Simpson racquetball player taking his game to new heights

Simpson racquetball player taking his game to new heights

by Tim LoneStaff Writer

Junior Sampson Shnurman has been playing racquetball for over 10 years, constantly working to improve his game. With some help from the strength and conditioning program, he has taken his game to a new level.

Shnurman, a transfer student from Des Moines Area Community College, has been playing in racquetball tournaments for quite some time now and recently began competing part time on the professional tour.

Shnurman says he mainly competes in the tournaments in the Midwest. He has competed elsewhere, but said the tournaments in the Midwest are the easiest for him to attend.

“I’ve been to tournaments in Florida and California,” Shnurman said. “But that’s a long way to travel to play racquetball. The competition in those tournaments is extremely stiff. The bigger the tournament, the tougher the competition.”

Shnurman has even been approached by two manufacturers of racquetball equipment, Head and Gearbox. The two companies sponsor athletes competing in professional racquetball tournaments.

Shnurman said neither company wants to sign him to a very big contract, though, because he can’t compete on the tour full time.

“Since I have to go to school and I can’t compete full time, they don’t want to sign me to anything huge,” Shnurman said. “I only make it to about half the stops and there’s 22 stops on the tour.”

When Shnurman arrived on campus, he quickly developed a relationship with Justin Snyder, head strength and conditioning coach, and Nate Seberg, assistant strength and conditioning coach. Shortly after they met, Shnurman asked Snyder and Seberg if they could help take his game to the next level.

“After he found out we were strength coaches he just popped in and asked us if we could help him with a program,” Snyder said.

Snyder said Shnurman was working out quite a bit even before he sought his and Seberg’s help.

“He was working out pretty hard,” Snyder said. “He didn’t have an organized approach, so we organized his approach and he really felt the differences immediately.”

Shnurman echoed Snyder’s statements, saying he felt the effects of his workouts in the very next tournament he competed in.

“I saw an improvement almost right away,” Shnurman said. “After the first couple weeks, I noticed I was hitting the ball harder and I was more explosive with my shots.”

Snyder and Seberg both said they can tell when Shnurman is playing because they can hear his shots, since their office is in the room next to the racquetball courts.

Snyder said even before Shnurman began his strength and conditioning program, his shots sounded like a small canon.

“We know when he’s practicing because we can hear his shots,” Snyder said.

Seberg agreed with Snyder, saying that Shnurman’s shots now sound like a howitzer.

Snyder spoke very highly of Shnurman’s work ethic, and said he’s a great athlete to work with.

“The fun thing about working with an athlete like Sampson is that you know the time you put in with him is going to be more than repaid because he’s going to do everything that he can,” Snyder said

Snyder and Seberg said the fact that they’d never trained a racquetball player before was not relevant in how they trained Shnurman. Seberg said they’re able to train any athlete, regardless of what sport they might play.

“An athlete is an athlete,” Seberg said. “That’s why we can work with any sport.”