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Why Undergrads Should Pay Attention to the NFL Combine

How does the NFL Combine relate to your career and future?

Some thoughts for undergraduate students

Today's Lesson and Advises = Skills and Abilities

 

While I was the director of Spartan Performance at Michigan State University, our interns would present at our weekly seminar.  One of them presented on "Preparing the Offensive Lineman for the NFL Combine". At the completion of the presentation and Q&A period, I saw a teaching moment and proposed a question, "How does the NFL Combine relate to your career and future?".

 

Well, you can have great numbers on the 40-yard dash etc. (i.e., a high undergrad GPA) but yet fail in your interview due to character issues and the inability to effectively communicate and/or have a risque photo show up on social media. In addition, when you complete the sport-specific skills portion (i.e., job skills) of the combine, you may perform poorly. Do you get drafted? Do you get the job? Great weight room numbers but no skills are akin to a great GPA but no practical skills.

 

The NFL combine is an interview. Students, what you are doing right now is preparing for a job interview. You obviously need to meet some threshold of GPA just like you can't run a 6.4 40-yd and be an NFL athlete. But does it matter if you have a 3.8 or a 3.5 GPA, especially if you do not have experience or skills or can't effectively communicate or are a bad character?! The point here is that you should have a well-rounded portfolio - get good grades, gain practical experiences and hone your skills, and please mind your social media presence!

 

Last, I want to finish with effective communication. I love TED talks. TED curator Chris Anderson proposed that all school-children learn how to talk like TED. Get comfortable and skilled at public speaking - whether it be in a small group meeting, in front of a team, or at a conference.

 

Best wishes to all students and interns and the rest of you as you continue your journey. And remember, you control your own learning environment.

Joe Eisenmann