No one, including Minnesota’s men’s track and field coach Phil Lundin, believes junior Adam Schnaible has reached full potential as a weight thrower ” despite his recent record throwing performance last weekend.
Schnaible broke the weight-throw school record Saturday in the Jack Johnson Classic with a throw of 67 feet, 6 3/4 inches, not once, but twice, and those tosses were at least 15 feet farther than the nearest competitor.
Yet it’s the shot put event that has Lundin and field coach Scott Bennett excited.
“Watch out for the shot,” Bennett said. “I’ve seen him get some… pretty big marks here in practice with the shot. “
Schnaible has finished behind teammate Karl Erickson the past two meets in the shot put, but Schnaible, unlike Erickson, has had to compete in the weight throw before moving to the shot put event.
That will change this weekend at the Wisconsin Elite Invitational, where Bennett said Schnaible will only compete in the shot put.
“It takes a lot of energy out of you to throw a weight,” Bennett said.
However, the move to keep Schnaible out of the weight throw this coming weekend is not out of fear of injury or fatigue. Lundin and Bennett said they do not worry about that with Schnaible because he has tremendous strength and agility.
The Burnsville native said he knew he had the strength to throw, but it was the technical aspects of throwing that have made him evolve into the dynamic thrower he is today.
“Mostly,” Schnaible said, “what it’s been the last year or so has been locking myself into the mental part of the throw.”
Lundin also said the technical aspects have been the biggest differences between Schnaible’s throws this season and his throws of 50-some feet last season.
“His repetition ” eventually it takes time to learn to repeat over and over and over again the movements that are required to do them efficiently,” Lundin said.
Bennett said that before he could improve Schnaible’s technique he had to recommend Schnaible get professional health advice for the big man’s feet; Schnaible has flat feet that caused him to have problems with arch cramps during practice and competition.
As far as the technique went, Bennett said it was a process of changing Schnaible from a glide approach to a spin technique, which could consist of as many as four spins.
“Once we changed him from the glide to the spin,” Bennett said, “and once he started picking up the technique, cool things started to happen.”
And Schnaible’s throws have taken off. Not only was his throw a school record, but the throw also is the farthest from a Big Ten thrower thus far.
Schnaible said he’s “excited” and “satisfied” with that throw in the last meet.
But he also said “there’s still a lot more there” and that he “really didn’t get a hold of that record throw.”