Yesterday, I talked to Patrick Fisher, Executive Director of SportsMeasures TestPrep. Fisher is busy promoting his service now that the college football season is over and NFL draft-eligible players might be in the market for what he has to offer. Our discussion was as follows.
Darren Heitner: In five sentences or less, what is SportsMeasures TestPrep?
Patrick Fisher: SportsMeasures TestPrep mentally prepares athletes for the next level. We help create an athletes mental resume. Initially, we will be preparing NFL draft-eligible athletes for the Wonderlic Test at the NFL Combine in February. In future expansion, we will include other assessments to help create a deeper picture of the athlete for high school, college and the professional ranks.
Heitner: How did you come up with the idea to create this company?
Fisher: It occurred during a phone conversation with a connection made on LinkedIn. We were talking about data analysis for football players when I told him I’m a psychometrician. After I explained what a psychometrician does (examination data analysis), he asked me if I could “do something” with some items from the Wonderlic Test. I told him yes I could and the business concept was born.
Heitner: What is your experience in the world of psychometrics prior to starting SportsMeasures TestPrep?
Fisher: I have over eight years experience as a psychometrician developing and analyzing high-stakes examinations for medical and dental certification boards. I have also been conducting objective measurement research into sports performance for over 20 years.
Heitner: I’m most interested in learning more about your SportsMeasures TestPrep’s Wonderlic Personnel Test prep class. What does that entail?
Fisher: We start with the athletes taking the first half of our practice exam containing items very similar to those on the Wonderlic. They are given 25 items and asked to answer as many as possible in six minutes – similar criteria as at the NFL Combine. After that we go over each of the 25 items in great detail. The concept within each question is explained and the best method to come up with the correct answer is shown. We then follow up with the second half of the practice exam with 25 more questions for which the athletes will again have six minutes to answer as many questions as possible, allowing them to utilize the newly learned methods.
Heitner: Why is there a need for such a class?
Fisher: While this isn’t the athlete’s 40 yard dash time or vertical leaping ability, intelligence is quickly becoming a more important factor when choosing athletes for your program – be it college or professional. A higher score on the Wonderlic can translate into being a higher draft pick and thus a larger contract.
Heitner: What kind of results have your past clients attained?
Fisher: While being a start-up company, we’re still seeking our first clients, which is why we’ve structured the class as we have. We also want to have the athletes see immediate results.
Heitner: Are you currently working with any agents or trainers, or are you mostly selling your service to individual athletes?
Fisher: My target audience is agents and trainers, especially agents. I am being mentored and assisted by an NFLPA certified agent currently.
Heitner: What is your elevator pitch to an NFL Contract Advisor reading this interview?
Fisher: I’m here to help pro prospects maximize their mental and character grades, realizing that today you can leave no stone unturned because the NFL clubs certainly do not.