Feb. 22, 2010
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Football program invites Wyoming fans to attend the first-ever "Cowboy Combine" on Friday, Feb. 26 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Indoor Practice Facility on the University of Wyoming campus.
Every Friday during the Cowboys' winter-conditioning program, the players are tested in the same types of drills utilized in the NFL's Scouting Combine that is held prior to the NFL Draft. This Friday fans can watch the current Pokes be tested in five different areas: the vertical jump, standing long jump, three-cone test, 20-yard shuttle and 40-yard dash.
"These tests are all very similar to what the NFL scouts use in the NFL Combine," said UW head coach Dave Christensen. "We thought it would be fun for people to see our players compete in these tests, and so we wanted to open up our final testing of the winter-conditioning program to our fans and media."
There will be a fenced area in the Indoor Practice Facility for fans and media to watch the five tests from. Cowboy players will come in for their testing throughout the three-hour period based on their class schedules. As players set new personal bests in the five tests, fans will hear coaches shouting out the names of those individual players who have broken their previous records.
"Every year we test our players once a week for about five weeks during winter conditioning to determine the progress each player is making," said Christensen. "Our overall player-development program includes two phases -- our lifting phase and our `winning edge' phase that encompasses our conditioning program. Our `winning edge' phase has players up at 6 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and focuses on running, agility and conditioning, as well as developing mental and physical toughness. The success of that program this past year was the reason we were able to come back and win five games in the fourth quarter."
Another measure of the success of the player-development program over the past 12 months is the number of players who are posting impressive individual results.
"We've made a dramatic improvement over the past year in our team speed," said Christensen. "We have had nine players run a 4.4 or better in the 40-yard dash this year. We also feel very good about the improvements our young men have made in their strength and agility."
The overriding atmosphere during the testing sessions is one of competition.
"We want our guys to compete in each test just like they would compete in a scrimmage or a game," added Christensen. "When we test, we expect them to compete at the highest level. We want them to strive to achieve personal records each time they are tested. Our goal is to have each individual get a little bit better every time we test. So far this winter, about 90 percent of our team has run a PR (personal record) in the 40-yard dash. We'd like to be around 92 to 93 percent of our team achieving personal bests in each of the testing areas by the time we finish our winter-conditioning program.
"I think the fans who come to watch on Friday will see the intensity our players bring to these testing sessions. Our players know what we expect of them, and they've bought into that competitive atmosphere."