WHY the National Player Combine?


In a time with major event overload and new events popping up all over the place, it may be hard to determine what events to attend and what sets each apart.  Here is what sets apart the National Player Combine and why we highly encourage all athletes, from rising freshmen to committed seniors, to attend and return each year.


The National Player Combine (NPC) is an event like no other.  It’s focus is on athlete development, in a high level showcase environment on a world-class water-based surface.  It is a 3-day event, starting at night time of Day #1 with Physiology Assessments.  Why physiology assessments?  Speed, strength, and fitness are such an important part of the game of field hockey, especially at the next level.  The NPC assessments are modeled around Division 1 college and USA National Team programs to provide athletes with a benchmark and current picture of their physiology in comparison to their peers.  Where do they currently stand, what areas do they excel in and what areas do they need to work on.  At the NPC, athletes are able to practice these assessments in a safe learning environment and gain confidence.  Our goal is to change the mindset of physiology assessments and training from being anxiety driving and stomach-wrenching, into a motivating challenge and something athletes work hard to improve upon to become better athletes and field hockey players.  One of the highlights of year 2 of the NPC was the athletes who returned from year 1 driven to beat their IFT score (aka the beep test).  That next level mentality is what we are trying to foster.

NPC Physiology Assessments
(Learn More)
Maximum Velocity
Agility/Change of Direction
Vertical Power Production
Linear Power Production
Aerobic Endurance/VO2 Max


Day #2 consists of 3 sessions.  The morning session is the Skills Combine.  Athletes rotate through stations that evaluate essential stick and ball skills- dribbling, passing, hitting, aerials, the drag flick, etc.  Objective performance scores are recorded and many stations are timed to simulate game pressure.  After the event, we provide class analytics that allow athletes to see where they excel and where they need to improve.  Coaches also take notes on form and technique to provide feedback in these critical skill areas.



The afternoon session is Small Game Play.  In this session, athletes rotate through 3 stations led by high level college coaches.  Each station has a different theme- it could be midfield transition, attacking or defending in the circle, etc.  Athletes are presented with a drill in a new environment, with new teammates, much like they will when they arrive to college or join a new high-level team.  They are challenged with interpreting instructions, adjusting to feedback, and performing in a new situation.  Coaches take notes and individual feedback is provided on these sessions after the event.



The night session and Day #3 are all 11v11 Games on the Villanova University water-based turf.  Athletes are broken into teams and compete in a total of 3 games- 1 on night 2 and 2 on Day #3.  They have the opportunity to be coached by and learn from 2 different sets of coaches- 1 set on night 2 and another set on Day #3.  They are exposed to different coaching styles and techniques and are given feedback from 4 different coaches throughout the games.  There are also NPC coaches on the sideline watching the games and taking notes to provide valuable feedback for athletes.  This feedback is similar to what college coaches recruiting would see when observing their play.

Following the event, each athlete receives an online NPC Athlete Profile that they can choose to share or keep for their own personal use.  Profiles include all measurable physio and skills combine data, as well as subjective feedback from coaches throughout the sessions.  Additionally, athletes are provided with some key takeaway numbers within the rating scale below in the following areas: Overall, Attack, Defense, Technical, and Tactical.  These numbers provide a current projected trajectory at the next level of the sport based upon the snapshot captured at the NPC.  It is meant to provide the athlete with meaningful information about how they are perceived in each area evaluated and to direct next steps in their development.

At the NPC, we compile a coaching staff of elite college coaches, former national team and world class players who know what it takes to perform at the highest level.  They are world-record holders, Olympians, National Team captains.  They are not only elite coaches looking to inspire the next generation of field hockey players and find the next members of their collegiate teams, they have been in your shoes and want to help you develop and achieve your goals.  They are teachers at their core and incredible role models.  Throughout the 3-day event, athletes will have the opportunity to work with a majority of the coaching staff.

Colleges Represented by Current/Past NPC Coaching Staff
American University
Boston College
Brown University
Duke University
Indiana University
Columbia University
Lafayette College
Liberty University
Ohio State University
Princeton University
Rutgers University
St. Joseph’s University
Stanford University
University of Delaware
University of Louisville
University of Massachusetts
University of New Hampshire
University of Pennsylvania
Villanova University


In the first 2 years of the NPC, we have seen an incredible amount of talent.  200+ athletes who are currently ranked in MAX Field Hockey’s Top 150 Rankings for the Classes of 2022 through 2025 have attended.  We just released a post on our Player Ranking Process (Read Post Here) where we shared some of the ways athletes can set themselves apart for Player Rankings.  The NPC is a great opportunity for athletes to Prove it on the Field and show their ability to perform at the highest level and compete with top players from across the country.

Source link