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How to Train for the Football Combine Tests

By: Mike Gough
How an athlete performs at a football combine can be critical in their football career. Football combines consist of the following tests: 40 yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, bench press, pro agility shuttle, three cone agility, and 60 yard shuttle. The better the athlete can perform in each of these 7 tests the better their chances of playing football at the next level whether that is high school to college, or college to the NFL.

Football combine performance enhancement is twofold. The athlete needs to train to enhance their raw strength, speed, agility power and flexibility. The athlete also needs to master the proper technique for each test, ensuring that the test is performed in the most efficient manner. This will lead to a knockout football combine performance.

Football Combine Training

Training for the football combines obviously is different than training for the sport of football. The athlete needs to be a polished blend of speed, agility, power, quickness, and athletic fluidity. Training must reflect these qualities.

Movement skill training, encompassing speed, agility, quickness and foot speed are major areas of focus when training to test at a football combine. These components can be enhanced with training using ladders, speed chutes, speed resistors, and various cones drills. This will allow the athlete to move more efficiently allowing the athlete to perform the tests with better technique.

Developing and enhancing explosive power is also a very important aspect of an athlete's combine training. Plyometrics are a training method that I use when preparing athletes for the NFL Combine. They help enhance the vertical jump, broad jump, and the 40 yard dash.

Strength development is important as it is a component of increasing explosive power. For the bench press test, both max strength and muscle endurance training should be performed to increase reps performed.

Flexibility training should be performed daily to help increase range of motion. An increased range of motion will enhance speed, agility, and power development.

Football Combine Technique Training

Regardless if you trained to enhance your speed, agility and power, technique training specifically for the combine tests can greatly lower testing times and increase jump height and bench press reps.

Specific test technique cues can limit extra steps and decrease times. By working and refining the specific proper technique for each test you will perform the test more efficiently.

When training the technique for each test, breaking the test up into phases and refining each phase is the best way to make the biggest gains to the whole test. Perfect each phase the move to the next.

Having a systematic step by step protocol for each test is essential to performing at your best. This decreases your nerves as the test becomes a routing that you have repeated hundreds of times during training.

Mental thought processes prior and during each test can limit nerves and increase performance. One two or three simple thoughts provide focus and helps block out negative thoughts and distractions.

By working on the physical and mental technique cues, perfection in each of the tests can be achieved.

Football combine training is twofold. For a knockout combine performance both training and technique refinement should be performed. By training both of these areas you will ensure that you are fully prepared for the biggest test of you life.

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About The Author, Mike Gough

NFL Combine training expert Mike Gough, CSCS specializes in 40 yard dash training and football combine test preparation. Mike has just released his football combine training DVD entitled "The Combine Freak" and is available at where you can signup for his free 40 yard dash and combine training newsletter.
For more information on Mike Gough's NFL Combine Training Program please visit his website at

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