The 2011 college football season is complete and the bowl games, while exciting, are nearing the end. All prospects, both seniors and those juniors that have declared for the NFL draft, start their draft preparations after the first of the year.
The draft prospects will hire agents, if they already have not. Those agents will bring a team to the table in the way of a CPA (certified public accountant), publicist, marketing, security, a workout guru and a former NFL executive will be hired to teach the prospects on what is ahead of them.
Combine – The NFL executive plays a very important role in teaching the prospects about the upcoming meetings, and how to dress, carry themselves around the team’s brass and answer certain questions when it pertains to family background, any off the field issues and football acumen. He will also train them on taking the Wonderlic test, a 50-question test that has a time limit of 12 minutes. While memorization is important, taking this test multiple times is the key.
The other part of preparation is the combine and spring workout, where prospects prepare for a very rigorous workout session that lasts no longer than an hour at a time. The workouts are split into two sections: drill workout and positional skill workout.
The positional skill workout is based on position, and those workouts vary. For example, wide receiver drills are much different then a defensive back. In all skill workouts, you must prepare for explosive movement, change of direction, burst and acceleration, and hand-eye coordination. For offensive and defensive linemen, use of hand drills are mandatory, as are ball skills for defensive backs, receivers and running backs.
The drill workout consists of the following training:
40-yard dash – The 40-yard dash is a test of raw speed and explosiveness. In a test of pure speed, the start is also very important. This is a very good test for all skill players who may have to run 40 yards in a football game on a consistent basis. For offensive and defensive linemen, I like the 10- and 20-yard dash.
Vertical jump – The Vertical jump is a test of lower body explosion and power. This test is a good measure for wide receivers, cornerbacks, and safeties, but it relates to all positions.
Pro-agility shuttle – The pro-agility shuttle, better known as the short shuttle, is a test of burst and acceleration, change of direction, lateral quickness and overall body balance and control. Technique is also very important is this test.
Standing broad Jump – The standing broad jump is a test that is similar to the vertical jump in that it measures how far you can jump instead of how high. It measures explosion, power and lower-body trunk strength.
Bench press – The bench press is a test of pure strength and stamina. The test measures how many bench-press reps an athlete can do of 225 pounds. Technique is also very important. This test is a good measure for every player.
Soon these prospects will leave their dorm rooms, frats, roommates in large houses on campus and move to a new city where their agent sends them to train and will find out that football at the next level is a business and no longer an amateur sport.