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A: Yes! Combines are a great way to get on the map—whether it’s Nike, Under Armour, Reebok or other third-party sponsor! 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.
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. 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 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 BCS schools, quality regional players are also taken into consideration from each area.
If you have great size and speed for your sport, the key benefit about many combines are that they put your name and contact info out there to a variety of coaches, along with a the same info for all the other players in attendance. 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.
Use these combines or exposure events as a measuring stick. 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 help you get a better idea of where you fit in. Participating in these events 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 rising 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 and initially get noticed. Combines are just one way to get your name out there, but a quick way if you have great measureables for your sport.