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New coach adds spark to throws program

BY COURTNEY BAUMANN | DECEMBER 11, 2014 5:00 AM

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Coming into a new program as a young coach can be a daunting task, but Andrew Dubs, who is in his first year as throws coach for the Iowa track and field team, has handled it well so far.

Since joining the Hawkeye staff, Dubs — who graduated from Connecticut in 2009 — has not been afraid to make some changes — starting with the heavy stuff.

“We’ve been doing a lot more drill work, throwing a lot more heavy implements. We haven’t touched any competition weights yet,” Dubs said. “So everything is really heavy right now, and we’re building a strong base.”

Use of these different implements — which are heavier than the traditional shot put, discus, and hammer — could really benefit the throwers come spring.

Team captain Gabe Hull has no doubt the new training strategy will pay off.

“We’re training with implements that we aren’t actually going to be throwing,” the senior said.

“When we finally get down to the weight that we are going to be throwing, we’re just going to pick it up like a tennis ball and throw it for a mile.”

Along with creating a physically stronger athlete, it can also help develop better technique — an important way to add meters to their throw.

“It teaches them how to slow things down and work on their technique,” director of track and field Joey Woody said. “I think the best thing is that they needed some time to develop their strength qualities.”

Developing a technically sound routine for each of his athletes has been of extreme importance to Dubs. He does not want to make any large changes when it comes to the upperclassmen, but it is a different story when it comes to the freshmen.

“Gabe’s a senior, so he’s only got one year. I didn’t want to change too much because he’s had a lot of great success in the past so there’s not necessarily too much that we’re going to change,” the new coach said. “For the freshmen we’re trying to find out what technique is best for them and instill those technical aspects.”  

By doing so, Dubs has created close one-on-one relationships with his athletes, and people have noticed.

“He has a lot more training times to make sure that he gives individual attention to every athlete,” Woody said. “The smaller training groups have been really beneficial to the athletes.”

Although he has only been coaching the Hawkeyes since October, Dubs has already pulled one of the top recruits of the 2015-16 season, Navjeet Dhillon, who earned a bronze medal in the discus at the 2014 World Junior Championship.

Both Woody and Hull noted how the new coach has taken the opportunity to interact with many athletes throughout the program.

“He’s looking toward the future and just a positive for the team,” Hull said. “He’s a team player. He enjoys getting together with the athletes and just having a good time on and around the track. He’s just fun to be around.”

Follow @cbomb12 on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa track and field team.


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