Would you ever know what your body weight was if you never stepped on a scale? The same reasoning goes for performance metrics like speed, agility and strength. If you don’t measure those things, you’ll never know where you are. You won’t know what type of program to implement or even where to start.
Most professional sports organizations have set up a battery of physically and mentally demanding tests in a standardized setting. The most famous is the NFL Combine, but the NBA and MLB are other groups that host similar combine events. Each prospect is tested to see if their “draft stock” rises based on measurable speed and strength qualities.
The NFL combine is an “invite-only” elite opportunity for select athletes to compete. To take the knowledge and skills they have learned and put it to the test. There is one unified goal amongst athletes, to pull up and prove who’s the best!
NFL Coaches, scouts and managers will be observing who has the tools and the skillset to be molded into a top-ranking football player. Each day leading up to the combine and after the combine is another opportunity to improve your stock and ranking so that one day you can showcase your talents to the world.
Football is a physical game. It’s a year-round game. You need to prepare in the off-season for those 12-15 games because that’s all you get in football.
One professional athlete, a former Gator told me, “I train as hard as I can. I train when other people sleep. 7 days a week. I train when people eat. I’m the top at my position. I got to be number one.” This live-to-train and train-to-live mantra has molded some of the best athletes in the world.
There is a flipside to that coin however, as I learned in speaking to one of the premier linemen (a senior in high school from Missouri) at the US Army All-American Bowl. He said, “I was always the big fish in a little pond, but, when I arrived in San Antonio and wasn’t bigger, or stronger or faster than the other guys, I realized then that my best was only as good as everyone else’s.” The stark realization that your superior talent that has made you a standout is only as good as the guy next to you and the guy next to him. When this happens, you are going to want to go back and see what you could have done differently. One more rep, one more session, one more hour training.
This is the very reason JAWKU Speed exists. It is one of the tools that athletes use to measure their performance. Whether they are trying to get into the big league, or they are just trying to maintain a spot on the team and compete at the highest level.
A dedicated JAWKU user told me, “In middle school and the first two years of high school my teammates and friends would throw shade. They were like, ‘Hey, that was a nice move, but you got caught.’ You know, it always used to happen to me, and then I took it upon myself to get fast. The problem was I didn’t know how fast or not fast I was. Then I met some guys who used the JAWKU Speed band and I knew that this would be my answer. Fast forward, you’re talking to me because I’m one of the fastest seniors in the nation.”
A famous speed coach from Los Angeles said to me, “Speed training is very important. You can be fast naturally, but if you want to be really fast, you have to work on it. Speed is a big part of the game, no matter what sport you’re playing. You must work at getting stronger and faster every day. If you put hard work into it and train each and every day, you will gain speed and you will get fast.”
There are so many stories out there of top athletes who came from nothing to something.
It’s cliché, but more athletes than not have shown through work ethic and diligence that they can come to greatness. And that is the one commonality, the one red thread that we see through all great athletes.
Speaking to one of the athletes at the 2020 NFL Combine, he said, “When I first came in to see you, I was pretty bad at the 5-10-5 and the L-drill. My 40 starts were terrible. But you know you have to put everything into the training, put football aside and work on testing and running against the clock. If I can test really good, I know it will translate on the field.” He did very well, and I’ll be excited to see how his “draft-stock” increased on April 23rd.
If every day you see each failure as an opportunity to grow, and every win as reinforcement of that growth and continue forward you will have success!