Transforming Smoot Carter: Pre-Testing Part 1


Harrisonburg, VA- I was in Harrisonburg to teach at the Level 2 & 3USATF Coaches Education schools and it occurred to me that Smoot lived relatively close. I asked him to come down to James Madison University where the school was being held so that we could do some testing before he visited Baton Rouge. With all of my clients, I like to do some pre-testing to determine their strengths and weaknesses as well as get a better idea of their current training state. This helps me to better develop programs which are individualized to the needs of each client.

Smoot and I met at a local coffee shop and we quickly headed over to the track. I had him do his normal warmup while I set up the laser timing system that would be used to time his running tests. After he had warmed up, I put Smoot through a battery of tests so that I would be able to assess his ability to accelerate, his overall lower body explosiveness, overall work capacity, and symmetry of strength, power and coordination in the right and left legs. I also did some anatomical assessments on his movement patterns and joint structure. I noticed that he has a pretty serious foot splay on the right side when he touches down, his sacroiliac joint appears to be frozen, and he has about 2cm leg length discrepancy between his right and left legs with the right one being slightly longer. This discrepancy appears to be functional in nature and should be easily addressed. Also, his lumbar extensors are hypertonic with the right side being particularly bad. Finally he displays hypermobility in the tarsals of his left foot while his right appears to be slightly locked up. He’s also mentioned experiencing some serious pain in both calcaneus with the right side being especially problematic. I suspect that most of these issues stem from spending so much time in an asymmetrical sport and not performing the appropriate activities to balance his body out. All of these issues will be addressed through both therapy and training.

Overall, it was nice to get some of these preliminary tests out of the way before his visit to Baton Rouge so that we’d be able to devote most of our time in Baton Rouge to training and teaching rather than having todo the tests that I need to properly put together an appropriate training schedule. After we finished with the tests, I asked Smoot to repeat2 of the tests in a couple days and email me the results so I could get a better idea of his abilities.