Day three was a big day, especially when it comes to exercise -- and boy did I wake up sore on the morning of Day four.
After being put through the "Movement sessions" with Coach Loren Seagrave just like the combine guys go through to get ready for the big event, their weekly hill workout, Re-Gen (basically a 30 minute circuit) and the forth quarter program – it was time for the most challenging test yet.
The Gatorade Sports Science Institute testing, perhaps the summation of the entire expericne, a comprehensive test that would take me to my limits in all aspects physically and mentally. Even better? I was the first reporter to ever go through it.
Sure I was a three sport division one athlete, but this test is to see what makes elite atletes tick.
Whew, just mentioning it makes me nervous again.
I've got one thing to say about this test. It was intense.
I came out of it with road-rash on both shins, a bruised arm, and much more self-confidence than when I started.
The road rash? Because of the treadmill test, and pushing myself so hard I couldn't run anymore -- and I fell off.
The bruised arm? Thanks to blood collection for the testing.
And the confidence? The fact that the first reporter (though I still consider myself an athlete) to go through the GSSI tests, tested out above average in nearly every category for my sport and age. (Okay I'll admit it, the only category that I was below average was one reflex test – I was an endurance athlete, okay?)
And the fact that now, reflecting on my experience I am sore in every part of my body after the pat four days of training like an NFL prospect? Priceless.
I got to meet some great people, working within all aspects of the IMG Academies and training there – and I learned a lot about myself in just four days. When you put your body to the test, or as we used to say when I played soccer "sacrifice your body for the team," only good things can come.
I did just that, and I came out of the week with a new realization of what I could do. I tested my limits physically, but more important mentally – and I would encourage everyone reading this to get out there and test yourself a bit too.
That's what combine training is all about, and it became clear to me over the past four days. Getting out there, testing out your weaknesses but also showcasing and improving your strengths. Getting out of your comfort zone, and most importantly buying into the program and learning.
Sometimes we get too comfortable in our comfort zone, but getting out of it is what makes you GREAT. That's why the 30 guys training for the combine at the IMG Performance Institute will succeed, they have learned how to master being out of their comfort zone, and after just four days of the same, I realize how important it is.
My experience being an "embedded" reporter training for the combine was something I will never forget. I can only hope that as you followed me through my experience that you learned something too – because I know I did.
Stay on FOXSportsNext for all the video of my experience, if you want a more in-depth look at what it's like to train for the NFL combine.