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Combine Camp
 
There’s a huge misconception out there that speed is something you’re born with and it…it’s not. It’s fifty percent technique mechanics in your sprinting and it’s fifty percent improving your strength to weight ratio.
That feel a little better?
My name is Ryan Flaherty. I’m the owner of Prolific Athletes, the sports performance training facility in Carlsbad, California and we train athletes of all levels. This time of year – January through March – is our busy time for the NFL Combine Training.
Each year, the NFL invites dozens of players to The Combine: a battery of physical challenges that are used by teams to assess athletes prior to the draft.
The NFL combine is made up of the 40 yard dash; the three cone which is a(n) agility drill; the 5/10/5 which is a short shuttle; um, the broad jump; the vertical jump; and the bench press.
Like any test, there’s cramming and many, including high-profile prospects like Johnny Manziel, Mike Evans, and Logan Thomas turn to Prolific Athletes to improve their speed, agility and power.
Every athlete that I get has to go through the same process so I’m going to do the best job, I can to prepare them to ace the test, basically.
Acing the test can mean big money in the draft.
The difference between the 15th pick and the 10th pick is about a million bucks.
That’s money that can rest on tenths of a second on speed in the speed or agility drill.
Okay, how much more powerful are you now?
Everything I do here is…, the most part, backed by research and science. Especially on the speed side in the 40 yard dash, with my background being in track-and-field…understand how important acceleration is.
I told you I don’t want for you to cross over that white line so let yourself take it a little more rounded. Don’t try to cut it so tightly.
Came in just running, not really knowing what to do and Ryan is a…he’s a…he’s a track guy that knows his sprinters and knows what we need to do to continue to get faster and…technique to work on.
…back leg, I want to get to my top speed right here. Come right back…go, go, go, yeah….
I’d say my 40 was probably in the 4.8s but now it will probably be in the 4.6s now after this training and the weight lifting and just the little small fixes that he puts on your stance.
So guys are generally here in San Diego, training with us between 8 to 10 a week. So, depending on if they come back after the combine to get ready for their pro-day in March…there’s a lot more that goes into it but, uh, it’s about $15,000 per guy.
So the weight room – everything we do in the… in the…on the strength training side of it is to support them to improve their speed and develop more force to get them to be more explosive and fast. Right now everyone’s looking at Mike because he’s such a big guy, he’s 6’5”, 235 pounds…they…they look at him and think he’s going to run, like, a 4.6 or a 4.7 in the 40 yard dash.
And I love it when scouts and GM’s think guys are slower because it gives me the opportunity to really blow them away with his numbers. He’s…he’s going to run really fast.
How much you pulling today?
I’m ready, I don’t know, pulling whatever it is.
The house?
I’m pulling up for greatness.
We’re looking to improve their strength but not adding any additional muscle mass, so we do heavy weight but low rep. We drop the weight, avoiding any type of hamstring overuse injury.
It pushes your body to the limit, it kind of, uh, a failure type of a…of a lifting coach and then, um, he’s definitely one of the best in the speed game. He knows the…the little science behind why and the reasons that people are fast.
…ratio. Elite sprinters will be someone in the 3:1. If we were to test you today, I would say…
I not only explain the science and research behind it but I show them the research so they understand and they can see for themselves–“Wow, this is proven. This is good.” If I can improve their speed here, it’s going to, you know, carry on with them for the rest of their career.
Source: nytimes

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