LISTEN: Scott Umberger, Co-Owner and Head Physical Preparation Coach at Umberger Performance

TAGS: Umberger Performance, Scott Umberger, APRE, sports performance podcast, sprinting, speed, athlete, strength, Elitefts Info Pages

After walking in the front door of Umberger Performance in Pittsburgh, it only took a minute to see that this place was serious about building better athletes. Scott Umberger is all business and his passion for developing the best possible system to train athletes is evident.

Umberger’s coaching influences started while interning with Buddy Morris at the University of Pittsburgh. He also worked as an assistant strength and conditioning coach with Todd Hamer at Robert Morris University after competing as a two-sport athlete for the Colonials (football and track). Umberger dedicated an enormous amount of time and effort researching the best possible methods to improve athlete performance. By integrating training methodologies from Charlie Francis on speed and programming and from Louie Simmons on strength, and tying them together with the help of James Smith on Soviet sport science, Umberger has truly created a scientific approach to training athletes.

Topics Covered in this Podcast

  1. How Scott Started in the Field
  2. Basic Philosophy of Developing the Athlete
  3. Social Media's Influence on the Profession
  4. One of the Issues with CrossFit and Coaching
  5. Training Youth Athletes
  6. The Nature of Youth Sports
  7. Assessment and Evaluation of Athletes
  8. Sprint and Deceleration Mechanics
  9. APRE Protocol in the Private Sector

Elitefts™ Sports Performance Podcast on iTunes

Scott Umberger is the Co-Owner and director of physical preparation at Umberger Performance in Pittsburgh PA. Scott has spent time working at the University of Pgh under Joe Collins, Tim Beltz, and Buddy Morris. Most recently spent two years working for Todd Hamer at RMU before opening his private 8,200 square foot sports performance training facility in Pittsburgh.

Scott’s passion for performance enhancement started at an early age, stemmed by his desire to receive a Division I scholarship.

Sports Science Knowledge

One year interning at University of Pittsburgh under renowned coach, Buddy Morris changed everything. After working with Buddy,Scott spent two years working as Todd Hamer’s Assistant Strength & Condition Coach at Robert Morris University training 600 of their athletes.

The influence of James Smith, who is regarded as the leading American expert on Soviet Sport Science, led Scott to an understanding of Sports Science held by handful of Americans. Since Sport Science doesn’t exist in the U.S.(Scott confirmed this during his exploration of a PhD at PSU). Scott’s knowledge has been obtained via mentorships, self study of his small library of translated foreign materials, videos, seminars with foreign Sports Scientist, and personal correspondence with leading experts and Sport Scientists. This knowledge of non-U.S. Sports Science is essential because of the understanding of human performance that this non US research has uncovered through the study of 20,000+ elite athletes. The funding for this kind of research does not exist in the US. This monetary investment in Sport Science research is one of the very few ways that the world can be thankful towards communistic regimes.


Attempting to “get the edge” on the competition, Scott read and has tried everything that he could get his hands on. Taken under the wing of D1 track coach, Waddie Freeman his senior year of high school, Scott reduced his 40 yard dash time from 4.6 to 4.4. Scott played football, baseball, and ran track in high school. This led him to compete at the Division I level in football and track at Robert Morris University. Scott’s personal experience teamed with his extensive knowledge of the late sprint coach Charlie Francis’s methodologies present a very unique mix of knowledge and practice experience regarding speed development.


Scott spent three months training at the strongest powerlifting gym in the U.S., Westside Barbell. There he gained an advanced knowledge of the three powerlifts, the bench, the squat, and the dead lift. He also learned about the concept of strength and its application to specific athletic scenarios.
Scott currently competes in the sport of power lifting and has dead lifted 635 and bench pressed 420 in competitions. He has also squatted 645 and bench pressed 505 in training at a drug free body weight of 192.

The Scott Umberger File

As part of his 17,000 hours in the trenches training experience, Scott has worked with over a 2,000 athletes and clients:
• high school and college athletes
• Male and female athletes in hockey, lacrosse, soccer, volleyball, football, basketball, softball, baseball, swimming, tennis, track.
• Fitness/figure competitors
• REAL Professional athletes (NHL, NFL, Arena Football , MLL&NLL-pro Lacrosse, World Championship Games.)
• Olympic Silver Medalist- USA Olympic Woman’s Hockey Team
• 3 All-Americans (track, swimming, hockey)
• 2 Hobe Baker Trophy Finalist (Heisman Trophy of College Hockey)
• A top 10 NCAA scorer in Men’s Hockey
• FINA Master World Championship Qualifying Swimmer
• ECAC/IC4A qualifying track hurdler
• Professional Hockey, Basketball, and Soccer players in Europe(Finland and Italy)
• Two Major D1 walk on football players- one who made OSU’s team when they were ranked #1 and WVU when they were top in the 20.
• Celebrities- Country Music Superstar Martina McBride and Actor Jake Gyllenhaal

Scott practices what he preaches. Research is fantastic but it is useless if it’s not applied in a real world setting. Scott studies and applies knowledge on himself before having his athletes use it. He’s squatted 650 lbs, dead lifted 635 lbs in competitions and bench pressed 505 in the gym at a body weight ranging between 190-200 lbs. In August of 2013 he completed a Tough Mudder Race(which is consider the most legit race of it’s kind in the US) which is a 12 mile “mud run” with 20+ obstacles.

Though it’s Scott’s formal education(BS, MS) that enhanced his abilities as a coach, it’s the intensive study of ”The Soviet Sports Science,” as well as Sport Science stemming from sources outside of the United States(primarily Premier League Soccer and Australian Sports Science) that have really separated him from the majority of the field. Real world success with real athletes using his “in trenches training experience,” as well as a unique blend of leadership and knowledge of legitimate non US Sport Science makes Scott a rare commodity as a physical preparation coach in the US.


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