Tony Villani and XPE Sports: Behind the NFL Combine
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.