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Get Jacked! With Coach Scott Umberger

Working on a quick start is key

Quote of the week:

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
– Theodore Rooosevelt

This is a basic overview of the 40 yard start.  Like the shuttle run videos these are very basic.  I don’t have the time to work with you on a one on one basis over the course of several weeks to perfect these techniques.  If you do get better with these basics, you can get tuned up with an expert later on.  Master these basics and them build from there.

It has taken me several weeks working with high level athletes to perfect these basic techniques.  Don’t expect to shave 2-4 tenths off your 40 in a few days.  This takes time and a lot of hard work.

Intro to 40 yard start.

40 yard set up
Having run DI track, it’s clear that there is a clear difference between a track start with track spikes and blocks verse running on grass or turf.  You’re going to want to be uncomfortable.  I’m not going to recommend exact steps for 5 and 10 yards because I’m not really sure who my audience is (bigger people = bigger steps).  With difference ages and sizes there are going to be different standards.  Let me put it like this, less is better.  Inches turn in to feet and feet equal tenths over the distance of 40 yards.

Set up close to line
You are going to want to crowd the line to the point where your nipples are over the starting line.  This is going to be uncomfortable.  Take in mind that this position only needs to be held for a solid second.  You literally want to feel like you are off balance as you are coming out of the stance.  With practice, this feeling with go away.

Hand placement
The person timing you should be at the finish line.  Don’t be stupid and have your hand act like a flag to start the clock when you move it.   You want the clock to start with your actual body movement not your hand.


If you would like some advanced tips, shoot me an email or friend me on facebook.  I could always review a video if you have one.


Scott Umberger is the owner of Umberger Performance and can be reached through www, or email at

Scott Umberger 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.