Guest Post: Strength Coach Scott Umberger


Guest Post: Strength Coach Scott UmbergerGet some workout tips from an expert! Scott Umberger is the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at Robert Morris University and works specifically with the Men’s and Woman’s Lacrosse Teams. He has all the tips you need to take your game to the next level.



Getting ready for the upcoming season….

by Scott Umberger

There are so many factors that go into answering this question that it’s going to be challenging providing you with specific answers. There is no way to give specifics for the millions and millions of high school athletes out there reading the site. Some factors are age, training experience, strength levels, are you currently playing another sport, and access to equipment.

This will be pretty broad in breaking things down for you as you prepare for the best season of you life (every season is suppose to be better than the last.) If it’s not, forget about playing in college.

Here’s a priority list for being a better athlete:

(note that each one could be a several page article in and of itself)

Flexibility and mobility- Flexibility is touching your toes and mobility is your individual joint ability to move in the right of motion that they should. Read- Shoulders, hips, and ankles to name a few. You need both or you are holding back your own athletic ability and increasing your risk for injury.

Strength is #1- Get stronger… do the exercises listed below and you will be faster and a better athlete. What is strong? Reasonably strong is 50+ good push ups, 20+ pull ups, parallel squatting 2x your body. Once you are reasonably strong you can progress into plyometrics and explosive movements. In the meantime learn to decelerate and accelerate first. Learn how to land when jumping. That’s a place to start. If you can’t slow down correctly then you can’t accelerate.

 Plyometrics and speed ladders-Stay away from plyo’s until you are strong and can land properly. Ladders suck. When is the last time that you repeated the movements on the field that you did through the ladder? Never! You may have once or twice, but not several times in a row.

Learn proper running technique- Much of this is related to strength, but there is still is a huge gap in proper technique and looking like an 80 year old woman. Proper arm pump is huge. If you can’t run with out a stick, you won’t be able to do so with one in your hands.

Conditioning- Sprints are key here. Save the distance running for distance runners. Your game is about beating the opponent to the ball or a spot. That’s explosiveness and quickness. Distance running promotes the development of slow twitch muscle fibers. Yes, slow is bad. Look at a marathoner, do they look explosive or strong. HELL no! Don’t freak out on me here, there’s nothing wrong with taking a weekly 15-20 min jog. 80-90% of Lacrosse is sprinting. You should train like you play spending 80% of your conditioning on varying short sprints from 5-40 yards.

A list of exercises by Scott Umberger:


Pull/chin ups- If you aren’t good at them, get a spot and do several sets of low reps.

Squats- Back squats to parallel or lower. No knee bends, save those for morons at a Gold’s Gym or Lifetime Fitness. Do Front Squats, Box Squats, Safety Bar Squats, Cambered Bar Squats and Olympic Squats are all things that you need to be doing. They all work but variety is the key.

Deadlift and its variations- they are great but as soon as the bar get heavy, so does the form.

Bench Press/Push Ups and their variations- Push Ups first. If you can’t do 50+ push ups with great form stay the hell away from a bench press in any form. Perfect Push Ups suck by the way. Why pay $20 to do push ups?

Strongman training- tire flips, fireman carries, log presses, tire/sled dragging, sand bag carries.

The thing with strength and explosiveness is that it is earned. It’s earned over months of consistent training. You can’t train hard for a few weeks then fluff off. Training is an annual plan that will reward the athletes that are hard working and consistent.

I will continue to write on the specifics of some of these areas. If you have any questions shoot me an email with your details (in season?, years of training, age, weight/height, are you in shape now, etc.)

Scott Umberger is the owner of Umberger Performance and can be reached through his website or email at

Scott has worked with high school, college (athletes from 20 different NCAA schools), and professional athletes(MLL, NHL-ECL, MLB, CHL, NFL, NBA, World Championship Games, and Arena Football I & II), 3 All-Americans (track, swimming, hockey), a Biletnikoff Trophy Winner (top DI Football Receiver), 2 Hobe Baker Trophy Finalist-top 3 and top 10 (Heisman Trophy of College Hockey), a top 10 NCAA scorer in Men’s Hockey, a member of the USA U-22 Woman’s Team, FINA Master World Championship Qualifying Swimmer, current Olympic Hopeful Javelin Thrower, ECAC/IC4A qualifying track hurdler.


  1. lsquatalot – We definitely will be featuring more workout tips and advice in the future. Glad you enjoyed.

    Scott did a great job with this post and even inspired me to try doing 50+ push ups, a bunch of pull-ups, and squats at the gym later tonight.

    I hope I’m still in game shape!