For years, Cardinals strength coach John Lott has been adding a “good TV” vibe to one of the events from the Hoosier Heptathlon (hey, if everyone is going to start swiping our “Underwear Olympics” label, we need to come up with a new name for the thing). Specifically, as players try to bench press 225 pounds as many times as possible, Lott barks at them to keep pushing.
It’s not an uncommon dynamic in weight rooms. Guys sometimes need external motivation to push themselves. At the Scouting Combine, however, the external motivation is fairly obvious.
And with at least one torn pec being suffered this year during the event (by Iowa tackle Markus Zusevics), agents have been complaining about the effort to get the players to squeeze out a final rep that could blow out a muscle or a tendon.
“Who cares if my guy gets 24 instead of 27 reps?” one agent told PFT. “No one has ever won a football game because of how many times a guy can lift 225 pounds with his arms.”
The easy answer is for any player who is concerned about injury to pass on the event. The better answer is to ditch the hoo-rah baloney and treat these kids like the men they’re now expected to be. No one is yelling at them to run faster in the 40-yard dash; why does someone need to try to persuade them to strain past discomfort and into the territory of injury?