#2: Had impressive regional or national combine results (height, weight, speed, vertical, stats, notes) that were sent to the coaches
How do you stack up versus other players in your county, conference and state? Think a smaller version of the NFL combine, if all players were put in a room, separated by position, measured up and put through the same drills, players will begin separating themselves from top to bottom. Attending regional combines will help you get more exposure versus quality players in your area and will especially give you the chance to see how you stack up with measureables. In many sports, size and speed will help get you added to coaches’ watch lists without them even knowing about your skill level.
Third-party organizations coordinate combines, showcases and tournaments across the country. From each site, players’ heights, weights, speed, vertical jumps, contact info and other measureables are collected. A detailed report from each location (Orlando, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, etc) is sent through a scouting service to coaches at programs across the country, including phone numbers, emails and mailing addresses for each combine participant. Each staff takes the data from each location and will add players to their watch lists accordingly based on their needs. Top measureables (height, weight, speed) are keys to being added to FBS/FCS schools, quality regional players are also taken into consideration from each area.
The key benefit about events like the Nike and Under Armour football combines are that they put your name and contact info out there to a variety of coaches. This is EXACTLY what you need if you think you have the skills and want to get noticed. It puts your verified, black and white measureables on a spreadsheet for coaches, along with your direct contact info! That’s about as good as it gets, especially if coaches haven’t been able to see you yet.
If you truly want to be successful, use these combines or exposure events as a measuring stick during your freshman or sophomore years. This should motivate you to begin to do the extra work that is necessary to be a great college player down the road. These events will be a wake-up call to you that either you need to work harder or they may be a confidence boost that should encourage you to strive for even more, to continue to separate yourself as one of the best. These events will help you get a better idea of where you fit in. Participating in these events at an early age will help you prepare for the common drills that you will be put through during your collegiate career and will help you get over first-time jitters so that when you come back as a junior or senior you know exactly what is expected! You will know exactly what will be asked of you. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself at these events but understand there is value in working extremely hard and preparing for these physical tests.
Coaches are always looking for players with the best position- specific skills, but size and speed are base traits that can also help you get on the map. Combines are just one way to get you on the map, but a quick way if you have the right measureables.
NAIA SHOWCASES: Many third-party organizations offer showcase opportunities for a variety of sports. The NAIA offers their own showcases around the country for a variety of sports including football, women’s soccer, men’s soccer, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball and softball. For more information, visit www.naiashowcase.com.