At Inside the League, we’ve been fortunate to work with several outstanding combine prep professionals in our hometown. One of our longest-standing partners has been Athletic Body Mechanics, led by its owner, Allen Langford. I’ve watched Allen go from training athletes at a high school in a cold drizzle to leading workouts at the gleaming, 6,500-square foot space ABM now occupies.

Today we present Allen’s thoughts on combine prep and what it takes to make January and February count.

There are dozens of gyms in the Greater Houston area, but you’ve had success attracting several Texans and other NFL veterans to your gym. What makes your facility a different? 

“I feel our attention to detail is what really separates us. We take each individual athlete and we give them everything they need to be successful. None of our athletes get lost in the group. Being able to properly assess what’s best for the athlete has really been what sets us apart. And a lot of our vets are super comfortable with that fact that I’ve been through it before and I totally understand their lifestyle.”

It wasn’t long ago you were operating out of a small space in a business park. This year, you moved into a much larger, much better-appointed facility just down the road from where you started. What do you attribute your growth to?

“We have been able to grow and attract new business through results. Our athletes don’t get hurt. We believe in order to be your best we have to minimize your risk of injury, and our injury prevention program, along with our distinct training, has helped our athletes excel. Results is always key in this business.”

You were a member of the 2009 draft class, so it wasn’t long ago you were training for the NFL yourself. How does that recent experience shape your work with NFL prospects?

“Having gone through the process myself, that definitely gives us an edge. I know the effort and time that goes into this process, and how every decision you make affects your progress. I think understanding what teams are looking for from a workout definitely helps us with our training program.”

What’s the one thing that an NFL prospect has to accept – about his training, about his mindset, about his body, his attitude, or whatever — before he can truly unlock his potential?

“Any athlete preparing for a pro day or combine has to understand it takes total focus. This time is not meant to be a time to have a great time hanging out or doing anything. This time is meant for you to prepare mentally and physically for the biggest interview of your life. Only having a short amount of time to prepare means there will be a lot of sacrifice throughout this preparation. Your film means so much, and at the end of the day, you have to be a ballplayer, but your workout can change a lot of things, so it’s important to give 110% to this moment.”

There’s almost an unlimited number of talented athletes in Houston, and that’s especially true during combine prep. How do you build competition in the gym to help all athletes reach their potential?

“Motivation is self-driven. I believe the opportunity that’s in front of these young men is motivation enough. We try to help our athletes see what’s really at stake. Competition pushes us all to be great. We like to create an atmosphere that is similar to being out there on the field.”