Football: Crushing the Combine

Antonio Garcia's Vertical Jump at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine. Image courtesy of NFL.com.
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About This Episode

Every February, football fans turn their attention to Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine, where college athletes show their stuff to the coaches and scouts who can turn them into NFL superstars. This week, in another “off-season” episode we’re presenting with TuneIn, Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice get the inside scoop on what it takes to turn a hard-up college student into a multi-millionaire at the NFL Draft in the spring. They talk with Pete Bommarito, a performance coach who runs the top training company for all NFL Veterans, Rookies, and Draft-Prep. You’ll learn why the road to “boosting a player’s stock in the combines” starts in the medical center, where every muscle and joint is analyzed to achieve peak performance. Discover why, with only 6-8 weeks between the end of the college season and the combine, and the fact that most players are suffering from the wear and tear of their season, the intense pressure to perform well in the combine leads to 6-8 visits to the medical center each day, compared to only three daily training sessions. Explore how an army of performance coaches, physical therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors and more work to tune-up the athletes. You’ll hear how the physical training is easy compared to the mental discipline it takes to isolate the motion of a specific joint, and how not to “cheat” the tests. Find out how “mock combines” help prepare players to be evaluated on their vertical jump, their 40-yard dash, agility, bench press strength, and more. Moving beyond the combines, Gary and Chuck welcome NFL Media analytics expert Cynthia Frelund to talk about the NFL Draft itself. You’ll also hear how the NFL is using predictive analytics to attempt to understand strategy. Compare the role that scouts, coaches and big data play in creating an analytics-informed “black box” designed to remove bias from the selection process. Cynthia reviews who did better in the 2017 draft, including the Seattle Seahawks, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Chicago Bears and her favorite, the San Francisco 49ers. Finally, Gary drops another conspiracy theory on us, this time about how to use private workouts to deviously manipulate the combine.

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