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Improve Your Combine Scores With Perfect Testing Technique

November 30, 2012

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Football combines for high school athletes are becoming increasingly popular around the country. Although college coaches and scouts might not be watching from the sidelines, these combines give athletes the opportunity to legitimize their scores and get noticed during the recruiting process.

Before entering a combine, it’s critical to have a detailed understanding of how to perform each test. Improper technique will keep you from showing off your true ability. You may not spend months training for a specific test like NFL prospects, but you can improve your scores instantly simply by refining your technique. (Watch Von Miller train for the Combine.)

Below you will find guidelines on how to perform six common combine tests, with detailed instruction from Kurt Hester, National Training Director for D1 Sports Training and a driving force behind The Dominant One Challenge. Study the technique, practice each test and watch your results soar.

40-Yard Dash

The 40-Yard Dash is the highlight of any combine. Football players train for months refining every detail of the sprint to shave tenths of a second off their times. Forty yards may not seem like much, but this one test can be the difference between catching a coach’s eye or fading into the pack.

Learn the 40-Yard Dash.

Bench Press

Every football player loves the Bench Press. It’s the quintessential exercise for measuring upper-body strength and power. You probably know how to perform this basic exercise, but there are techniques you can use to improve your Bench Press test results.

Learn the Bench Press.

Vertical Jump

The Vertical Jump test is a favorite among coaches, because it’s an accurate measure of overall athleticism. Athletes who can jump higher are more powerful, which typically means they are faster, quicker and more physical on the field. Refining your technique on this test will help you realize your true jumping potential.

Learn the Vertical Jump.

20-Yard Shuttle (Pro Agility Shuttle)

Football is a game of short sprints and changes of direction, making the 20-Yard Shuttle especially relevant for football players. It’s one of the more complicated tests due to the many different components of the drill, so make sure to practice diligently so you don't lose valuable time in the transitions.

Learn the 20-Yard Shuttle.

Standing Broad Jump

Like the Vertical Jump, this test is an indicator of overall athleticism. There’s a lot more to this test than a simple hop forward. If you want to achieve a 10- or 11-foot jump, you need to use your entire body to efficiently and powerfully propel yourself forward.

Learn the Standing Broad Jump.

Three-Cone Drill

This drill tests your ability to maintain max speed while changing direction—critical for skill players who need to run precise routes at full speed. To master this drill, you must learn to run the shortest route possible at full speed while maintaining control.

Learn the Three-Cone Drill.

Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
Andy Haley
- Andy Haley is an Associate Content Director at STACK Media. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science...
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