The latest word from that iteration of the circus known as the NFL Combine is that the theme of this combine is “Fluid Hips.” I was channel surfing yesterday and landed on several of the ESPN pundits talking about the combine. I sat forward in my chair hoping I would learn something about talent selection and identification when they started talking about “Fluid Hips.” What the hell are fluid hips? I think I have an idea of what they are talking about but do they know? Does this represent another example of NFL group think and double speak? I think they are talking about hip mobility. If that is the case is what they are doing really measuring and evaluating that quality. I guarantee that the hurdle hip mobility test originated by Steve Myrland and Bill Knowles (Athletic Development page 63) will measure that. How about doing a complete Athlete Profile following the Kelvin Giles model that is now used extensively in rugby.
The combine and so called pro days are now marketing events. Do they really have anything to do with the game? I am convinced that most coaches really have no idea of what happens in the game. They think they do because they either played the game or watched thousands of hours of film so they could better imitate what other are doing – sheepwalking. They coach what they think is happening rather than what is actually happening. When they talk about speed of the game do they have any idea what they really mean? Does anyone know how fast and how many yards and at what speeds a wide receiver runs in a game versus practice? What kinds of loads are imposed on planting and cutting? What is the cumulative load of the collisions? What are the physical demands of practice and training versus the game?
It all comes down to a simple question- Do you want to innovate or imitate?