Travelle Gaines: The Combine Whisperer

Performance Gaines, a performance training company founded by Travelle Gaines, has a simple motto: Rise To The Challenge. Each year, Gaines has a score or so of potential NFL Draft picks descend to his training area. Each comes with a similar motto: Rise To The Top (of the NFL Draft).

Each year, his clients perform at or near the top of their positional groupings at the NFL Combine. His clients this year include Stafon Johnson, Dominique Franks, Ed Dickson, Perrish Cox, Brian Price, Ryan Matthews, and Reshad Jones.

Travelle was kind enough to chat with a bit about what it takes to get someone ready for the NFL Combine.

How long have you been training NFL Football Players?
Four years. (Editor’s note: Travelle is a Louisiana native that attended San Jose State university before working with the LSU Tigers and Jacksonville Jaguars)

When getting players ready for the NFL Combine, do you ever try and make the cross-over to game-related skills, or is it 100% combine based?
Game related skills.

When an athlete like Chris Johnson or Reggie Bush, both clients of yours, walks in that door, do you ever wonder to yourself, “How am I going to make HIM better?”
No, because there is a plan of action for every athlete that walks in the door. Everyone can always get better.

What event is your specialty — where do your clients see the most growth?
I think I have improvement in growth in all categories. It really goes on a player by player basis.

What are a few of the specific drills or workouts that you employ to take a guy from 4.6 to 4.4?
We have them do over speed training to help with their stride frequency and sprints over mini hurdles to help with their stride length.

The forty-yard dash gets all the press, but what event at the combine do you feel is the truest test of a player’s athleticism?
The 3 cone drill because it displays a player’s athleticism by showing their linear and change of direction speed.

Any combine predictions for your clients this year?
Ryan Matthews, Reshad Jones and Brian Price will have a really great combine.

What sort of advice do you have for the arm-chair scouts out there – what should they be noticing during the NFL Combine drills?
The arm-chair scouts should be noticing the “diamond in the rough” type kids. They should notice they kids that test well across the board.


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