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Test Scores are Important – Practice


Long time talent evaluator Dave Berk and I were talking at the Ohio University football camp about the number of campers whom do not do the testing correctly. Surprising to me.

Really, in a sense, it is disappointing, because doing the drill correctly is important. Coaches record the times. Obviously, good scores are not the only criteria used in the college coach, but they sure help.

For the young players reading this, or parents reading this, I really believe that learning and practicing the test is important. I am afraid high school coaches do not realize the importance. But it needs to be taught correctly.

The start in the 40 is the most important part of the test. If the coach does not understand the start, he needs to bring in a coach who does. This can be a track coach or a strength coach. Anyone who understands the start. Secondly, players need to run thru  the finish. Every tenth of a second is important.

I really do not value the 40 as much as some, but many college coaches use it as an evaluation tool. We do it at our combines and camps, but I am cautious the times being released. One major football program in Ohio for years, subtracts a tenth of second from the actual time. They have been doing it for years. I call it “feel good” time.

The pro shuttle or 5-10-5 or the 20 yard shuttle is the same test. Cone in the middle – 5 yards to the right and touch with the right. 10 yards to the left and touch with the left and 5 yards back to the middle.

Practice this drill. Slipping is common. Learn how to plant and pivot your football. Remember – go right – touch right. Go left – touch left. And FINISH.

Broad jump. Explode. Use your arms. Stick it with your landing.

Practice bag drills at your school. Use 6 bags and see what drills you can work on. Now this is not a timed test, of course. But just about every camp runs bag drills. Do the same for rope drills.

Although I did not read Mark Porter’s tweets about the uselessness of private camp and combines. He is entitled to what he believes. He does a good job at what he does. But I do not consider MSROHIO stuff – “money grabbers.”

But some time before  the college recruits hit the college summer camps, they need to learn how to do the test drills correctly. Whether it be from a performance trainer or his coach, he needs to learn the correct technique.

We take the time at our developmental combines to go over the test. If time permits, we give more than 2 chances. I would much rather have a prospect learn proper technique than have a major concern for his score.

Not too late for this summer’s college camps. Watch, learn, and practice. Actually, I probably do not put as much importance in numbers as some college coaches, because I think football is still played in pads, not shorts and shirts.

But the ” college coaches or the decision makers” like to see the test scores. At the last camp I visited,  a prospect was not offered a scholarship, because his 40 time was not good enough. At least that was the reason given.




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