Each year, around 300 of the best college football players in the country are invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, where key personnel from every NFL team assess these players for the upcoming NFL draft
To prepare for this career-making event, many of the players enter intense training programs at a small number of elite athletic centers.
One such center is XPE Sports in Boca Raton, Florida. A long list of NFL stars train or have trained at the facility in the off-season—including the San Francisco 49ers’ Anquan Boldin, the Kansas City Chiefs’ Eric Berry and the New Orleans Saints’ Mark Ingram—and each January, about 30 to 40 college football players come to XPE to train for the NFL Scouting Combine.
XPE Sports has joined forces with sports massage educator George Kousaleos, L.M.T., founder of the CORE Institute, to offer the CORE Sports Bodywork Certification and Clinical Mentorship program, which involves working on these top NFL prospects during their time at the XPE NFL Combine Prep.
First and foremost, I want to again thank Tony Villani for graciously taking the time to talk to us. Tony is a Clemson graduate, but he is the absolute best in the business. Last year Tony shared with us how he helped Vic Beasley andStephone Anthony train for the draft and eventually land in the first round. This year I asked Mr. Villani to explain more about his process and the work he has done on current pro prospects like Charone Peake as well as past Clemson players who return to train with him.
A bit of background before launching in and letting Mr. Villani speak for himself. Tony Villani is a Clemson grad with an MA in Exercise Physiology from George Washington University. He worked for various professional sports organizations like the Wizards and the Orlando Magic before creating XPE, Inc., which is now based in South Florida. He has a seriously impressive list of clients such as Jamal Lewis, Anquan Boldin, Usi Umenyoria, Hines Ward, Cris Carter, etc, etc.
First I asked Tony to give us an overview of strength and conditioning as well as his methods at XPE Sports. He explained how combine training is a bit different from other forms of training and what sets XPE apart from the rest:
“Strength and Conditioning” is exactly that. It is normally building strength in an athlete with weight training and conditioning an athlete by running and drills specific to their sport. What we have to do when we train an athlete for the NFL Combine to prepare for the NFL Draft is much different. “Strength and Conditioning” main focuses are team building, athletic performance, and injury prevention (in my estimation and I know it goes much deeper). “NFL Combine Training” focuses more on speed (and can we say SPEED again), power, and agility for the specific tests at the NFL Combine. On top of the testing day at the NFL Combine, which is the last of 4 days, we must also prepare athletes for the interviews with teams, medical evaluations, psychological tests, etc.
by James Eisenber |CBS Sports
BOCA RATON, Fla. — Shane Ray’s feet are moving quickly on this day. The defensive end from Missouri, who is projected to be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft and a potential top-10 overall selection, is jumping in and out of an agility drill with ease.
He’s standing on a turf field inside a giant former warehouse, which is located about two miles from the beach. But this isn’t a vacation — Ray is here to work. It’s well over a month before he will become a professional football player, but Ray wants to be ready. And a 40-year-old man, who has never played a down of football at any level in his life, is helping him prepare.
Tony Villani runs XPE Sports, which stands for Extreme Performance Enhancement, and he trains football players for the NFL Scouting Combine and throughout their careers. His current clients heading into the NFL Draft are highlighted by Ray and Vic Beasley, an outside linebacker from Clemson, who is also projected to be a first-round pick and a potential top-10 selection. His clients already in the NFL include Anquan Boldin, Mark Ingram, Mike andMaurkice Pouncey, Brandon Flowers and Byron Maxwell, among many others.