Sunday, March 18

Ultimate Combine

What would the UPA combine look like?

I mean, if all of the club teams drafted players like the NFL, what would the standard exercises look like? What would Ultimate's version of the Wonderlic Test look like? Read Luke's old rsd posts and see if you get the jokes?

List of standard NFL Combine stuff:

  • 40 yard dash
  • Bench press
  • Vertical jump
  • Standing long jump
  • 20-yard shuttle
  • Three-cone drill
  • 60-yard shuttle
  • Position-specific drills
  • Interviews
  • Physical measurements
  • Injury evaluation
  • Drug screen
  • Cybex test
  • Wonderlic Test
I would say that the least applicable are the bench press and the drug screen since we neither push people around nor test for drugs. The rest seem reasonably useful, if you were working to develop a picture of the capabilities of a player separate from his body of work on the field. I'm not getting into the utility of that goal, but rather that these tests would, at first glance, seem to translate well to ultimate. Clearly, "Position-specific drills" would be a bit different as the positions in ultimate are only defined by strategy, not the rules of the game.

What sorts of conclusions could be drawn about players from these type of evaluations? Well, tons, actually. I'm not a huge proponent of putting great faith in these things,but you can get an idea of where people fit in the athletic spectrum. You can also use them as benchmark tests to gauge progress toward physical goals over a season or career.

We do our own "Measurements" with Pike consisting solely of measuring your Monkey Factor (Wingspan/Height) to determine whether our teammates/tryouts are Monkeys (MF>1), Humans (MF=1) or T-Rexes (MF<1). class="blsp-spelling-error" id="SPELLING_ERROR_3">Rexes. There are many theories on this topic, but none have been substantiated in clinical trials. I think the idea that heads the list is that it makes Dono feel more comfortable if he surrounds himself with similarly short-armed freaks.

If you were wondering, and I know you were, I'm a monkey by a few inches. MF of 1.06. Most extreme MF yet observed? Either Danny Clark or Jim Regetz-- I can't recall. Either way, they can both tie their shoes without bending over.

So, if you're looking to make the O team this year, hang by your arms on the aptly-named monkey bars. If you want to make the D team, well... chop off the tips of your fingers or something. It makes about as much sense as wanting to be on the D team in the first place.
Workout Total:
20 Minutes with the Wobble Board


Ryan Todd said...

I think the more intriguing question is, what would the numbers look like? Joe Thomas ran a 4.92 s 40, ran the 20-yd shuttle in 4.88 s, and a vertical of 33 in. And he's 6'6", 312 lbs.

How many club players can put up those numbers? I don't know.

dusty.rhodes said...

How many of the kids at the combine were getting chemical assistance?

Are there any players/teams for whom we have these sorts of numbers? I'm sure we'll come in under the pros from [insert major sport here], but how wide is the gap?

I mean, these guys train as a job. When I'm typing at my desk all day, they're getting bigger, stronger, faster and better.

parinella said...

We had a few years of DoG camp way back in the day. Events included 40, 100, 400, 1500 m runs, accuracy, distance, vertical jump, discathon, MTA. (I'm missing at least one, as we did the MTA only once.) The 40 timing was bad, as I remember one group where the winner of a heat had a slower time than the loser, who was timed by another.

So, the answer is that you'd have some throwing tests also. Maybe you could build a marking machine and test accuracy while breaking the mark. Speed endurance test, maybe run 5 40s in quick succession.

Ryan Todd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dusty.rhodes said...

Go ahead... delete your precious comment. I already read it.
Timing a 40 is always hard. Even at the NFL level there are disputes about timing (any competent google search will find a ton of stuff on this).

How useful is a 1500m run, really?
Perhaps we're looking at this the wrong way. Football is, in many ways, repeating sets of maximal effort with ample rest. Speed Endurance isn't as important as top speed due to the breaks built into the game. You need to do exactly what the coach tells you to do coming out of every single huddle.

Ultimate, in this regard, is more like soccer or basketball. On-Field IQ is vital. The ability to read and react in real time is an importnat factor in effectiveness. In terms of speed endurance, you need to be able to quickly accelerate and reach top speed at the end of a long point. Part of this is being able to anticipate when that moment will occur so that you aren't caught off guard and part of it is having enough left in the tank to follow through physically.

In football, your decisions (before you have the ball) are already made for you. The whistle blows, you run your route (with predictable adjustments given a particular defense). Pause. Regroup. Repeat.

Both soccer and basketball, in addition to measuring physical attributes like the nfl, hold pre-draft camps in which playters are divided into teams who then play each other. This obviously wouldn't work in the nfl due to the higher injury risk and the structured/coach-controlled nature of the in-game decision-making process.

As usual, if you're an established stud, you can sit these things out with little, if any, harm. But if you're on the cusp or a complete unknown, you can make a name for yourself by playing well rather than testing well.

Ultimate already has this. If you pay attention at the tournaments you go to with your club team or even things like Poultry Days and Fools Fest you'll see college players and club players competing with/against each other. Some of them you'll recognize, and others will stand out to you as gifted unknowns. Determining if they live in your area and want to give up a portion of their lives for ulitmate can yield some rewards.

I suppose it is more of a non-stop combine in that sense.

Ryan Todd said...


My best guess is that the average elite men's player would come in around 4.7 - 5.0 s 40 time, and a 25-30 in vertical. And 0 - 1 reps in the bench press.

But, if we spent 12 weeks perfected our technique in these drills in preparation for a combine, these numbers would drastically improve.

dusty.rhodes said...


I agree that those numbers seem like pretty solid guesses although I have no evidence one way or the other.

That's funny about the 225lb bench press. I can think of max 5 guys from Pike 03-06 who might have been able to do it once. I'd bet that the guys who could do it once would get up to 3-4 reps though. And guy who would be a definite for 7-8, if not more, reps.

Stephen Hubbard said...

what does 20 minutes on a wobble board look like?

dusty.rhodes said...

It looks a lot like a drunk guy being unable to stand...

Actual Workout:
(all pushups on the board)

60 sec stand, repeat.
10 pushups
30 sec circular rotation in each direction, repeat faster.
10 pushups
30 sec front to back rocking motion, repeat faster.
30 sec circular rotation in each direction but with hands on board while in pushup position.
30 sec side to side rocking motion, repeat faster.
10 pushups, eyes closed
10 double leg squats, 5 left leg squats, 5 right leg squats; repeat.
10 pushups, eyes closed
30 sec circular rotation in each direction but with hands on board while in pushup position (eyes closed)

5 min rest
Repeat entire workout, now with eyes closed for everything.