. My thinking is that anytime we can promote kids and the game of Ohio high school football, we are doing a good thing. My only suggestions to prospects and parents are to make sure the combine is run with qualified personnel, that all measurements are accurate, and that more than just a camp ranking, you leave with the knowledge and experience gain to make you a better college football recruit.

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