Right out of college I was blessed to have landed a job with Nike’s high school grassroots marketing/sales team. It was wonderful opportunity that I traveled the country (drove to all lower 48 states), meet great student atheletes before they became famous. Each Spring the team travels mainly to NFL cities to have a ‘Rating Day’ which when I traveled around it was called Nike Combine.
That’s what it is, a FREE opportunity for current 8-11 grade students to come out and go through a combine of test that will then produce a rating. That rating is compiled of height, weight, vertical jump (how long you’re off a mat, not how high up you reach), powerball (think weighted medicine ball) throw distance, 5-10-5 yard shuttle run, and lastly, the 40-yard dash that is LASER timed! These results are emailed to ALL the college coaches (who want it, but who wouldn’t want this info?) to use during their evaluations. Standing out here can gain you attention needed to receive schollarships.
You can see some of the events in the above video. Those kids who do well at the rating day along with coach recommendation, player accolades on the field or potiential will be invited the next day to ‘The Opening’. This is a camp like structure pairing up player’s positions with coaches many with NFL, College backgrounds to teach them new drills that will help them stand out. You can see more of these 1on1 drill that happen at the end of the camp through Student Sports YouTube channel.
Those athletes who stand out at each regional camp/Opening, will get an invite to the finals of The Opening at Nike’s world headquarters in Beaverton, OR. That is a treat in itself. Being selected to attend that, almost guarentees you college schollarship!