NFL Combine Preparation
As an athlete looking to prepare for an NFL opportunity you are staring at potentially the most nerve wracking experience in your life. The NFL combine is, most likely, the most thorough job interview you could imagine. The first realization we look to provide to the athletes in this program is that, put in the right context, this is a process that a football player is very familiar with. Just like the game of football, we realize that success comes from simple things done savagely well. LEWIS Fitness & Performance is "Where Preparation Meets Opportunity"; it is during this preparation process where the simple aspects of each test are taught and repeated until they become ingrained into the athletic framework of each athlete.
The first step toward achieving REAL gains in athletic performance starts with a truly accurate assessment of an athlete’s physical condition and Combine event ability. Our
expert trainers are uniquely qualified and make use of the latest technical research to make such an evaluation possible.
Our State-of-the-art event and physical evaluation enables us to tailor an athlete’s program to meet his unique needs. Specific upper and lower body, front and back strength and movement tests discover any muscular imbalances, which may have resulted from prior training habits or injuries. Performed by our staff of expert trainers, our ability to identify and address an athlete's specific weaknesses has been proven to enhance results dramatically.
Performance in any single Combine event is as much a measure of SKILL as much as it is a measure of athletic ability. An accurate initial measure of an athlete’s ability in each Combine event is the first step toward achieving and measuring ACTUAL gains. All times and measures are made utilizing surfaces and equipment identical to those used at the Lucas Oil Stadium to ensure precision and consistency. Event performances are video analyzed to detect flaws and determine strategies for improvement.
Imagine every General Manager, Head Coach, Director of Player Personnel, Director of College Scouting, Position Coach and Scout for each of the now 32 NFL teams watching your every move. Sounds nerve wracking, doesn’t it? Not if you’re prepared.
40 Yard Dash
In an actual game are offensive linemen ever asked to run straight ahead for 40 yards without getting touched? Not too often, however the 40 remains the highlight of the combine regardless of position. The 40 is actually comprised of several different phases; the stance, start, first step, acceleration, maximal velocity and the finish. Each phase must be perfected to obtain optimal results, and as every phase is mastered, there exist opportunities to lower one’s time.
40 times are split into 10 and 20 times as well, and all three appear on the final report. (A disaster here cannot be salvaged by success in the other events.)
225 Pound Bench Press
The real measure of a football player’s functional playing strength? No. But it’s what they test so you better get it right. Maximizing one’s bench not only requires strength but meticulous technique. We analyze each athlete for maximum strength and repetition endurance ability in order to design the optimal approach for improvement. (For every
athlete there is some real room for improvement here, don’t let the opportunity pass you by.)
Yes we are talking about the NFL not the NBA but this is another critical test, as it is believed to measure an athlete’s "explosiveness.” The test is a coordinated skill involving a rapid exchange between eccentric and concentric actions culminating with an accurate
“touch” for maximum height. Proper foot and arm placement and timing body decent
are the keys to a good jump. Our athletes learn a specific stretch, which is good for a 1-2 inch improvement from the get go! (This event is commonly under-trained, but is one where proper technique and practice can really make a difference.)
Another event thought to be a measure of an athlete’s “explosive power.” Here again, technique reigns supreme. Athletes will learn proper stance, arm swing, weight shift flight
mechanics and landing technique to maximize distance. (Another event that is overlooked, under-trained and a great opportunity for improvement.)
20 Yard Shuttle
There are a few teams that view this event as a more important than the 40 as it is more reflective of the lateral movement critical to the game. Here practice, coupled with proper
technique, makes perfect. Athletes will learn optimal start position, proper lateral movement mechanics, change-of-direction and finish techniques. (Practice and the proper equipment really pay off here.)
3 Cone Drill
A relative newcomer to the combine replacing the old “4-cone” or “box” agility drill, this event also has its admirers. By far the most complicated drill; proper execution is the key to
a good time. Athletes again learn optimal start position, change-of-direction, touch and finish techniques. (If you do not practice this drill you are doomed to a poor score.)
60 Yard Shuttle
The only real endurance event (225 bench excluded), the 60 requires its share of time and attention. Athletes learn optimal start, change-of-direction, touch and finish techniques.
(Far from the most important event, but not one to be neglected either. A bad time here may be viewed as having a bad attitude, in failing to prepare or show up out of shape.)
Quarterbacks, Offensive and Defensive Linemen exempt
Each position has its own set of required drills. Our goal is to familiarize each athlete with the position drills they will be asked to complete and educate them as to what league is looking for and how to do your best.
It doesn’t end when you leave the field. Teams conduct personal interviews in the hotel during combine weekend. Psychological tests, film work and getting personal are often part of the fun. Keep in mind that they have researched you thoroughly and almost surely know the answer to any question they ask. Learn the tips that will help you make a good impression.
Wonderlic Intelligence Test
The NFL uses a version of the Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT), a 12-minute / 50-question test, which measures general cognitive ability. It consists of verbal, numerical, general knowledge, analytical and spatial relations questions that are systematically combined in ascending order of difficulty. It is designed so that few people are expected to complete it in the time allowed. Most teams view different positions as having different requirements, but for the most part the higher you score the better. Test prep courses are available through our licensed sport psychologists.
Combine Event Training
The single most important part of preparing for the combine. As each event requires its own specific set of skills, each must be addressed individually. Here the athlete will learn how to perform each specific event in the most efficient manner possible. Practice makes perfect, but actually improving one’s mechanics makes results even better. There are strategies to taking any test and the Combine is no different. Ultimately our objective is to make our clients Master Test Takers. Weeks of training also have its advantages. No athlete at the combine will be better prepared and that knowledge will instill the confidence that will allow peak performance.
Sprint Technique Training
This is the area where we first made a name for ourselves. It is possible to improve one’s
40-yard dash time. Working on the proper stance, first-step technique, acceleration, maximum velocity mechanics, as well as methods for improving “speed endurance” can all be a factor.
Each athlete is different, but a stronger, better-balanced athlete will perform better at every
combine event. Strength training may include Maximum Strength, Dynamic Effort, Repetition/Muscular Endurance, Accelerative Training, Isometrics, or Hypertrophy Training. Believe it or not, significant gains in strength are possible in the small window of opportunity we have to work with. Very often all it may take is a different approach for an athlete to make gains from a point where they had plateaued before.
Flexibility is one of the most over looked components of training the athlete. The LEWIS Fitness & Performance program places special focus on flexibility as we recognize the dramatic effects it can have on performance and its importance in reducing muscle soreness. These PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) stretching techniques have been performed on hundreds of Olympic sprinters and NFL players and are widely regarded to be at the forefront of flexibility training.
Anaerobic / Aerobic Conditioning
This is accomplished through our state-of-the-art, one-of-a-kind “Dynamic Warm-up.”
Learning this skill alone has been proven to increase our client’s results.
Most athletes who come to us know how to train hard, but few know how to train smart. Merely increasing days, sets and reps is never the answer. In fact, proper recovery is the absolute key to performance and improvement. We accelerate the recovery process for the athlete with the best restoration methods available. Relationships have been build with local practitioners that include Active Release Technique, sports massage, chiropractic care. Education will also be provided into recovery techniques like cold baths, and nutrition supplementation.
No Tricks, No Gimmicks
The Lewis Fitness & Performance program is not about how to cheat at the Combine and get away with it. It is actually about improving performance and making better athletes.