Make the Most out of Combines
Summer breaks are made for relaxing right? Not when you’re looking to play college football. Although your sport may be out of season, recruiting is always in season. Some of an athletes most important steps toward being recruited occurs in the summer. Apart from free time to email coaches and plan visits, training camps and combines are a great way for athletes to gain further exposure and catch the eye of recruiters.
Coaches use the summer to prepare for the upcoming year just like students do. One item at the top of their lists and their highest priority is finding good recruits either for the upcoming season if spots haven’t been fully filled or starting early for next years recruiting class. For sports like football especially coaches and universities devote a large chunk of their summer time to scouting and hosting combines. Combines are events where athletes compete against each other in different tests to display their athletic ability. When it comes to attending combines the answer is always yes, but its which combine you attend and how you prepare for it that will determine whether its a complete waste of time or the beginning of your journey to playing college ball.
Let them know who You are
Many athletes pay to attend combines under the allure of promises that college coaches and scouts will be attending them which will lead them to be seen by said scouts and thus recruited. That’s not exactly how it works. Just because college coaches and scouts are attending the camp doesn’t mean they will notice you. Scouts attend camps with specific recruits already in mind. Combines allow for scouts to watch potential recruits in a practice like setting and better determine if they would be a good match for their program.
So athletes spending hundreds of dollars to go to a every combine promising that college coaches and scouts are attending should stop while they’re ahead. Combines are a waste of time for “unknown” athletes, unless you plan to be the Cinderella man of the camp, the coaches won’t notice you. Coaches have no idea who you are, their time is precious, and recruiting is a business. If they’re paying attention to players on their prospective athletes list they won’t have time to look at you.
Make the most of your time by contacting coaches in advance. Let them know who you are, that your interested in playing in college and that you’ll be attending the combine. You’ll want to send coaches your stats as well as film of you playing ( if you have it) so coaches can see you play prior to attending the camp.
Once the recruiters know who you are the next step is to make the best impression possible. Combines are designed to display your skills as an athlete, take the time to research and learn what drills the combine will be testing. Going in cold without training for the tests ahead of time won’t help you gain any interest from recruiters in fact if you’re unprepared and don’t perform well coaches may lose interest altogether. No coach wants an athlete that’s unprepared, that doesn’t study for the test. If you can’t perform well in drills you’ve had the test material for, how can you be expected to perform well in a blind test? Like when your on the field in game, anything can happen. Below are a few examples of common drills used in combines.
This drill is used to test the explosiveness and strength of the lower body. The goal is to travel as far as you can and have a balanced landing.
This is a test of strength and endurance to see how many times an athlete can bench a designated weight. In the NFL combine its a 225 pounds.
Another tool to test explosiveness is the vertical jump.
Choose the Best Camp for You
Many universities offer combines and camps on campus which coaches use to view recruits they already have in mind. These camps are especially valuable to smaller universities that may lack large recruiting budgets. If you are talking with a coach and their program offers a summer program You Need to GO. Attending these camps are the best way to solidify being recruited by a coach. Not going to these camps, shows coaches you’re not really that interested in their school and they’re probably better off pursuing other athletes. The only potential reason to not go to camps like these are if your invited to elite combines that you are invited to compete in. If your not invited its better to go to camps where you know you’re being looked at seriously.
Not having any luck so far with recruiting? Contact Athletes USA today to find out how we can help you get a football scholarship