T Nation

NFL Hopeful


Yeah, I know a guy gettin ready for his college pro day, and he was asking for some advice on improving his performance.

He's a 6'2, 230lb RB who claims to have a 4.4-4.5 40, 34inch vertical(nfl measurement style), 10ft broad jump, 530lb squat, 375lb bench, etc. Well he said he had probably 3-4 weeks till his pro day, and has been training at Velocity Sports the past 2 weeks, but I was trying to give him any valuable tidbits that I could to help his chances.

I won't be meeting up with him till later this week, but from our conversations, and the feedback he has gotten from Velocity Sports, etc. It sounded to me like he has a Plantar Flexion weakness that Jumanji has talked about extensively, and I don't think his vertical is high enough given his stats( his one hand reach vertical would probably be like 30-31 inches). He is fast in terms of acceleration according to the video analysis from Velocity, but he has mentioned his problems with his start mechanics and has tendency to have too much heel dip when he runs. He said to correct this they had him doin some angled running in place drill against the wall, and this didn't sound like the best way to attack the problem. Shouldn't i suggest some gradual progression of PF work that includes weighted walks and skips on toes, various hops and landings in a PF position, and maybe some Prime Time runs?

As far as his vertical, which i was trying to explain to him is such a strong indicator of explosiveness, I still need to do the two vertical tests in person that give u a good idea of what someone's weakness is. I know he is training with them for his drills and whatever lifting, but I was trying to make sure he was attacking his true weakness to maximize his short term results. It sounds to me like he'd be best of working on calf stiffness, RFD, bench reps, and doing his agility drills, but I don't know his total workout at Velocity Sporst Performance.(resistance running, vertimax,drills, lifting,etc) Sounds like they just work the hell outta those guys (9am -1), hope for the best with maybe a delayed supercompensation(which they not may not even realizing they are creating), and hit and miss. He actually asked me if it would be good to use the vertimax everday to work on his vertical, and my thinking was maximal jumping everyday is definitely not the way to go, thats when i tried to help him understand the importance of monitoring intensity of exercise and not overtraining. Isn't the vertimax just resistance jumping? i've never used one, but is it really that effective or more effective than other means of improving vertical jump,(depending on the individual weakness) and aren't I correct about not using one everyday at high intensity.

I think the guy is just naturally fast, but I think his RFD may not be as developed in relation to his strength development.(although I thought good acceleration would mean RFD is pretty good.) I won't know for sure until I see him perform in person. He also says he has trouble finding a starting stance he's comfortable with, despite the universal stance they teach you to start with.

He's also working on his Bench reps, which i probably don't have a ton of advice for him in, but I just laughed with him about how that test isn't the best test of how strong someone is or how powerful their upper body is.

I guess my basic question to anyone on here who has valuable knowledge, is am I in the ballpark in terms of my initial thoughts on the best methods of helping him. I think he's pretty willing to listen to what I suggest to him, and he sought me out, but I don't want to have any negative impact on his performance. He's trying to make the NFL and this is of course a big deal, so I just wanted to help him in anyway I could, if possible.




To hell with all that combine testing bullshit. Have him work his position specific drills and have him focus even more on makeing sure scouts get a copy of a highlight tape of him playign football.

As long as he can run a halfway decent time (which doesnt' sound like a problem) that's all that matters. What happens on tape and in position specific drills, how a guy moves, etc., is much more important.


I agree. All his marks are good enough for the NFL. He needs to show them he can play football. One frivolous tip; he can roll a little bit into his start on the 40y dash. Might shave .05.